The not so Grand Tour has managed to release a bit more info on their season opening event in Venice with a link to a YouTube kite-cam video of the venue (and a Google--or was that Yahoo?--map of the location.) Turns out there's a nice park on the edge of the lagoon in Mestre. It's close to the airport and the Mestre train station and you can see Venice across the water from the park. The kite cam might have sounded like a good idea but it was a rather windy day. As a result the video is pretty disorienting as the kite spins, twists and whips wildly side to side and up and down. Would any other league promoter use such an eccentric tool to promote their event? Who else would put on an event in a country where ostensibly paintball is illegal? On those accounts alone the not so Grand Tour is VFTD's favorite least well attended tournament series.
Things continue apace in the Millennium with little change from last week--at least little publicly announced change. Registered team numbers are up by a couple of teams though still no indication of who is registered to play in the locked divisions. And it occurred to me that there hasn't been a formal announcement--not that I heard--of which teams will be promoted and/or relegated this year although that should simply be a formality as the mechanism is already in place. Unless ...? There's still lots of time before Malaga but it won't be too long before the pressure begins to mount to release participation numbers. I guess the question is will keeping everyone, including sponsors, in the dark help or hurt in the long run?
The NPPL posted their online registration (and i.d. card) forms yesterday. On both they are requested the players self-identify their current player ranking but a reasonable question might be: Based on what? It looks like the league would like to have a baseline set for their new database based on the standards of the system they don't use anymore. In a curious side note the only access to either registration form is the link attached to the announcement that online registration was now available. (The same announcement was duplicated in the News section of the nppl.com website. The registration link goes to a different page.) And the actual location of the registration forms is at www.uspl.tv. Regardless there is no listing (yet) identifying teams that have registered and paid and it will be interesting to see how long the league holds out before they list the competing teams. Particularly as the prize packages are tied to the number of participants in a given division. Meanwhile, the NPPL wants you to know spaces are limited.
The PSP is on the tightest schedule with the Phoenix Open just a month away and assorted odds and ends still to be resolved and/or announced. The divisional 'designated spectator' rule was canceled a couple of days ago causing some hubbub and there are other details still to be decided (Where are the rules? Will there be a webcast?) but in all likelihood the the league's attentions are mostly focused on sponsors--or the lack thereof--and the total number of teams paid and playing. In the format formerly known as xball registration was at 99 earlier today. Phoenix last year had 92 paid. Race2-2 currently has 39 registered. Last year there were 51 paid. Right now the numbers look like xball should be (could be) close to last year with Race 2-2 lagging somewhat. While there's still time the lower number of registrants suggests it probably won't match last year. And if that's the case it will be interesting to look at two other factors; Race 2-2 participation in the west coast affiliate leagues--are they drawing teams away from the PSP?--and 5-man registrations for HB. This year, more than ever, it's a numbers game. Everybody else still has some wiggle room. The PSP will be locked in first and we'll have a clear indication of what to expect the rest of the season for major league paintball around the world.