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Old 07-27-2009, 07:13 PM #1
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What "should" next year look like?


Part 1 of ?? - The National Tournament Scene

I'm going to chop this topic up into sections, even though I think that may restrict the development of the conversation and the thoughts derived from it. But I'm afraid that if I don't, this can be a very different question to different people, and we'll get circular.

And, as per the norm, if the AXBL cultists go dogmatic on us, I will liberally apply the delete button. This is not a slap at the AXBL; the people who play in the AXBL tend to have a religious fanaticism about the league that derails (or overtakes) conversation. If I ever go ahead with my plan to form a cult, I plan to consult Mitch and Travis first for tips.

The question of the week is simply enough put; What do you think the National tournament scene should look like next year and why? This can mean one league (and which) or two leagues (and which) or more or even less (if you believe the national leagues need to go away entirely). How should the top US teams view Europe? How regionalized should things become, if at all? One of the original plans of the USPL was to partner with 4 or 5 regional leagues, with each league hosting one USPL National event (so, for New Englanders, the NEPL would be a host league and the BONE would be the joint NEPL-USPL event). How should sponsors appropriate their funding?

In another forum there is a thread in which the author claims to have interviewed Ollie and BShort and claims that they both feel the USPL is “killing paintball”. But there has always been the long held school of thought that said that the industry should not own the premier league, because of conflict of interest issues (especially if “the industry” does not own equal stakes and responsibilities in the premier league).

What do you think will be, what do you think should be, not for your own betterment, but for the betterment of the sport (and maybe the industry).

As ever, I welcome your thoughts, comments and words of wisdom.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:35 PM #2
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I feel that the USPL and 7-man as a format is quickly dissipating. I don't particularly care for 7-man format, so I'm not surprised as I know many other competitive players have since switched their focus and goal on X-ball but does it bring harm to the refinement of paintball as a sport? I think that one league is to the betterment of the aforementioned.

As far as the industry having a hold in the highest echelons of competitive play and the league therein: Isn't it inevitable? I don't know much about this but I would think that capitalism would drive paintball companies to gain stake in the premier league(s).

As far as next year, I think that the psp may still be around but I think that the USPL will fade out.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:01 PM #3
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It is tough to imagine that the USPL will survive the season let alone be around next season. If not for the deep pockets of a few I would guess that that league would have already died. You ask why they won't be around - My opinion is poor decision making - rescheduling events only a few weeks before they take place, reducing the prize package once teams have already signed up and arrived to play, location, location, location - two events back to back in Southern California with a WCPPL (?) thrown in there too - can you say saturation? If teams aren't sure you'll hold an event, they won't sign up. If teams aren't sure the prize package won't change, they won't sign up. If teams have spent all their money on the other 2 or 3 events in their region over the last month or so, they won't sign up. It's fairly simple to see.

Both the PSP and USPL were looking at regional events as a way to carry forth the format and goals of the larger series. Neither one carried through with their initial plan. One can be lead to believe one of three things. a) They couldn't swing a deal with local tournament series promotors b) They felt the demand wasn't there or c) they simply dropped the ball with to many other things to worry about they couldn't focus on the new thing.

Look for the PSP to still be around in 2010 - they've got a popular format and seem to be willing to take their events to the teams instead of having the teams come to them. Why didn't the PSP go to Chicago? Boston? Instead they go to DC where the regional 7-man series (THE GPL) draws only a handful of 7-man teams. They go to Vegas in hopes of drawing more teams with the entertainment.

I feel the Regional/National connection is going to be a tough one to create. To many "owners" wanting to many different things. I could see more of a "Loose" relationship, but nothing formal.

Look for the regional events to continue to grow in popularity and the national events to stall out. A majority of the teams that would have signed up for the NPPL in years past (Remember when they sold out in 4 or 5 hours?) simply can't afford to travel any more. Mom's and Dad's are unemployed, fields are putting out the sponsorship money, paintball manufactures aren't putting out the same level of sponsorship deals. That leaves the players who want to play looking locally and regionally for opportunities.

