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Old 09-21-2009, 10:12 AM #1
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Thread of the Week: The PRO Division

Today there are 13 PSP pro teams. All signs point to a substantially smaller pro division next year. 10 teams? 8 teams?

This creates issues that most of us never think about. Prizes, for instance. Right now, each pro team spends $1,750 per event on the prize package (meaning, $1,750 * 13 pro teams = $23,000 = pro prize package). If there are only 10 pro teams and the prize package stays the same, entry would have to go up by $500 per team per event. If there were only 8 teams, it would have to increase by over $1,000 per team per event. And that's just to cover the prizes. What about the PSP's set costs for maintaining the reffing staff and separate field?

This begs the question “at what point”. At what point does the PSP stop having a stand-alone pro division? At what point does paintball kick it old school and allow anyone who wants to pay the entry fee to call themselves pro, and to do so on an event-to-event basis. I think that’s a dangerous “fix”. It may bring more teams in initially, but will do serious harm to the overall direction of the sport and the league. But that’s just my opinion.

I think 8 teams might work. I don't know the set costs, so maybe I'm wrong. I think anything less than 8 teams and there'll be problems. And not just financial problems, either. I don't think people will look up to a 6 team pro division. We'd be antediluvian. Like samurai in the age of modern weapons. Sure we look cool, but we don't really get the job done.

I think having 20-odd pro teams is equally ridiculous. If EVERYONE can be pro, then no one is really pro.

But these are just my thoughts.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:37 AM #2
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Well, you can play the "if" game and say if the USPL dies, then maybe those pro teams will come to the PSP and fill in the Pro & Semi-Pro ranks.

Is it just a matter of paintball weathering the current economic storm, or are there other factors involved in the downturn?
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:48 AM #3
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Good question. I think the economic storm is hiding other issues that will have to be dealt with eventually.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:56 AM #4
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Do you get the feeling that some PSP Pro teams will drop out during the off season?

What about XSV & Aftermath II? They've been quite dominant in Semi-Pro. Will they move up to Pro? How does that work in PSP?
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:59 PM #5
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Update: Just heard that the CW at the Expo was 8 pro teams next season. Eight. Yikes.

Sumorai: yes. I do think teams will drop out.
In the PSP, promotion is handled by Lane. If he thinks you are ready, you get a shot. Lane considers not just on field performance, but finances, sponsorship support, team history etc... I think XSV, Aftermath II and Vicious could all move up. Maybe others. But I don't think Aftermath II would (I don't see the point for the organization).
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:36 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stein View Post
Update: Just heard that the CW at the Expo was 8 pro teams next season. Eight. Yikes.

Is this just a matter of sponsors significantly cutting down on their support?

Is this perhaps related to the possible domino effect you mentioned before?

It sounds like there will be plenty of pro talent for the remaining teams to pick from if that is the case. Will this strengthen the teams that are able to hold on? What about the rest of the players? Will they join the semi-pro ranks and beef up those teams? Will they just give up on paintball?


Quote:
Sumorai: yes. I do think teams will drop out.
In the PSP, promotion is handled by Lane. If he thinks you are ready, you get a shot. Lane considers not just on field performance, but finances, sponsorship support, team history etc... I think XSV, Aftermath II and Vicious could all move up. Maybe others. But I don't think Aftermath II would (I don't see the point for the organization).
Yeah. That was an instance that was narrowly avoided in the NPPL this year because they collapsed. Given their promotion/demotion rules, there would have been two franchises with two spots in the pro division. I think it was Jersey Authority & X-Factor whose semi-pro teams were going to win their pro spot.

I may be wrong about which teams it was. For some reason the Internet Archive does not have an archive of the nppl site from last year, so I can't check what the standings were.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:43 PM #7
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:47 PM #8
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So then, does that mean that the rumors of a certain league proponent and pro team owner paying the entry fees for other teams are false?

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Old 09-22-2009, 12:52 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumorai View Post
Is this just a matter of sponsors significantly cutting down on their support?

Is this perhaps related to the possible domino effect you mentioned before?
I think most of the movement has to do with a lack of available funding, yes. How much of that is from sponsorship budgets being reduced versus individual wealth being reduced I can't say. Nor does it really matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumorai View Post
It sounds like there will be plenty of pro talent for the remaining teams to pick from if that is the case. Will this strengthen the teams that are able to hold on? What about the rest of the players? Will they join the semi-pro ranks and beef up those teams? Will they just give up on paintball?
Well, if there isn't money, how will these dropped players get picked up? If budgets are being reduced, available funds for flying people in will likely also be reduced.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:05 PM #10
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Quote:
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Well, if there isn't money, how will these dropped players get picked up? If budgets are being reduced, available funds for flying people in will likely also be reduced.
They end up paying their own way. Kinda like the X-Vipers who are the guys that left the PBV organization after the Semi-Pro team was killed off.

