Friday, May 15, 2009

The Ultimate Paintball Conspiracy

Ever wonder how PBIndustry plans to change their current economic struggle? Did you expect they would simply tighten their belts, hold on and hope to ride out the hard times? Rumor is starting to coalesce and whispers are escaping from windowless smoke-filled rooms. Personally I don't think even the paintball industry has the brass cojones necessary to pull this one off but the best conspiracy is the one nobody believes could possibly be true, right? Interestingly, this isn't anything new. The idea has been around for some time but has lately become a front burner topic and there are some big players in the loop.

Some of you will object to the term, conspiracy. After all, corporations in other fields aren't in the habit of doing business in the public square either. Just so, but if the course under discussion is adopted it will demand a nearly unified front and prearranged agreements. At a minimum that could be called collusion and when you discover the target of this plan I suspect most of you will agree that "conspiracy" just scratches the surface. Do I have your attention yet? Funny thing is the word has already leaked onto the paintball internet (and beyond) but the few who have commented don't seem to understand all the ramifications.

One simple move, if accepted industry-wide, could lay the groundwork overnight for an enormous change that could reinvigorate a massive chunk of the industry. (Of course, somebody will have to pay a price.)
Let's call the plan the .50 Caliber Solution.
That's it. That's all there is to it. A brand, spanking new paintball as the accepted industry-wide standard. (It may not actually be .50 caliber but that is number bandied about most of the time.) Doesn't sound like much at first, does it?
Focus first on the necessities if there were a new paintball and then on the possibilities.

No, VFTD has not morphed into a fringe whacko black helicopter NWO site. (I do that one over at And it may be the idea doesn't get any further than some quiet conversation or a trial balloon or two before it disappears. Who knows? But Dale over at The Ford Report references the rumor along with a not-exactly-a-denial denial "...There's another rumor flying about that ProCaps is leading the charge to force a changeover to .50 caliber paintballs. Romanian Terminator Sorin Voinea of ProCaps thinks this is hysterical ..." in yesterday's latest edition of The Ford Report. Hey, he said it, not me.

Let's What If? starting with paint. A smaller paintball is materially cheaper to produce, package, and most importantly, to ship. The margins that are killing paint manufacturers saddled with debt suddenly provide more profit at the same prices. In a market with a flat player base and glutted with perfectly good used guns capable of new gun performance how do you turn sales around? A .68 caliber breach and bore gun and barrel won't be much use shooting a dramatically different sized paintball, will it? Perhaps hoppers wouldn't need to be changed but who can doubt retrofit internals to maximize performance wouldn't be a part of the change over? Would every pair of goggles need a new lense manufactured to a different standard because of the decreased impact area? I don't know but I can easily see it happening. How's that for a start? New paint, new guns, new barrels--lots of new stuff. Beginning to see the brave new paintball world that features a new universal paintball standard?

Sure, there are obstacles but desperate times call for desperate measures and if you do not believe these are desperate times for some of the manufacturers you're head has been buried in the sand. Most of the complication--assuming all the major players end up in agreement--is in how to work the transition period and how to sell it to you, Joe Paintballer. My guess is cheaper and safer with a 'for the good of the game' thrown in for good measure.

Impossible? Overblown? Just plain crazy? Probably, but the talk inside the industry is for real. At this point I guess the next big question is--will they actually pull the trigger on the .50 caliber solution?


Don Saavedra said...

Can we hear from the free-market libertarians about why this just won't fly?

SSRoman said...

Baca, what do you think about the XO buyout?

Baca Loco said...

You're gonna need to start by finding a free market first.

XO was for sale for a while. Why KEE chose to do it now? Wasn't opportunity though it may have been price but it's a continuation of a policy of consolidation as the Big Two remove other pieces from the board.

sdawg said...

Wouldn't it be a disaster for any business or manufacturer holding an inventory of (very expensive) paintball equipment designed for .68 caliber paint?

Baca Loco said...

There is an extended transition period of 2 to 3 years contemplated to ease into the change over.

PBIndustry Insider said...


There will be definitely a "transfer" period, during which both calibers will exist side by side, giving more than enough time for any business or manufacturer to make the changeover.

Also remember, when you start in paintball the caliber of the marker you buy is completely irrelevant to you as a customer.

