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Old 03-25-2020, 08:43 PM #1
Mr.JimJims2.0
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I Love Paintball: Suggestions As The Paintball Czar

How I would improve our sport if I had the funding and was declared the czar of paintball.

The pros need to have different rules than divisional teams. I know that sports all trickle down from pros, but it just needs to be different. College basketball and the NBA have different rules, college football and the NFL have different rules. The gleague is used as a testing ground for new rules for the NBA. The rules need to be different.

Minor Pro rule changes:
- The rate of fire should be 12.5. 10.2 or whatever it is now is too slow. Iím sorry but if you look at highlight videos from even the 2012-14 seasons, it looks really cool to see someone get lit up. Divisional can stay at 10 because I know it sucks to be overshot as a younger or newer player. But for the pinnacle of the sport, it needs to look awesome. 12.5 vs. 13.3 is not a huge difference, but Iíve personally liked 12.5 the most. If you think 15 was the peak, I have to disagree. Itís too much of a pain of the *** to clean off all those hits and you have to reload too often. For those that believe a lower rate of fire results in more movement and faster points, there is more on this later.

- Ramping. I used to be a semi purist, but I realized thatís not the right hill to die on if you want paintball to be a real sport. Ramping evens the playing field and takes any fire mode or rate of fire questions out of the equation. Equipment should not be a factor at this level of play. People need to think of playerís setups more as the shoes/gear that players choose in traditional sports. People have their preferences in low/high tops, shooting sleeves, shorts length, sock layers, etc. Thatís what gun setups need to be in the modern era; nothing but preferences. I get the people that say that firing fast on a semi is a skill that should be mastered like any other like snap shooting, diving, etc. But itís just too difficult to regulate debounce, software changes, and whatever else. The tradeoff to being able to shoot 2-3 more bps isnít worth it. Real sports donít have that sort of variability. Companies and teams will always innovate and push the boundaries of the rules in a technology based sport, but thatís what end of season rule reviews are for, just like how F1 does. (I know F1 has their problems but we have to start somewhere)

- The protected color should be orange. More professional sports teams use yellow than orange, and yellow is a much more complimentary color. Not to mention variations of it like gold are popular now. If we wanted to use the least common, ďbrightĒ color, I would suggest neon green, but I think it kind of looks like **** as a paint color.

- The penalty box needs to come back for pros. Penalties should remain the same for divisional teams. The penalty box is cool. Thatís the main reason. Itís also very easy to understand and explain. You play after youíre hit for a little bit, then you go into the box for 1 minute. You play after youíre hit a lot, spin, or wipe, then you go into the box for 2 minutes. People are already familiar with this concept from hockey. I donít know much about hockey but the penalty box is pretty easy to understand. If your team has a player in the box it sucks, and if the other team has a player in the box, nowís your chance.

- Keep the point button and start ďboxĒ (bunker?). It looks good and is easy to understand. All players have to have their barrels touching the start box and to get a point you press the buzzer button. For the penalty box just have the entry/exits from either side of the start box. This also makes it harder for the other team to just light up the front of the penalty box.

- Bring back the mini X. Itís a cool and interesting bunker that isnít too far-fetched for a modern set.

- Out of bounds should be lenient like soccer. Personally, if I were to write the rule, I would say as long as you have part of one foot inside the line, youíre good. Going out of bounds is a huge penalty and should have a lot of leeway especially since when youíre running and gunning or whatever, itís extremely difficult to run precisely.

- On the topic of penalties: I personally think penalties should be rarer and there should be more wiggle room. I donít think a player should be penalized if he asks for a check, doesnít shoot his gun, and the hit is a place that is difficult to see. I would say that pack hits should never be minors (besides dirty hangs). I think we should be looking to reduce penalties as much as possible to keep the game flowing.

