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Old 10-31-2019, 08:16 AM #1
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NXL World Cup 2019 - team counts - is top level paintball growing or shrinking?

Dave Painter looked up some statistics for us to compare paid teams for the 2019 World Cup vs last year.



We will see if 192 is the final Xball count or if more teams actually made it in. Either way, that's up from last year. 5-man count is also up.

Noel Tran went one step further and compared every event of every full year of the NXL (2015 only had 3 NXL events) to measure growth.

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Old 10-31-2019, 08:27 AM #2
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:52 AM #3
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Interesting, while I'm certainly glad to level seems to be doing well I'm much more concerned about the sort of middle level, regular players that don't necessarily have tournament aspirations but do own equipment. I feel like there will always be rental groups and tournament players but the in-between... I'm more worried about
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:08 AM #4
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Not sure if possible, but is there data available to compare number of active players event to event or year over year?

Just to give more insight. Overall team numbers appear to be trending upward, but what can't be seen is the team sizes? It seems like teams have gone from needing 10+ guys (5-10 years ago) to really only needing 6-7 to run an xball squad now. Not sure if this has skewed the numbers by ultimately requiring more teams for the limited playing spots.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:30 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trogdor444 View Post
Not sure if possible, but is there data available to compare number of active players event to event or year over year?

Just to give more insight. Overall team numbers appear to be trending upward, but what can't be seen is the team sizes? It seems like teams have gone from needing 10+ guys (5-10 years ago) to really only needing 6-7 to run an xball squad now. Not sure if this has skewed the numbers by ultimately requiring more teams for the limited playing spots.
It would probably be interesting to see how many players return after one event as well as new players every event or every year and see if that number is going up.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:40 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1rage View Post
Interesting, while I'm certainly glad to level seems to be doing well I'm much more concerned about the sort of middle level, regular players that don't necessarily have tournament aspirations but do own equipment. I feel like there will always be rental groups and tournament players but the in-between... I'm more worried about
100%. But thatís not really the NXLís responsibility to grow recball groups that own their own equipment. However, if those groups were also growing the way the NXL has grown, then we would be in much better shape as an industry.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:58 AM #7
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Just curious how does that compare the the Disney years, 2003 or 2004? I remember getting down there on a Sunday afternoon and playing Monday through Sunday. If I remember right 5-man was Monday-Wednesday and 10-man/Xball was Thursday-Sunday.
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:16 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
Just curious how does that compare the the Disney years, 2003 or 2004? I remember getting down there on a Sunday afternoon and playing Monday through Sunday. If I remember right 5-man was Monday-Wednesday and 10-man/Xball was Thursday-Sunday.
2003 WC was the first year of divisional X-ball. I played D3 that year, and I remember the team count being much smaller. It certainly felt smaller than 2002 the last year of 10 man. But things seem much bigger now.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:30 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trogdor444 View Post
Not sure if possible, but is there data available to compare number of active players event to event or year over year?

Just to give more insight. Overall team numbers appear to be trending upward, but what can't be seen is the team sizes? It seems like teams have gone from needing 10+ guys (5-10 years ago) to really only needing 6-7 to run an xball squad now. Not sure if this has skewed the numbers by ultimately requiring more teams for the limited playing spots.
THIS is also what I'd like to know...

On a side note, with nearly 30 teams playing in D1, I think it's time to make a true Semi-Pro division again

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Old 10-31-2019, 12:11 PM #10
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100%. But thatís not really the NXLís responsibility to grow recball groups that own their own equipment. However, if those groups were also growing the way the NXL has grown, then we would be in much better shape as an industry.
I think passing the responsibility buck is the wrong way to think about this. NXL benefits from more recball groups because that means more players filtering into the competitive leagues, more eyeballs on the events, and more potential for sponsors. If NXL can grow recball, it's in their interest to do so.

Compare to Google. They primarily make money off selling ads in search. (Or at least did, they're bigger and have their hands in more places now) Because of this, connecting more people to the internet, and keeping the internet open benefits them. So they went and invested in both of those things - Google fiber, lobbying for net neutrality, etc. It wasn't a matter of responsibility, just good business sense.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:03 PM #11
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:18 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laysomepaint View Post
I think passing the responsibility buck is the wrong way to think about this. NXL benefits from more recball groups because that means more players filtering into the competitive leagues, more eyeballs on the events, and more potential for sponsors. If NXL can grow recball, it's in their interest to do so.