SSRoman said...

i would like to go the other way. paintball manufactureds start making 1.0 caliber paintballs, and charging the same price for less paintballs. im out of advantages for this strategy....

anonachris said...

Nope. You're forgetting the paint guys will end up where they are now. After they retool, investments are made in new guns, throwing away vast quantities of inventory, etc. etc. china companies and other paint companies will discount their paint taking the lower cost of production.

So the paint companies will get a temporary profit boost, which will erode away as soon as competitors drop their prices to gain market share (and why wouldn't you if your production costs were lower).

The interesting thing is... 50cal is probably better. How many more paintballs can you carry? Or how much smaller could your hopper be? How much lighter? How many more shots per tank? And for you cheaters, how easier will it to be to wipe the hit with less fill inside?

Hmmmm... so let's see, all those benefits and you only have to buy a new gun, barrel, hopper. And you're gonna do that anyway in a year. I can't believe I'm actually in favor of the switch.

Reiner Schafer said...

So are we upping the velocity limit to make up for the stronger nature of a smaller sphere, or are we going to make more fragile shells? Or just suffer wilh more bounces?

If we up the velocity, then that negates the "less pain" marketing scheme quite a bit.

Ability to carry more paintballs? Damn, I hope that's not a reason for wanting this change.

Less likely to see hits. Cheaters will love that, others will hate it. It will make cheating that much easier. That definitely has a negative impact on things. Those frustrated by cheaters now, wil be more frustrated.

I'm not sold on the idea.

The little engine that could said...

Long term benefactors of the change:
-Equipment manufacturers
-Dealers (lower cost of shipping per ball)

Short term benefactors
-Paintballs' manufacturers (there's too much potential for them to fuck it up because of a price war)

Who pays for it:
- Players
- Field Owners

Tom said...

Reiner is right on the money. .50 cal. balls out of the old 3357 revolvers wouldn't break on anything that wasn't a rock or a tree.

300 fps(actually 325...which was rounded down for safety) was the chosen limit for .68 cal. because it equaled 10 foot pounds of force. The .62 cal. limit was 425 fps to equal that same 10 foot pounds. I don't remember what it was for .50 cal.

.62 cal. balls hurt significantly more and bounced quite often even at 300 fps.

chad said...

couldn't we just put less paint in each ball? maybe we would need a filler, obviously something lighter, though, to have lighter paintballs.

Is it the size that sucks to ship, or the weight, or both?

raehl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
raehl said...

Baca has gone off his rocker. Converting to a smaller caliber is going to be massively expensive for all parties involved for the sole benefit of having exactly what we have now, except the paint is worse. Not to mention that the expense is borne by one group (the paint manufacturers) while the one-time "benefit" goes to another group (the gun manufacturers) which are generally not the same companies.

This just illustrates another hallmark characteristic of a 'conspiracy' - it makes no sense.

PBIndustry Insider said...

raehl faction, your assesment is right on the money, the only problem is this is indeed talked about in the windowless smoked rooms where the industry's overlords gather to decide the fate of the world...

anonachris said...

Carry more paint -or- have a smaller hopper, smaller equipment.

I think the trend would be to make it so you can have a smaller hopper and a smaller gun. Smaller bolt, smaller regulator.

You could have the same size bottle and get more shots, or a smaller bottle and get the same amount of shots.

Across the board it would actually have a lot of potential.

And please, the 3357 crapshooter looked awesome, but the faults were in the paint manufacturing, not the size of the ball. Anyone that has actually played at a tournament knows for a fact the manufacturers have no problem of making paint brittle! Just count the number of cases left with bags open in the sun to make it more resilient/rubbery.

I don't believe it would happen, but actually I think this is one conspiracy nearly everyone would be better off for.

Like I said, you're gonna buy a new gun/hopper anyway. :)

Reiner Schafer said...

I'm not a physicist, but isn't a lighter paintball less likely to fly straight (at least on the rock we live on) and not as far (without increasing velocity dramatically)?

