Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Changes More Thoughts on PSP 2010

VFTD interrupts its regularly scheduled post--whatever it might have been--in order to comment on the latest from the PSP including the Phoenix field layout. Today's post is brought to you by the color yellow.

Last week the PSP announced the hiring of Camille Lemanski. This is a move that only makes the PSP better. Camille is capable and efficient and knows the ins and outs of organizing and staging a major league event. She will be up to whatever tasks she's assigned and who wouldn't rather talk to Camille if they have a problem. (Sorry, buddy, but you got to see how it is.) The NPPL's loss is the PSP's gain. For all the good work Keely did this is a step up. (And for those curious as to how this all came about the gossip from the rumor mill suggests the NPPL was a number of months in arrears in paying her salary. Which, if correct, adds another straw to the camel's back.)

This week the PSP released the Phoenix field layout and officially restricted the use of the color yellow on playing gear and equipment. And, in order to ease the transition, have offered the possibility of a one year exemption on jerseys that would otherwise be in violation. I'm good with the option of an exemption given the strictness of the qualifications. It is a far cry from a carte blanche to wear yellow for an extra year and will likely see no more than a handful of teams meet the qualification standards. So an exemption exists but it won't be (hopefully) a back door to getting around the general rule restricting yellow. I do have some concerns with the general rule though. I'm tempted to call it the Dynasty Exception. Is it reasonable for the PSP to try and find a middle-ish ground that doesn't interfere with sponsor logos and the like? Sure, but-- Where does it really end? Will each field have a qualified yellow ref who carries a 5 centimeter square cutout to check for legal use of yellow? Or will the application be haphazard, field to field, ref to ref, with the end result being there will be players and teams trying to game the rule. For a blatant example look at Vicious last year, black jersey with yellow print vertically on the sides of the jerseys? Really? Can anyone argue with a straight face that had any other purpose than to potentially obscure recognition of a hit? Is that potentially still a legal use of yellow? The fact that there isn't an outright ban simply changes the nature of the problem and assures that the result doesn't match the intent.

UPDATE: In the comments Karen from Vicious objects (with a straight face) to my remarks. For another view make sure you check it out.

The Phoenix layout introduces yet again more new bunkers and a rearrangement of the number of certain bunker types available; for example the 2010 set includes 5 MDs and only 2 SDs (unlike previous years) and adds 4 tall cakes. I do not oppose changes in bunkers or their numbers but I do have an issue with the PSP with regards to when, how and why these changes are made. Adrenaline Games can make, promote and sell whatever sorts of bunkers they choose and far as I'm concerned it's all good. (As a proposition separate from whatever the legal ramifications might be of the situation vis-a-vis Brimstone Enterprises.) The place where I question the PSP is when the commercial interests of Adrenaline appear to dictate part of the league's competition practices. The field matters. The bunkers matter. Their arrangement matters. It all has an impact on the way the game plays and I think the PSP has a higher responsibility to the game and the players than it does to a sponsoring company. It's like Spalding telling the NBA what size basketball to use or how big the hoop will be. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if no one had really given the issue much consideration before. (After all, I haven't brought it up before.) And that said I don't think it's a huge deal but it is an issue that will have be addressed at some point.

As to this specific layout it is very xball conventional in the way it will play. It does have a couple of features that will help separate the men from the boys (that goes for you girls too) but overall there isn't anything new here. I find it a bit disappointing but I readily admit I'm probably not the best judge of what the majority want and at this stage of the game that matters as long as we're all playing the same layouts. As for how it will play my principle objections would be in the placement of corner bunkers which will tend to produce overlapping running lanes for wide runners. Spatially it will allow the lane shooters to potentially be able to cover both a corner runner and a snake runner with the same lane of paint. (The same being true on the other side as well.) In fact the field is so condensed it looks almost like an attempt to design a field to demonstrate that 50 cal paint has no competition drawbacks (by shortening the distances between bunkers everywhere.)


Missy Q said...

You're saying it looks like it has been designed for 50cal because of the positioning of the bunkers? Thats great insight, I'll take your word for it. Once Laurent invested $100g in the 50cal program I kinda saw something coming, but not this.

Anonymous said...

That seems like an odd conspiracy given that no one has even said you're allowed to use .50 cal paintballs at PSP events....

Baca Loco said...