That brings us to sponsorship - Look for a few major brands (Eclipse, RPS) to cut back on the amount of pro teams that they sponsor. How many pro teams are Eclipse? How many are RPS? Do they really get the payback from sponsoring the majority of the pro teams? I can see them picking a few ponies to bet on and letting the rest go out to pasture. What does that mean of the teams that are dropped? Can those pro teams continue to play the sport professionally? Travel the country (and world) playing paintball? Not if the players have to pay for it they cant.

2010 will be an interesting year
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:19 PM #4
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Originally Posted by Fox4paintball View Post
Look for the PSPto still be around in 2010 - they've got a popular format and seem to be willing to take their events to the teams instead of having the teams come to them. Why didn't the PSP go to Chicago? Boston? Instead they go to DC where the regional 7-man series (THE GPL) draws only a handful of 7-man teams. They go to Vegas in hopes of drawing more teams with the entertainment.
I think you mean USPL.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:33 PM #5
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The USPL will still be around next year, but if things don't improve much I don't see them making it 3 years. PSP will be around for a long time, they have a format that is exciting to watch, and they spread their events across the country more than the USPL has.

The more I read different forums the more I see people panicking that paintball is going to demolish into nothing, and that's ridiculous. For over 50% of players, paintball is a hobby, and when people have money issues, they cut expensive hubbies first. Paintball will be slow until the economy grows back to normal, that's just the way it is.

Open play in Springfield MO is doing pretty well, we average about 100-150 open players a week. The local events in the tri-sate (OK,MO,KS) are doing pretty well. We have the MPS series which pulls 40-60 teams an event, and the Vicious X-ball series up north that pull about 20 teams a division. There hasn't been a real decrease in activity here.

I do however fill that if the USPL and PSP both quit running,paintball will go down hill fast.The PSP is a big part of the paintball community.

I would like to see a more distinct line between pro's and lower divisions. I also would like to see PSP charge admission for each event, and use that money to pay the owners that own the professional franchises. This will promote hard work and determination for young players to become the best players they can be(pro's) (like every other sport) and will fund travel and entry and all other necessity for professional teams. This will also help from Paintball stores that sponsor a pro team stay in business. Paintball needs to grow into a national sport,and if the pro level players are working two jobs there isn't much of a desire in some younger players to do so.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:25 PM #6
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Fixed.


USPL dies in 2009. R.I.P. 7man

PSP trudges onward. Phoenix, MAO/NEO, Chicago, World Cup come back. Hopefully see even more teams (not that PSP's numbers have been low this year, really) due to the death of national 7man events. If so, maybe they can get back to having 5 events.

Pro landscape changes again with even more consolidation of the top talent at the Pro level and even more players left to fill semi-pro spots in PSP. Next year semi-pro won't just be a battle between XSV, RNT & VICIOUS. (I can see Aftermath II going Pro, but will Hinman want to maintain two Pro teams? Or consolidate the top talent at pro and keep one in semi-pro as a feeder?)

Regional events will still offer 7man. Hopefully will also offer RaceTo format divisions also as a stepping stone to the (only) national game left.

2010 should be about unification. Bringing the industry/community together to support a common format and move forward from there with as little infighting as possible.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:45 AM #7
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Quote:
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Look for the PSP to still be around in 2010 ....

Look for the regional events to continue to grow in popularity and the national events to stall out. ...