From a playing persopective)(leaving the business/conspiracy theory out of this for a moment) the only advantage I see is smaller ligher equipment (which admittedly is appealing). But I see several disadvantages. These disadvantages will make the game more frustrating and less fun. In the end, most paintball players are playing paintball for entertainment and enjoyment. The talk the last few years has been about how th aindustry is hurting because the game has become less fun for many of our citizens. Now we are talking about shifting over to something that is less fun. For us to market this game, the product needs to be fun. The conspirators had better remember that fundamental fact before they get too deep into (what major change can we institute so we can sell more gear and save a little on shipping costs.

If the cost of shipping is such a big issue, raise the price of a case of paintballs to compensate for it. Consumers will adjust. I sell paintballs to rec. players for $120 to $160/case and have no problems attracting customers. The average field selling paintballs for $50/case isn't going to affect anything at all at $51/case due to increased shipping costs. If manufacturers don't think they can do that because the paintball market is too competitive, what makes them think changing the caliber of the balls is going to change that? Maybe I'm just too simple minded.

Baca Loco said...

raehl faction
You need to pick your shots better--but you'd know that if you actually played the game. (See how that works?) I may be crazy but I'm not the one seriously considering doing this--just the guy telling you about it.

chad said...

boom, roasted.

raehl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
raehl said...

But Baca, if only players can have an opinion, who is going to write your blog?

Or does Professional Pit Crew count?

Maybe you shouldn't pick fights about play time with... well, with anyone, Mr. King of the Pit.

anono-mike said...

boom roasted.

anonachris said...

I smell a challenge for a one on one in Chicago! Center court entertainment during the finals!

chad said...

bring it on?

Pelc said...

I don't like this idea. A change now might keep them a float for a bit longer but it won't last once everyone adjusts. Also the cost for players will be huge. When I buy a new gun I sell my old one. Or even sell it first to have enough money for a new one. But if there is no market for a .68 caliber gun then i won't have the money for the .50 gun. It's too much money for a lot of people, especially right now, to put up a couple grand for new guns, hoppers, barrels, and whatever other gear may be needed.

Whats actually gonna happen i think is they'll end up pushing a lot people out of the sport and pushing it back to the low-end stuff with the guns that cost 200 bucks and they'll be a lot less profit there.

Baca Loco said...

raehl faction
So close and yet ... As usual. Mr. King of the Pit--I like it. I will expect to see that reflected in the APPA database for Chicago. (It will nice to see it get something right.) And as Mr. King of the Pit I didn't say anything about your extremely limited playing time compared to mine or anybody else's. (Perhaps your ears are still ringing from the first smackdown?) I said you didn't play.

Since you chose not to contest that factoid I must assume it remains correct. Or that your few attempts are so embarrassing you'd rather not mention them.

In the meantime feel free to keep it up. One of us actually played this game. One of us currently coaches this game at the highest level. One of us has a closet and office full of trophies. One of us has paintballers from around the world checking out his views. And one of us bounces around the paintball internet looking for attention by telling people they're always wrong.

What you smell is charred and smoking raehl faction.

raehl said...

See, there you go again. I point out why you're wrong, lacking any defense you desperately engage in a personal attack, then when I also outdo you in personal attacks, you resort to an attempt to redefine English. You didn't say anything about how much I play, except the part where you said I don't play? Even my mother argues better than that!

I didn't dispute whether I played or not because I don't care. I don't harbor any illusions of being a player that I need to defend, and it has nothing to do with the discussion anyway. What I can't stand is someone who, when the discussion doesn't go the way they want, and lacking any intelligent, reasoned response, resorts to personal attacks.

And what I can't stand even more than that is when they resort to incredibly WEAK personal attacks. If you're going to personally attack someone, at least attack them in an area where the only person weaker than they are isn't you!

raehl said...

In an attempt to save Baca from driving his own blog into the gutter:

The conspiracy is also silly because the industry lacks the ability to push the market away from .68 cal. Whoever switches to .50 cal last will keep all the business from all the fields that don't feel the need to buy a whole new set of rental equipment that performs worse than what they have now. And lest your brain be stuck in tournament land again, don't forget that the vast majority of paint sales are in the rec market.

And even if your conspiracy were true, it would be far more effective for the conspirators to simply ban electronic guns.

Don Saavedra said...

Why it won't work, though, isn't a reason why it won't be attempted. And I don't put anything past anybody anymore...

Reiner Schafer said...

Although that is true Don, it's a big and expensive gamble. One that may just backfire and hurt the conspirators a considerable amount.

raehl said...

