Monday, July 27, 2009

The Monday Poll

Okay, picking up on last week's poll I'm interested in what y'all think qualifies as "pro" when we's talking about paintball teams. Let me repeat that--paintball teams, not individual players. The list of options once again includes the scandalously non-specific "other" and once again if you could include in the comments what "other" you had in mind that would be most excellent. Back in the day a pro team could build a reputation mostly thumping non-pros in mixed division prelims. These days pro teams only play pro teams and somebody's got to lose. If a team loses more than they win does that mean they aren't really a pro team or just not as competitive as some of the other pro teams? I'm looking forward to this one so get to voting.

Monday Poll in Review
Last week VFTD wanted to know how many pro teams you expect to be around at the beginning of next season. 66% of the votes were in the range of 12 - 16 teams. 22% thought there would be 10 or fewer teams while 11% voted for 18 or more teams to start next season. To put those numbers into some perspective there were 23 pro teams at the start of the '09 season. With the hiatus of Miami Rage there are currently 22 pro teams with 7 teams (including XSV) competing in both major leagues.


Anonymous said...

Gee, where'd you get the idea for the new poll?

There isn't the option "play highest division in accredited league".


anonachris said...

I'm thinking a mix between dedication and big time sponsorship. Dedication in the sense that what you are "pro" in is basically what you do full time. Big time sponsorship so you can actually do it full time.. Not necessarily Nike big, but big enough where that is what you focus on your sport.

Ski pros, skate pros, surf pros, all of these guys are focused on what they do for their sport and pretty much nothing else. If they have a job (at all) its some tie in with their industry in the vast majority of all cases.

Young kids that are training to be ski pros get athletic waivers and for half of their classes in high school because after school all they are going to focus on is skiing (skating, gynamstics, whatever). We're not even close to that for our next generation of pros. Maybe the APPA can ultimate get us there.

With this definition, however, there are very few "pros" in paintball.

Anonymous said...

I voted for other. I think what defines a "pro" team is that they pay their players. If a team has sufficient funds to pay a player a salary (regardless of the amount or if they win or lose) then they are a professional team. Think of baseball. Of course the players at the major league level are paid very, very well for what they do, but isn't the guy busting his ass at single A ball, getting paid $30K/year a professional ball player? And I would classify the single A team that he plays for a professional team. Granted the highest level of paintball more closely resembles the single A team, but you have to start somewhere...

Baca Loco said...

I ain't proud. Added.

Trying to make a distinction here between teams and players with the focus on teams this time.

Baca Loco said...

Oops. Not added cus it won't let me after someone votes.

houdini said...

I voted other... I was close to Big time sponsorship because at the end of the day all the other options lead to the end result of BTS, which in turn gives the option of players taking up paintball as a full-time profession. But there's much more to being a Pro Team including management, coaching, marketing and infrastucture. Get TV broadcast opportunities for paintball and watch the Pro Teams flourish again.

Missy Q said...

surely it's results, isn't it?

Even the oldest and most established Pro teams had to have the results to establish themselves in the first place.

The NXL was the first league to make results less important, as a team could suck ass and still play Pro, but in essence the 'results' option has always been the qualifying factor, at least for me.

Baca Loco said...

I am sorta inclined to agree with that Missy but if you look at the pre-breakup NPPL many of those pro teams seldom made a podium but routinely got to smash lower division teams in the mixed prelim and I can't help wondering if their reps weren't built on being better than the divisionals alone. How would some of them fare today just playing other pro teams?

Missy Q said...

The NPPL route was the route to an improved Pro Division. Promotion and relegation guarantees that quality move up, while the dross move down. Poor results mean that you will lose pro status, and only improved results can keep you pro. In this format the 'results' option wins, which I feel is the correct outcome.

Longevity - Rage and the Bushwackers are 2 of the oldest pro teams. Bad Company aren't pro, but they have more longevity than most. No help there.
Reputation - Avalanche and Shock have tremendous reps while floundering, but then so did 'The Family'. Naughty Dogs rep was better before they turned pro - no help there.
Came up through the ranks - meh. Other than Impact no-one has come through the ranks in a way that would justify this qualification.
Established players - XSV have some of the most established players, and play Semi-Pro - no help there.
Big time sponsorship - There are some small teams with big backing, there are Pro teams with little backing - no help.
Dedication - I have dedication, I can't play worth a shit. No help.
Other - Only people who wish to appear smarter than they are select 'other'. The challenge is surely to select the answer that most fits the question, from those provided, and then defend your selection. 'Other' is a complete cop-out.

Pelc said...

I agree it's results. Results would bring about the rest of the options. If you keep winning you'll get the Big sponsers, The Rep, The longevity, the established Players. The only thing it can't give you is dedication but i think dedication would be more of a person to person thing rather than a whole team.

Anonymous said...

Pro in all areas but sports means you get paid for a service. In sports is means that there are enough non-playing public (also known as fans) that are willing to pay to watch you play. Pro players get paid because thousand of people willingly give up large amounts of money to watch you play at a level significantly above the average player. Most football fans don't play football. Some have played in the past, but most have not.

Paintball will never get that kind of a fan base and therefore will not have real pro's. The only way we get pro's now is for inside the sport companies spending their own money to buy the best players. Not because anyone is willing to pay to watch them play. Most people cannot even follow the flow of the game since there in not a central focus such as a football or basketball.
Pro players are paid what they are worth. Michael Jordan got paid millions because people were willing to give millions of dollars to watch him play. They felt it was worth their money to buy a ticket.
Take away the fans and you don't have real pro's, just on field advertisements. Yes I know Jordan also was a walking advertisement, but only after he had the millions coming in from a large fan base that thought he was worth the money. We can't even get the current players to be willing to pay to watch the Pro's, they think it is an entitlement.