Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Young paintballer emerging as a shrewd tactician


Brandon Robinson is close to becoming a professional in a sport he didn't even originally like.

When the Pasco County native starting playing paintball at 13, Robinson was the target of his brother Levi, who is five years older, and his friends making his first few experiences unpleasant.

"Honestly, I hated it when I started playing because when I got shot it really hurt," Robinson recalls. "I always told myself that I would get better and get some revenge on him. It took me about three years to do that."

Once he was the one getting shot all the time, Levi gave up playing paintball and watched his brother become one of the top players in the state.

Now at 17, Robinson has become one of the key contributors of the RNT AllStarz, a semiprofessional paintball team based in Florida.

The RNT AllStarz compete in Division 1 play of X-Ball, which means they are a level below a professional team and play in five-on-five tournaments.

As the youngest member of the team, and the only one still in high school, Robinson has provided input into team strategies.

"Brandon is a tremendous asset to the team, especially this year more than ever. He's been getting a lot of playing time," RNT AllStarz coach Tim Altman said. "I remember a tournament where we were down to four guys and we used Brandon's plan and it worked."

Along with providing ideas, Robinson has been able to execute them as well. In one tournament, Robinson took out each member of the opposition.

Paintball has evolved from a sport where sharpshooters dominated into a highly strategic game like chess.

"A few weeks before the tournaments, we receive the field layout and have to plan what we're going to do," Robinson said. "So most of the time we're trying to figure out different angles and positions that will give us the upper hand."

With no two fields the same, the main goal for each team is to establish field position and find the best vantage point for taking out the opposition. Robinson has excelled in that aspect and even spends time on the weekend at Gator Paintball in Port Richey teaching two younger players different parts of the game.

The RNT AllStarz competes in five national tournaments a year and after capturing first place at the Phoenix Open, they are the top ranked team in Division 1 X-Ball out of 11 teams.

Robinson hopes to turn his prowess on the paintball field into a college degree, playing for club teams on scholarship at either Florida or Central Florida.

"It's just amazing to see where he's going to be in four or five years," teammate Joey Diaz said. "He's going to be one of the premier pro players in no time."

For now, Robinson wants to keep improving and help the RNT AllStarz join the Tampa Bay Damage as one of the professional teams from Florida.

"We've beaten them before and if we get the right sponsorships, I think we can get them a few more times," Robinson said. "Our team has the talent; with a little more time, I think we can be one of the best."

Submit story ideas, feedback to


Brandon Robinson

Age: 17

School: First


Year: Junior

Position: Mid (center of the field)

Young paintballer emerging as a shrewd tactician 05/01/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 5, 2008 3:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)


    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.