Stop talking about it like it's true! There is no conspiracy! You guys are just falling for self-feeding paintball rumor mongering.

Unless the real conspiracy is to make everyone believe in this ridiculous conspiracy, thus shifting attention away from the REAL conspiracy....

Pelc said...

He's just giving us something to talk about wether its gonna happen or not. He's just saying there's talk about it, and not just from players at fields, from the big people in the industry. He wanted an open discussion between all his readers and he got it so let it be. You don't need to say it's deffiently not going to happen because no one actually knows, just put in your thoughts about the pros/cons and why it will/won't happen. No one's trying to convince anyone of anything.

Mike said...

I don't buy it... Logically makes sense but change is hard to come by and takes time to establish and engrave itself into the status quo. Paintball doesn't need a change, it needs a reinforcement and improvement of what we have. How to do it? Many ways... We'll get there.

Reiner Schafer said...

A change like this would split paintball up further. Definitely another strike against it. It's nice to have diversity, but if we split ourselves up too much, we'll be pulling ourselves in too many different directions.

Soccer is a popular sport in the world. It's played by virtually the same rules, in the same format everywhere in the world. It's what makes it such a great sport.

Why can't we just concentrate on making the game fun instead of more complicated? Let's have the conspirators spend their energy on revitalizing the fun.

One of the best thing to happen in paintball in the last few years in my opinion is Billy Ball. Simple, out of the box thinking to do nothing else but make the game fun. Maybe not a big hit with anyone on this site, but a great thing for the future of the industry. It's stuff like that the men in smokey rooms should concern themselves with.

Fred said...

Still don't know if this is a rumor or not, but we were talking about this change in France few weeks ago. The name of Procaps was mentioned too.

For what I know, this change to a .50 caliber will help some european countries to legalize paintball or make a definitive statement regarding the law. European market is still growing and this move could be a long term investment from the industry. Who knows ?

Lawrence said...

Rahel, i dont see what's wrong with speculating -- and that is what this discussion is where's the flaw?

Baca Loco said...

raehl faction
There has been nothing weak or personal in my responses to you. I have kept things within the realm of paintball and in point of fact haven't said anything that isn't true.

However let me suggest you try a bit of your own medicine and work on your reading comprehension. Take another look at the original post. As usual all you've got is mischaracterization and misdirection. If you had anything worth reading to add it would be a nice change of pace. You might also check out a dictionary while you're at it and look up collusion and conspiracy.

If you choose not to believe that elements of the industry have discussed this and that some of the bigger players are in general agreement about this issue that's on you. Whether they can pull it off or not, or will even attempt it, it happens to be true.

I'm beginning to wonder if you aren't protesting too much.

I know, I think, what you're trying to suggest but I gotta take exception with the soccer analogy. Here in the Land of PeeWee Soccer the game is nothing like more competition-oriented play or play by participants that are older. The rules, field, time of game, etc. are all different as is the goal of many of the players and probably all of the parents. And then there's street soccer or intramural soccer for fun as opposed to soccer as a sport and much like basketball there is a BIG difference in the way it's played recreationally and competitively. Just like paintball.

Elements of the industry said...

We have not discussed this in any smoke filled room, and we do not plan to screw players over, everything we're doing is for the players' benefit (whether they think it is or don't).

Here, have some cake.

anonachris said...

yum! thanks, chocolate is my favorite!

raehl said...

I think, Baca, that you ended your blog there by asserting that the talk within the industry is real. I think it's hogwash, unless 'real talk within the industry' involves some sales guys and beer, but if that's the standard for industry conspiracy...

regardless, .50 cal adoption isn't going to happen. It isn't going to happen because nobody is conspiring to switch it to begin with, and it isn't going to happen because even if every company got together and agreed to make it happen it still wouldn't.

anonachris said...

Ya, it's impossible to get people to switch over to a new medium format. No way no how. Just look at records. Ooops. Just look at 8tracks, oops... cassettes? Damn... well CDs, whoever continues to sell CDs will surely corner the market because all those CD users won't won't to make their investments useless.
Crap...damn MP3s.

Well, at least we still have the VCR!

Furby said...

