I do not work or in no way affliated with the GPL other then being a player. Nothing in this post is factual or supported unless specified. This is simply a thread to start some hopefully positive discussion for a possible route for this league.
There have been talks for some while now of people wanting Race-to-4 or some other x-ball-esque format in the GPL. There was even an attempt at GPXL a few years back if I remember correctly. However there has not been much discussed about the actual decisions that would fuel this growth of a new league format. I am going to attempt to touch base with as much of that I can think. Any useful thoughts/info I will edit into this first post. So please refer back to this original post when reading through this thread, it will be updated.
So you want to play Race-to-4 in GPL. Great! So do alot of other teams, but exactly how many other teams are there. This is a question that will effect decisions made by both the league and possible participants. The easiest way to tackle this question will be to look at it from those two points of view.
Does the GPL even want to run a Race-to-4? Is it possible for them to do it? None of the following is fact, simply assumptions made using available info.
If a Race-to-4 format was adapted would the event still run in one day? Or would we need to expand to 2 days? This answer obviously relies on how many teams will be playing. So let us figure that out. Assuming that teams that play PSP Race-to-4 would be interested, how many teams would that be for GPL. Assuming that this would be some sort of D3/D4 combination we can gather the following pool of possible teams from this season's PSP attendance. If I have left any teams out please let me know.
EC Rampage, Lift D4, Milf Hunters, NJ Jesters, Swarm, Revo, Topgun, Playground Legends, FACK.
So that is 9 teams. Lets say 10 for the event to help make math easier. Each team will be required to play 4 prelim matches for a total of 40 prelim matches. PSP allocates 25 minutes per match. Assuming the same that makes over 16 hours for prelims alone. Obviously the event will have to be a 2 day event.
So the main question here is - Can the GPL run two day events? I would assume they would keep their 3man and 5 man divisions. So that would require the running of 2 fields on saturday and 3 on sunday. Something to think about.
The next big question is the logistics of running a Race-to-4 event. I do not doubt that GPL/OXCC have the abilites to make this happen. I know USPA was run out of OXCC which means that full pits with air lines must have been set up. The exact same will have to be done along with scoreboards and everything. This part I do not doubt will cause much concern for this debate.
Like any business, an expansion will require more costs. These will involve paying extra refs/scoreboard keepers. Being a business I do not doubt that GPL will factor these costs into a plan that will still drive a profit at the end of the day.
Now the debate can be swung to the other side, and perhaps the biggest side, of the equation......
This will probably be in no doubt the biggest deciding factor in if teams will even come out to a Race-to-4 event. Entry is a mute point. It is whatever the league will set it at and there is no way around it. Teams will decide amongst themselves if that will be affordable enough. The two variables in this equation will be traveling expenses and paint. The event will have to be two days. Can your team afford to travel for two days? Or an extra night at the hotel for that matter? This will be a small cost compared to paint.
The average team in a single match can shoot anywhere from 10 to 15 cases. If people think these numbers are inaccurate please let me know. Through prelims a team will shoot anywhere from 40 to 60 cases. Throw in 2 - 3 playoff matches and that number ranges from 60 - 100 cases all together. Going off of GPL's paint prices a teams paint bill can range from 2 to 5 thousand dollars. How that is divided up amongst players is an individual team's concern, but that is a number that every team must accept before even considering playing a Race-to-4 event.
Reasons to play -
Besides cost, a team must have a reason to play. Now obviously one reason that is undeniable is the excellence that GPL runs their events with. This part is undebatable. Prizes may be another concern. Obviously anything that can help offset event expenses is preferred to gear. The third part is experience. Teams playing these events will want a good enough experience to help prepare for PSP aka great competition.
I know this article is a little long winded, but I am tired and this is the best I can do right now. I have no motive for this article exactly, just to stir up the conversation as we move into the offseason. I am not saying that GPL needs a Race-to-4 division, but what I am trying to do is avoid what happened this season with 7 man. That is having a ton of teams begging for a format and it being offered. Then no one signing up and that leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths for awhile about that format being in the league. I am trying to make sure we take the time to think about this before jumping into something we cannot handle.
My personal idea is that this will generate alot of interest from teams, but possibly not enough to get a whole season's worth of events out of. I think if offered, the league should only do it at a couple events as a test. Perhaps twice a years at the even number of events or thrice a year at the odd number of events.
If anyone has anything to say to me in private about the topic please feel free to PM me
Here's to a productive offseason and the anxious anticipation for spring to get here soon.