- The NXL is already doing a good job with this having home/away jerseys, but I would take it a step further and mandate jersey designs. Sponsor patches need to be limited and the actual team name needs to be featured more on the jerseys. No single product names (TFX2, Spire3, etc.). Player numbers and names need to be more largely featured, since thatís the main way to identify players with covered faces. I know some people will disagree with this but as a very casual fan of soccer I canít stand watching a game and not being able to know what team the player is playing for because the jersey is too busy or the sponsor is the main thing featured. And frankly paintball doesnít have any sponsors that are big enough to demand that sort of space. Theyíre all paintball companies.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:45 PM #2
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Major changes:

- **** split deck! Itís fine for divisional play. Look I get it, you can get more teams in, you play more points on time, etc. Here are all the things that arenít good: you have less than a minute to talk about what just happened in the last point. It makes literally no sense from a presentation standpoint. Youíre basically giving the announcers 20 seconds to talk about what just happened, 20 seconds for analysis, and 20 seconds to re-introduce whatís happening with the next set. WHAT?? Can you imagine this on a real broadcast?? No, first of all because advertisers would never agree to this. Second, because it doesnít make sense. Paintball is an interesting sport because it has longer actual game times like basketball, but long downtimes like football. Football uses those downtimes to analyze strategy, anticipate whatís coming next, and just use it as overall commentary. Not to mention COMMERCIALS! Which brings us to the next pointÖ

- We need to go back to timed matches. I know, I know, theyíre expensive and take forever. But these are the pros weíre talking about here. Keep race-to for the divisions, it works great. A real TEAM sport absolutely 100% can NOT have a variable time limit to the end of the game. A variable time limit renders stats useless (more on this later). I mean I appreciate the NXL is keeping stats at all but kills per point? Um is there even a league average for the amount of points a player usually playsÖ? Obviously there is, but itís dependent on a lot of things, like the pace of which his team plays, the pace of the other team, how aggressive/conservative with the surrender buzzer their match is, if they tend to win in blow outs or close points, and SO MUCH CONTEXT!! Also their kills literally donít matter depending on how their team does. Itís the classic good stats/bad team guy argument. Michael carter Williams rookie of the year??? Same idea. Which brings us to the next pointÖ

- If you watch videos from seasons 10-13, youíll notice that there are a lot more moves, and those moves are bigger and more exciting. Well obviously this isnít because of a reduced rate of fire. Yes as a player I know itís much easier to run through a lane of 10.2 rather than a lane of 13.3. But once you think about it, itís really obvious as to why movement slowed down and as to why people complain about ďslow pointsĒ. First, points are not even that slow. The slowest team in 2014 was dynasty and their (garbage time adjusted) average point time was 1:23. If thatís too slow for you, then damn sorry you like some fast *** points. Most teams were in the 1:08 Ė 1:15 range and frankly thatís plenty fast for me. Ok, but back to the big moves. Why do people do make less of these big moves/move less in general? Iíd actually agree that a lower ROF makes it easier to make small moves. No argument from me there. Like <10 feet moves. But for those big run throughs and 3+ packs, itís a totally different reason.

- The biggest reason we need to go back to time matches is because it increases the margin of error for teams. With our current rules, there is too much opportunity cost to making a big move vs. playing more conservatively/technically when the score is not lopsided. We need to give teams a chance to go on runs. The more points that are available, the more likely a player will feel comfortable to take a chance on doing something big. A basketball analogy: if a player plays for a low pace team with less total possessions (points), like the Utah jazz for instance, there is more incentive to play methodically and make their shots count (pun intended). Where as a team like the Warriors, they have a high total amount of possessions, which empowers them to take a chance to make a homerun play, because they know they will have more possessions, for better or for worse. Strategy! Team identity!

- Not only that, but it will actually give some value to teams having a good bench! You canít play your starters every point, and it will be up to your bench/coaching to keep a lead or cut into it. Some teams will stagger their units, some teams will go full bench at a time. This is a great inflection point for fans to criticize their favorite teamís coaching decisions! Finally something tangible for us fans to ***** about.