Baca, perhaps I should have put the Romanian Terminator's response out a bit more was a flat denial from him as well as other reps within ProCaps, and pretty much everyone I've mentioned it to thought it was a harebrained idea.

Just sayin'.

Baca Loco said...

Then try saying that next time. Of course it means you're wrong--again. In an ever changing world it's nice to have some consistency.

Appreciate the additional info. I don't have any doubt that's what they told you.

Hope you enjoyed Paintclub.

raehl said...

No Baca, you're DOUBLE wrong! Neener-neener!

Usually in an argument/discussion, when one states a conclusion, it is customary to present an actual argument prior tot he conclusion. Just sayin'.

Furby: I'll agree with Baca that denial by the suspected conspirators doesn't really mean anything. Much more indicative is the sheer lunacy of the alleged conspiracy itself.

I just don't see anyone sitting down at a table and saying "Hey, lets spend a pile of money that we're never going to get back!"

Furby said...

...especially in this current economic climate...

Anonymous said...

Baca and Raehl are secret lovers...

How's that for a conspiracy?

Furby said...

Disgusting in the extreme if true.

Baca: PaintClub was Epic. That's about the only word that comes close to describing it.

Don Saavedra said...

I don't think Baca and Raehl are lovers, more like the black-cloaked puppet masters of this conspiracy, come here to play good cop/bad cop with our emotions.

Anonymous said...

wouldn't a smaller paintball flying at 295fps inflict more damage to the skin ?:) or would this be hardly noticeable..

Missy Q said...

I played at 62 cal - it hurt way more and there were lots of bounces. I can imagine Kingman pushing for 11m, but 50cal doesn't work for anyone else. It also leaves a very small mark.
Those of you thinking how cool it would be for the manufacturers are underestimating the severity of the econo-climate. If every manufacturer had to go back to the drawing board and retool for 50cal, I estimate 70% of them could not afford to do it and faced with no alternative plan they would go out of business. Those of you thinking that only the breech and barrel would have to be changed have never made a gun.
If paintball went toi 50cal, I think it woiuld be the death of more than one company, and besides, the only companies with the clout to pull this off are Tippmann and KEE (and they would both need to be on the same page)

Anonymous said...

Ah one problem, most players sell last years marker to buy this years. How you gunna sell something that is out of use ?
Will the companeys buy the markers back ?

See my points,think about how many markers, hoppers, barrels that'll be lying around ?

Give it some serious thought, its too big to get around because then the players will be forking out more cash to buy markers etc and carry on paying the same prices for paint for the first few months.

The Post Formerly known as Original Anonymous said...

Raehl = dork with keyboard. Just ask his boyfriend. How is that for a personal attack? Oh yea, appa is a chop shop for shitty coding. One last thing, you don't play paintball anymore because you sucked. You were the kid in Gym class who stood against the wall while everybody else played dodgeball.

Just saying....

Baca Loco said...

Why I'd ban you for that crack...
if you weren't anonymous.

See, Faction? That's a personal attack--and totally uncalled for so never do it again.

As to the obstacles involved I agree with Missy 100%. And as to the size of the paintball I only used the dimension apparently heard most often.

Anonymous said...

I'm obviously fairly late in this conversation, but thinking of the transitionary period, there are a lot of downfalls for paintball retailers.

Sure, the two calibers may exist side-by-side for some time, but how many "in-the-know," or "dedicated" players are going to buy a .68 marker and such when they know a year down the road they won't be able to use it anyway?

And how many starting players are going to help buy-out the inventory of these retailers when it comes to high-end equipment?

The experienced, dedicated players already deep-rooted in the game will buy the .50 marker because of its lasting chances, and the new player is just going to buy that Spyder anyway, despite the caliber. The retailers will lose money on the .68 Egos and Matrixes they still have in stock from the past three years.

Martin said...

Ignoring the impact on players and teams - the bigger issue if something like this were true is the impact on field operators.

No field ops = No more paintball.

It would me a huge expense for field ops to swap out their markers for a new version - and not something that smaller fields could stomach (after all there is no other benefit in the change for them)

Hopefully this is just smoke/mirrors and some 12year old on the 'net having a laugh.


Reiner Schafer said... least the dork with the keyboard has the guts to post using his name. That gives his opinions, whether you like them or not, some credit.

It's like Junior High all over again.

