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Old 02-10-2013, 12:39 AM #1
Chillkill17
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Is This Sport Dead?

So it's been awhile since I've posted here. A really long while. Life just got in the way. Went off to school, sold my gun, stopped really thinking about the sport, got a part time job, actually spent income that I've earned on non paintball related things. But being away from the game and this site for so long has really given me a different perspective on things. It's given me a chance to see things after being out of the game for so long. And I have to say, the number one thing that I notice after coming back from my break; it's really empty around here.

Now let's just step back for a minute. I want to make sure that I say a few things before I go any further. I loved this game. Hell, I loved it more that all of my friends, more than most people I knew at my home field, and probably more than half the people that frequented this site. I would spend every cent I had on the game, put every birthday or Christmas present towards the game. Just visiting this site has got me dying to go back down to whatever speedball field is near me and dive right back into the snake. I didn't "quit" because I was tired of paintball. I "quit" because it became an inviable hobby.

I think that the thing I'm trying to get at is a question. A question to find out where the state of the game is at. When I left the game (probably sometime around 2009) it seemed, at least to me, that paintball was at the end of somewhat of a "boom phase." What I mean is that paintball seemed to have hit a peak where the popularity had been at an all time high a few years prior, and now it was on its way down. When I first started (at this afore mentioned peak), paintball seemed to be pushing borderline mainstream. Huntington Beach was the place to be with Dynasty and XSV battling it out. Facefull had full page color spreads detailing tournaments all over the country. I could go to any of 4 paintball fields locally on any given weekend night and find a competitive speedball game to jump into. It seemed to me like the golden age (comparatively, obviously paintball is not a career you would want to get into for the money) for paintball.

When I left paintball, it seemed like there were a lot of people doing exactly what I was doing. Growing up, moving on. The recession hit a lot of people hard, the fields that I used to frequent included. I know that two of the closest ones to me closed. I heard of many others all over the country doing the same. But when I left, I never really bothered to look back and keep updated. I guess that's why coming back here after all these years and seeing so few active members and so few "hot" threads kind of makes me sad.

I don't know why I'm writing all this quite honestly. I guess I just wanted some input from you guys. Tell me I'm wrong! Quite honestly, I would love to hear that. Tell me that the sport that I used to love isn't really dead, because I don't want it to be. I can't say that I ever made any long lasting friends through paintball, but there are not a lot of better feelings in the world than stepping onto the field, making the gun hot, and the countdown before break. I just think that if you take a step back and look at the state of the game, it really isn't pretty.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:51 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillkill17 View Post
So it's been awhile since I've posted here. A really long while. Life just got in the way. Went off to school, sold my gun, stopped really thinking about the sport, got a part time job, actually spent income that I've earned on non paintball related things. But being away from the game and this site for so long has really given me a different perspective on things. It's given me a chance to see things after being out of the game for so long. And I have to say, the number one thing that I notice after coming back from my break; it's really empty around here.

Now let's just step back for a minute. I want to make sure that I say a few things before I go any further. I loved this game. Hell, I loved it more that all of my friends, more than most people I knew at my home field, and probably more than half the people that frequented this site. I would spend every cent I had on the game, put every birthday or Christmas present towards the game. Just visiting this site has got me dying to go back down to whatever speedball field is near me and dive right back into the snake. I didn't "quit" because I was tired of paintball. I "quit" because it became an inviable hobby.

I think that the thing I'm trying to get at is a question. A question to find out where the state of the game is at. When I left the game (probably sometime around 2009) it seemed, at least to me, that paintball was at the end of somewhat of a "boom phase." What I mean is that paintball seemed to have hit a peak where the popularity had been at an all time high a few years prior, and now it was on its way down. When I first started (at this afore mentioned peak), paintball seemed to be pushing borderline mainstream. Huntington Beach was the place to be with Dynasty and XSV battling it out. Facefull had full page color spreads detailing tournaments all over the country. I could go to any of 4 paintball fields locally on any given weekend night and find a competitive speedball game to jump into. It seemed to me like the golden age (comparatively, obviously paintball is not a career you would want to get into for the money) for paintball.

When I left paintball, it seemed like there were a lot of people doing exactly what I was doing. Growing up, moving on. The recession hit a lot of people hard, the fields that I used to frequent included. I know that two of the closest ones to me closed. I heard of many others all over the country doing the same. But when I left, I never really bothered to look back and keep updated. I guess that's why coming back here after all these years and seeing so few active members and so few "hot" threads kind of makes me sad.

