By Sgt. 1st Class Jeff TrothMay 24, 2012
CAMP CASEY South Korea -- It was a slow, tough contest and at the end they looked a mess, but the 30 Soldiers who took part in the Area I Paintball Championship at Camp Casey May 12 said it was huge fun and a great way to burn stress.
The annual event saw six teams of five members each squaring off on the Casey paintball field. Some were Soldiers but others were civilians.
The field is set up with several inflatable bunkers that competitors duck behind and fire from.
Taking part were teams from Camp Casey, Yongsan, and Camp Humphreys, as well as two teams of local Koreans.
Each team had five minutes to "kill," or mark its opposing team with paint, then capture a flag placed at midfield.
After 15 games all teams had played each other and the top four moved on to the semi-finals for a best 2-out-of-3 competition.
The last two teams standing were 4 1/2 Men (because one of its members is still a teen) and the Soju Soldiers. The teams had to use the third game as a tie-breaker, which 4 1/2 Men won.
"It is great to be the champi0n," said Romell "Doc" Ward, of 4 1/2 men, whose team ended up "somewhere in the middle" during last year's Area I championship.
Ward's team meets for practice two or three times a month at Casey, he said.
"Paintball is a lot of fun and is a great way to relieve stress," said Ward. "We are always looking for more players."
Matthew McCandless, a player for team Testosterone Mafia, is an experienced paintballer but the rest of his team were relatively new to it.
"But we wanted to come out here and have fun," he said. "They are already talking about coming back next weekend."
Some of the players have created a website, www.koreanpaintball.com, that links the regular players. They can post which day they'll be at the paintball field.
The field is open every weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for recreational use, but can be reserved during the week for training purposes.
"Paintball is a great tool for training," said Sam Kim, a contractor who runs the paintball field for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. "It provides realism and immediately tells you what you did right and what you did wrong."