Daniel said...

The reason I beleive that this won't work is because of the one company that sticks around. This company now has every paintball on the planet to sell to for a couple of months. It will also continue to sell as while paintball companies are hurting so are people. People don't want to be force to buy something new right now and would rather look for a cheap solution. this goes for gun manufacters also as a small company like Macdev or vanguard can stay in the 68 market and can corner those that don't want to switch.

bruce said...

Performance is everything: if 50 cal paint improved the quality of play, it would be a good thing.

Push it through the tourney scene first, leave recplay at 68cal until the economics catch up.

If Ollie and Company play at 50cal it would be trivial to get the lower divisional players to accept it in stride.

Anonymous said...

It’s not as hard to do as all of you think.

Paint Company need to change a 1000 dollar roller per machine (biggest Paint Company has 24 machines)

Gun Companies Retool there 2010 or 2011 guns not a big deal. Most do this evey year already

Goggle Companies do a new ASTM test Not a Big deal.

Stores buy new Already no change

Fields Replace field Guns over the next couple years the cost of the guns would be covered in the additional paint profits over a year or 2 max.

Now if a paint company can make 40% more paint per run for the same cost it seems like a no brainier to me.

As far as players go it wont be harder the make the fill much thicker this will not raise the cost because a thicker fill in a smaller ball is a wash. They can make the paint much more fragile because the new guns will not need as much air to move the ball so it will make guns easier on paint. So they make the paint much more fragile.

TBH I hope this is something they are working on for all of us.
I remember when co2 tanks came out and everyone said no way that will never catch on then HP air no way. Then electric guns no way to much stuff to break. I have learned to not count anything out in paintball.

Rico Fernandez said...

The Industry has already seen the benefits of a smaller ball when Pro Caps was making the .0683 as opposed to others making .0689. They know that they can make a smaller paintball and stay ahead of the game in cost with other manufacturers, but moving in to a .50 caliber is a different beast. Is this the solution to the problem of manufacturers hurting? The answer is no. The problem was their method of marketing. They created a monster that was based around the premise of moving product with low margins thru marketing programs that offered end user discounts with very little margins for stores which can not be supported in these hard times. Whether they did it consciously or unconsciously, their Management teams focused in quantity rather than margins. They did this when they started offering team sponsorships thru stores as a tool to keep their customer base away from competition. Basically, teams sponsorships thru stores was a marketing approach that hurt them because they didn't expect to run into hard times. That and the purchase of other assets spelled disaster for the manufacturers.

Now the industry would have to re-educate a player to pay more money for the same product. This is easier said than done so the next answer would be looking for a way to cut costs. The industry doesn't have much of a choice. This potential new approach could be what saves the big manufacturers from completely failing in this industry. I am of the opinion that a smaller ball is a good approach and it will revitalize the industry in general. I also believe that they can use both size balls even in competitions and with time it can make it the new standard thru price manipulation. Simply increase the price on the large ball and people will then see the advantage of making the transition justifying the purchases of new markers and supporting equipment. I can see a lot of benefits also for stores with a smaller ball without affecting the "paintball experience" for the end user.

The bottom line is that our sport is used to changes. We adjust and accommodate quick and seem to welcome new ideas. The reality is that even if the economy was to recover and players began to emerge at the fields, the paintball manufacturing industry suffered irreparable damages due to its marketing practices, so now, the only choice is to reduce cost is to replace the product that exists with a new one. It's a smart move in my book for those seeking to survive. For those that compare manufacturing to old versions of smaller paintball's, don't panic. The industry has plenty of new technology and experience and they can make a .50 caliber that break. It won't be a problem for them at all. Further more, I think paintball is still learning how to walk. In a revitalized economy, new things will come so long as it can survive the hard times. I welcome Richmond back and I hope that he leads the change that the industry needs. I wish that I was in my 20's to be able to enjoy from the future in paintball for players. I have seen in 17 years of paintball and the future for paintball is bright my friends.

Rico Fernandez said...

I wish I would had read all the other posts before putting my view up. Now that I have, I just want to say, be open minded. Don't assume that all of your sources are good. Yes you may be well connected in the industry, but not well connected enough to get the real talk behind the scenes within manufacturing. I am 100% sure that manufacturers are putting all ideas on the table. I would not put it past them for the consideration of a smaller ball. It would only make sense if they are looking to cut production costs.

