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Old 10-18-2010, 03:06 PM #1
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Thread of the Week: The crossroads

Iím going to paint with broad strokes here, so hopefully I get my point across.

There are, currently, 10 Pro teams (at one point there were 12) in the PSP. That means there are currently 100 players playing on Pro teams (and, at one point, 120). As there is no Semi-Pro division in the PSP, if you are a Pro ranked player, you cannot play on any team other than a Pro team.

Again, there is no Semi-Pro division. If you are a Semi-Pro ranked player, you can play on a pro team or a D1 team, provided that the D1 team doesnít have more than 2 semi-pro players. As there are about 10 D1 teams (maybe fewer if you take a yearly average), about 20 Semi-Pro ranked players can play D1.

The point of this being that, in todayís environment, being ranked Semi-Pro, or certainly Pro, carries with it a big risk. If you are ranked Pro, and you cannot get on a Pro team, you are out of the game.

So, hereís the question: Imagine that you are a player with about 8600 APPA points. If you cross 8700, you rank up to Pro and have to compete as a Pro in 2011. If you stay at 8600, you remain Semi-Pro ranked and can play D1 in 2011. You have been asked to play on a Pro team for World Cup. If that team does even moderately well, you rank up.

Do you:
1. Go to Cup, play Pro and let the chips fall where they may, understanding that it could mean you are out of the PSP in 2011 (unless you can find a pro team to play with)?
2. Skip Cup, remain Semi-Pro and keep your options open for 2011?

This question has always existed in some degree of hypothetical rhetoric. But right now, it exists as a real trade off that is impacting players. And as much as I believe that fighters fight and pro players will want to go out and show they are worth it, at some point doesnít one have to play the odds? 10 Pro teams, down from 16 just a few years ago. No semi pro teams. More high level free agents than at any time before. Lower team budgets, restricting teamsí ability to fly people in. You really have to believe you got it to take that risk now.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:25 PM #2
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If it were me, I'd probably skip Cup. I'd rather have the guarantee of being able to play the entire season in 2011 than play one event now.

Hopefully the semi-pro division eventually makes a return. If it does not, what path does that leave for the Hurricanes? How long will you be allowed to play in D1 before moving up? As the rules stand now, even without a semi-pro division, if you guys basically win the season in D1 next year you have no choice but to bump to pro because you'll be ineligible for D1.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:35 PM #3
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Well, it depends on how you win. If the team took first in all 4 events, every player would end up with 4800 points, which would make everyone Semi-Pro.

If you win 3 events, you'd end up with 3200 points (and one other event's worth of points, assuming you'd ever played in an APPA event before). The bump-up point is 3936, so if you had 737 points in your next best event, you'd be semi pro.

None of this would be a problem if there were a semi-pro division. If you win 3 or 4 events, you should bump up. But without that division, there is a gap and it remains to be seen how the PSP elects to deal with it. Maybe a re-jiggering of points or what it takes to bump a player up, or maybe allowing more SP players on D1 teams.

As things stand now, though, no one has hit that mark. CEP players, if they played all 4 events, would have earned about 3900 points. Even if they take first at Cup, it is unlikely to bump players (or many players) up.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:10 PM #4
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This isnt somthing they ran into last year

CUP '09
Division 1 - 13 Teams
Semi-Pro - 7 Teams
Pro - 13 Teams

PHX '09
Division 1 - 12 Teams
Semi-Pro - 5 Teams
Pro - 13 Teams

So you had a pretty similar team numbers in the first to the final event.

However this year with the drop of SP and really not a whole lot of roll into either division.

CUP '10
Division 1 - 10 Teams
Semi-Pro - N/A
Pro - 11 Teams

PHX '10
Division 1 - 8 Teams
Semi-Pro - 10 Teams
Pro - 10 Teams

The only option is to adjust the ranking. Otherwise they are going to leave a whole lot of SP players **** out of luck. Clearly the PSP wouldnt want screw potential customers. Also Raehl is all about getting people playing not sidelining...plus hes a number crunching madman so he'll figure out a fair way to make it happen.

