Friday, January 8, 2010

Prizes & Procaps

For those who enjoy the insider paintball stuff Robbo, over at P8ntballer, has some interesting stuff to say about Procaps as do a couple commenters. Check it out. (That, btw, is the sum of the procaps content in this post so if that's what you're after you know where to go.)

The new prize structure in the PSP seems to be a minor talking point for the disaffected hopeful who may or may not have ever actually played a PSP event. (Granted one needn't be a PSP player to have an opinion, and perhaps even a worthwhile opinion but in lieu of overwhelming logical mastery it doesn't hurt to establish a credible basis for holding a particular opinion. Anyway--) I don't have a lot to add and I'm reasonably confident the puppet army doesn't require convincing but nevertheless there are a couple of items I want to add to the conversation.

This is my second go round on this. The first effort has been ejected out the Blogger airlock into he infinite reaches of cyberspace destined to go eternally unread, lost in the void. And good riddance. The truth is I can see both sides of the prize argument (and, in the past have argued both sides) but at the end of the day I am siding with unfairness. It seems to me to boil down to two things; what is the PSP? and what is the purpose of the prize? To argue that the lower divisions deserve prizes because they tend to be more numerous makes a couple of false assumptions. One, that the PSP should reward participation instead of excellence and two, that the league is a lottery and not a competition. The PSP is the leading advocate of competitive paintball as sport and as such it seeks to provide players and teams with an opportunity to compete. Not to win and not to take home cash to help defray the cost of competing. And the obvious purpose of the new prize structure is to encourage the desire to be excellent and reward it within a context of competitive balance. One might argue about where the dividing line ought to be--is D2 too low?--but that is a different argument. For those who insist on fairness and equal opportunity in competitive paintball the only way to achieve that would be to create one big random draw for all competing teams. That way everyone would have the same relative chance to win and earn their prize. I haven't heard anyone demanding that option lately so until I do I can live with unfairness in the service of superior competition.

1 comment:

Reiner Schafer said...

Baca, I think the reason you haven't received a lot of comments on this subject is that you are right, and most people know it. Only those who cannot play as well, but want a shot at big prizes realy have anything to gain by argueing. And wouldn't they just come across as greedy?

What makes a great athlete in any sport? Perseverence. Grit. Putting in hours of practice when after everyone else has gone home. Why do they put themselves through that? Because of the opportunity to seize the great prize once they are at the top of their game.

Would any professional sports league be what it is, if we started paying High School and College League players simialr amounts? Of course not. There would be little drive to become the best. The top league should have better prizes. A lot better.

There should also be some barrier in place that limits the number of teams (players) eligible to play at that top level. That way, as a player, if you want a spot on one of those teams, the fame and glory that goes with it, as well as good prizes (and maybe even pay), there is something to strive for and a reason to make it to every practice and tournament. Rewarding mediocracy doesn't work nearly as well.