We anticipated it wouldn't be what everyone expected, and honestly until you are behind the scenes of what goes into a 30 minute show - you do have all kinds of ideas of what you want it to be - and then reality sets in. The audience is bigger than paintball players and so there is some need to catch the base up to what they are seeing - that and had we just covered the one event - a lot of what made the season a season would have been lost.
When we started this season, we had a to do list - things we were determined to accomplish to make this season THE breakout season for the RaceTo Format in New England Paintball. The list was long but included highlights such as, fill a locked league, make it affordable, make it interesting, film and broadcast matches, reward not just the teams but the players who left it all out on the field with individual achievement awards and uh...... get this all on television. Yeah, we had some pretty lofty goals.
Some background on The NEXL this year. In seasons past, teams had always been given the opportunity to register for as many events as they wanted to play - and every event would in turn have a winner at the end. Great for teams that were looking to just play an event or 2 hard for the teams committed to the league and for the league itself. This year teams had to commit, for the entire season and they did - 27 of them. We had 15 Division 3 Teams and 12 Division 4 teams.
Scheduling was also different. Instead of teams registering and meeting the same teams from event to event, we spread the schedule out over all 5 events, meaning that some teams would only ever play each other once in a season, maybe twice depending on the division. At the same time we ran the top 4 teams in playoffs at the end of each event to allow for a winner per event that would result in per event rankings, rankings that resulted in an end of the Season Champion - who would not just take home the title - but the BIG season ending prize. Matches that were played on the main field saw players tracked and the top 3 players in each match were awarded Committed Star Points - with guns from Planet Eclipse and Empire Paintball on the line for the overall Top 3 Committed Players of the Season.
Going into the TV show, this is what you are seeing, the culmination of an entire season at the last event of the year. We wanted to include as many of the leagues teams and players as possible which is why it's not quite just an event show as much as it is a show about the league. We are beyond excited about what this means for the future, with a pilot under our belt and our players getting their names and faces on television all across New England on NESN, THE top Sports Channel (Home of the World Champion Boston Red Sox no less!!) not to mention PAINTBALL being presented in a fun and educational manner in homes and bars everywhere .....on a Saturday and a Sunday Night! We had some lofty goals alright.... and the beauty of it all is that you can actually WATCH how it all turned out