That brings us to sponsorship - Look for a few major brands (Eclipse, RPS) to cut back on the amount of pro teams that they sponsor. How many pro teams are Eclipse? How many are RPS? Do they really get the payback from sponsoring the majority of the pro teams? I can see them picking a few ponies to bet on and letting the rest go out to pasture. What does that mean of the teams that are dropped? Can those pro teams continue to play the sport professionally? Travel the country (and world) playing paintball? Not if the players have to pay for it they cant.
Jeff: When you say national events will stall out, are you predicting (longer term than next year) the extinction of the leagues? Is there a place for national events as the pinnacle of the sport? Is there enough value in a "top of the line" league for the industry to keep it going, or does each event have to prove its worth with a direct ROI? I have always thought that there was value to a national circuit, even if that value was mostly indirect. I have always felt that if all the pro teams and the PSP and NPPL all folded up shop, there would be a trickle down effect that would hurt the game (and certainly the sport). Is there merit to that idea? Is that merit enough to prevent the discontinuation of the national leagues? Will regional leagues ultimately serve as an alternative (and therefore impediment) to the national leagues or as a stepping stone that will groom more teams for the PSP? If there were 10 AXBLs and each helped add 2 teams to the PSP each year, that would be siginificant. So even though each of the 10 AXBLs had 24 of its own teams NOT playing PSP, the total impact would be positive.

As for sponsorship: KEE sponsors 11 of 13 PSP pro teams (Draxxus the other two). Planet sponsors 6 of 13 PSP Pro teams (Dye sponsors 2, Smart Parts 4 and BLAST 1). Avalanche, Arsenal and XSV are Planet/Draxxus, DYE/Draxxus, Planet/JT respectively. I expect to see companies consolidate (and maybe even cooperate, whereby Planet says to KEE, "we'll give your top team guns if you give our top team paint". It'sn't a one-to-one, but you get the idea. Short sponsorship dollars, most teams either couldn't or wouldn't run. G-d knows, I've thought, "if I charged each Hurricane $200/event, things would be a lot easier." but that's not likely to happen any time soon.



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I do however fill that if the USPL and PSP both quit running,paintball will go down hill fast.The PSP is a big part of the paintball community.

I also would like to see PSP charge admission for each event, and use that money to pay the owners that own the professional franchises. This will promote hard work and determination for young players to become the best players they can be(pro's) (like every other sport) and will fund travel and entry and all other necessity for professional teams. This will also help from Paintball stores that sponsor a pro team stay in business. Paintball needs to grow into a national sport,and if the pro level players are working two jobs there isn't much of a desire in some younger players to do so.
Jeff:Why do you feel the sport would go downhill in the absence of both the PSP and USPL/NPPL? I already stated that is what I believe, but I'd like to know why you do.

The PSP already charges for grandstand tickets, and that money goes to offset the costs of the grandstands. Are you suggesting the league charges people to come visit the vendors? That wouldn't work. First off, no one would come. Secondly, the vendors would be in an uproar; they come to sell products and the league would be creating a direct obstacle to that. If the vendors don't sell, they won't come, they won't sponsor the league. What it comes down to is that you are going back to the same well for more money. Those same players who are cutting out spending on hobbies are now being asked to come to the events, pay entrance, buy products from vendors, pay for grandstand tickets. If you want a new source of revenue, you need to find a new SOURCE, not a new way to squeeze money from the existing sources. Otherwise we may as well have Lane hiding in the parking lot with a knife mugging PSP team owners as they walk back to their cars at the end of the day, just to make sure they don't have any pennies left on them.

As for your comments on pro players working 2 jobs and the desire of younger players to go pro; that probably belongs in the other thread (titled "Pro"), but I'll say this much: if people only want to go pro if they get paid, the pro division is f'd.



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USPL dies in 2009. R.I.P. 7man

PSP trudges onward. Phoenix, MAO/NEO, Chicago, World Cup come back. Hopefully see even more teams (not that PSP's numbers have been low this year, really) due to the death of national 7man events. If so, maybe they can get back to having 5 events.

Pro landscape changes again with even more consolidation of the top talent at the Pro level and even more players left to fill semi-pro spots in PSP. Next year semi-pro won't just be a battle between XSV, RNT & VICIOUS. (I can see Aftermath II going Pro, but will Hinman want to maintain two Pro teams? Or consolidate the top talent at pro and keep one in semi-pro as a feeder?)

Regional events will still offer 7man. Hopefully will also offer RaceTo format divisions also as a stepping stone to the (only) national game left.

