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Old 04-24-2006, 08:25 AM #1
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Re: Farm Team Discussion

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Originally Posted by l33t n00b
Ok... i'm goin to have to rant a little bit here. DA, yes i agree with you to move up.. you bounce from D3 to D2 or D1 etc etc. But this year... this have changed greatly for New England Paintball and how players normally progress.

This last year we have lost alot of places for good players to develop and find homes...
ESP, Darkside, Distortion... all of which blew up for whatever reasons

In a normal year they would be the place an above average player would try to get too... high lvl d1 team.. maybe semi pro. Then you get really trained really well for a possible chance at the pro curcuit.

This year, where is there to go. As far as i know we have no Semi pro teams [granted there aren't many to begin with... but just follow me here]. Then you have maybe a few D1 teams still around.. PTI being one... who unfortunately didn't play HB [not sure about Tampa yet]. And you have Boston Villians [new team yes... but still a solid team with alot of potential].

Because of the crappy business year last year... and big business money declining... players are left with alot less options for '06. Basically you can be a great D3 or D2 player... And only have 3 upper level teams you can go too?

I agree with the progression of a player, but coming from the players point of view it is the hardest it's ever been. Much less teams... locked divisions... and a huge player pool where everyone is on the same lvl [d2 or d3].

Ok... here is my solution to the problem... drum roll. I think it maybe time for the 'Canes to get a feeder team. Maybe not a traveling team but somewhere to develop talent for a moveup to the larger team. That way you develop more a team identity. When people move up to the pro team they have already been exposed to the same players so it's less of a transition.

Con's are yes it's more attention from Stein and DA... but honestly New England is hurting this year and you guys may need this to keep your survival intact. I mean Avalanche had to do the same thing and pull nearly the full Farside team [i think i have the names straight]. They were on the brink of being a dinosaur but they were able to roll with the punches easier because of their feeder team.

Yes i'm kinda *****ing a little bit here... but i think we all know this is goin to be a redefining year for paintball. More structure... and less fluff [division locking down, less paintball $'s to go around, actual focus' on business margins (nppl and psp actually making money)].

But all of this is just my humble opinion. So feel free to disagree or what not... i can't tell you how many times me and Justin have been at each other's throats at 1am talking paintball.


Oh and Lenny... I don't think they are doin a Tryout persay. They are really just asking who wants to get there eventually.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stein
OK, I dont want to weigh in here too much, because it'll detract from the thread to carry on tangential conversations, but...

1. Farside was not an Avalanche feeder team. They had their own goals for moving up. But when Avalanche went kablooey, Farside was presented with the opportunity to realize their advancement immediately and they took it. But it would not be accurate to say that they were a feeder team or that they were being groomed by 'Lanche.

2. I would love to have a farm system. Go find me the $25K it will take to do it right and I'll donate my time free of charge and the support of the Hurricanes. I agree that New England has become a bit of a wasteland, with all the established teams between D2 and Pro going away. PTI is still around. Villians are new. ESP is gone. Darkside is gone. Distortion is gone. The next wave of New England players certainly have their work cut out for them! But less off-line this. If you guys want to revise the old conversations about farm teams and 'the ladder' lets do it in a different thread.

jeff
I don't have time to add my $.02 right now... But I think this is an important discussion to have...

That being said just to give Jeff something to respond to... You may want 25K to do it RIGHT... but I'd venture to guess that you could probably do a damn good job with a tighter budget... The question I have is why don't you?

P.S. Chris, I appreciate the shoutout
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Old 04-24-2006, 08:35 AM #2
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Who's going to fund it?
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:13 AM #3
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I think it is also worth noting, that my original thread is directed at all players, not just New England players, so it is good that this was moved into a new thread, where New England teams can continue the conversation.

I agree that there is no immediate trail leading to the Pro, or Semi pro ranks in New England now. There was not one for a while before The Hurricanes, cut a path either. So it is going to take time, cash, and hard work. Some one is going to have to step up.
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:13 AM #4
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Sorry about the original thread hijacking... wrong place to post.

