The history of the Ugly Ducklings
The Ugly Ducklings paintball team was formed in 1990 and is as such one of the oldest teams in the world of paintball.
The team began to play abroad in 1994 where we were the first Scandinavian team ever, to reach a podium finish at the then biggest event in European paintball, the Mayhem Masters.
1995 saw the team win seven events including International events Mayhem Scandinavia and MIG International Games. At the end of the season we got our first sponsors, giving us the opportunity to travel even more.
In 1996 the Ugly Ducklings played in countries like England, Holland, Germany, Sweden and of course Denmark. As expected the competition was tougher at international level, but the Ugly Ducklings still managed to stay in the top 4 every time.
1997 was the last year for the Ugly Ducklings as amateurs and what a year! The team played four events in England and won them all, including the World Hyperball Championships and all three NPPS events, which, at that time, were the biggest events in Europe. Nine first places and a single second place was the season result, all at major events, and we decided that it was time to take the big step up to the Professional ranks.
The team got off to a rough start as Professionals, only making the semi-finals in the first couple of events, but things already shaped up at the 7-man World Cup in Toulouse (France) where the team won its first major tournament as professionals, earning the right to call ourselves 7-Man World Champions.
Since then the team were amongst the very best European Professional teams, even if Denmark itself is one of the smallest paintball markets in the world. Our continued results in international paintball, under tougher circumstances than any other Pro team in the world, gave us a reputation for being the most tenacious and strong willed team in paintball – The Ugly Ducklings NEVER quit!
At the start of the 2004 season the team got invited to become part of the EXL (European X-Ball League) as one of only 8 teams in Europe. The league was a sister league to the NXL in the US, and the two sister leagues consisted of the 16 best teams in the world.
In connection with becoming part of the EXL, the team incurred a split, where some of the players joined the EXL under the name Copenhagen Ducks, and the rest continued as Ugly Ducklings, now once again an Amateur team.
In the years 2004 to 2006 the team went through various personnel changes and mixed results, until at the start of 2007 – with the inclusion of the Ugly Ducklings in the Millennium Series SPL league - the Ugly Ducklings came under joint ownership of two of the original founders of the team, Frank Fonnes and Nick Brockdorff and added the city name suffix “Odense” to the name.
Odense incidentally not only being the city where the teams home field is situated, but also the birth city of Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote the world famous fable about the Ugly Duckling, that went through so many hardships, before turning into a beautiful swan.
Now, at the start of 2009, the team has again brought in fresh blood, by adding the former Wikings team to the roster, and we are now finally in a place where the team can start growing and improving, from a hotbed of talent, with droplets of experience mixed in.
The future looks bright!