Not, uh, actual unity. This particular unity is limited to competitive paintball in the United States for the time being. And in fact it isn't exactly unity at all 'cus there's a few folks out there running events and series who aren't part of the unity announced today by the PSP. For available details (and a bitchin' map) go here. But, all the same, it is a unity of the participating leagues which includes 6 regional leagues (kinda) and the PSP. And that's a very good start.
First, while I am admittedly poking a little fun I am foursquare in favor of this move as a potentially significant step in the right direction. (Remember what I didn't talk about here?)
The basics announced today establishes the Race To format as the dominate format for competitive paintball in the U.S. and lays the foundation for the vertical integration of the format from the local grassroots all the way up to the pro division. The key to that integration will be the use of APPA and as yet unannounced modified classification system to rank players around the country to assure, as closely as possible, that everyone is playing the same game and ranked in a consistent manner from region to region as well as within the ranks of the PSP.
However, the devil--as they say--is in the details and we don't know those yet so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. (No easy task given they are short & thick and about as flexible as a kendo shinai.)
Anyway, the critical issues are how effective--without being coercive--the new classification system proves to be in delivering on the announcement's promise and how the relationship between the regions and the PSP is understood by the participating parties and what the intent is in taking this step. I think the classification issue is pretty straightforward and we should see within a reasonable window of time how it's working. And it's also the sort of thing that can be "fixed" if needed--as long as the leagues and players remain convinced it's the way to go. The issue of the relationship between the leagues and the PSP is a dicier proposition because, like it or not, today, tomorrow and into the near future the PSP is in competition with the leagues for participating teams. It's unavoidable and the prospect for ultimate success may ride on whatever the plan is for some sort of transition or shift in priorities on the part of the PSP.