I only assume that they're paying their own way. They could have some kind of funding. But, it reasons that they just wanted to play Cup so they got together and made a team to do that.


That brings up an interesting tangent, though. How many pro players out there are playing just because they can and it's free/extremely cheap for them? How many will keep playing if/when a large number of pro teams dissolve, even if they don't get everything paid for?
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:11 PM #11
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Well, to really get at the heart of your question:
1. How many pros are paid to play today? (Total number and percent of all pros)
2. How many pros pay nothing to play but are not paid today? (Total number and percent of all pros)
3. How many pros pay something to play today? (Total number and percent of all pros)
4. How many of Category 1 would continue if they became Category 2?
5. How many Category 1 would continue if they became Category 3?
6. How many Category 2 would continue if they became Category 3?

If we agree, I'll ask some pro owners to come in and comment.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:21 PM #12
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Sounds good. I wonder if they'd also comment on whether their team will be around next year, and if not, what they think their players will do.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:24 PM #13
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I doubt any team will admit they won't be around next year. Not with an event left to play.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:51 PM #14
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If you're a pro and you ref your local series (such as the Hurricanes and the NEPL last season) - what category does that put you in? Assuming the funds earned go toward team stuff I'm assuming that instantly puts you in Category 3. Now, lets assume you pay your players $500 per event - wouldn't that put them in category #1? You could be in both #1 and #3 at the same time - yes?
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:54 PM #15
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I think the harsh reality will set in when teams attempt to get paint for next year.

Solution: Hopperball.


But, I will say that the main concern of this thread is probably not a big one. The Pro field is currently over-booked, with Semi-Pro games spilling over to the D1 field, so cutting down the number of teams a bit just gets more field efficiency. From the logistics perspective, a Pro/Semi-Pro team just costs about 2x a non-Pro team to put through (twice as much field time).


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Old 09-26-2009, 02:10 PM #16
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I don't have the balls yet for a "predict who won't be around next season" thread.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:24 PM #17
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I personally feel that the number of pro teams would be cut next year due to finances, player availability, and sponsorships. I think it will be 10 but that is just my thought. I pose another question here since it seems to fit, do you think the league only going four events this year help teams do the complete season, basically do you think there would be the same number of pro teams if they did five events instead of four?
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:10 AM #18
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Well, I thought this was a pretty good topic, but it doesn't seem to be taking off.

Do we want to predict which teams wont be around next year?

As for the questions above, I am not getting enough responses to give a good sample set of answers, but if I was to guess:

1. How many pro teams are paid to play today? Out of PSP pro teams, I would guess 8.
2. How many pros teams pay nothing to play but are not paid today? I would guess 4.
3. How many pros pay something to play today? Maybe 1. Maybe none.

I think some of the USPL pro teams pay to play.

I can't speak for how many people would quit if they had to pay or stopped getting paid.

So, take it from there, or guess on who will expire this offseason.

Just trying to get some conversation going.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:46 PM #19
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I don't come in here and read much but i did just browse this thread.

I feel like a decrease in teams would hurt more than help the overall scheme.

The NFL has like 32 teams? not 100% sure but i think thats the number...

Some of them suck, plain and simple, but it adds a great deal of contrast between the top teams and the teams that plain aren't good. I mean the lions were 0-19 in their last 19 games, thats like a pro pb team not winning for 2 years. Its acceptable in a the pro division of Football, why would it be so unacceptable in the pro division of paintball?

In paintball, if we expanded pro teams and yes, let basically whoever wanted to pay for a pro spot play would create something very similar.

Now to go deeper, i think it should be capped at like 20-22 teams.

The leagues now are spread to thin... If it were just Pro-d1 through d3, all the divisions would be larger, more concentrated, more competitive, etc...

Prize money and whatnot would also be higher because of the added teams per division.

I mean when you think about it with simple psychology, would you rather play in a division with 50 teams with a chance to win 3,000 or a division with 100 teams and a chance to win 6000.

When im sitting there with a cost-benefit analysis of going to an event, i look that it costs 3,000 to go. I dont wanna break even for winning. Yes its not about the money but its also about risk and reward.

If i sat down and saw a chance (even if you sucked it still in your mind is a chance for this event and more down the road to look forward to) to win 3,000 profit it looks alot more inviting.

Rational thinking if d4 and d3 were merged i would rather play for the chance to win $6,000.

Everyone is always thinking in self interest, no one cares when they get to the event how many teams are in a division they just want to know how much they make if they win.

Semi pro teams would be average/low-end pro teams and some would emerge as competitive high end teams.

-You would add a great deal of money to the pro division.

-More teams to the pro division.

-Semipro teams who wouldn't want to make the jump would play d1, d1 would get more competitive and more teams, more prize money.

D4-d5-d3-d2 would all merge to just d3-d2, better competition, more prize money within divisions, more teams...

I think condensing divisions instead of condensing teams is the way to go personally.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:59 PM #20
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you have too much free time jeff
email me tomorrow. T4
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