I don't know why I'm writing all this quite honestly. I guess I just wanted some input from you guys. Tell me I'm wrong! Quite honestly, I would love to hear that. Tell me that the sport that I used to love isn't really dead, because I don't want it to be. I can't say that I ever made any long lasting friends through paintball, but there are not a lot of better feelings in the world than stepping onto the field, making the gun hot, and the countdown before break. I just think that if you take a step back and look at the state of the game, it really isn't pretty.
I think you analyzed things quite well. I think paintball has/is going through a "correction period" much like the stock market does when it gets to a point where the boom goes past the point it should. That's where paintball was. So it collapsed a bit and when it gets to the point where it really should be at, it will start going again, albeit slowly. I think we are near that point now.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:49 AM #3
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I think you analyzed things quite well. I think paintball has/is going through a "correction period" much like the stock market does when it gets to a point where the boom goes past the point it should. That's where paintball was. So it collapsed a bit and when it gets to the point where it really should be at, it will start going again, albeit slowly. I think we are near that point now.
I really do hope so, but another thing to look at, is paintball really something that would ever be allowed to grow by today's society and how guns are being viewed in the current media? Obviously you and I both know that a Luxe is in so many ways different from a 9mm handgun, but we all know how hard that is to convince people of. Obviously we're getting into a whole different argument here, but it just goes to show one of many uphill battles that a kid would have to face to get into paintball nowadays.

As I was reflecting on why exactly I'm posting all of this, I think that I'm doing so because another thing really jumped out at me when I came back to the site. All of the topics are eerily similar to when I left. The same gun owners clubs, the same questions being asked, the same team threads. I want to get a conversation started that will actually get people thinking. In a sport that has so little "professional" doings to talk about with there being only 5 events or so each year on each circuit, you're left talking about the recreational side of the sport. And when there's so little change within the recreational side (I've been looking at different companies websites and it seems that the products have not changed much, if at all) it does not leave much to talk about.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:06 AM #4
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Paintball is fine.

You're just older. More mature(hopefully). But more importantly, your perspective has changed is all. You've looked into the metaphorical abyss and now you can't unknow what you know now. You can't go back to those old times. You see things differently is all.

Again, paintball is fine.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:10 AM #5
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The fields i go to still have an average of 50 speedballers out every saturday night, and on sunday mornings have an average of 10 teams out. Paintball is still going strong
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:27 AM #6
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It's just part of the economy.

I ended up selling all my guns because of my financial issues and of course I had school to attend so that was my primary at the time. It is sad to see a popular sport decline like it has been but that is to be expected from all that is going on with the job loss, increase in benefits. I've known some popular teams who are no longer together and local fields filed for closeure which is hard understand why anybody would pass up on paintball but they must of had no other choices to give in. It's only part of the fade process where money is hard to come by and we just need to hang in there. Paintball is still here and I'm looking forward to coming back real soon! It's my only therapy to beat depression and boredom so I'm hanging on just like everyone else.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:53 AM #7
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Paintball as you get older is a luxury, when things get tight most people cut out the unnecessary luxuries. Or trade it out for a different hobby or something else they'd rather do. The main reason, this hobby is extremely expensive.

Perfect example, I found a car I want, it's going to increase my car payment by about $200 roughly. Insurance will go down, gas will go up. "IF" I do this, I'm going to go from playing 5 times a month to playing 2 times a month... Is it worth it? I dont know, I'm considering it. But, in all honesty, nothing is wrong with the current automobile and its only 2 years old... But, I want something else and am thinking of giving up paintball partially to attain it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:38 AM #8
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I was in a similar situation, played all through high school, quit in 2009 for a couple years and came back at the end of 2011, right back into speedball. It seemed like local ball was slow at first, but since I started going to my local indoor field, it has been packed nearly every time I've gone, with tons of renters and a surprising amount of people with their own gear and markers. I played this last Saturday and there must have been 30+ people there at some points playing, and a mixed rec/airball field is tons of fun when there's 15 players on each side.
The regional tournament series I helped run this year is also doing well, with some events maxed out for teams in the higher division. I see the trend recently isn't people getting out of the sport, it's players focusing more on rec ball and local tournaments rather than going all out and blowing their cash in the big name tournament series.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:20 PM #9
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Speedball is a hard sell in a rough economy because it's so expensive and also has pretty high barriers to entry in other regards (like pain tolerance). That's kind of a shame because I love airball.

The rec fields I play at seem to be doing as well as any other time I can remember. They stopped running their airball field though because of lack of interest.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:45 PM #10
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I've seen this exact thread created probably 100 times not exaggerating, about the way paintball has died, "I quit in 2000, I quit in 2001, I quit in 2002, I quit in 2003, I quit in 2004, I quit in 2005, I quit in 2006 [that was me], I quit in 2007, I quit in 2008, I quit in 2009, I quit in 2010, I quit in 2011, I quit in 2012, I quit in 2013, I quit in 2014 is paintball dead? I was the last survivor, no one lived. Is there anyone out there?"

