Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Major League Paintball Held Hostage: Weekly Update

As the season draws to a close so too this series of posts. It doesn't mean the crisis is past--far from it--but it does mean VFTD will find a new way to illustrate it in the coming months. This is your opportunity to take an active role or, continue to do what you usually do, and sit quietly on the sidelines.

Game Within The Post #1
Explain in comments why this series of posts was called Major League Paintball Held Hostage. You may use the search site function to see if I explained why in an early post. (I may have but I can't remember anymore. A potential winning answer need not be the "correct" answer.)

Game Within The Post #2
Offer (preferably) clever and witty suggestions as to what this post series should be called next season.

One winner will be chosen to receive a free so-far-unreleased team T-shirt. (And if the winner will be at Cup or Vegas I'll be happy to bring it along and deliver it in person.)

The official registration (and payment) deadline passed last night for the PSP's World Cup event. The tally this morning was 287 teams paid but a look at the teams list suggests to me that the final number of competing teams will be over 300. (And means 80+ teams paid on Monday. Or tried to.) If so it would mean a smaller percentage decline for Cup than was generally experienced this season at the other events. Such a result would seem to vindicate the move to 4 seasonal events and prove that the move from Disney to Fantasy of Flight didn't significantly impact the turnout.
Still undetermined is the status of 5 pro teams listed as pending or unpaid. 2 are Smart Parts teams and two are rumored to be likely bubble teams for the future.

Registration remains open for the NPPL 3.0's Vegas championships. Not counting the (restored to) 16 pro teams there are 89 teams registered and 35 paid across both 7-man and 5-man divisions. Not only will final turnout numbers be interesting I'm curious how the Riviera will respond to the turnout and what sort of expectations they have, if any.

In Millennium Land there has been the typical post event moaning but it is confined largely to items of marginal importance and likely will not amount to anything--as usual. With the Sarsilmaz Cup event now less than a month away registration in the open divisions (D2 & M5) remains modest to non-existent with 1 team registered in D2 and 3 in M5. And this despite local Turkish sponsors bumping up the prize packages in those divisions in the hopes of encouraging more participation. (Could there be a better lesson demonstrated for the locked division teams? I don't see how.)
Meanwhile the MS has hit on another way to part teams from their money; practice. As some teams routinely come in early and try to get in some last minute practice the Mil will be making two of the event fields available the day before the tourney starts. And for the modest sum of 200 Euros you can have an hour of practice--assuming another team also signs up for that time. Now 200 Euros strikes me as a bit steep for an hour of field time but maybe it's not. And maybe the Millennium bosses work in soup kitchens feeding the poor when they aren't helping tournament paintball.

Last weekend's Grand Tour event in Riga Latvia saw 14 teams participate in two divisions. With one event left on the season schedule (in Greece) the GT have announced a drop in the price of ID cards--to encourage local team participation--and a modification of the roster rules (probably designed to make it easier for teams that have played prior events to play this one.) Too little, too late?

UPDATE: The winner has been announced in the comments.


cuda4u said...

Ok Baca,
I believe the reason these series of posts were named Major League Paintball Held Hostage was timing. When your first post was put up it was at a time where the season hadn't started and we had only heard brief rumors from PSP and USPL. Actually, I'm not even sure that the 7man format was even going to have a heartbeat at the time of the first post. Then there was the whole ROF that the PSP was said to be changing. it was just a culmination of things that were so unclear it made it seem that we were being held hostage until they saw fit to let us in. You might even say were still not in, even at this juncture of the season. It appears that both leagues are ever evolving and who knows if the changes will ever end.

cuda4u said...

For Post#2
I think is should be called "Master Of Puppets" or
in the words of my kids "Are we there Yet?"

Crusificton said...

I feel that the Major League Held Hostage section title doesn't have much subtext, but is obvious. You created it to show the issues that grab "Tournament" paintball by the throat. It's the way the national circuits force regional and local leagues to change, or how national leagues are forced to change with the will of the times.

As far as a new title. I wouldn't change a word of it. Not that I'm worried about change or unimaginative to think of something new, but it fits, "If it ain't broke why fix it", scenario.

A suggestion if a title is necessary:
"We're All Screwed"

Anonymous said...

I've always assumed that the current tittle was referring to how helpless paintballer's feel about how the leagues have been run over the years.

Next year this might be more appropriate...

"Update on Our Hopeless Situation"

I think its appropriate seeing as every post for the last few months regarding this area has been about slow decrease in participation. It also lets the reader know that you are acknowledging that the system is flawed and still maintains the how little our voices are when it comes to our input.

Mike said...

I've never really interpreted the title but...

I think the title "Major League Paintball Held Hostage" relates to how the professional leagues (PSP, NPPL, Millenium) are held hostage by several factors. The largest and most prominent is of course the global economy as it drives the other factors down. Player participation, tournament paintball as a whole, and the status of the sport are a few. You chose the title because the impact of these factors has been most noticeable this year and had the most significant affect on the leagues.

Next year, the title should be "A New Hope" - maybe less pessimistic, and of course imitating Star Wars.

Pelc said...

The title was because the nppl had just folded and the psp was way behind in scheduling and releasing any info. The millenium series was also not releasing Any info. So it means all of "pro" paintball was being held hostage by the select few. And I also kinda remember you posting it to convince lane to release the layout and two days later he did.

Anonymous said...

Not to go off on a tangent... but, Mike, I thought player participation was driven downward by ROF? I mean there were charts and everything proving it to (and by) industry people behind the scenes right? (sarcasm)

Reiner Schafer said...

Anonymous, you've taken us off on a tangent! How dare you!

Why do you think player participation is down?

I actually do believe theat participation is down due to ROF (actually more precisely, the average amount of balls in th air at any given moment), but not at the PSP or NPPL (USPL or whatever we are calling it at the moment) level. It's the local field; the local recball field, where the actual damage is being done.

If we want participation to stabilize in tournament ball, we had better figure out how to stabilize it at the grass roots level first. Cause without those guys to fill the spots, it's game over.

Now back to our regular scheduled programming.

Oh, you should call it, Major League Paintball. Is there hope?

Baca Loco said...

Aight. Some good answers, most of which contain some element of my thinking on the matter. However, there can be only one (I think that's the PSP's secret motto) so the winner is--Frank & his tankerous. Congratulations, Frank! Drop me an email and let me know if you will be at either season ending event or if not send me a mailing addy in order to receive your prize.