Maybe, maybe not but an excellent beginning point to talk about the evolution of competitive paintball formats--and, according to player testimonials, it's great fun to play.
Are you drawing a blank? Hit the title for a link to the official Formula 5 website for more info--or just keep reading. I stumbled across this on the P8ntballer forum and was intrigued. In part because I've been, now and again, noodling over possibilities for the Holy Grail of tourney paintball, the spectator friendly format. Which isn't to say I'm dissatisfied with the current situation--though in a perfect world I'd rather play "real" xball, but then I'm not footing our paint bill so I grit my teeth and accept certain compromises. (Except 3 damn prelim matches an event! Never! A line has to be drawn somewhere or eventually we'll be paying our entry and flipping a coin to see who won. But I digress...)
I do tend to think however that future changes or competitive alternatives are more likely than not. And as an example Formula 5 has some good things going for it. Played on an airball field larger than the current standard the center of the field has two buttons, one for each team, that set a clock ticking. Pressing your button begins to accumulate time for your side, scoring one point every six seconds until your opponent can reach his button and turn the clock in his favor. That's the focal point and the results are immediately visible on the scoreboard as the two team's scores either get closer or further apart. You also score a point every time an opponent is eliminated or exits the field (having been removed as the result of a penalty or to refill air and/or paint. The other big feature is that players re-spawn (thus also attracting the scenario crowd. Or not.) Fresh players enter as others exit so long as no more than 5 live players are on the field at any one time. The game action is non-stop as there is a constant battle over control of the clock.
That's it in a nutshell. Sound good? Bad? Crazy? Not sure? If you want to know more check the title link and/or P8ntballer for more details.
And, as I said it's a good way to begin a discussion on future formats--do we need them? Want them? Or is 7-man or Race 2 the final frontier for competitive paintball? Later this week I'll see if I can keep the conversation going with Bacaball 1.0.