2010 should be about unification. Bringing the industry/community together to support a common format and move forward from there with as little infighting as possible.
Jeff:I'm not sure there are enough teams playing in the USPL right now to make a significant difference to the PSP.

I like the idea of 2010 being about unification. I'll add to that: the PSP should (in a perfect world where they had budget and manpower to spare) reach out to local and regional leagues to convert more to the PSP format. Imagine if the top 3 non X-ball leagues in 2009 converted to xball in 2010? Take the WCPPL, for instance. They get as much press as national events, they are wildly popular and well run. If they moved to xball, imagine how many teams they could prepare for national competition. And all the PSP would have to do is tell Hinman, "we'll send you one pro team per event to sign autographs and 'guest coach' teams." If the PSP called me and said, "Jeff, you need to have 5 guys at each GPL event to help them in their conversion to xball (so as to avoid the new $500 per event "xball conversion fee"), I'd do it. And there are probably some teams that would do it for free (haha, schmucks).

Having said all of that, I think that for unification to happen, the PSP needs to reach out to the USPL and have a nice sit-down to see if fences can be mended. The USPL has certain goals and ideals and maybe they can fit into a PSP world, but that conversation needs to take place if we are going to get everyone on board. And right now, I'm not sure that the PSP feels threatened enough by the USPL to care about that conversation.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:32 AM #8
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Noel - Right you are - I meant USPL when I referenced not going to Chicago.

Jeff,

By stall out I mean you won't see the number of teams grow significantly over the next year or two. However, I believe that the PSP will be around in 2010 and beyond. You'll start to see the numbers grow in 2011 or 2012 as the economy recovers and that starts to trickle down to teams (it's going to take a while for the recover to reach the team level in terms of sponsorships).

What we need to do in the next year or two is insure that tournament paintball at the local scene (Rookie/Novice) is running strong. It will be these teams that actually help the sport grow on the national scene in a few years. No local teams this year will equate to a dead national scene in a few years.
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:09 PM #9
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I believe that what should happen and what will happen are two different things. What I think should happen (and also determine what makes PRO teams the best or worst) is a sanctioning body , no league , and only sanctioned events count. The top prize earners at the end of the year are your top dogs . Kind of like golf I guess. This will allow for natural selection of good and bad events to grow or fail .

....and everyone else will just play whatever locally .
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:29 PM #10
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Why do you feel the sport would go downhill in the absence of both the PSP and USPL/NPPL? I already stated that is what I believe, but I'd like to know why you do.

The PSP already charges for grandstand tickets, and that money goes to offset the costs of the grandstands. Are you suggesting the league charges people to come visit the vendors? That wouldn't work. First off, no one would come. Secondly, the vendors would be in an uproar; they come to sell products and the league would be creating a direct obstacle to that. If the vendors don't sell, they won't come, they won't sponsor the league. What it comes down to is that you are going back to the same well for more money. Those same players who are cutting out spending on hobbies are now being asked to come to the events, pay entrance, buy products from vendors, pay for grandstand tickets. If you want a new source of revenue, you need to find a new SOURCE, not a new way to squeeze money from the existing sources. Otherwise we may as well have Lane hiding in the parking lot with a knife mugging PSP team owners as they walk back to their cars at the end of the day, just to make sure they don't have any pennies left on them.

As for your comments on pro players working 2 jobs and the desire of younger players to go pro; that probably belongs in the other thread (titled "Pro"), but I'll say this much: if people only want to go pro if they get paid, the pro division is f'd.
If there is one main league people would still go to watch the event.You wouldn't be charging people to view the vendors, you would be charging people to watch the professional teams play, just like every other professional league (NFL,MLB,NBA,NHL.) The money generated from ticket sales helps pay the bills for those major league owners. You mis-understood my point about the admission fee, my point was not to charge an arm and a leg to watch the psp,but a small gate fee charge that would simply supply an insurance for some of these owners.If your an owner,and you know every even your team players, you will generate some money from ticket sales that may help with the entry fee you paid, it would be a huge burden of their backs,especially in harder times.