I imagine that in 2011 they will adjust the APPA to match the available divisions. If there is no Semi Pro Division to play in there should be no Semi Pro rank.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:13 PM #5
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So, you'd play Cup?
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:52 PM #6
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Even with those hypotheticals in place it's too much to risk. Imo
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:27 PM #7
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I'd play cup. It has the possibilities to open the doors for you with other teams in the future, especially if you play well. Next year is full of uncertainty, take advantage of the opportunities while you have it and not let them slip away.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:26 AM #8
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I would have to agree with rOcKiNtHeDm5*la*, if you have the opportunity to play now, do it. It's quite sad to see World Cup down 60 teams from last year...

Maybe it's time for the PSP to scrap D1 and have an open raceTo-5/7 division?
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:49 AM #9
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I'd play cup based on the belief that the system will be corrected (or work with those in charge to help correct it).

As you already pointed out Jeff - there are to many good players without teams this season due to the limited Pro teams, lack of a Semi-Pro division, limited, budgets, etc... They (the folks in charge) want to make it so as many people can play as possible - they have to figure this out or it's only a matter of time (2 or 3 years maybe) before there is no more D1 - for the same reason there is no more Semi-Pro....Then D2, etc...

Without having put much thought into it, wouldn't it be easy to just "Split" the semi-pro point spread - the top have become "Pro" and the bottom half become "D1" - and eliminate the Semi-Pro division all together? You'd still have the issue of many pro ranked players not having teams to play on potentially, but you'd also get a bunch more D1 teams created (opening up slots for more pro players to play on - seeing how this would be the division right below pro).

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:12 AM #10
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I'll do the math, but I don't think splitting will work, because you just force even more players into the pro bracket, which is already over-full.

I think the solution may be to raise the bar on SP (instead of bumping into SP at 4800 points, make it 5400, say) and allowing 3 SP players to each D1 team. But that's just off the top of my head. In order to really really know, you need to see the breakdown of how many players have 4800-5000 points, 5000-5200, etc...

The creation of teams is predicated on the availability of owners, not players. If there were 20 more D1 players in the Northeast, would there be two more D1 teams? Probably not. However, if there were more Dave Painters, Jeff Steins, Tom Briertons would there be more nationally competing teams? Probably so. I mean, to be blunt, you need someone who is willing to spend the time and money to do the work. The playing is the easy part.

I'm not sure the goal is to save these players, either. There is a current of thought that these very players (the former pro level guys) are hurting the sport by continuing the attitude of entitlement and expectations of free paintball.

Can you explain this: "they have to figure this out or it's only a matter of time (2 or 3 years maybe) before there is no more D1 - for the same reason there is no more Semi-Pro....Then D2, etc...". I'm not following the logic. Need my second coffee!
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:39 AM #11
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Well..You have to ask yourself why did the Semi-Pro division disappear? The simple reason is that Lane no longer felt it was financially feasible – meaning for the amount of teams signing up it wasn’t worth staffing a field and paying out prize money, etc.

The bigger question – why did it turn out that so few teams “jumped” to Semi-pro? I’m going to guess it was funding issues. Because I have to believe that players want to play – they just can’t afford to. I fundamentally believe that if you and I disappeared today that there would be two less national teams tomorrow. All our players want to play, all our players can play – very few of our players can afford to play. As funding becomes tighter I can only imagine that many of the lower ranked D1 and D2 teams will travel less. Eventually making it so those divisions aren’t worth running financially either. Pretty soon you’ll be left with Pros and D3 and D4 teams.

You’ll always have D3 and D4 teams because they’re mostly made up of friend/players just looking to have fun. They don’t usually play all the events, but there are enough of them out there that when the tournament is within striking distance of their “Home” they go.

