Navy paintball tournament in Italy needs participants
NAPLES, Italy — Petty Officer 2nd Class Troy Swanson is getting ready for a war, of sorts.
It’ll be one fought in the crater of an extinct volcano near Naples, Italy, and one where those “splattered” dead, in the end, will walk away with some paint stains on their clothes.
The security sailor, stationed at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, is gearing up for the much-anticipated, first-ever European Region Paintball Tournament slated for the first weekend of November.
Slated, but not yet guaranteed.
Only two teams have signed up. A minimum of six is required, and the registration deadline is a week away, said Raimondo Iovino, a recreations specialist with the Navy Outdoor Recreation Center in Naples and the tourney organizer.
The two committed teams hail from Sigonella, where interest in the increasingly popular sport has garnered sailors their own field on which to play.
Teams from Naples and Gaeta, Italy, and one from Souda Bay, Crete, have expressed a verbal interest in participating in the Nov. 5 and 6 tournament, but have not officially committed, Iovino said.
“I’m still waiting for entries,” he said.
He’s an optimist: he’s capped the tournament at a whopping 20 teams.
The idea for the regional tournament is the brainchild of Petty Officer 1st Class Stacy Young, also stationed in Sigonella, who got hooked on the sport about three years ago. He was instrumental in getting a field on Sigonella, and generating interest for this first regional tournament.
Ironically, a work commitment will preclude him from playing in the very tournament he’s credited with creating.
“That’s all right; my team’s gonna play, and that’s all that matters,” the 32-year-old sailor journalist said of the members of Sigonella’s “Shock and Awe.”
It’s a sport he’s grown to love.
“It takes me back to my childhood. It’s hide-and-seek, cowboys and Indians, and tag all wrapped into one. And when you’ve had an awful day at work, it’s a great way to take you anger out on someone else,” he said, laughing.
The tournament will take place at the Carney Park recreational facility, a park constructed in the crater of an extinct volcano near the Neapolitan suburb of Pozzuoli.
“This is the first time we’re trying to get people from the region to participate, and we’re trying to get a regional tournament going so that maybe, in the future, each command can have their own intramural tournaments and then create a team to compete in the end in a regional tournament,” Iovino said.
Teams are responsible for their own expenses in getting to Naples. Six of the 19 camping cottages and three-room cabins at Carney Park are reserved for competitors and offered for $25 and $20 a night, respectively, a 50 percent reduction in the normal fee.
Here are details: