This past Sunday morning in the woods of rural Massachusetts, a battle of the ages took place. Five courageous Harvard students faced off against six of their elder Law School counterparts in the rain. Pink paintball pellets pummeled through the air, with more hitting the surroundings than their intended targets.
The Harvard Shooting Club (HSC) in collaboration with the Harvard Law School Target Shooting Club sponsored the paintball tournament as a friendly competition between the two schools. Only re-established this past year, HSC was the unanimous underdog, despite advertising their HLS opponents via e-mail as “senile decrepits.”
However, the day’s activities were quick to draw new participants to the sports of shooting and paintball. Eric S. Dong ’11, who played for HSC, was recently introduced to shooting through one of HSC’s earlier handgun courses. “Until then, I had never seen a gun up close before,” said Dong.
HSC member Tian Wang ’12, pointed out that paintballing differed from their usual shooting practices. “We are much more mobile,” Wang said, “You have to strategize, you have to flank people.”
HLS was quick to establish their dominance, leading the game 2-0 at the very beginning. Within four rounds and with the aid of several recruited pre-teen paintball enthusiasts, HSC managed to tie the game. Playing a total of eight rounds while rotating between three terrains—attacking and defending a fort, a village shootout, and an extreme field filled with large blown-up geometric barriers—the game ended at a score of 5-3 in favor of HLS, who put the young’uns in their place.
Before leaving, both clubs teamed up for one final round against a rag-tag team of children and adults, putting aside their (age) differences and proving the power of collaboration by victoriously taking siege of a fort.
Once taken out, Law School representative Michelle C. Yang ’07 safely removed her mask and wiped paint off her mouth that had breached an opening.
“Ah, the bitter taste of defeat,” Yang said.