As far as coming up with the $$ for farm system, there are not that many field store/individuals who can kind of help lead this. As a matter of fact, only one comes to mind. Also, I'm not doubting that it's going to cost that much money, but where do all the costs come from?

-Matt

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Old 04-24-2006, 10:42 AM #5
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Its a different world today from when the Hurricanes came up. I had always suspected that sooner or later the curtain would drop and everyone who was a pro would remain a pro and everyone who wasn't would be stuck as a farm team forever. That was what started my conversations with Redz - I had to get the team away from X-Ball and get on the other side of the line so that when the curtain dropped, we could move forward. I thought I had one more year before everything started to change, but no more than that. As it turns out, we had considerably less time, and were very lucky to have made the move when we did.

I think that, given the new rules and restrictions on team advancement that have been put in place, it will be very difficult for teams to ascend the ladder now.

Justin: Sure, you can do it with a lot less money, but if the goal (for Jeff Stein) is to create a farm team that can feed players into the Hurricanes, then I would need to build a Semi-Pro team and would need to attract players with a high degree of talent - players who get offers from other teams - so the team would have to at least be competitive in what it offers. I'm not saying that I would try to outbid another team for a player on a farm team (I wouldn't), but I can't say to a player, "its going to cost you $500 per event plus you have to pay for your own practice paint every weekend" (which would still represent a sponsorship of about $16,500, btw) and expect that the player will agree when there are other teams saying, "free".

Unless the goal is to raise the overall level of play in New England, to strengthen the rank-and-file, the NEPL and NEXL and Fox4 teams, the D3, D2 and D1 7-man and X-Ball teams, to eventually bring New England back to the glory days when Boston Paintball, the Wild Geese, ESP and the 'Canes were all making the Sunday club at national events on a regular basis...
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:02 AM #6
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Where do all the costs come from

NPPL Semi Pro Entry: $2750 per event ($13,750 for the year)
Estimated Cost of Rental Car: $1000/event ($5000 for the year)
Estimated Cost of Hotel: $1300/event ($6500 for the year)
Estimated Cost of Airfare: $250/event ($4000 for the year)
Estimated Cost of Miscellaneous Expenses: $250/event ($1250 for the year)

All estimated costs are blended averages for the year (meaning that hotel in Tampa may only be $800 but hotel in Miami is going to be $1700). I did not take into account the local event, which would lower airfare & rental car costs. I also did not take into account an 8-person team without coaches or front office staff, which could reduce the cost of rental car and hotel.

Then again, I also did not take into account the cost of paint.

Can you do it for less? Sure. Can you do it well for less? Maybe. Can you do it for $20K? No.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:25 AM #7
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Fair enough, thanks.

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Old 04-24-2006, 11:36 AM #8
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Jeff,

I don't see why you can't create a team with the goal being both (to create a farm system and strengthen the overall competition level in this area)... by strengthening the overall level of play in New England, you are creating (in the long run) competition for your team to practice against... This, it seems to me, would make practices for the team significantly cheaper...

In the short run, you will also be creating a talent pool for you to dip into if you need a player for any reason... By creating a farm team, it's considerably easier to replace a player because at that point, they've played with and against your guys, they know the codes, they have a better understanding of what is going on inside your team, and your organization, and thus make a far better fast replacement then you will find else where...

I also don't see why you would need it to be Semi-Pro... I would think DI or even DII would work just fine... Yes granted that's the level of play you are looking to create... But in theory the practice and training you provide should get them to that level... Besides that, a large portion of the talent pool in New England is DII or lower anyway... If you train the team to be a Semi-Pro caliber team, and they go and beat up on teams in DI and DII... it will significantly decrease the money needed to sponsor the team... On top of all this, you don't necessarily need them to play a full season of Nationals... It's a farm team, granted getting them experience is nice... But playing 2-3 nationals, would get them the experience of seeing it, with out breaking the bank... There are a ton of very talented players who would kill for the opportunity to, on weekly basis, play under the scrutiny of you and DA, against the 'Canes... Even if it meant not playing a full season of national events... Plus, I feel like that's almost a better way of running it, because then you will end up with players who are actually there to learn, and play for you, as opposed to players there just to catch a free ride to a lot of national events...

