SHOT CLASSES

How many balls have you shot, since you started playing paintball? Six? A dozen? Eight-hundred? A bazillion? (A bazillion is five more than ‘a lot’, it’s that new math stuff.) I’ve been playing since 1984 and I wish I had kept track of how many paintballs I’ve shot over the years. (It’s around 75,000, I think) What I DO know is that EVERY single one of those paintballs I’ve fired falls into one of ten categories.

TEN categories? Even with all the paint I’ve fired? Yes, that’s right. To prove my point, here they are.

CLASS ONE SHOT
(“Sure Shot”)

Okay, you’re in the bush and you and a teammate have come up against a player who is dug in deep. Neither of you has a clean shot through the dense brush. You lean around the tree and see a gap in the cover. “I can hit his loader from here,” you say. Your teammate stares at you (like you’ve just told him you’re wearing a tin-foil hat to stop receiving psychic messages from your hamster). You aim, take one shot and the opponent walks out with a big mark on his WHALESPLEEN TM loader.

A Class One Shot is ONLY a Class One Shot if you “call it”. That is to say, you MUST announce, to whoever can hear you, that you are going to hit such-and-such a player in such-and-such an area AND you do it. If you don’t call the shot, then it goes to . . .

CLASS TWO SHOT
(“Nice Shootin’, Tex”)

Okay, rewind: you’re back in the bush and you and a teammate have come up against a player who is dug in deep. Neither of you has a clean shot through the dense brush. You lean around the tree and see a gap in the cover. (I advise you to get used to reading this scenario.) You aim, take one shot and the opponent walks out with a big mark on his WHALESPLEEN TM loader. Your teammate, however is absolutely convinced that you meant to do it. Despite the fact that you said nothing. Perhaps he believes it because of your past performance, or his undying admiration for you as a player, or the fact that he was dropped on his head when he was a baby. (My dad says I was never the same after I went down the stairs in my stroller. I don’t notice a difference.)

It’s a Class Two Shot, because someone, ANYONE, knows you MEANT to do it, and you actually MEANT to do it.

CLASS THREE SHOT
(“Did You SEE That?”)

You’re back in the same scenario (reliving the moment over and over again, like some kind of demented time warp in the Twilight Zone Episode From Hell) and you and a teammate have come up against a player who is dug in deep. Neither of you has a clean shot through the dense brush. You lean around the tree and see a gap in the cover. However, you have to really expose yourself to shoot through the gap. You take a chance and dive from behind the tree, shoot a couple of shots and the opponent walks out with a big mark on his WHALESPLEEN TM loader. You smile knowingly at your teammate.

A Class Three Shot is a shot that COULD BE mistaken for a Class Two Shot, the difference being is that you did not mean to make the shot.

CLASS FOUR SHOT
(or “BS-Luck”)

Once again, roll back in time (if this is getting tedious for you, imagine how I feel writing it), you and a teammate have come up against a player who is dug in deep. Neither of you has a clean shot through the dense brush. You lean around the tree and see a gap in the cover. However, you have to really expose yourself to do it. You decide to take a chance and dive from behind the tree. As you stand up and prepare to dive, your boot catches on an exposed root. You trip, fall flat on your face and your marker goes off accidentally. The opponent walks out with a big mark on his WHALESPLEEN TM loader. You pick yourself off the ground and say, “I meant to do that.” Your teammate makes a rude noise and says, “Yeah, right; and I am the Emperor Napoleon.” To which you answer, “Glad to meet you, your highness. I am La Libelle d’Amour, champion of the bewildered herd,” and shake his hand. (La Libelle d’Amour: French: "the dragonfly of love”.)

A Class Four Shot cannot be mistaken for anything else other than what it was. Undiluted, unadulterated, unquestionable, unmistakeable, undeniable, unblemished, and pure BS-luck. There is no way you could EVER convince someone you meant to do it. Unless cash changes hands, of course. (Hey, two-thousand bucks is the going price to throw a game, apparently. I figure to convert a Class Four Shot to a Class Two Shot should be worth around five hundred, at least.)

CLASS FIVE SHOT
("Oooops!”)

