There's a thread in the PSP forum over at the Nation dealing with D1 players looking for places to play. Since that is a red flag issue for me I was gonna jump in with both feet--but decided not to. Not because I've changed my mind about the PSP classification rules or because somebody came up with a great argument I hadn't thought of. What held me back was some confusing if very incomplete data. It looks, on first blush, as if last year's D2 as a whole has largely disappeared. Of course some or even many of last year's teams may simply not be playing Phoenix but I limited my comparison list to teams that played at least 3 events last year and so far you can count them on one hand. What I mean is I was looking for D2 teams that stayed D2 and are registered for Phoenix. (I'll go back a few years and see what the numbers suggest about an expected rate of continuity sometime soon. Anecdotally it seems like more teams have carried over one year to the next in much greater numbers than early data for '09 projects. Not a good thing.)
Anyway, the case I was going to make was twofold; 11 (or 12) teams had rosters reclassed D1 by this year's classification rules and so far 4 of them have made the move to D1 with some TPA players moving to Status. That leaves 6 (or 7) rosters of D1 players on the outs. The second point is that a team like Zero Tolerance (the former team of some of the players in the thread) played all 5 events last year and finished: 8th, 11th, 10th, 11th and 11th and fit the classification criteria to be moved to D1 on those results. No disrespect to that team or those players but in no rational merit-based competitive environment is that a D1 team and those players D1 players (except in the PSP where they are attempting to repopulate the divisions with lower skill levels.)
What I can't say (for now) is that any of these players would have continued playing if they'd been left in D2 where they belong but if the player base is trending toward greater and faster turnover that is another reason for the league to focus on stability and continuity instead of the current restructuring scheme. Anyway, same old, same old.
I'll sign off with a question for you to ponder: Who (or what) is the future of competitive paintball if we're putting kids on a 2 - 4 year cycle from start to finish? And where did the team captains, leaders and organizers of today come from? Hint: these are, to my mind anyway, related questions. (And ones I'll be dealing with sometime soon.)
Update: Countdown is C minus 2 and counting.