I grew up playing football, it was my life until this past year when I graduated, my dream was to play college football and move on past that point. But I realized that I was simply not fast enough to compete at a high level,and that's something I had to come to grips with, but you know what? I still watch the NFL and college football every week, just because I can no longer to partake in the sport doesn't mean I won't pay money to go watch a Chiefs game. Just because these players don't have the money to play for the time being DOES NOT mean they can't afford a $10 admission fee to watch professional teams play.

I don't think pro paintball teams are valued high enough as pro football and baseball teams and what not, and I think you guys deserve it just as much.
If you could mold the PSP like the NFL it would promote players,and products better.

I think the PSP is the nucleus of tournament paintball. It's the best run national league,with the best,view friendly game style. While I still enjoy playing local tournaments, the PSP is such a big difference. It is so much more enjoyable than a local 5 man IMO. I love the vendors, and all the fans and coverage. Many players look forward to playing the PSP for this reason, the media coverage and the big list of teams, if you knock that out, along with the USPL, you have lost the biggest market for tournament players, and personally I would be pretty depressed.
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:44 PM #11
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The PSP already charges for grandstand tickets to watch pro teams play, and that money goes to offset the cost of the bleachers themselves.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:27 PM #12
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I say we grab funding from towns, cities and/or states to build large paintball stadiums - then charge the public outragous amounts of money to watch so we can pay our player 7 figures and watch from our air conditioned sky boxes.

But really - our sport/hobby will not become like pro football or any other major pro sport. Those fans paying the $10 on Sunday to watch the pros play - well those are the players that paid to travel, paid to stay, paid to eat, paid for the rental car, etc.. and just want to watch a little paintball since they got knocked out early. I may be wrong, but the people in the stands most likely fall into one of a few categories: 1) Players who got knocked out early 2) local want to be players 3) players friends/family. If you look at any professional sport those three categories make up about 1% (or less) then all those in attendence. Until that changes there will be no sigificant revenue generated by charging friends, family and players to watch the pros.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:47 PM #13
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I agree with Dave on this one. This sport will never be as big as the big four, it will probably never be as big as skateboarding has become. We shoot eachother. and to a large part of our potential audience, that is a turnoff. Not to mention paintball just really isn't interesting to watch to many people other than those who play or family/friends.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:00 PM #14
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I agree with Dave on this one. This sport will never be as big as the big four, it will probably never be as big as skateboarding has become. We shoot eachother. and to a large part of our potential audience, that is a turnoff. Not to mention paintball just really isn't interesting to watch to many people other than those who play or family/friends.
Im pretty sure thats exactly what people said about skateboarding in the 80s.

Im sure it will happen just not in our generation of players.


As far as what should happen. Honestly I just like to see a unification of playing format would do wonders for the sport. I think once everybody is playing the same type of game the progression of players will follow. If your regional league plays one format and the national another its dificult for that player to make the jump because not only will the competition be harder but also the format is differnt. I think there will always be a spot for 7man just like there is for a 3man pump tourney. I think everybody can see that Xball type paintball is the future. RaceTo isnt what Id like to see but maybe thats it. I think 7man certainly is not when you look at how the USPL faired.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:36 PM #15
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Im pretty sure thats exactly what people said about skateboarding in the 80s.

Im sure it will happen just not in our generation of players.


As far as what should happen. Honestly I just like to see a unification of playing format would do wonders for the sport. I think once everybody is playing the same type of game the progression of players will follow. If your regional league plays one format and the national another its dificult for that player to make the jump because not only will the competition be harder but also the format is differnt. I think there will always be a spot for 7man just like there is for a 3man pump tourney. I think everybody can see that Xball type paintball is the future. RaceTo isnt what Id like to see but maybe thats it. I think 7man certainly is not when you look at how the USPL faired.
The "failure" (or lack of success) for the USPL is, to me anyway, indicative of many things - not just the format. I do, however, agree that 7-man is not the future of paintball - to be honest, it just isn't as exciting to watch (although a ton of fun to play). I started in 5-man, went to 7-man - HUGE step up for me from traditional 5-man tournaments, really enjoyed it - then started playing a little X-ball (AXBL practice, with you all actually). X-ball is the most "sport" that any of the formats I have played provides for both the paintball player as well as a potential audience moving into the future.

