The Poynter brothers have been a huge part of the UWL for many years now. I can truly say they have been a force to be reckoned with on the field. Off the field they have done a great job marketing themselves, the team and woodsball tournaments. I think they are doing a fantastic job at being competitive woodsball ambassadors. We got the chance to talk to the two of them in the off season and get their thoughts on the UWL and woodsball.
You guys have done well getting sponsors to help you playing in the UWL Can you give us a list of your current sponsors.
Karl: Our official sponsors are Inception Designs, Enola Gaye, Virtue, and Hardcore Sportz. I am also supported by HK Army for both paintball and as a pro BMX rider.
Do you two always play side by side on the field together?
Kyle: Yes if we need a one-two punch, but it all depends on what level and style of players we are playing with. Sometimes that dictates us to play on complete opposite sides of the field.
Karl: We do play well together, but there has been times where we are not near each other on the field. For example, UWL World Cup 2013 we were nowhere near one another. I was on a tape line and Kyle was on the other. It just varies on the field layout, the team we're playing against, the team we're playing with, etc.
Do you like the 5 or 10 man better?
Karl: I enjoy both for different reasons. I like the fast and aggressive game 5 man can be and the ability to really power down the field. One thing I'm a fan of with 10 man is the larger size of field and longer game duration. That in itself can involve a lot of athleticism, which is something I can really appreciate. What I love about both is you always have to focus on walking the field making game plans with your team regardless of its size. There is definitely an art to it.
Aside from guesting for many 10 man teams, you two have competed with your own team VIGILANTE in the 5 man racking up quite the record. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Kyle: It's been fun and rewarding. Mainly because VIGILANTE is our 5 man team we've had complete control over. Once UWL announced the 5 man division, we were all over it. Since the inception of the UWL 5 man we have not lost a single game in open. We also hold the record for fastest game won at 37 seconds. It's been a great ride getting to do the things we've done with some of our closest friends. Each of our guys bring their own qualities to VIGILANTE, which meshes well with how we've designed the team to operate on the field since day one.
Most memorable personal UWL game you have played?
Kyle: This is tough to narrow down. Games where you are fighting against the odds to take the win or where you just out smart your opponent are what stick out the most to me. In Nebraska we were having a hard fought game with a local team and weren’t able to break through. On top of that time was running out. So I decided to take a chance and go get my guy on the tape. I was able to time him looking the other direction. After bunkering that player I ran the tape proceeding to get behind their complete line. I then went on to pull their home flag and continuing through their side of the field taking out (“backdooring”) a total of 8 players. I took one and two at a time without being detected, or having one shot fired at me all while only shooting around 50 rounds total. Getting behind your opponent and shooting them one or two times and them having no clue as to what just happened is the ultimate level of out playing your opponent in my opinion. It is difficult to do with the machine guns of today, but stealth is my favorite skill in paintball and it can still be practiced (on some fields) in the UWL.
Karl: I can honestly say there hasn't been one game I've played where I didn't have fun. There's so many aspects of how a game can unfold in the woods. For me personally, the games I've felt most accomplished after are the ones that come to mind first. The games where you push yourself and come out on top, ya know. There's been a few where I've covered an entire field while eliminating the opposition along the way and grabbing all flags. There's so many paintball stories to be told after a UWL event. Telling your teammates and friends about a play you made, or what you witnessed during a game and giving high fives is part of the fun.
Any advice for a player or a 5/10 man team looking to play a UWL event for the first time?
Karl: The both of us love seeing new blood coming out to the UWL. The main thing is less talking and more doing! It's always easy to find reasons to be unsure about doing something. Yes, there's some legitimate reasons to why it may be difficult to organize a team of guys. You may not live in an area with much of a scene. That still should not stop you. It didn't stop us. There wasn't much of a scene in our area so we said let's make our own. If you're really having trouble getting enough guys, the next step would be to travel to the closest event and check things out for yourself. See what the UWL is about and mingle with other players and teams. There's always a good mix of new players, pros, and everything in-between.
Now if you do have the players to field a full team, it still comes down to similar principles. Just show up at an event and do it. It's as simple as that. One good thing you could do to help prepare is spend some time in the woods. Slap a few log bunkers up and play paintball. Although a lot of the teams in the UWL are very competitive and are there to win, there's still a laid back fun atmosphere at the events. Again, just come out to get your feet wet and go from there. With the modern day analizing and just talking about everything on the internet, you can’t form your own opinion based on others. You won’t know unless you go!
Any closing comments?
Kyle: We're happy to help players or teams looking to progress in the UWL league. If you see us at an event, be sure to stop us and say hello. We'd also like to say thanks to all our family, friends, teammates, and anyone who supports what we do. Thank you to our sponsors Inception Designs, Enola Gaye, Virtue, and Hardcore Sportz for standing behind us and keeping us equipped with the gear we need on the field. Lastly, thank you to UWL for bringing competitive paintball back into the woods where it all started.