Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Yesterday the kids over at ProPaintball reported the rumor that the PSP is reconsidering its ROF regulations. Never say never when it comes to anything paintball but if a change is coming all the happy little campers out there expecting it to go up are likely to be disappointed. (I have inquired ... and should I hear anything I'll let y'all know.) In the meantime speculating is fun.

There are (seemingly) a lot of reasons to discount this rumor and only one reason I can think of--without working too hard--that would lend an upward move any credence. League and divisional uniformity. One ROF for all. And there was a group last year prior to the implementation of the current standards that wanted a single ROF standard. However, any change to a single standard would have to be a downward move, say to a universal 10.5 bps, in order to not undercut all the "reasons" given for making the move to tiered ROF last year. Those reasons included reduced paint usage, the trickle down effect to local fields, a less intimidating competition environment for younger (or newer) players and the notion that a lower ROF would push developing players to improve their basic gun skills and rely less on pure firepower. Left out of the talk most of the time was (and is) the momentum towards national and international standardization.

Without judging the validity of the reasons any significant change or move up in ROF would basically affirm that the league has decided they were mistaken before and that there have been no identifiable paint savings or satisfactory anecdotal evidence of lower ROF at local fields, etc. And I don't see that happening, do you? Of course all the reasons have only sounded reasonable and all the proposed benefits are either damn difficult or impossible to quantify--with perhaps the exception of some paint savings--but even there I doubt a case can be made that it's all about ROF when the league also changed match times and race totals. Which leaves us with the whole national and international standards business. The PSP is clearly interested in national standards --See the UCP--and having a leadership role in developing them and there has been more dialogue and movement toward international development of the game in the last year or so than ever before.

So I could see the PSP making a change. But not one that moves the ROF up.

UPDATE: Lane says there was no talk of making any change until the rumor hit the internet and the PSP has no intention of changing the current ROF regs.


Reiner Schafer said...

Hmmm, seems the people at Pro Paintball have a different opinion. They are betting on 12.5. Should we get a pool going? I'm in for $5 at 12.5. ;)

A consistant standard would be in just about everyone's best interest. This jumping back and forth is not doing anything for the stabilization of the sport. Pick a number and stick with it.

The trickle down affect has not really had any affect at local fields from what I can see. I never believed it would (I hoped it would, but had serious doubts). Most new players coming out for their first recreational game are going to dislike 10.5 just as much as 12.5, 13.3, or 15. Those that do like 10.5 will probably get a thrill out of 15.

Manufacturers were the ones pushing for the drop. Now that they know it makes very little difference, I am guessing they are going to throw their hands up and let leagues do what they want and stop trying to interfere. They have switched much of their focus on other markets (ie scenario paintball) and will, as they should have all along, let the marketplace dictate the diretion tournament ball will take.

Baca Loco said...

Does the "marketplace" dictate the development of sport? Really?

Anonymous said...

The slow reduction in rate of fire has been something that was decided a few years ago. The move to 13.3 was the first step it was just a strategic move on their way to the 10bps. The "good ol' boys" were talking about the glory days of mech guns and how much better the game was when the rate of fire was lower.

In the days of 10man and 5man players with mech guns limited to 10 bps or less still shot tons of paint. So I don't believe that they thought that paint usage would actually go down.

All the reasons they have given for why the rate of fire kept being lowered were just excuses for why they were doing it. They finally have it the way they intended I don't see why they would bring it back up now.

Anonymous said...

Some companies are focusing on rec/scenario ball, but not enough just yet...

I'll stay out in the woods and rec fields...I got over the tourney thing finally...

Reiner Schafer said...

Baca, sure it does. There are governing bodies n most sports that lay the guidelines and make the rules, but in the end, those governing bodies still have to provide a product that attracts an audience, or at least participants, such in the case of paintball.

10.5 bps is the middle ground, at best. It's not slow enough for the pump and mechanical crowd to get excited about and it's too slow for the guys that want the ultimate adrenaline rush.

Obviously the PSP doesn't care about the pump and mechanical crowd, so they need to do what they need to do to attract as many of the speedhounds they can. For survival's sake, they need to provide a product that their customers (players)will take part in. Without players there is no league.

If what Lane said was true (and I have no reason to doubt him) that the manufacturers (sponsors) wanted the drop in ROF for the reasons you mentioned in your article, but have since decided that this is not working, then I believe the league will go back to doing what they think will attract more players; providing what they think will attract the most amount of customers (players). Isn't that what businesses in any marketplace do?

raehl said...

Let me preface this by saying I have no idea what PSP is considering, if they're even considering anything at all.

Who says anyone thinks raising the rate of fire will yield more players? The thing that will attract the most players is an even lower rate of fire. Yes, CURRENT players will insist that they won't play if the rate of fire continues to go down, but they're the survivors. There are tons of people out there who would be players that we don't currently hear from because they quit. They just didn't like having that much paint shot at them, or all the paint they were shooting emptied their wallets.

There really is no advantage to high rate of fire. No matter what the rate of fire is, both sides are shooting the same thing. Let's pick the option that doesn't make everyone go broke, and doesn't blast new players off the field before they have the chance to become experienced players.

Reiner Schafer said...

raehl, don't get me wrong. I didn't say raising the ROF WILL attract more players in the long run (I think the exact opposite actually). I'm just having fun speculating that the PSP will THINK it will attract more players and will therefore creep up the ROF to quiet some of the sqeaking wheels. But I hope I'm wrong with that guess.

The new player that will eventually "graduate to tournament ball, but is picking up his first marker at the rec field next weekend will not have experience with any ROF. I personally think 10.5 (or even lower) will keep that player playing longer than something like 15, as long as everyone is playing at the same level. That's where the standardization comes in. They don't change the size and weight of baseballs from league to league.