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Old 01-20-2013, 06:29 PM #1
bigdee
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Paintball on TV, my thoughts....(reading heavy)

To start out ill give you some of my history, if you don't care (which you probably don't and I don't blame you) just skip the next paragraph.

I have been playing paintball in some form for the better part of 16 years at this point. I reffed at my local field through high school and later managed the store through the beginning of college. I've played PSP and NPPL events as well as countless local events. 3 man, 5 man, 7 man, 10 man, xball, scenario, woods ball and any other kind of paintball you can think of.

The reason for me listing my paintball history is so that anyone reading this can see that I am not some one thats in experienced with the same old "lets put paintball on the xgames" argument. The real reason I am writing this is because I feel the way paintball is currently played and presented is NOT television viewer friendly and I'd like to hear some ideas from you guys on how to solve the issues I see or to bring up ones I miss.

First and foremost the the nature of paintball is not good for television. Just for this discussion we will say player X. So in paintball player X is hiding behind what most people with no paintball knowledge would call a big balloon. Wearing a mask where you cannot see his face, shooting a gun where you cannot see what his is shooting at or who is shooting at him in return. From what I can see there are two issues you can not get around in that last statement. The goggles are never going to go away, but maybe we can improve the jersey where it is not littered with sponsor and team logos. Follow the sports that have already made it like baseball and foot ball, name and number prominently, with a small team logo on the shoulder or chest. Secondly you cannot remove bunkers because then your playing on an open field and that's boring and over real fast. But we should change how we film paintball. It should very rarely be filmed from field level. When you watch any of the thousands of videos on YouTube that are all edited real nice with some dub step or metal song synced up, all they show is what? The break, and then one player bunkering another in the snake. The games need to be filmed from over head with one or two of the same cameras they use suspended over a football field where it moves to be in the correct position for the action. There is so much more happening on a paintball field which is NEVER captured because the camera guys are lined up and down the side nets. As far as tracing where paint is going to or coming from, I had an idea the other day about what they did in the NHL for a while where they had a coating on or something in the puck and it would leave a trail on the screen for the audience to keep better track of it. If something like this could be established for paintball it would help viewing tremendously and also make the situations easy for the audience to understand.

Next, what is the objective of the game? The flag? For any Xball team the flag is only an after thought in the current format. There is no risk that is worth taking to ensure that you have the flag, so why even bother having it in the game at all? In most professional sports there is ONE point of focus, the football, the baseball, puck, soccer ball, basket ball, golf ball, tennis ball, volley ball, and so on. What's the point of focus in paintball? I don't have a resolution for this one and out side of going backwards to the 100 point or two flag system, I can't think of a way to make this better improved.

Next is sideline coaching. I think this is the most detrimental thing that has happened to paintball in this sports history. I am sure that majority of you have seen this video but if you haven't go on YouTube and look up Ollie Lang's best team move. Basically what happens is Alex fragile gets shot out of the snake in 7 man, and while the referee is pulling him out Ollie sneaks in before the other team realizes what happened. Catches the other teams (I think it was the Naughty Dogs) snake player playing sloppy and then runs the seam eliminating the remaining players. Now if they had been playing PSP NONE of that would have been possible because as soon as he slid into the snake everyone on the sideline would have screamed "snake one". Then theres no way that would had played out the way it did. I'm sure that there are hundreds of other examples but that's good enough... The element of surprise needs to be re implemented into the game and there's no way to do it with coaching.

As far as the race to 7 format is concerned, I can go either way with it but I feel that if you are doing a race to 7 you need to remove the clock. The match would be so much more interesting if you HAD to get the full 7 points. It would also eliminate a player standing in front of the box waiting for the clock to run down before he hangs the flag. It would also give a team that was behind a chance to make a come back.

I also feel that we need to change the publics perception of paintball. If you ask a person who doesn't know anything about paintball the first thing that they think of is a fake war in the woods. Not the seriously competitive, extremely athletic and strategic sport that it is. I haven't a clue how to change this because the majority of the people who play the sport, play maybe once or twice a month and it's in the woods. If on the rare occasion it's in a show or on a commercial, they are playing in the woods. I don't think that it's a bad thing when people think of woods ball first but if we want this sport to be taken seriously we have to let everyone know that this is how competitive paintball is played.

If you read all this I thank you and would love to hear you feedback on the issue.

P.S. please forgive any spelling, grammatical errors, or run on sentences.....
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:11 PM #2
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I agree with everything ESPECIALLY the overhead cam thing. Ive actually made that suggestion before but it fell on deaf ears, probably because it sounds expensive. And for the most part, pro paintball fields are merely existing local fields that are just jury-rigged to proper accommodation, presenting a major engineering hurdle. It seems as though the perfect camera for paintball is as yet unattainable.