Finally, there is no team in the area that is saying "free", so really you don't need to worry (right now) about loosing talented players to that... Unless you find players that are so talented that they end up getting on a team willing to pay travel expenses to practice... In which case that just means you've done a good job... But I doubt you are going to lose a lot (or any) players from the farm team to that issue... If they are THAT good I feel like they probably will get moved up to the first team before it gets to that point...

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Old 04-24-2006, 11:55 AM #9
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I also don't see why you would need it to be Semi-Pro... I would think DI or even DII would work just fine...

You would think that'd be true, but it is not. You cannot throw D1 caliber players into a Pro league and expect them to produce....look at Legacy. Look at LTZ. Both teams, while talented, are not going to win any events this year...and everyone is sure of that. Some of their players are good D1 players at best and simply get outplayed when they go against teams like Dynasty. I know this because I'm in the same group as they are.

If you train the team to be a Semi-Pro caliber team, and they go and beat up on teams in DI and DII... it will significantly decrease the money needed to sponsor the team... On top of all this, you don't necessarily need them to play a full season of Nationals... It's a farm team, granted getting them experience is nice... But playing 2-3 nationals, would get them the experience of seeing it, with out breaking the bank...

That's sandbagging. And yes, the team needs to play a full year of NPPL. Practice is much different than tournament. A quick example - The MOD Semipro squad went and played against the All Americans two weeks before the HB event....and they beat the All A's more times than they lost to them. Then they got to HB and played teams who were considerably worse and went 1-7...one ****in' win. If you don't get your team accustomed to playing under pressure, they won't win jack.

There are a ton of very talented players who would kill for the opportunity to, on weekly basis, play under the scrutiny of you and DA, against the 'Canes...

Your idea of a good player, and my idea of a good player are two completely different things. I've seen what is out there in New England, and you cannot build a solid D1 team with it....thus the reason there is no PTI today.

Finally, there is no team in the area that is saying "free", so really you don't need to worry (right now) about loosing talented players to that... Unless you find players that are so talented that they end up getting on a team willing to pay travel expenses to practice... In which case that just means you've done a good job... But I doubt you are going to lose a lot (or any) players from the farm team to that issue... If they are THAT good I feel like they probably will get moved up to the first team before it gets to that point...

I can think of one or two teams saying "FREE PAINTBALL HERE!" The problem with your thinking is you're limiting your pool of players to New England....Jeff is not. New Jersey, New York, Delaware...whatever. Skilled players don't always live an hour away, and it's those skilled players that need to be on the team...not kids who haven't played a national event above D2. The Hurricane's feeder team can't a team for all of New England's "might be something one day" players to hop on and go out and get romped on...it's gotta be a team that, God forbid, if one of the Pro squad guys gets hurt or absolutely cannot make it, Jeff can grab a replacement from who he has confidence in.

It takes a lot more than stellar play to get on the Pro squad.
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:20 PM #10
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just to add a little, just let me lnow if this not my place to talk. but you guys are worrying about funding. A "farm team" is a team that is brought up, learns and practices with pros. hence the farm name. you build and nuture the young ones, until they become big enough to handle there own. At this point, you can bring them up to the pro team, or sell them off, or eat them, just like livestock. By cutting funds, you dont send them to every national event. You send them to local events, like boston, florida etc. or like CFOA. not to california or vegas. You let them gain expierence and prove themselves worthy. that will cut major costs. But what you dont realize, is how many players would kill for this spot. they would be willing to pay for things. no young talented kid is soo big ego'd that he wouldnt pay for anything. Kids these days will pay for their travel, and some paint. they would do anything to say they play for the Canes farm team. Half of the cost of the year comes from the players, and im sure thats fine with them. but you ask, what happens if they dont have the money to support themselves on the farm team? Well either their on or their off. they have so long in between events that they can save up. hell get a job. this may seem lousy, but i have seen it happen. as for what division, not semi pro in my opinion. that costs even more, go with div 1 or div 2. dont scare the **** out of them, get them up to par. if they play d2 and practice with you guys, they will mature very fast. getting better and getting more rep and money making the cost go even farther down. i think that cost is the number one thing that will hurt a team. -nate
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:27 PM #11
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You would think that'd be true, but it is not. You cannot throw D1 caliber players into a Pro league and expect them to produce....look at Legacy. Look at LTZ. Both teams, while talented, are not going to win any events this year...and everyone is sure of that. Some of their players are good D1 players at best and simply get outplayed when they go against teams like Dynasty. I know this because I'm in the same group as they are.