Compare to Google. They primarily make money off selling ads in search. (Or at least did, they're bigger and have their hands in more places now) Because of this, connecting more people to the internet, and keeping the internet open benefits them. So they went and invested in both of those things - Google fiber, lobbying for net neutrality, etc. It wasn't a matter of responsibility, just good business sense.
Lol. Comparing a small niche sports league to Google is a big reach.

The NXL is a TINY part of paintball. Asking them to make a big impact where only 1 out of 1,000 players will ever play in their league is a stretch.

Now if we are talking about GI Sportz, Valken, APX or any paintball manufacturer, I would agree completely. Even gear manufacturers have more of an obligation to try to build recball than the NXL. The NXL might be more visible to players like you but they hardly can lead the way when it comes to growing recball.

They NXL can (and do) lead the way when it comes to things like safety. NXL events are better about goggles worn than just about any field I have ever played at. They also chrono more often. They also enforce goggles being worn to the ASTM standard they are tested (chin straps - not modified).

I can also see the NXL trying to build up local leagues.
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:21 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legacy View Post
Just curious how does that compare the the Disney years, 2003 or 2004? I remember getting down there on a Sunday afternoon and playing Monday through Sunday. If I remember right 5-man was Monday-Wednesday and 10-man/Xball was Thursday-Sunday.
You can probably pull some of that information from Warpig:
http://www.warpig.com/paintball/tour...up/index.shtml
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:08 AM #14
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No disrespect to Noel Tran for running the numbers, but his percentages are off for growth/decline. The true numbers are actually better.

% growth(or decline) = (new-old)/old... Looks like he was using
(new-old)/new

For example, total team growth from 2016->2019 went from 647->739... so...

(739-647)/647 = 14.2% total team growth for xball, not 12.4%.

5 man saw a 31.6% increase from 2016->2019, not 24.0%.

Just figured *someone* was going to go running around touting the team growth....might as well have accurate information. And as a math teacher, I can't let this slide! :-)

As a follow up, I would also be interested to know how many unique players are at the events over the years. Team sizes mostly affect things such as ID fees collected, and the potential economic impact in the vendor booths.

I like how the events have done a better job of catering to players/teams who aren't playing on Sunday by providing them other formats to continue playing. I still think there is room for growth there, though.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:20 AM #15
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Lol. Comparing a small niche sports league to Google is a big reach.

The NXL is a TINY part of paintball. Asking them to make a big impact where only 1 out of 1,000 players will ever play in their league is a stretch.

Now if we are talking about GI Sportz, Valken, APX or any paintball manufacturer, I would agree completely. Even gear manufacturers have more of an obligation to try to build recball than the NXL. The NXL might be more visible to players like you but they hardly can lead the way when it comes to growing recball.

They NXL can (and do) lead the way when it comes to things like safety. NXL events are better about goggles worn than just about any field I have ever played at. They also chrono more often. They also enforce goggles being worn to the ASTM standard they are tested (chin straps - not modified).

I can also see the NXL trying to build up local leagues.
The comparison to Google was just an illustration, don't focus on the details too much .

The point is "obligation" doesn't matter. What matters is, if there is anything the NXL can do to grow paintball, it's in their best interests to do so. If they can help local fields grow, whether it's their obligation or not, that seems like a good long term strategy for them. I said "if" because I don't know what they can and can't do - i.e. what their budget is, or what options they have. Maybe there's nothing they can really do, I don't know. But their obligations are beside the point.

The same goes for PE, Valken, GI, etc. I don't mean to single NXL out. You're right that these companies are more likely to see an immediate return from growing recball. I just don't think that thinking in terms of who has the obligation is productive.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:14 AM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taggearpaintball View Post
No disrespect to Noel Tran for running the numbers, but his percentages are off for growth/decline. The true numbers are actually better.

% growth(or decline) = (new-old)/old... Looks like he was using
(new-old)/new

For example, total team growth from 2016->2019 went from 647->739... so...

(739-647)/647 = 14.2% total team growth for xball, not 12.4%.

5 man saw a 31.6% increase from 2016->2019, not 24.0%.

Just figured *someone* was going to go running around touting the team growth....might as well have accurate information. And as a math teacher, I can't let this slide! :-)

As a follow up, I would also be interested to know how many unique players are at the events over the years. Team sizes mostly affect things such as ID fees collected, and the potential economic impact in the vendor booths.

I like how the events have done a better job of catering to players/teams who aren't playing on Sunday by providing them other formats to continue playing. I still think there is room for growth there, though.
whoops! I've shamed myself with that error. I should've known better too.