I'm sure skateboarding, at one point in time, was similar - but there is something awe-inspiring about skateboarding. The technical skill and, quite basically, balls that some of those guys have doing the tricks they do is outstanding/ What does paintball have that provides that level of excitement or awe? A run through? While a good run through is appreciated by other players, it doesn't seem to me to be the type of event that rises a sport to a new level. Tony Hawk's 900 at the X-games was unbelievable to watch - and hooked thousands of people on the sport. Paintball just isn't the same type of eye-catching activity.

As far as next year - I want to see one format. Similar rule and player levels in both Millennium and PSP (and any other league at the national level). The level of lay through all divisions seems to be generally higher here in the US, but I feel that if you can make the divisions somewhat transferable between leagues, it will go far for making this a unified sport. A "D2" player here is a "D2" caliber player in Europe, etc. Bring the focus on the players, and cater to them. All this talk about making the sport go big - right now we need to make sure the sport doesn't fail. Focus on the people who pay pretty much everything - the players, and paintball will be fine. Once the economies around the paintball playing world have stabilized we can look towards expanding.

Regional ties is to difficult a concept to implement to be used next year. The UCS, although a GREAT concept, needs to be appropriately applied at the national level amongst tournaments before it can be used at the regional level that is (literally) a whole other thread though.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:39 PM #16
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The major difference between paintball and many other sports (including skateboarding) is that their is:

A) The dream of playing in the majors and making big money - other sports already have this end of the rainbow
B) Little kids can't play paintball - most fields require participants to be 10 years old or older
C) There is little extra day to day cost to playing Football, basketball, baseball, skateboarding, etc.. Once you have the equipment - off you go - have fun - play at the park, play on organized youth teams, play on organized middle school and high school teams, play pop warner, play little league - you get the idea - Paintball doesn't have any of that and realistically it never will - it's not a sport that lends itself to a little league like structure. Parents bring their kids - watch them play a game for and hour and bring them home - it takes most AGG kids more then an hour just to get ready to play a game of paintball.

What this sport needs in parent support, but if you go to any NEPL, USPL, PSP, etc... Parents make up about 1% of the viewing public (at best). That wouldn't be bad if 1% of the fans also represented 100% of the parents, but it is most likely even less then 1% of the parents. It is a shame that the parents don't support the kids like they do when they play "Traditional" sports.
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Old 07-28-2009, 04:41 PM #17
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:00 PM #18
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I think that we can all agree the PSP is here to stay. If you look at the number of teams signed up it has increased from event to event.

I would say that the reason the PSP is so important to the sport is because it gives players something to aspire to, something to strive towards. Players not long ago in 2005 aspired to play the NPPL.. now they look towards the PSP. That is where the pros and semi pros play and even the local divisional "heroes". The PSP has really done a great job this season I feel. They have spread their events to popular venues at paintball fields when able, and they have gotten the PSP broadcasted beautifully via webcast. This once again hits back to giving people something to aspire to.. kids at home can see those moves by their favorite pros.

Now are these types of players//spectators the norm? No. But they do exist and I would say that professional paintball is here to stay.

The AXBL will grow and in areas paintball will grow while in others it will slow down and possibly stagnate.

To people saying USPL will die blah blah blah, PSP will die, blah blah blah, regional events are the way to go! .... I feel like those people are trying to lower the bar. We as the players and owners should be trying to set it higher or maintain it rather than backpedal. I think the only thing limiting paintball at times is the players and owners. Why can't we do this? Why can't we do that? Attitudes at times also limit the sport from progressing, but really that is another story for another time.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:14 AM #19
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I think the 12 different formats of paintball are not conducive to a strong regional base, which I believe you need for any sort of national system to be truly effective. I think that we need 1 general style of paintball, that has generally similar rules and allows for a progression of skill.