I said this a few years ago and I’ll say it again – we need to regionalize our national events so that it’s more financially feasible to attend them. If you held three events in 4 different regions (for simple math) and then held the World Cup as it is today I think you’d get a far greater turnout. The drawback to this – one person/entity can’t do it. 12 events plus a 13th (Cup) would be too much for one group to run – especially when distributed out across multiple regions. But what would happen if say Mike ran a West Cost division, Vicious ran a Mid-west Division, Anthony ran a Northeast Division and say someone from the CFOA ran a Southeast Division – and then all the teams could join together and play the World Cup in October? The divisional organizers would need to be willing to put on a traveling circuit as I don’t think it’s fair to the teams to play all the events in one location. Let’s look at the Northeast – as a team would you travel to say NJ, MA, NY and PA to play events? Then travel to World Cup to see who was best in your division? Obviously the regional events would have less teams and, therefore, the prizes would have to be adjusted accordingly. But with lower travel costs you’d also open up the opportunity for more teams to join in. And nothing would prevent teams from other regions playing in events outside their region. Unless, of course, the league wanted to prevent that.

Just a few thoughts – my brain hurts now…
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:58 AM #12
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Agree with basically everything you said.

One thing, though: the deterioration of nationally competing teams being predicated on organizers and funding means that the ranking and reranking efforts of the league will ultimately have little or no impact on the continued existance of D1.

Now, maybe if they went back to the really old days: Pro, Am, Novice. That's it. 3 divisions. 3 sets of prizes. Hopefully reduced infrastructure allows for some kind of savings for the league. Maybe a variable entry fee (if your team is D4, you pay $1500 to play Novice. If your team is D3, you pay $1850). Enhance prize packages with free or discounted entry fees.

This is all very blue sky thinking, of course.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:15 AM #13
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There isn't much in the way to compare to paintball. How many Dirt Bike riders are involved at a "Regional" event? Or a national event? Can anyone ride locally? Do they rank their riders out of the system? Or do they classify them by equipment type (250cc rider, etc..).

I know downhill skiing has a complicated scoring system but all skiers race the same trail against the same clock against everyone that registers - one division. You earn points based upon how well you do and how low of a score the best racer to enter had coming into the race (The scoring system for skiing works on a lower score is better principle). However, unlike paintball the cost of doing downhill skiing is the cost of a lift ticket ($50-60) and a ride to the mountain (2-3 hours drive maybe). Additionally, all/most of the help is volunteers - the local club hosts the event and provides all the support staff (Gate keepers, scorekeepers, starters, etc..)

Is there a sport out there that compares well to paintball when comparing distribution of events and cost of playing an event?

I like the idea of only a few divisions with a different registration price based on your teams ranking.

I read about another idea - where you get so many "Points" and based upon ranking, equipment, etc.. you use up points for every player added to your roster. You might have 5 D1 players with Semi-auto markers playing against 10 D1 players with Pumps, etc... I don't recall the exact details, but sounds like a somewhat cool idea.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:35 AM #14
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i dont think splitting the semi pro ranked players would be a bad thing. but on top of the split they would also have to amend the rule saying that 2 semi pro players on each d1 team because semi pro would not exist anymore. maybe let 1 pro player on each d1 team. this way everyone would have a home even if they were ranked pro and couldnt find a pro team.

as far as would i play cup or skip cup...Id play pro.
if you are not willing to take chances to achieve your goal of playing pro then you will prolly never get there.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:56 AM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stein View Post
I'll do the math, but I don't think splitting will work, because you just force even more players into the pro bracket, which is already over-full.
I think your right and the better solution is to push them down into D1. Make D1 tougher and possible push the bottom of D1 down into D2....and so on. The top is the top the middle is where you make the adjustments.

