Is it just me or does anyone else see this move as the closest thing to waving the white flag you can do without actually surrendering?
Does anybody know a Frenchman we can ask? (Relax, it was just a joke. Why some of my best friends are French.)
It's not news that the NPPL is struggling to fill the lower division ranks. Nor is it news that in a lot of ways the country is divided by format preferences. But does the NPPL really think their core problem is a declining number of 7-man teams? Or the cost of competing as a 7-man squad? What apparently remains news to the NPPL is that the way they are presenting their product is no longer attracting customers. Or that they run two leagues that are competing with each other for the same teams. That's right up there along with starting a land war in Asia as an historic bad idea.
Beyond that 5-man is not a gateway game to 7-man. 5-man in the PSP plays a derivative of Xball and in virtually every way leads naturally from 5-man Xball into Xball. This move leaves the NPPL competing with the PSP for 5-man teams without (so far) addressing the sources of their ongoing ennui in a lopsided contest in which the bulk of 5-man teams are more and more likely to be xball oriented. Sure, I realize the idea is to try and guide 5-man teams toward 7-man instead of just conceding that ground but the transition isn't nearly as clean as it is for PSP and the other significant problem I foresee is peeps in the lower division brackets being unhappy with the pricing disparity. After all, 7-man is only two more players and while there may be reasonable answers it's still gonna be harder to rebut than the distinction between 5-man and xball.
Or, you know, I could be completely wrong.
One bit of advice--don't try the stakeholder speech on the 5-man kids. Just because they're playing 5-man doesn't mean they're idiots.