That is true, and at the same time not true... More and more players, as individuals, are being moved up and doing just fine... True you can't take a great DIII, or DII team and make them pro... But you can take one amazing DIII player or DII player... and make them pro... As a team LTZ can't hack it... but I'm willing to be certain individuals on the team could...

That's sandbagging. And yes, the team needs to play a full year of NPPL. Practice is much different than tournament. A quick example - The MOD Semipro squad went and played against the All Americans two weeks before the HB event....and they beat the All A's more times than they lost to them. Then they got to HB and played teams who were considerably worse and went 1-7...one ****in' win. If you don't get your team accustomed to playing under pressure, they won't win jack.

It is sandbagging... and it happens all the time... Doesn't make it a good habit to be in... But if done legally... Isn't exactly a huge issue...

I know practice is much different then a tournament, that's true of everything... But I would still disagree that it would need to be a full season... A full season would be nice... but I would still argue unnecessary... You can get a feel for whether a player can perform under pressure after 3 national events...

Your idea of a good player, and my idea of a good player are two completely different things. I've seen what is out there in New England, and you cannot build a solid D1 team with it....thus the reason there is no PTI today.

There is a huge difference between a good player and a talented player... I said talented... And there are a lot out there... That being said, I agree there are very few good players out there...

I can think of one or two teams saying "FREE PAINTBALL HERE!" The problem with your thinking is you're limiting your pool of players to New England....Jeff is not. New Jersey, New York, Delaware...whatever. Skilled players don't always live an hour away, and it's those skilled players that need to be on the team...not kids who haven't played a national event above D2. The Hurricane's feeder team can't a team for all of New England's "might be something one day" players to hop on and go out and get romped on...it's gotta be a team that, God forbid, if one of the Pro squad guys gets hurt or absolutely cannot make it, Jeff can grab a replacement from who he has confidence in.

It takes a lot more than stellar play to get on the Pro squad.
[/quote]

Finally you are correct I am limiting my scope to this area, because this area is what needs the help... Another point we disagree on... I think it CAN be the "might be something one day" players... With coaching I believe Jeff could get the players to the point they need to be at, at least as far as skill is concerned... There's only so much he can do about experience with out the money... I am limiting my scope on geographical location... You are limiting your scope on the time frame...

Here's a little clarification as to what I'm suggesting... Because I think the two of us are looking at it from two completly different angles... I'm not suggesting making an ultra skilled, ready to play pro, farm team (at least no right now)... I'm talking about taking developing players, and developing them faster... It's a long term, project... I am not thinking in short term, because creating that ultra skilled, ready to play pro, farm team is obviously, financially, improbable... What I am talking about is an alternative that would be cheaper, and in the long run, just as effective...
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Old 04-24-2006, 01:13 PM #12
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What if I told you the team is already building certain players up? The very thing you suggest is already in place...the program just isn't local because the resources/people needed to run it aren't local. If there were "talented individuals" all around New England, then they would've been on Jeff's scope.

I mean, there are some kids who know what they're doing...I just don't think it should be up to Jeff to make them into good players. PTI wasn't supported by Jeff, neither was Distortion, or ESP when they were in their prime....DeadBox Factory wasn't either. To me, it sounds like New England players want Jeff to work for them, and not for New England players to work their way up to Jeff.

