Alternates have multiple benefits when accompanying your paintball team, but many people are uncertain as to what being an alternate entails. The first mistake commonly assumed in reference to an alternate is that they are not going to play in the tournament unless there is an emergent situation (injury, down marker, etc.). The person in this situation would not be an alternate, he would be there for support. An alternate is a regular member of your paintball team, who plays with the team, practices with the team on a regular basis and will play in the tournament equally. In the case of a three man event the alternate player would sit out the first game, the second game he would be in, while someone else would sit out and it would continue to rotate through the squad until the conclusion of the event. An alternate pays his share of the entry fee and plays his share of the tournament. A general rule of thumb is to have at least one alternate on the roster for a three man event, two alternates at a five man event and three alternates at a ten man event. Often the number of alternates is limited by the tournament promoter, check with them and see how many you can have appear on the roster and utilize this to you fullest advantage by filling these spots. It would be much wiser to run a three man squad with one alternate than to run a five man squad with no alternates. You never know what is going to happen at the last minute, who will not be able to attend or who will not be able to complete the tournament for any number of reasons.
Another benefit of having alternates on your paintball team’s roster is reducing the cost of your tournament. Instead of five players paying sixty dollars each for a three hundred dollar entry fee, if you have two alternates it would drop the cost to forty three dollars each. This is extremely beneficial to a paintball team just starting out, without sponsors tournament entry fees can be extreme at times, not to mention the cost of lodging when you travel to tournaments. By including alternates on the roster you lower the expense of the entry fee to more reasonable and affordable level, this is extremely helpful when you look at some of the national events who’s fees can be in excess of six hundred dollars per event. When the team is at the crony, so are the alternates. In the event that a paintball marker is too hot, will not come down to permissible levels or is malfunctioning, the alternate will either exchange his paintball marker with his teammate or the alternate will assume the other players position entirely. The alternate is there in the event of an injury, which prevents another player from continuing with the tournament. An alternate is there when someone needs a break. An alternate can assist in the staging areas by working on paintball guns, loading hoppers, getting air or paintballs and cleaning old paint off fellow teammates and their equipment when the alternate player is not playing. In a tournament environment every available hand is a plus, especially in the staging areas between games and the alternates are the ones who assist in picking up the slack by not only assisting the team but playing as well. An alternate is a valuable asset to a team, make the most of these positions on your team roster and fill all the available spaces.