Fields close down, new ones open up. When I came back, the crap field was gone, and a better one took it's place. Sometimes it's the opposite, but there will always be outlaw fields. The internet killed the magazines just like it killed the newspaper.

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Old 02-11-2013, 05:51 PM #11
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You know what's dead? Talking about how the sport is dead.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:54 PM #12
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Lol I like how I join right after the fall... Well when I get a job/car and can play a lot more maybe paintball will be back to its strong self
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:36 AM #13
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National events are much smaller than they were in like 2006-2007. Sports not dead our economy is in the ****ter and people cant afford to play as much.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:36 PM #14
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Dead? No
Dying? Possibly
A lot less players? Oh yeah

I remember when I first started a few years back. At my local field (saturdays) we would have to wait about 20 minutes to play at the hyperball fields. It was almost impossible to play Airball.
Now you see people walking around looking for players to join...

Drop the price of paint. I'd put money on the fact that that alone will draw more people in.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:35 PM #15
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Woodsball and milsim are fine and growing.

Speedball as a "sport" is fell way back and isn't likely to recover any time soon.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:49 PM #16
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Drop the price of paint. I'd put money on the fact that that alone will draw more people in.
No. Paint has been dropping in price for years and yet numbers seem to be declining.

I'd put money on the fact that cheap paint + cheap electros = a whole bunch of new prospective players getting the **** shot out of them the first time they go and never playing again.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:06 PM #17
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i don't think paintball is dying out. how guns are being viewed in the current media is all due to people freaking out because of one incident. People automatically jump to conclusions that guns are only made to kill and so on. i love shooting as a sport and it's really fun. Most don't realize how care full most people are with guns. I'm 15 and and i'm just getting into paintball but i have been shooting guns (gunpowder) since i was 8. i think we should just make sure people go through a more extensive training program to ensure gun safety and maybe a back-round check every 1.5-2 years. i also think all these celebrities backing up gun control banning alot of stuff are just in it for the money. besides all the stuff obama is trying to ban would effect the economy. he wants to ban the make of all extended magazines and more. so alot of gun manufacturer's would lose money cause the only way you would be able to get.. for example, a extended magazine would be to buy it 2nd hand. that's why if you look alot of sites are sold out for large capacity magazines. sorry for the rant. i think my post would be more reasonable in a NRA forum

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:57 PM #18
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I don't think that paintball is dying at all. Something only dies out if you let it! If you keep the love and passion for something and it will never die out! Also the players that have been in the sport for a good amount of time should start being more advocates for the sport trying to help the younger generation as much as possible. It sounds cliche, but it's true that the "children are the future" and if you want the sport to continue on and grow then help mold the sport into what you want to see! There is more I could say but in a nut shell that's my two cents.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:53 AM #19
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I think paintball reached its peak around the years of 2004-2007, i remember watching NPPL Super 7 on Fox Sports Net, there were tons of paintball companies around....tons of those business have gone out of business. The likes of Diablo Paint (hellfire, inferno..etc), Zap (chronic), Gap (Dynasty Paint)....the Autococker was still widely used and aftermarket parts where everywhere to be seen. I have been playing since 98 and have seem things come and go....things will never be like they used to.....but paintball is still alive and will continue to survive.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:20 AM #20
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I think paintball reached its peak around the years of 2004-2007, i remember watching NPPL Super 7 on Fox Sports Net, there were tons of paintball companies around....tons of those business have gone out of business. The likes of Diablo Paint (hellfire, inferno..etc), Zap (chronic), Gap (Dynasty Paint)....the Autococker was still widely used and aftermarket parts where everywhere to be seen. I have been playing since 98 and have seem things come and go....things will never be like they used to.....but paintball is still alive and will continue to survive.
Doug Brown had this to say in a blog post, "In the 2005 inaugural meeting of the Paintball Sports Trade Association the president of the largest company in paintball told everyone (and I do mean everyone) that the number of new players coming into the sport had fallen off a cliff."

I'd like to point out that North America (especially the USA, had a booming economy during this time - if you didn't have a job, you didn't want a job). What is the obvious outcome, if new players aren't being attracted and retained in the paintball market? The other big question...WHY were new players not being attracted and retained in paintball?

Doug wrote a three part article about it here: http://www.greyops.net/2011/09/paint...t-post-by.html . He's got some answers for you if you can't figure it out on your own.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:25 AM #21
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I hadn't read those Doug Brown articles before but they are brilliant. Of course, they also correlate quite strongly with what I believe as well, which might be a factor, but I'd say he's right on the money.
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