Quote:
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I think the solution may be to raise the bar on SP (instead of bumping into SP at 4800 points, make it 5400, say) and allowing 3 SP players to each D1 team. But that's just off the top of my head. In order to really really know, you need to see the breakdown of how many players have 4800-5000 points, 5000-5200, etc...
The numbers are very consistant right now. Each bump being 61.5% of total possible points for end of season in the division below. And 75% for mid season. 400 points multiplied your divisional x value

example D3 would be 1600 (400x4)
D2 bump is at 984 (61.5%) and 1200 (75%).

Hard to word that but bottom line is its consistant math and it really needs to stay that way because adjusting thoes numbers would require an adjustment of the multipliers to match or you end up with a top team staying at the top of the current division and not moving up.

Altho that already needs to happen if SP disappears. They currently hold the x32 spot and all the math would get screwed if you jump from x16 to x64 because it would be impossible to get pushed into pro. If SP doesnt exist then the logical thing to me would adjust the multiplier for SP to be 16 and pro to 32 on current and past events. This would rework the math and push the players down.

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The creation of teams is predicated on the availability of owners, not players. If there were 20 more D1 players in the Northeast, would there be two more D1 teams? Probably not. However, if there were more Dave Painters, Jeff Steins, Tom Briertons would there be more nationally competing teams? Probably so. I mean, to be blunt, you need someone who is willing to spend the time and money to do the work. The playing is the easy part.
definatly. without them you dont have teams.

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I'm not sure the goal is to save these players, either. There is a current of thought that these very players (the former pro level guys) are hurting the sport by continuing the attitude of entitlement and expectations of free paintball.
Im not sure the PSP has any control over that. They simply provide a place to compete. If players are unwilling to pay to play and there is no free spot available who has any control over that other than the player themselves. I guess probably not "save" them but make sure there is a place to play if they want it.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:34 AM #16
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What if playing time were actually measured? Point im making is, if I understand this right..your ranked on your roster you were on. So if you were on a team that did well..you move up even tho you sat the bench with no real playing time or experience? Or would that never happen. This makes my head hurt..LOL Kinda like red shirting in college ball. IDK
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:40 AM #17
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I think your right and the better solution is to push them down into D1. Make D1 tougher and possible push the bottom of D1 down into D2....and so on. The top is the top the middle is where you make the adjustments.
I think the system should be adjusted to push players up through the ranks, not down. Yes, there should be some adjustment to fix the D1/SP dilemma, but also perhaps more should be done to ensure that players/teams are progressing upwards properly.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:11 PM #18
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I think the system should be adjusted to push players up through the ranks, not down. Yes, there should be some adjustment to fix the D1/SP dilemma, but also perhaps more should be done to ensure that players/teams are progressing upwards properly.
There is definatly a problem with the system currently. Just take us for example. We'll both be D2 next year and likely both the teams we play for will be playing in the NEXL which will be a D2 division. The competition will be similar to this year however we will now be playing with D2 points rather than D3. If the season plays out similar both of our teams will be D1 the following year. Without really a differnt level of copetition. With Canes and 187 bumped out by ranking up to D1 it will really be on us to make sure we are ready for the inevitable D1 bump.

I wonder if its possible to track wins on opponents. Where a win against the Canes would be worth more points than a win against a newer xball team in the division. Somehow tied into the total score of the teams rank points or somthing. I know somthing similar is used in videogames where as you get better you are matched against better players. So its not so much what division you played but who you played and what their expierence level was.

However I still think the top is the top and to fix the SP problem you need to filter the players left down into D1 and just redistribute the talent. Because there is only so much room at the top.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:16 PM #19
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if you had a ranking system that took into account who you played you would have to be able to be ranked down as easily as you are ranked up. it would be wayyy to complicated IMO
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:19 PM #20
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if you had a ranking system that took into account who you played you would have to be able to be ranked down as easily as you are ranked up. it would be wayyy to complicated IMO
Sombody call bungee....They used somthing like that in Halo 2 or 3. its all math. appa is just a database that manipulates numbers.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:26 PM #21
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