Once more, come back in time with me. (Like you have a choice.) So there you are, in the bush and you and a teammate have come up against a player who is dug in deep. Neither of you has a clean shot through the dense brush. Besides, you’re too far away from the opponent, in the first place. You lean around the tree and see a gap in the cover. (Sounding familiar?) All you can see is the player’s crotch. You KNOW that it is physically impossible for you to even get a shot CLOSE to your opponent, let alone hit him. On a whim, you take aim, shoot, and watch in horror as the ball actually clears through the bush and connects. The opponent doubles over in pain, holding his . . his . . . er . . . you know ( and if you DON’T -- you’re either too young or too innocent to have it explained to you). You rush over, wondering what you are going to say to the poor slob.

After all, you did MEAN to hit him there . . .

The Class Five Shot is one of those things you try, knowing it will not connect, but you try it anyway. Usually someone gets a nasty welt, has a loud ringing in their ears, loses the ability speak without swearing, or cannot retain information for more than seventeen seconds at a time. There is no way you can effectively apologize for this type of shot, because you intended to make it. (Regardless of the fact that you thought it couldn’t be done.)

CLASS SIX SHOT
(“Blizzard Kill”)

Here we go again. (I promise, only a couple of more times.) You’re in the bush and you and a dozen teammates have come up against a player who is dug in deep. All of you open up on the poor guy and just pepper him. (Ouch!) Each of you then takes credit for the elimination.

The Class Six Shot happens a lot in “big game” format games. No ONE player can take the credit, so EVERYONE gets it. The term “Blizzard Kill” was coined by Canadian Contingent Paintball Club Member, Chris “Don Crisco” Chartrand. The exact quote was, “I got seven for sure, plus at least three Blizzard Kills.” (As you can see, it must be classified separately in any personal statistics you are anal enough to keep.)

CLASS SEVEN SHOT
(“Law of Averages”)

(Bear with me, folks.) Believe it or not, you’re in the bush and you and a teammate have come up against a player who is dug in deep. Neither of you has a clean shot through the dense brush. You don’t even take aim, you simply hose half a loader at your opponent. After about the one hundred and fiftieth shot, the paint has chewed a hole in the brush big enough to toss a cat through. (Not that you’re willing to toss a poor cat through the hole, it’s just one of those things you instinctively know.) A few dozen more shots and the opponent walks out with a big mark on his WHALESPLEEN TM loader. (Which is a good thing, because now you have to reload.)

Personally, I am of the opinion that this is the most common Class of shot. If you fire enough paint in their general area, you’re bound to hit something. (Whatever works, I guess.)

CLASS EIGHT SHOT
(“Friendly Fire Isn’t Very Friendly”)

Okay, you’re in the bush and you and a teammate have come up against a player who is dug in deep. Neither of you has a clean shot through the dense brush. You lean around the tree and see a gap in the cover. You let fly with a few balls and hear, “Hey, I’m on your team,” instead of the customary “I’m out”, and a TEAMMATE walks out with a big mark on his RHINOKIDNEY TM loader. (You know it’s a RHINOKIDNEY TM loader, due to the fact that the opposing team members are all using WHALESPLEEN TM loaders, ‘cause they’re sponsored and can afford the fancy-schmancy stuff.)

The Class Eight Shot is the most embarrassing. It also lowers the trust level between teammates. Make enough Class Eight Shots, and you will spend the rest of your paintball playing life as pointman (and impromptu bad-guy-detector), because NO ONE will want you behind them.

CLASS NINE SHOT.
(or “Collateral Damage”)

Once more, you’re in the bush and you and a teammate have come up against a player who is dug in deep. (Okay, last time. I swear on my Aunt Fanny’s glass eye -- and you don’t want to know how she came to have one. Suffice it to say it was an accident involving power tools, gun powder and several small rodents trapped in a mayonnaise jar.) Neither of you has a clean shot through the dense brush. You lean around the tree and see a gap in the cover. You take a few shots and miss. Now, normally, this would be a Class Ten Shot. However, the shots that missed your intended target hit someone behind him. THEY walk out with a big mark on their WHALESPLEEN TM loader.

Collateral Damage is good enough, as far as I’m concerned. As long as SOMEBODY from the opposite team leaves the field, it’s not a waste of time.

CLASS TEN SHOT
(“This Paint is Crap”)

This is an all encompassing class. It includes every shot that missed. (I know you were waiting for the scenario, I just didn’t have the heart to repeat it again.)

See, I told you, EVERY shot you’ve ever made can be easily classified. Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what purpose all this can serve. In a word: none. I just thought it would be a fun article for you to read.


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