Aight, here's some late night (or early morning) ramblings after an evening of reviewing the continuing crisis over the bubbles and the bailout I'm ratcheting things down to the level of paintball where the supreme stupidity and cupidity of the Keynesians and the criminals isn't going to cause a global "correction." (The only "good" thing is that a lot of that grostesquely leveraged debt along with billions upon billions of increasingly worthless greenbacks sit in foreign banks and was institutionalized by foreign governments which will mitigate the short term pain some.) Enough of that.
The likely effect of this economic upheaveal on competitive paintball isn't a net positive. (That's the sort of linguistic spin that when offered in a British accent [non-Cockney] implies massive understatement.) The tourney marketplace as a whole is going to experience decline pretty much across the board as may every other aspect of paintball. It begins to close the window on Pacific Paintball sooner than I previously expected and force some crucial decisions on them for '09. PSP will see around a 30% drop (at worst I hope) next year over the course of the season if it remains a national multi-divisional series. Now would be the time to buckle down and at least get the classification rules in order to make the league as user friendly as possible. If you thought sponsorship sucked this year just wait. If NASCAR sponsorship is suffering the environment is tightening. (That's a scary thing if you're hoping for a piece of that pie but it may also signal an opportunity if you know how to go get it.) The current business model standard is going to take a beating in '09 too. Even Eclipse. It's coming.
I'm beginning to think this would be a very propitious time to start making serious moves. Paintball needs to be positioned to deal with the short term and to take advantage of the long haul. I think all of us with no say in the matter support PBIndustry Standards & Practices as do some of PBIndustry. It's gotta happen and stick if paintball is going to get anywhere.
The other thing I'd like to see change is the fragmentation of paintball; tourney, rec, scenario, etc. Clearly everybody has different interests and reasons for playing their type of paintball and I'm not advocating a Hands Across the Speedball Field moment but as I'm in the mood for unifying around common purposes why not the players too?
I'm working on some ideas but if you've got an idea or three let's hear it.