Correcting now. Thanks!

Although, Dave Painter was the one touting growth. I was just trying to put some numbers in perspective. It just so happens to support his belief. If it hurt his argument, I still would have posted it (or just sent it to him privately).

I, actually, think they need less teams.
More teams means they need more land.
More land means they are limiting themselves more for venue locations if they want to continue to find locations within a couple hours of an airport.

They need to hire, if they don't have anyone already, someone with a strong marketing background to find sponsors and alternatives to revenue IF they want to grow the sport

Growing the sport doesn't mean growing team participation at NXL to me.
Growing the sport, to me, means making it financially easier for people and making it something that people want to play and watch. You want more people participating overall but you don't need the highest levels of the sport growing in the sense that you need more teams. You just need to increase the player pool.

Whoever can bring in the most outside money should get paid the most.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:32 PM #17
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Quote:
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Lol. Comparing a small niche sports league to Google is a big reach.

The NXL is a TINY part of paintball. Asking them to make a big impact where only 1 out of 1,000 players will ever play in their league is a stretch.

Now if we are talking about GI Sportz, Valken, APX or any paintball manufacturer, I would agree completely. Even gear manufacturers have more of an obligation to try to build recball than the NXL. The NXL might be more visible to players like you but they hardly can lead the way when it comes to growing recball.

They NXL can (and do) lead the way when it comes to things like safety. NXL events are better about goggles worn than just about any field I have ever played at. They also chrono more often. They also enforce goggles being worn to the ASTM standard they are tested (chin straps - not modified).

I can also see the NXL trying to build up local leagues.
I think where the NXL can come in handy with growing paintball is to be a driving force that can gather all the manufacturers together and steer the ship in a sense.

The NXL in theory could propose a marketing campaign that they run and manage to target new players. If they do it before or after an event would depend on them. But basically someone needs to start getting paintball companies to market the sport to an outside group as something to spend their extra time and money on compared to something like video games.

Paintball is really a small niche industry, so by bringing in more people as a total industry would help everyone out. Instead of fighting to gain a small percentage of the same market share year after year you convince outside people to spend less of their free money somewhere else and put it into paintball instead.

A good example of this is the explosion of indoor climbing gyms. They used to be marketed strictly to climbers as a way to train for that next climb, and they were just fighting to try and gain more of the market in a small community. But once they started going outside of climbing and marketing it as a alternative to a standard gym, people who had never climbed outdoors and possibly never will started showing up in droves. The went outside of the small circle and instead of competing with the climbing gym across town decided to take on LA fitness and those types of companies.
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Old 03-03-2020, 04:36 PM #18
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How we looking for 2020 ?

I have not seen the usual post about team count for the upcoming Vegas event
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Old 03-04-2020, 05:16 AM #19
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Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes you are the windshield sometimes you are the bug.

I can't speak about the NXL but the Mechanical league has gotten a lot more guys back into tournament play. That should be figured into the totals somehow.
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Old 03-04-2020, 06:12 AM #20
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Ballsdeep has got the right idea. So basically, within the confines of paintball, this sport is as big as it’s going to get. In order to grow the sport, we need to think about outside sponsors. Maybe it’s time we stop asking where we are being driven to, and start doing the driving. Reach out to companies like redbull, monster, rvca, Nike, basically anybody who does alternative sports/lifestyle. If nothing else get them to look this way. I say it all the time, skateboarding was just hippies in an empty pool, then corporate got involved and now it’s an industry that tours the world, sells out shows, and sells millions of skateboards.
Tell me it wouldn’t be sick to see two rival corporate structures finance a pro team and battle it out?
McDonald’s vs Burger King?
Pepsi vs coke?
Monster vs redbull?
Guys guys guys, Miller vs bud?
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:30 AM #21
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I have not seen the usual post about team count for the upcoming Vegas event
I typically post those on Facebook (and have). However, life is busy and the Vegas post only happened after registration closed. This year they had 1 less xball team then last year (114 vs 115) excluding the pro teams and roughly 30% more 5-man teams (58 vs 45).

The more powerful message (at least for me) was the growth in the lower xball divisions.
D3: (2020) 37 vs (2019) 34
D4: (2020) 31 vs (2019) 21

5-man all division: (2020) 58 vs (2019) 45

The growth in the lower divisions and 5-man tells me that we have newer players coming up to replace the aging population of higher divisional players. Which hopefully means long term sustainability.
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