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Tagging for the Hoops

It's funny how things work out sometimes. I had seen a post online about something happening at the local Laserforce center. I didn't know exactly what was going on, but figured I'd check it out. To my surprise I ended up unexpectedly playing in a tournament! Now, I use the term "tournament" loosely because this was really just a little local gathering (NOT on the same scale as the other recent events I've written about). In fact it was a fundraiser for a local youth basketball league, predominantly made up of the players and their families.

I felt that the shirt I was wearing was particularly apropos considering I hadn't expected to be doing this...

...but I am always game for a competition! :)

When I signed up at the registration table the organizer asked me how good I am at laser tag. That always feels like an awkward question to answer, but she pegged me for being a more experienced player (aka a "ringer") and added me to a team with some less experienced players for balance.

The team had an interesting dynamic. One player was very competitively aggressive (no, I'm not talking about, which was a stark contrast to another player who was trying laser tag for the very first time. After the first game the ref whispered to me that there was a player on my team who didn't know what they were doing and when I saw after the second game that she actually scored zero points I decided that my reason for being here today was to help this player learn the game and gain some confidence in doing so. I approached her and asked if I could offer some tips. I also explained to her that I understand very well what it is like to be learning this game while surrounded mostly by overly confident guys and feel a little intimidated (sure, it's been ages since I first learned to play laser tag in general, but I am still learning different systems and different formats like SM5, so I do still get it). I tried to take her under my wing and encourage her while teaching her how to go around the back way to rack up quick points by tagging the center base and the generator. And you know what? In one short evening she went from zero points on the board to getting bases and being a real team contributor! In fact, our team was neck and neck for the lead right up until the finals.

OK, there was an upset in the finals and the underdog team won out over us by a small margin, but you know what? It doesn't matter. Everyone had a blast and I am proud of how the team pulled it together. My only regret is that I didn't realize what kind of event this was sooner because I would have tried a little harder to show up with a prepared team. But it all worked out and was a great event to show support to a worthwhile local group.

And at the end of the night I won a it. 15 years later I'm still a Salt City girl! :)

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