The NCPA held their annual championship event this weekend at our regular practice field. In between our sessions and after we were done on Saturday I spent some time checking out the college teams. The NCPA allows semi-auto play and I was curious to see how their set-ups would play.
At the recent Huntington Beach event our team's general manager coined the semi-auto distinctions in the title of this post. (No, we're not such a big and powerful organization we have a GM like a pro football team but I call him that because he does everything from coaching to logistics to sponsorships so that I, like you, can be a lazy slacker.) In the electro-pneumatic marker era semi-auto is so broad a term as to be almost meaningless but it is possible to make distinctions. When a gun's electronics aren't very sophisticated or the player has made a real effort to prep a gun that really only shoots one ball per trigger pull the result is semi-semi. You may hear brief bursts of slightly higher rates of fire but mostly it sounds pretty slow. A "true" semi-auto set-up easily delivers higher rates of fire with greater consistency though you may hear a noticeable difference if/when the player switches hands. A full-semi gun is capable of firing one ball per trigger pull but once a sustained ROF has been achieved it starts roaring like a machine gun. At HB the majority of guns were semi-auto and full-semi.
Interestingly the majority of the guns I heard at the NCPA were semi-semi set-ups with some guns operating in the semi-auto range. There may have been a full-semi or two in the competition but I didn't hear one. The guns in use were, more or less, exactly the same guns seen at HB.
From that totally unscientific anecdote I draw a couple of conclusions. Either the average national level collegiate player has an arthritic trigger finger or else that same player has a much less flexible definition of how semi-auto ought to operate than the norm or the collegiate officials are able to maintain and enforce very strict standards. Personally, I tend to discount the trigger finger explanation and I find super refs kinda hard to believe.
So, what's the point, you ask? No point really.