To be fair I said it almost looked like it. And from what I know about how the fields are chosen there wasn't that much structure involved in the past--although it could be interesting to see what the first MS layout looks like. But yes, this field could fit on a 130 by 120 grid.

Karen Bortol said...

I own Vicious and I have a real problem with you stating that we were using yellow to cheat.

The minute we heard that yellow was banned we were changing the color. The logo went back to the original shirt from 2003.

Don't use us for an example or have the facts to back it up. We were stupid..we should have used yellow jerseys with black up the sides. Not to mention that we switch to red and white for semis and finals.

I appreciate your views but I would never post anything without having something to back it up. If you want to get technical the year started with orange paint being shot at Phoenix not yellow.

Yes, I can argue this with a straight face.

Anonymous said...

What about XSV? Why pick on Vicious? Look at all of the teams out there with yellow everywhere. Vicious had a small amount of yellow since theystarted years ago when everyone shot everything but yellow paint.

Janek said...

I think it's good that the PSP is allowing for a transition time, but I think it's bad that the PSP is allowing for an exemption to the rules when it comes to yellow...Confused much? Lemme explain:
In order to qualify for the exemption the teams need to submit to the league a picture of their jerseys together with a confirmation that said jerseys were purchased after 1st of march 2009. All fine and dandy. But how will this exemption be enforced on the fields? Will the teams captains have to bring some sort of document with them to each field to show to the refs? Will the document have a picture of the jersey on it so that the refs can be sure that the exemption is actually not for some completely different design? There's potentially a lot of ways to abuse this thing if the PSP doesn't stay on top of it.

Baca Loco said...

Hi Karen
Thanks for dropping by.
A couple of things. 1--I never said anything about cheating much less accuse Vicious of cheating. 2--if you equated my comment using the Vicious example as an accusation I apologise. It actually strikes me as more of playing the gray kinda deal but that's just an opinion. :)

As I explained to Karen, no accusations--just an example of how and why a restriction could pose a problem that a ban wouldn't.

Baca Loco said...

Hey Karen
I almost forgot. I said nice things about Vicious in the comments of another recent thread. Do I get any credit for that? ;-)

Karen said...

Thanks for your reply. We can agree to disagree on the way you stated your opinion. Too many people saw it and let me know. I normally would not post a comment.

I will check out the thread where you said nice things about our program.

anonachris said...

It's actually kind of intereting with Sup Air. They are in a pretty good spot. Every year the PSP does not make some change that requires you to buy a Dye gun or a new barrel or hopper, etc.

But every year for the last few years the league has made changes that require you to buy something from one of the league's lessor sponsors (compared to Dye).

I sure hope the PSP is getting paid for this tremendous value they are giving SupAir. No other sponsor gets such a direct benefit. And with the competition between SupAir and UltAir, there is a very real value that the PSP can offer their chosen field sponsor, and the PSP should be charging appropriately.

At the very least, the PSP should claim a % of all new sales based on a league certified bunker. I'm assuming they aren't which probably makes SupAir very happy.

If UltAir had any brains, they'd come in and offer a licensing arrangement with the PSP in an attempt to "buy them" over to the UltAir bunkers rather than strong arming them and killing the relationship. Of course, maybe they've already tried this.

Either way, I never considered how valuable a field manufacturing sponsorship is, and how little the PSP is probably charing for it (dunno the numbers).

J-Bird said...

i have a real problem with people (specifically team owners and industry people) who get "mad" that somebody in the media has posted something that might be defined as "critical" to them; and then proceed to criticize the media for "not having all the facts" or some bull-crap. of course they dont have all the info, but that's what makes them the media, and not the insider/industry. i understand you have to "defend your boys"...but really? you post your Professional Response in a blog, in an attack to the author?

Make a pbnation, or even better -- a real "press release" stating that you guys are changing your logo because of psp regulations etc... but dont attack the media for their ignorance.

but then again; maybe that's the problem with being a media outlet and a team owner?

Baca Loco said...

The nature of PB media is changing and everybody interested or involved in one way or another is stuck trying to figure out how best to deal with the changes. From my point of view I'm glad to see Karen and anybody else for that matter respond and get involved as it means more information to the paintballin' public in general. Small stuff, large stuff, run of the mill stuff; it all adds up.

Baca Loco said...

Excellent point but also a justification for UA to potentially play hard ball, don't you think?

J-Bird said...

baca, totally understand...and agree!
but im just ready for us to move PAST that point.