Suggestion with no additional time or cost requirements:
Locate the paint trucks closer to the player area.
o Although the paint trucks are a good source of advertisement for the suppliers, for the players not having the paint truck relatively close is an added burden.
o I would suggest positioning the truck at the entry to the player’s area at all events like Huntington Beach was done. It provided a visual barrier between fields and allowed teams easier access to paint rather than carrying cases long distances.
I strongly recommend the NPPL stop “flipping a coin” to determine field position.
o The playing schedule clearly indicates the “Home” and “Visitor” teams.
o I suggest one end of the field be labeled “Home” and the opposite end “Visitors”.
o To provide an easy alternate to signs, the “Home” end can be designated as the end closest to the chrono tent.
As a side note; in Chicago we played six of eight games on the same side, snake left, due to loosing the coin toss. Teams will generally always take the side of the field that support the dominate right hand shooters, i.e. snake side right. Each team should play four games from both sides of the field.
More trash cans in the player areas as well as a location to recycle cardboard from paint boxes.
o I know this seems trivial, but having more trash cans, will make it easier for teams to clean their area and allow better transition for teams occupying tent space next.
o Also, having a focus on recycling is good for the league.
I would like to suggest an alternate exit from the filed other than through the chrono tent.
o Exiting through the chrono tent continues to slow the transition time between games.
o An alternate exit would also provide better access in the event of an emergency or for the Ref’s to use.
I strongly suggest the opening from the chrono tent to the field be larger.
o When I say larger, the top should be located higher to allow the opening to be larger or wider.
o There were many times over the last few events that the small opening caused unnecessary congestion getting on and off the field. I’ve even seen player trip as they pass through the opening.
Suggestion with minimal additional time or cost requirements:
Having played many times, I do like the starting procedures for NPPL events. However, most of the time it is difficult at best to hear the “Go, Go. Go” yell at the start.
o It seems reasonable and most effective to have Ref’s start each game with a whistle or hand held air horn.
o The added benefit to a whistle or air horn is that if the need arises to stop play a whistle or air horn would help.
Although trivial, I really suggest there be a standard flag and flag stand for field #2.
o I honestly believe the little things like this help promote the image of a professional event.
o Using a knotted Refs jersey, extra banner or what ever can be found as a flag is hardly the image of a professional level tournament.
Again another trivial item, but please have three or four additional rakes at each end of the field behind the starting tables.
o If a team wants to rake a bunker before the match they have an opportunity.
o As any experienced player knows, you can and will be called out as “hit” for sliding or diving into a pile of unbroken paintballs behind or next to a bunker.
o Giving players the opportunity to clear areas also assists the Refs in maintaining a clean and clear field and may help eliminate some arguments on calls.
I suggest posting a schedule outside each chrono tent?
o A laminated schedule, at least 11”X17”, mounted to a stand or board hanging from the tent would significantly improve communication and preparation for teams being called to chrono.
o As an alternative, separate the printed schedule “before” and “after” lunch break to increase the size of the print.
I suggest hanging a clock in or near the chrono tent for Refs and players to see.
o The obvious advantages are the Refs can see if they need to speed transition time between game to stay on schedule.
o Players have the opportunity to better judge the time before their next game.
Although a volunteer to help call teams to chrono would be ideal. I understand they are not always available.
o I really believe a mega phone or small public address system would speed teams being called to chrono.
Suggestion with no consideration or idea of additional time or cost requirements:
Is there a way to indicate if the team is paid/not paid during registration? Is it possible to do? Many divisions spend a lot of time contemplating their potential competition.
o Knowing who has “paid” entry would also encourage other teams to pay sooner to ensure their spot for the division.
o Being technology challenged I’m sure there is a reasonable way to accomplish this. However, since it’s a programming issue I’m clueless on additional time or cost.
o I do know it would be nice to see that my team is paid what other teams have or have not paid registration.
In Chicago the grass seemed rather long and sometimes transitioning from natural grass to turf, in some areas, was hazardous.
o I would suggest when playing on grass it be no longer than two to three inches high.
o On natural fields holes should be filled and tamped down.
o If turf is going to be used it should cover the entire field and not have transition areas.
On many occasions watching the games it seems the delays in game schedule are due to the time in between games not being effectively managed. I would like to suggest improving the transition time between games with one of the following options;
o Option 1. The Chrono ref does not let the oncoming team on the field until called by the field Ref. Once a team takes the field they have 60 second to get ready.
o As an alternative, the field Ref could hand the completed score sheet to the chrono Ref and they complete the score card and required signatures off the field.
o Option 2. Have the field Ref’s report scores to an off field Ref (Official score keeper). The field Ref would indicate if the Home or Visitor team had the flag pull, flag hang, remaining players and eliminated players. Each team Captain would witness the verbal report and exit the field. The teams Captains meet the Official score keeper off the field to sign score cards.
o Option 3. It would be worth considering an official “time keeper’ other than the Ref on the field. The field Ref would call the start the game with a horn or buzzer. When the game is over the time keeper starts an “in between game clock” and give the Ref’s a 60 second warning to the start of the next game. I am not advocating another leagues system be implemented; I am simply suggesting that the time between games could be better managed.
I would suggest that players not be charged to watch games from the grand stands.
o I understand the need to increase revenues. However, after paying tournament entry it seems that the NPPL would understand that any additional charges seem to appear to nickel and dime, or even penalize players for watching games.
o As a player and father it would be nice to be able to sit in the stands with my team or son and watch teams play without having to pay additionally.
o Allowing players access to the grand stands would eliminate players lining the end of the field watching games.
o Allowing players access to the grand stand encourages players to remain at the event which benefits both the vendors and gives the appearance of “full” grand stands when events are being televised.
I would also suggest that each team be given a survey that allows them to provide feedback to the NPPL after the tournament. Seeking feedback provides the NPPL an opportunity to improve the end user product.
I know there are a lot of comments made and suggestions thrown around about rule changes, event locations, event structure, but over all, as a player and a father of a young player, I believe the NPPL is doing it right. The honest intent of these suggestions and recommendations listed above is not to complain or diminish the efforts the NPPL has made in hosting great events. I believe there are always ways to improve and grow. Paintball is truly a team sport. No one player wins by themselves. The NPPL is also a team, it’s a team made up of a lot of individual teams, and players, and as any team knows you sometimes have to make little or big changes to improve and win. Everyone wants the NPPL to win.
I hope you take these suggestions and recommendation in the sprit they were intended as positive feedback with the intention of improving our league. Thank you again for a great tournament series and everything you and your staff do to continue to make the NPPL the preferred paintball league.