Over in Euroland the Grand Tour's Warsaw event is less than two weeks out and there are currently 40 teams registered. This is an improvement over last week but still probably a disappointing turnout for the new league. However, if they do a bang up job, coupled with the MS's recent woes, who knows what the turnout might be at future events? Interestingly, 6 of the 9 teams in the pro division are MS pro & semi-pro teams. (Hey, maybe more, my eyes aren't what they used to be.)
Btw, if anyone takes any pictures of the event VFTD would like to see them.
Staying in Euroland the only official word from the MS so far seems to be Mr. Barry Fuggle's statement brushing off any league culpability for the Fiasco in Malaga while assuring one and all that the new inflatable fields were the greatest things since the Euro. (Okay, maybe not better than the Euro, but close for sure.) (If your sarcasm alert went off it is in perfect working order. If not you might want to have it checked.) No telling how Malaga will impact future events but the Bitburg event is scheduled for the weekend of May 29-31 which is less than a month away. The locked division team numbers are set (although D1 is down one to 27) and so far D2 & M5 (D3) each have 4 teams registered. If registration lags (Is Bitburg usually the least will attended anyway?) will it be because of Malaga?
Rumors of a national 7-man league in the U.S. were apparently exaggerated. (That was more irony, I think, than sarcasm.) The USPL wisely put off the DC Challenge but in the process have put themselves in a virtual make or break situation when it comes to the upcoming but unofficially unannounced as of yet San Jose or Bay City Open. (And if you are wondering how it's possible to name an unannounced event, it's not easy, but here at VFTD the impossible just takes a little longer.) With a revised schedule of 4 national events and the new 2nd event of the season in Cali this event will need to be both a paintball and financial success. So far the league's website offers no additional information about the proposed venue or date. (But it's gotta be June, doesn't it? And doesn't that cause pro teams in both leagues some concerns? It does me. Fortunately, I'm not running a national league.) (For those scoring at home that was flippant.)
UPDATE: USPL announces second event date of July 24-26 at SC Village in Corona Cali. Apparently, it didn't have to be in June but I confess I'm now scratching my head over when the third event will be now--the rescheduled DC Challenge.
The USPL is also starting to toss around the old NPPL brand name perhaps to see if it still has any traction with the tourney community. It looks more like a lodestone to me but you could reasonably (not really) see things differently.
Meanwhile, the PSP just completed what must be considered a successful event at the MAO despite the fact total team numbers were down over last year and the vendor presence continues to be thin--though that is likely to be the case for the foreseeable future. MAO '09 numbers were a match for Phoenix '09 numbers. Overall Phoenix was up over '08, MAO was down but only by about 10%. The last couple of Chitown events have been 230+ teams. So far only the PSP appears to be on track although there have been rumors swirling around about the lack of a date and location for World Cup which has, in recent years, been a Disney and central Florida autumn staple. Regardless the PSP stands today as the only solid international league. Putting the PSP head and shoulders above the rest is the amazing quality and professionalism of the webcast project. (The Eurokids might object and claim their TV show is superior because of its reach and that's a fair point. The question is though will the webcast or the show eventually prove the more effective vehicle for promoting and mainstreaming paintball.)
Being a glass half empty kind of guy I'm not seeing the major league season as being a rousing success just yet. In fact, it's staggering like a Brit kicked out of the last bar of the night too drunk to fall into the curb. Okay, maybe not quite that bad but come on, you can't say things are going swimmingly. Still, they're going and that's something. Right?