- All national events (for at LEAST the pro field) should be on turf. Iím tired of watching events in mud. Itís ridiculous. I just played in NXL Vegas and some of the field was muddy and it didnít even rain. What is the argument for grass besides it saves money and is more convenient? Turf can be played in any weather, is clearly way safer (core samples?!?), doesnít deteriorate over a weekend, and most of all Ė doesnít reduce the athleticism of the players!! Ask yourself, what is more entertaining; a player exploding off the start box and sliding into dorito 4 - or a player struggling to get traction, running to their bunker, diving, and sliding 1 foot because they get stuck and crawl frantically to their spot. We ALL know how ****ty the second scenario is. Iím not even going to mention how ****ty it is to stick your barrel in the ground, having to literally unscrew it off and push your squeegee through it. Enough. Figure out a way to lay down turf for the pros.
a) Regional pro events (more on this later) should be able to have grass as their playing surface. Itís up to the team/field what surface they play on.
b) This would also solve the issue of the NXL apparently choosing to have rainy cities/dates as paintballís official weather choice.

General thoughts on the philosophy of competitive paintball:

- This is a huge bugaboo for me. More movement DOES NOT EQUAL more exciting to watch paintball!! Just my opinion, but people moving up the field because there is less paint in the air is not what makes paintball exciting. Paintball is exciting to me because of the strategy it takes to even make one bump. What makes those big moves so exciting isnít so much the actual move, but the anticipation and preparation that went into making that move. The skill of gunfighting to win the lane, the coordination of their 2 player, the timing to know when to take off and how much real estate to take.

People need to accept that paintball is NOT a fast sport, in a lot of ways that F1 is not a fast sport, despite them literally driving at 200 mph and taking corners and chicanes at 100 mph. The most exciting and compelling parts of F1 are seeing how much effort went into making that overtaking move and how much coordination it took to cut down a gap by 1.5 seconds to even make it possible.

Itís the same with paintball. There are not many moves in a single point. A lot of it is being patient and knowing when to strike without making mistakes. Then out of that slow morass emerges our superstars who seem to be able to move and shoot people despite all of that and force their will on a field.

- Big Paintball needs to take a page out of the NBA playbook and promote its stars. There are only 5 people playing on each side so each one has a tremendous impact on the outcome of every point. A superstar can completely change a team. Sorry to Kyle Spika, but EWING THEORY ANYONE?? Anyway, stars create narratives and narratives are compelling. Rivalries between players become rivalries between teams and now that upcoming match has even higher stakes. Paintball does not have enough history to use the teams as narratives (like Lakers v Celtics). The only one I can really say is a Ďclassicí match is Dyansty v Ironmen. There are Ďhistoricí teams, but they only make up about half the current pro circuit. Dyansty, Ironmen, Red/Russian Legion, X-Factor, NYX, Infamous, maybe Damage. Aftermath is a historic team, but not really as a pro team yet.

A) This goes along with the stats section below, but we need to have individual awards. There needs to be a season long MVP race. The golden barrel is a great start, that definitely should stick around and should probably be named after a founding father of paintball. There is nothing more fundamental than being the guy who gets the most kills at an event. We need MVP, OPOY, DPOY, 6th Man, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Coach of the Year, basically copy every NBA award. We also need All-NXL teams. Media (ha if we had any. Needs to be another body obviously) votes on the 15 best players of the season. 1st, 2nd, 3rd teams. These all need to largely based on who has the best stats, just like every other sport ever.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:45 PM #3
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- We need an all star game again. Iím not saying we need an all star weekend (although that would be AMAZING considering how casual paintball is). It should probably happen at Cup on Thursday in place of practice that day. Having fans vote for all stars is another point of interaction that makes everyone more invested in their favorite players and teams. This is the easiest thing to do and still doesnít even need a stats overhaul to include.

- There should be different regional divisions that hold small pro events in between each national event. These would still directly affect the overall points of each team. Worth less but still go towards their season total. It would be held over 2 days, round robin style, no playoffs or anything like that. Totally regular season paintball. Every team is assigned a Ďdayí as their Ďhome standí and gets to make the field layout. The days would cycle between teams as the season progresses, allowing each team in the division a chance at a day of Ďhome field advantageí. Teams could tailor these layouts to their strengths, similar to how each baseball field requires different strategies and changes how good some players are on it. The exact number for this would have to be fleshed out, but the whole idea around it is to create more chances for us to actually become fans of teams since weíll be watching them play more.

a) I understand these Ďregular seasoní events would become more like highly structured practices for teams, but including their results in the season point total is an incentive to take them seriously enough as any other sport takes its non-playoff games.
b) These need to held at actual paintball field to keep costs down and help promote the field. All the infrastructure is already there (plus some minor improvements to be sure) and basically all the teams would have to do is show up and play.
c) These should be free to attend. It would be fantastic to be able to just drive to a paintball field and see competitive pro games, especially for players who canít attend a national event to see them play. I canít stress how much I believe this would grow the sport. Thereís nothing like seeing players you admire and respect walking around the same area as you and playing at the same place you play. If any of you have watched pro-am basketball during the summer, it is ****ing incredible to see stars playing at your local gym and tearing it up.