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Old 04-24-2006, 01:26 PM #13
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I don't have the time to respond to this right now.
I think y'all need to get back to work.

I have lots and lots of players on my radar. Most of whom don't know it. Many of whom I don't even mention to D.A. So just because someone isn't getting the weekly newsletter from me doesn't mean they have no talent or place.

However, I really can't speak to the level of ability or talent in New England as a whole. I think there is a definate lack of players between the Pro and D1 level. We have a fair number of pro's (on the Hurricanes or people from other pro teams) and we have a lot of Divisional players, but there are only a handfull of SP level players that I've seen.

And I do understand that Semi-Pro may be an artificial determination that I am applying that is not germane to the topic at hand.

I will respond tonight.
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:04 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonzo
What if I told you the team is already building certain players up? The very thing you suggest is already in place...the program just isn't local because the resources/people needed to run it aren't local. If there were "talented individuals" all around New England, then they would've been on Jeff's scope.

I mean, there are some kids who know what they're doing...I just don't think it should be up to Jeff to make them into good players. PTI wasn't supported by Jeff, neither was Distortion, or ESP when they were in their prime....DeadBox Factory wasn't either. To me, it sounds like New England players want Jeff to work for them, and not for New England players to work their way up to Jeff.
Then I would be happy to see that something like that was in place... And I'm assuming you are saying that because such a program IS in place... Which is great... I'm glad Jeff has something like that working for him...

That being said... You are right, none of those teams were supported by Jeff... Another thing about those teams... None of those teams exist any more... New England has become almost completely barren of the middle ground... And I feel Jeff has a lot to gain by assisting in closing that gap...
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:10 PM #15
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You can attribute that to the decreasing amount of sponsorship. All of them were Eclipse teams. Distortion was sort of a one year deal it seemed like - meant to go Pro in one year, if not, buh bye. I know PTI's downfall was that they couldn't find any of those talented players you speak of, therefore they decided that there was no choice but to disband....paintball is expensive and you don't run a team if you don't think they can win - especially when there is little money to go around.
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:24 PM #16
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jonzo... I don't know if PTI was just a 'cannot find the players' scenario. I'm guessing that was a major problem (you would know more than me), but not being able to find players can be from a host of issues.
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:56 PM #17
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A Farm team has to be a Semi Pro team. If you have to replace a player or 2 for an event they can not drop back down and that player would now be worthless.
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Old 04-24-2006, 03:59 PM #18
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Bill, I think there is confusion as to whether a farm team or a farm system. A system brings players up level by level, a farm team is like the minor league club. Pawtucket of the NE Canes lol.

I realize this example is quite different due to all the sponsorship that they have and the fact that I do not know the inner workings, but what about the example of Gridlock and Trauma? They have d3 - to the top. I understand that this is quite unrealistic to expect (major major $$). But I'm just throwing it out there for conversation.


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Old 04-24-2006, 04:02 PM #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matty84
Bill, I think there is confusion as to whether a farm team or a farm system. A system brings players up level by level, a farm team is like the minor league club. Pawtucket of the NE Canes lol.

I realize this example is quite different due to all the sponsorship that they have and the fact that I do not know the inner workings, but what about the example of Gridlock and Trauma? They have d3 - to the top.


-Matt

well thats the real question. do u want a farm team or farm system? as you say it matt
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Old 04-24-2006, 04:05 PM #20
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A farm system would take a huge joint effort and alot of money/dedication.
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Old 04-24-2006, 04:10 PM #21
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definetly, but if you dont have the kids and the recruits to pick up and prepare for semi pro, then that might be your only chance, other than forgetting the idea all together. you could make a semi pro squad, but they could not compete this year at all. depending on when you get started, you need to build them up.

a farm system on the other hand is not that impossible, start as a d2 or even d3, the more they practice w/ the canes, the better they get. that would make you think, they would do better at tourneys, getting sponsorships, money and experience. so either way is feasible(sp?) its really all about supply and demand. money and players. -nate
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