This isn't the big finish either. Obviously. (But it's still coming.)
Having been frightened out of my wits when the jack-booted thugs of tourney ball bashed my door down in the middle of the night and threatened to, you know, be really upset with me if I didn't knock it off I promised to make everything right. So that's why I'm giving y'all the PSP side of things.
Naw. Not really. It's one thing to disagree with people over a particular policy and another thing to ascribe heartless and evil motives to the people responsible for the disputed policy. I don't think (and have never thought) the PSP guys were laughing over displacing orphans or putting widows on the street. It's a caricature of reality. Among other things, now more than ever, they need and want as many peeps as possible playing their game. Nobody is maliciously pushing people away.
What the PSP has been doing in increments is trying to restructure how the divisions function and who populates those divisions. They started on that course awhile ago with the hope it would ultimately provide a stable future for the game and allow a more seamless integration with local/regional leagues. Back last July when I was going on about D1's status as the odd division out and what it meant to D1 ranked players I made a couple of suggestions. I suggested the addition of a D4 xball and/or a semi-pro/open bracket to address some of the issues I thought were problems. I am not for a second saying the PSP was paying any attention to our happy little blog–only that they too saw a situation they thought could be improved upon and they tried to make things better. Are trying to make things better. The D3/D4 Intro addresses the uncertainty of the transitional players coming into the league by providing an opportunity to experience the format without ranking/classification repercussions–and that is a good thing. Semi-pro addressed the issue of how to accommodate the most experienced players without being unfair to the up-and-comers–again, a good thing. The fact that there have been some unexpected bumps along the road and that other issues have arisen is simply (and unfortunately) the way it's turned out so far, not part of some scheme.
I think it's fair to criticize (or raise questions or pursue dialogue) when substantive issues are potentially at stake but I also think it's important to acknowledge the positives and remember that we are all in this thing together.
The PSP now has a divisional structure that I think can be the framework from which all competitive paintball can align. As I mentioned to one of the PSP guys yesterday in a related context the devil is in the details. What's the best way to get the results everybody wants? It's a process and not always a happy or a pretty one.
Next time (for real 'cus I'm almost as tired of this subject as all y'all are) I'll close it out with some alternative ideas.