If you missed the webcast last night I have two words for you: Shawn Walker. And here's another word: stakeholders.
Was that unfair, unkind, cruel even? I don't think so. The broadcast opened with Chuck asserting (once again) that the USPL is no more and that this is the NPPL (3.0), the once and future 7-man paintball league. Say it loud, say it proud. I'm willing to take him at his word. And of course some of the same themes were repeated as well. (Walker's RPL was also identified as a feeder league which was mildly curious given that it's based on 5-man ...)
The broadcast was about an hour long with a brief intermission in the middle. Leading up to the broadcast I thought was a good idea, answer questions, drum up more interest & generally promote the league. Afterwards, it seemed long on talk and a little thin on content. A lot of territory was covered but largely in a superficial manner. So before I get into some of the details here's a list of items discussed I won't be responding to;
the admission that last year was financially rough but this year will see a turnaround,
while the USPL is no more there's still an enormous U in the middle of the playing field,
anything related to classification, ranking & player id's because seriously, really?
the disconnect between the press release and the broadcast,
when asked "why 7-man?" Chuck's response of it's great for TV and semi-auto. Or Alex's hyperbolic follow-up that we'd still be in the woods without 7-man,
the oft-repeated mantra of being a league run by the players for the players.
Using the press release as a topic guide I want to go through the list and briefly give the league's responses to the broadcast topics.
Rule book changes--yes, there will be some and most revolve around gun rules and most will relate to penalizing players and not teams though how that's gonna work was not stated. And there will be something about how to catch illegal guns too.
HB field layout--everybody likes it except Rodney and while it hasn't been played yet a field is a field is a field. It'll be fine.
Event paintballs--nope, didn't hear anything about this though it could have occurred during the brief period the audio was down early in the broadcast.
Sponsorships--working on stuff, KEE is a big supporter as are Kingman, Spyder, the Army and working on energy drinks and more stuff. Making a bigger effort to connect with locals.
Ref clinic report--last year's refs were dedicated and hard-working but the NPPL is determined to have the best refs possible and it begins with communication, or something like that.
Pro team updates--3 new teams, Dogs, Entourage & Vancouver Vendetta; 3 teams out, Rage, Elevation & United, so 15 teams. Except there were 16 last year and if 3 drop and 3 replace them where's the missing team?
Rankings--no worries, the NPPL has years of old NPPL records to rely on.
Hotels, travel and HB special events, promotions and parties--Chuck thanked the Hilton for the use of the suite for the broadcast.
Special Guests (local field operators, HB city officials, hotel reps, Vip Girls and more)--one field operator, Gio d'Egidio (and new volunteer), no officials, reps or girls. Perhaps we could count Junior from Ballers Cafe (also new volunteer), Chris Iaquinta from Splat! (also new volunteer) and Justin Mason from ProPaintball.com as more.
Stuff not mentioned in the press release that got mentioned was the all volunteer reorg of league duties, introduction of 50 cal guns & paint, webcasts for HB & Vegas and a new D4 division. Chuck remains Commish, Frank Connell is registration, Dennis Olson is finances, Rich is rules, Eric Crandall is General Manager, Bart is pro team liaison, Rob (I missed), JB is sponsors, Iaquinta is marketing, Gio is promotions and marketing, Tom Cole is Ultimate and at the end Chuck mentioned Dante for event set-up. D4 will be exclusively for D4 ranked players. And GI Milsim will presumably be a sponsor too--and they probably said so--as the league will allow 50 cal use side-by-side with standard 68 but otherwise nothing else about it.
I originally intended some more in-depth commentary but this is even more tedious the second time around and I'm rapidly losing the will to live so you're out of luck.