Last week we had the honor of having Joe Barrett of Sacramento DMG stop by to chat about paintball and answer a few questions for us.
Q: How did you start playing paintball? I started off playing paintball in the woods at 10 years old. Played my first speedball at a birthday party in an indoor field called Tsunami in Buffalo, and have been hooked ever since! I started reffing there for free paint, joined their kids team, then upper team. Then went to play local tournaments at GRC, and then regional leagues like NYPS, NYPL, and AXBL. Shortly after I started playing on free agent teams in NPPL and psp d3.
Q: What teams have you played on? Ive played on over 80 teams in over a dozen leagues now. Most notable to include would be Wellsville express (FSU), Rhythm, Shockwave canada, Avalanche, Buffalo Crush (NPPl pro), Rockstar factory (cxbl elite), 810 (semi pro), Tampa Static (semi pro), NYX, Tampa Bay Damage, Sacramento DMG, Kyiv United, Breakout Spa and Team USA in nations cup.
Q: What are the perks of pro paintball? The perks of paintball are limitless! This sport has done more then teaching me to work on athletics, mental strategy, teamwork and communication. Its taught me how to self market, network, problem solve with new people, redefine myself as a person, social skills and leadership skills. But the best off field perks come with the travel. Paintball has taken me to nearly every state and notable city in the US, as well as around the world to places like Canada, Mexico, France, England, Amsterdam, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia.
Q: What does the future look like? The future of paintball is bright, but we must be patient! It will go mainstream and look like any other professional sport eventually, but we must remember 2 things. 1. Paintball is still defining itself as a sport that is universal. The rules are still changing to find the perfect formula to become more spectator friendly, and not all leagues use the same standard rules around the world yet. 2. Many of the massive sports we watch today such as basketball took almost a century to become what they are. Paintball is still in its infancy, with speedball only in existence for nearly 20 years now and the common format we play (basically xball) for less.
Q: Where do you see our sport in 10 years? In 10 years I see our sport with a universal look and united around the world under one standardized committee. And with this, back on television, at least during national events and working its way towards being just another one of the largely recognized standard sports. It should become more affordable as the volume of players rise and companies begin to adopt the quantity of population sales model. It is already a college sport, but hopefully this will also trickle down into more high schools and become a gym time activity like the others.
Q: Where is the best place to start if you want to go pro? This is the toughest one to tell kids realistically. Currently its very hard to find your way to the pro level in our sport (like any other sport) but for different reasons. This sports events can only be played on large outdoor fields. So proper conditions for productive practices demand climates that are warm weather all year around. You can play indoors, but there are not many indoor fields that are regulation field dimensions and offer the feel of an outdoor field. Its also a sport that is only played on the weekends for the most part. So you can start off by playing in your backyard and doing all the drills needed to become a fundamentally sound individual, but this is a team sport. So it is very very low probability to make it to pro if you live in a small town, especially in the northeast or colder areas. The hot beds to live in or move to if you are seriously pursuing pro paintball are Florida, Texas and most notably California. This is due to all year round summer weather, large player populations and several state pro teams! I committed to the move to Florida and California to play Pro paintball. Special thank you to Joe Barrett and to everyone else for reading!
Interview done by:
~Andrew LaPorta Owner & Founder of Buffalo Paintball