Baca Loco said...

Hi Rico
Thanks for stopping by. Don't be a stranger. Though I hear you're kinda taking some time off.

Rico said...

Yes that is the truth. I am finally facing the reality of my physical condition that prevents me from playing at the level that I know I can. Being diagnosed with advanced osteoporosis prevents me from being competitive. That only leaves me with coaching should I decide to be involved in the tournament scene. I really don't mind coaching, but that's not where my heart is at. In 2008 I was given compensation to coach a divisional team called Total Karnage, but that was the main motivation to take on the task. That ended when I left to work for FEMA. Upon my return from working with FEMA, I was looking for entertainment and I was given the opportunity to coach a team for Fierce. The team won World Cup and after the win, I committed to being part of Fierce coaching staff after being invited to do so. Phoenix came around and at the end of my trip I was reminded by the experience that acting as a traveling coach was a tough job. Although I had great time with the guys on the team, I did a bit of soul searching, after doing so, I decided that it was best for step down from coaching at National Team Events. The truth is that if there was a good compensation package behind it, I would probably do it again and on a permanent basis, but the money has to be right. I should point out that Fierce took care of all expenses for my participation, but if I felt that coaching is a lot of work and I would not do it unless the money is right.

I am trying to move on in life and find I new hobby but it seems impossible to get away from the sport because of my passion for the game. In other words, it is very hard to just walk away from friends that I have made in years of playing. Thanks you for asking. Keep your blog going. You are not only a voice for the sport, but a great ambassador. I know where your heart is. I wish you well.

Reiner Schafer said...

Yes Rico. The manufacturers did create a monster and have only themselves to blame for most of the problems they face today.

sdawg said...

Anonymous said...

The companies that actually manufacture paintballs aren't going to just destroy the molds for .68 caliber. There just has to be 1 company to go to them and say...I want 20000 cases of .68 caliber paintballs. They will say ok and there ya go. No one says no to money. The "industry" can try to push you one way, but your dollars push back harder.

Anonymous said...

I know this is very late and will most likely not get read, but I finally asked the one person I knew would have an answer for me,their name needs not to be mentioned. Unfortunately it wasn't the answer I wanted. Much like Baca, in this industry, everyone knows someone who's been brought into a meeting and told how it is going to happen.

They are going to have a brief period where they are going to carry both paints, but the stores will all make better margins on the smaller ball. For the most part aggressive marketing to the players and better pricing for the stores and fields will hopefully drive the market. They will slowly raise the price of .68 and unless people are willing to go back to paying $100 a case to keep their egos and DMs it may already be too late for .68

I haven't heard much about gun manufacturers besides SP that have been working on the new guns, but with Dye and SP sharing stakes in the PSP I'm sure the gardeners have slipped old dave a few cases of the new stuff to work with... That leaves Planet E hanging out in the wind, but the Egos and Eteks would be easy enough to sell a sleeve conversion for(its been done in the past for other guns).

In the long run who knows .50 might become its own entity. Maybe a ploy by the paintball industry to steal back some people from airsoft. The divide in the sport has become big enough that scenario players and "speed ball" players don't really know how to interact anyway. Why should they need to use the same equipment. The Paintball 2.0 thing seems to be geared at the woods warriors anyway.

Quick overview: Yes there will be .50 cal paintballs that will become somewhat of an industry standard which will share the light with .68 cal till either everyone converts or they decide its better to just continue both indefinitely dividing our sport even more. moral of the story either plan on buying all new gear and saving a few bucks on paint or prepare for a price hike on the cheap practice paint you've been shooting for years. Either way the industry wins and the players lose

Anonymous said...

well apparently there is truth to this rumor hug baca?

I bet you Raehl is just fuming about it too! haha.

Anonymous said...

Personaly, from what i'v read here alone, It would seem more likely to add the .50 Cal as an additional product line. Another alternative. Perhaps only for specific type of marker. Like the way 6mm, .40cal and .43cal paint is used. Although from a standard in the "Tournament" area who knows. But the fact is those makrets are still around and still being used. I see potential in this but from my angle. I have enough trouble keeping my ammo boxes Ffll as it is.