I think the main reason we've seen a drop in the NEPL teams this year is because a lot of those players have chosen to go play X-Ball in the AXBL. They made a choice at the beginning of the year that they wanted to play an X-Ball style format and the PSP is currently too much money/too big a dream for them, so they found the most local/regional league and joined it. Those players who missed that boat are still playing 7 man, but those numbers are dwindling. The NEXL has failed to get off the ground because too many players have already decided to play AXBL, because that WAS the local X-Ball option.

My vision of next year:

4 PSP events. Don't grow, don't change, just stay alive and try and make money. That league needs to just continue what they are doing. Give people a national series that "Pros" play in, give teams something to aspire to. They should reorganize their divisions and move almost everything to Race2 style, and maybe keep 1 division of 5 man style for under 16 or something like that.

AXBL/CXBL expand. I prefer the full match to the Race 2 so I would like the AXBL/CXBL to keep growing into different regions. EVENTUALLY, I'd like to see this style take over as the national format.

NEPL/Local series switch almost fully over to the PSP/AXBL style. Ramping, coaching, Race2 or Full Matches. I realize there are a lot of 7 man players that are not going to be able to play X-Ball, so maybe create some sort of Open 5 Man division. Or, they don't play X-Ball. They either get in better shape or they play recreationally like all athletes who can no longer physically compete. Paintball should not be equal opportunity at the tournament level. "I'm too big for the X-Ball bunkers" is no more of a valid excuse than saying "I can't ice skate" if you wanted to play hockey.

We should all go to ramping too. Yeah, punch me in the face, but it eliminates a lot of the "cheating" when it comes to guns, and it puts everyone on a level playing field when it comes to equipment. Tournament paintball will be a lot less about gear. I firmly believe ramping is key to keeping kids interested in the sport, because it takes a very arbitrary ability (finger speed) and takes it out of the equation. It also means your PMR is pretty much just as good as that kids pimped out, upped Sl94. Yes, at higher levels of play, I realize the advantage of having a more expensive gun, but in most sports you can be competitive with those around you at the early levels with cheaper equipment. When you first get into skateboarding, golf, tennis, etc. you have the ability to get starter equipment that will allow you to play the sport with all of those around you. It isn't like that in paintball. You buy a spyder, and then you need an ion. You get the ion, but its not fast enough, so you put a bunch of ups on it. Then you need an ETEK. Then a DM9. Ramping would solve some of the techno obsession this sport has.

So to sum up: PSP stay consistent, don't expand, just try and keep making money. AXBL/CXBL expand regionally. Local events go to a more PSP/AXBL style. Go to almost all ramping for all events. Deal with insurance companies later about the ramping
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:08 AM #20
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Originally Posted by J. Stein View Post

Part 1 of ?? - The National Tournament Scene
And, as per the norm, if the AXBL cultists go dogmatic on us, I will liberally apply the delete button. This is not a slap at the AXBL; the people who play in the AXBL tend to have a religious fanaticism about the league that derails (or overtakes) conversation. If I ever go ahead with my plan to form a cult, I plan to consult Mitch and Travis first for tips.
I think a major part of this conversation is going to be missed if you leave out the cult-like following of the AXBL/CXBL. I was lucky enough to watch the NYPS turn into the NYXL and then shortly after into the AXBL. There is still a significant amount of players from the humble beginnings still playing in the AXBL. And the league continues to grow every year. The questions we should be asking is "What is the AXBL/CXBL doing that makes them so sucessful?". I've been to other national tournaments, but still look back at my AXBL days as the best time in paintball that I have ever had. Now I dont have an aswer on what makes it better, but other leagues might want to look into it.
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:26 AM #21
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There is a difference between rational support and dogmatic following.

The first is welcome and additive to the conversation.
The latter is neither.
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