Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Major League Paintball Held Hostage: Weekly Update

Welp, the PSP is going on hiatus--oops, jumped the gun on that one. The hiatus comes after Chitown. There were speculations early in the year that PSP was contemplating sanctioning (organizing?) some regional events in place of the fourth event and the open schedule from June to Cup added credence to the idea. But so far nary a hint or a whisper and if the league is actually gonna do some regional gimmick it needs to let everybody know pretty soon--otherwise who is gonna show up? I don't know about y'all but thanks, in part, to the exceedingly poor timing by the MS in declaring Paris an open event and then scheduling it less than a week after Chicago I'm going to Costa Rica during the PSP summer hiatus.
Meanwhile we's seven or so weeks out and registration for Chitown is -- not yet open. And in late breaking news the new PSP website still sucks.

The freshly restructured USPL (but we could be the NPPL if you'd like that better) is now counting on the West Coast Open in July to set their course for success. It's too early to look at numbers though there are 20-something teams signed up which (fingers crossed) I take as a positive sign. The league is also offering some serious discounts for early payment--pay in May. As always it will come down to who pays and in the next two months both the WCPPL and RPL will have run events that could cut into USPL turnout. At this point it's a waiting game.

Apparently the MS is telling the Eurokids don't worry, be happy as the pending German legislation to ban paintball will not affect the Bitburg (Germany) event come the end of May. And while you're at it come out in great numbers to show the politicians what a swell sport paintball really is--'cus right now nobody who doesn't have to be in Germany is signing up for our event. The MS website currently lists 7 registered teams in D2 & M5, the only unlocked divisions in Series play.
No word on whether the spectator unfriendly new inflatable field enclosure will be used at Bitburg. There is finally word though on how the unplayed matches and results from Malaga will be made up. Some of the missed matches will be played at Bitburg (come on down early, like Thursday, if you're in the neighborhood) and the rest, including the finals, will be played in Paris at the next event. This means, among other things, that roster restrictions will apparently be loosened and that scheduling will be based on the reading of tea leaves or tarot cards depending on your team's preference. (I made up that last bit. The important part is that schedules won't be based on results 'cus there are no results.) For a look at the latest statement issued to the teams by the MS go here.

Our weekly tour now concludes with the Grand Tour central conference event in Poland scheduled for this weekend. Looks like the event will have 40 teams. I don't know if this is good or bad but past events have apparently done considerably better. It also appears the current lack of interest from lower division teams in playing Bitburg didn't translate into extra numbers for Warsaw. Funny (ironic) how most of the concern going into this season was how U.S. top tourney ball would be affected but so far it seems to be Euroball taking the biggest hits.

UPDATE: Big stuff coming on Friday, slackers. The Ultimate Paintball Conspiracy. The plan to revive the industry.


Mike said...

Costa Rica is amazzzinggg.

anonachris said...

Euro ball is taking some big hits, and what is funny, if you talk to everyone in the industry people seem very confident that European will weather "the financial crisis" much better than the US. Either these people are all in for a huge shock shortly, or something is serious wrong with the Millennium in that paintball in Europe is strong and no one wants anything to do with the Mil.

I'd like to believe it's just the Mill. But I'm thinking the old saying when the US sneezes Europe catches a cold still applies.

raehl said...

Competitive paintball is not paintball. At best, competitive paintball is a very-much-lagging indicator of general paintball participation, as the kids who play paintball for the first time show up on the paintball field later, and on the national paintball field years later.

Decline in tournament paintball can be tied to decline in recreational paintball years ago, along with decline in sponsorship now. And as hard as the sponsorship decline has hit the US, I think it's hit Europe even harder.

Putting RPL in the same category as USPL and WCPPL is ludicrous. RPL is entry-level 3-man and 5-man. WCPPL/USPL are higher-level 7-man. Totally different crowds.

Baca Loco said...

Since you failed to notice, raehl faction, the USPL is actively courting 5-man teams having come to the late realization that maybe, just maybe, there aren't enough 7-man teams to keep them going. And in the 5-man market price, then prizes is king so however ludicrous it seems to you the RPL could, and probably will, take teams away from the USPL.

anonachris said...

Anyone have a guess what % of teams are subsidized with sponsorship that actually costs the industry something (ie sponsorship that is not just a dealer price discount)?

In other words, what % of teams are actually paying their own way?

raehl said...


If USPL were offering a D4 or D5 5-man, you might have something, but near as I can tell, RPL is after the very-low level intro tournament player, and USPL is not. And if you don't buy that argument on skill, no matter, just look at pricing: USPL 5-man entry fee starts at $950, and RPL 5-man pricing starts as $0, as long as you wait until a couple days before the event and offer to pad Shawn's attendance numbers.


Half of the Pro teams, on a good weekend. For everyone else, as of yesterday, it's dealer pricing and/or field sponsorships - either directly, or thorough allocation of the field's paint "rebate" to the tournament team.

And even on the dealer pricing front, most if not all of the manufacturers are forcing teams to go through dealers to get dealer pricing. So if you can find a dealer to resell their stuff to you at no margin, you can call that a sponsorship, but if not, then not.

Anonymous said...

wow MS looks like its really slacking and also hurting on the delayed Malaga matches, delaying all the way to Paris.