- Paintballís Great White Buffalo: TV Ė Paintballís savior has always thought of as getting on tv. Sorry, but paintball is so far away from being ready from tv itís not even funny. Even if by some miracle from the sports gods we got on it, we would fumble the bag so badly by not knowing what to do with it. We have no stats, aging stars (I love all you guys dearly, but seriously, who are the future stars of our sport?), no historical context other than word of mouth and final scores.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:48 PM #4
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PiŤce De Rťsistance

STATS!!!!!!!!11


For the love of everything on this good green earth, we need more stats in our sport. I know itís expensive, time consuming, and tedious to do it all by hand since we donít have fancy spectrum cameras or anything remotely resembling that. I know how long it takes. Itís awful and unless youíre being paid a lot of money, you truly have to have a love of the game. But we need it. So so desperately.

There is literally no record of what happened in our beloved sportís history. Unless you were actually at an event and personally watched the game, there is no way to tell what happened. Itís all word of mouth unless that game happened to also be on gosports. ďOh yeah that game was awesome!Ē ďReally what happened??Ē ďUh well they played really well and kept smashing the other team!Ē ďÖ.Ē

Letís see how much deeper we can go just using a few more statsÖ

Back in college I took a bunch of team stats on the 2014 PSP season by hand. It took forever, but was really cool. Well that computer took a **** and I lost everything except one short article I wrote about Dynasty at the West Coast Open that year. Taking basic team stats can tell you what happened to them at that event. I would have loved to record individual lineup data as well, but that was even more time consuming because of how hard the camera angles available were and the announcers not saying every lineup (I didnít expect them to).

Anyway the reason Dyansty **** the bed at that event was because they committed a ton of penalties and were way slow when they scored points and they lost points quickly. They averaged 2.4 penalties a match, and every match had a player in the box for an average of 3 min 36 seconds. They played every match with 4 players for over 3 and half minutes. Thatís pretty nuts. Of their 6 matches, their opponents committed 3 penalties combined. So to say Dynasty played at a disadvantage would be an understatement.

They also only used their best breakout (sending Oliver ďGOATĒ Lang up the center) 9 times out of 45 total points played. When they used that breakout they won 6/9 points, with one being a time-out. A breakout with that much success you kind of have to run it until the wheels fall off especially since basically nothing else was working anyway.

Speaking of breakouts, they got destroyed off the break in their matches against Art Chaos and Houston Heat. They averaged 3.93 players alive off the break against AC, and 3.88 against HH. YIKES. They shot pretty well off the break for the whole event, averaging 0.53 kills OTB, but that clearly wasnít enough to make up the difference of them getting shredded at the buzzer and with their continuous penalties.

You can read the full write up HERE. Itís a short read, probably 5 minutes or less. I summarized most of it here anyway. edit: never mind, pbnation thinks the link is inappropriate.

So just with a few simple stats we can see what went into the meltdown of one team who historically has been consistently good. And you didnít have to watch it or be there to find out about it. In a perfect world, youíd be able to look at any event on ďpaintballreference.comĒ and find what youíre looking for. But alasÖ.

SO, confirmed kills is a start. But itís literally the absolute beginning of what we need. Itís like the first two cells dividing when life is starting.

Thank you for electing me the Paintball Czar, I will do my best to bring us into a renaissance and out of the dark ages. I will never bring back the wall, I am very anti-wall. Long live true force fed loaders. I donít get autocockers. The SL74 is the best gun ever made. Tall cakes are stupid. I will force GI to release a new vforce mask before I die.

Goodbye, stay safe and stay at home if you can. Iím lucky enough to be able to WFH and be bored af so here we are!!
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