BY CANDACE MARTINO
Ever since junior Alan Outeiral was nine years old, he has made paintballing nothing short of second nature. At age 13, he found himself competing almost every other weekend in sponsored tournaments, and as the years went on he began taking more interest in competitive tournaments and even started making a career out of it, . When he wasn’t covered head to toe in paintball gear, he was working for two major paintball companies: Social Paintball and Wicked Sports Paintball.
With the skills that Outeiral obtained over the years, he knew he could make an immediate impact upon joining UT’s paintball club. During his freshman year at UT he began looking for ways he could put his paintball knowledge to use.
“When I got here I searched around to see if the [paintball] club was still active. I found a couple of students talking about it but they were not as well-versed in the sport as I was. Once I met them they handed me the reigns. With the experience I already had, it was good enough to run tournaments and recreational divisions of the organization,” Outeiral said.
Outeiral quickly adopted the position of being named the paintball club’s president, later selecting junior Kyle Menne as team co-captain. Together, they organize the club and overlook all the operations to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
“My role as a captain is to be the backbone of the team and to be a leader,” Menne said, “Both Alan and I act as role models for the team and are there to instruct the player.”
Menne is an integral part of the club’s leadership.
The club offers two divisions within the organization that is suitable for anyone looking to join. The recreational division focuses more on giving ordinary students that have little to no experience in paintball, the opportunity to go out and play when tournaments are offered.
“All students are welcome to join the recreational players and can join the student-only private Facebook group. When an event comes around, you can decide whether or not to go, there is no obligation,” Outeiral said.
Recreational play averages to about $25 a day and includes all equipment rental and entry fees. Campus recreation has partnered up with the club for this weekend’s recreational tournament at Orbital Paintball located in Tampa, that will be held on Feb. 27. The partnership has cut the cost to only $10 and includes transportation to and from the site.
For those seeking a more competitive outlet, the paintball club offers roster spots for the traveling tournament team. The core of the team is built on the interest to compete and requires providing your own equipment. The team holds mandatory weekly practices where intense drills are run and improvements are made before entering the next tournament. Tournaments are put on by national paintball leagues and can range from any location in Florida.
“The tournament team is a whole different animal,” Outeiral said. “When it comes to joining the team you must meet with me one-on-one to go over a few requirements. From there, a tryout will be held and you will be placed on a squad according to your skill level.”
The tournament team gives UT students an opportunity to further their paintball careers by competing at the college level with schools all over the country. On the other hand, the recreational division provides a chance for student to give paintball a try without any qualifications.
The paintball club runs all year around and is constantly welcoming all those who have an interest. Students can keep up with the action on by the club’s Instagram @UT_SpartansPaintball or Facebook/UTspartanspaintball.