I just hope the leagues haven't entered their comfort zones as much as i think they have, because the way things are now, i can see very few, if any, of these changes you suggested being implemented. At least not with the leagues too preoccupied with being at each other's throats over trivial matters like paint.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:32 AM #3
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Have you seen the latest PSP webcasts? Most of your points have already been addressed.

http://www.paintballaccess.com/video-on-demand/
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:15 AM #4
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well gun cams would help if u could live stream them.

first thing that needs to be adressed are wipers.
-sensors would help.
i agree coaching is lame but it makes it better for the spectator bc of those big moves.
-maybe they can only talk to one person or the back players.
the stigma may never go away but having pro teams play INSIDE arenas and not on the parking lot may help.
its not on tv bc its not markatable. get more people playing.
i love this sport and cant wait to get my son playing but its soo facking expensive.
nice post... i got a new field layout i would like to show you.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:22 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paper_Cut View Post
Have you seen the latest PSP webcasts? Most of your points have already been addressed.

http://www.paintballaccess.com/video-on-demand/
you are correct, but the operative word being most means that the most crucial aspect of filming it for non-player audiences is still not there. being able to see and understand the progress of the game would boost viewer participation significantly, and the best way to do that is with the madden-esque overhead cam that provides dynamic on-screen field-progression like in football. This is probably the biggest leap in the evolution of filming paintball as a spectator sport. They just need to figure it out like they did the rest of the webcast.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:17 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p8ntballer101 View Post
well gun cams would help if u could live stream them.

first thing that needs to be adressed are wipers.
-sensors would help.
i agree coaching is lame but it makes it better for the spectator bc of those big moves.
-maybe they can only talk to one person or the back players.
the stigma may never go away but having pro teams play INSIDE arenas and not on the parking lot may help.
its not on tv bc its not markatable. get more people playing.
i love this sport and cant wait to get my son playing but its soo facking expensive.
nice post... i got a new field layout i would like to show you.
Gun cams are horrible, especially in speedball.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ELuSiVe1151 View Post
you are correct, but the operative word being most means that the most crucial aspect of filming it for non-player audiences is still not there. being able to see and understand the progress of the game would boost viewer participation significantly, and the best way to do that is with the madden-esque overhead cam that provides dynamic on-screen field-progression like in football. This is probably the biggest leap in the evolution of filming paintball as a spectator sport. They just need to figure it out like they did the rest of the webcast.
You should watch the videos. They do that on the webcast. They have pro players walking you through the game as well as explaining what is going on. They also give updates on individual players, and every so often they will explain paintball in case any non-players are watching. Also, if you pay attention in baseball they rarely ever zoom out into a field wide view, most of it is field side zoomed in on individual players.
They have an overhead cam and use it a lot for breakouts or to cut to it to show where everyone is. They zoom in field side so you can see the actions of the players, not watch specs run around not doing anything because you are too far away to see the snap shots as they take place.

All of the "ideas" you're coming up with are already implemented in the webcast, and the 2013 season is only going to get better as they get more proficient at it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:01 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paper_Cut View Post
They have an overhead cam and use it a lot for breakouts or to cut to it to show where everyone is. They zoom in field side so you can see the actions of the players, not watch specs run around not doing anything because you are too far away to see the snap shots as they take place.
I know about the overhead cam above the starting station. It is by no means their primary source of footage, as they only show it during some breakouts, as a quick reference to where players are, and on instant replays. On top of that, it can't move, which is why it is limited to those few things in the first place.

I watch the webcast too, and quite often i might add. Especially the Infamous game where McCurley gets the win in OT. Yes it is indeed getting better every year, so if you are correct then i think the next step should be upgrading and improving them as you said - which i hope is enough to satisfy the player/non-player perception gap - or constructing a skycam to replace them (like i said: expensive).
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:39 PM #8
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:59 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELuSiVe1151 View Post
I know about the overhead cam above the starting station. It is by no means their primary source of footage, as they only show it during some breakouts, as a quick reference to where players are, and on instant replays. On top of that, it can't move, which is why it is limited to those few things in the first place.

I watch the webcast too, and quite often i might add. Especially the Infamous game where McCurley gets the win in OT. Yes it is indeed getting better every year, so if you are correct then i think the next step should be upgrading and improving them as you said - which i hope is enough to satisfy the player/non-player perception gap - or constructing a skycam to replace them (like i said: expensive).
When I watched it there was an overhead view, it was a wide angle lens positioned at the 50 yard line that can see from one end of the field to the other.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:48 PM #10
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i know, but would you watch an NFL game in its entirety if it were mostly shot with a single stationary camera on a wide angle that someone just hung on the ceiling? Those long passes and running plays wouldn't be as exciting if it were always just dots scurrying along from one side of the screen to the other side of the screen.

so no, i'm not talking about the wide angle lens camera someone taped to a power line and plugged into the server. i'm talking about a no bull**** fully functional Skycam. no more, no less.

maybe someday.

besides, this idea didn't start with me thinking it up, i actually showed a game to a non-baller friend of mine, linking them to the on-demand page. their feedback was "why does PBA not sell tshirts" (they have since started doing so), and "why don't they have a top-down view like on monday night football". that's direct feedback from a typical target audience member, midway through last season. so obviously whatever's up there now isnt enough.
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