Learn from one of Paintball's top coaches, Aaron Ormrod of Seattle Uprising, how to best prepare for your Paintball tournament if the field layout isn't released in advance. Find out what to look for and what you should try to do in order to dominate your next paintball tournament.
Every time a layout is released, I get excited. Breaking down a field layout and designing your game plans and playbook is critical to your team’s success. Oftentimes you’re able to walk the field, try out some shots, do some breakout drills, play some points, and start to formulate what works, and even what works best given the strengths and weaknesses of your roster. Just like taking a test, the more time you can study, the better your chances are of doing well. But how do you deal with a pop quiz? - The Blind Layout!
Every little bit of analysis of a field is important. So walking the field as early as possible and having every player on the team walk the field is crucial. You should try to identify several spots that look dominant and should be able to either produce kills, or impede your opponent’s ability to move. In a best case scenario, you find a couple spots on either tape that you feel you can get into and be productive from. Since each player on the team has walked the field, everyone should have an understanding of what spots they can play given their position and what the players around them are trying to do. At the time of putting together a game plan make sure that you’re not just letting all 5 players pick the spot they want to go. Build a game plan that is cohesive: you have eyes on where your opponent goes, you don’t have a teammate on an island with no protection/support, etc.
Since this is a layout which hasn’t been studied extensively, chances are there are some big moves that can be made which aren’t expected. Use this to your advantage and try to take some big bites off the break and see what you can get away with. But this also means your opponent may do the same. Mitigate the guesswork of shooting the right gap off the break by focusing on the short shots. If you shoot landing pads for the snake, Dorito 3, etc. and your opponent doesn’t go there, you wasted a gun. But if you can get the first 3 balls out of your barrel right on the inside (or outside if it’s really close to the start box) of the first bunker on both sides of the field, you could hit a back guy, a front guy, a mid guy. Essentially try to shoot a gap that 2+ bodies will cross through, rather than worrying about a lane that maybe 1 person will run through.
Walk the field as thoroughly as possible. Make a couple game plans that focus on getting into the dominant positions on the field. Don’t be afraid to try big moves off the break to mix it up. Shoot the short shot to avoid wasting a lane off the break. Do these things, and you won’t be going in blind on gameday.