My efforts to keep things short worked so well yesterday with the Malaga layout I'm gonna try again today.
The not so Grand Tour may finally be getting some traction as registration nearly doubled over last week--which isn't saying a lot but it's movement in the right direction. Still no pro teams registered but I know at least one that intends to compete this season. Among this week's registrants was Empire (out of Italy) which has also nabbed a D1 spot in the MS.
In the Millennium it's becoming clear that promotion and relegation only matter when there is a demand for an artificially limited object--in this case, a spot in a locked division--as Dagnir Dae joins the ranks of the CPL, hopscotching teams that finished ahead of them in the SPL last season. (The same holds true for other teams like the aforementioned Empire buying into D1 and others.) Currently the CPL is at 13 teams, missing one "promoted" team--as neither Lisbon Benfica or Consilium Dei have claimed their CPL spot and neither CPL regulars Joy or Instinct have registered yet. Registration across all divisions stands at 80 teams. Last year Malaga had 147 teams compete. It would be interesting to know if some of the new locked division teams are paying full price to get in. The same thought applies to league sponsors like the recently signed up, Valken. With the move from 5 events to 4 it wouldn't be unreasonable for the league to negotiate fees differing from those initially given in this year's sponsorship package just as they adjusted entries for the teams. Of course no one would ever admit to it.
UPDATE: It's being reported that Joy and Instinct will be back in the CPL and that it may end up being Art Chaos Moscow making the move up from the SPL as the MS is determined to have a full CPL division.
In the NPPL 3.0 the first payment deadline passed last night. (I got my notice from the league time stamped 11:05 pm.) By my count only a couple of teams took advantage yesterday. Registration stands at 119 total teams including 10 pro teams with 91 paid (including the 10 pro teams) according to info available on the league's website. It is however unclear if all the teams identified as having paid have paid in full, including the pro teams. Additionally 40 of the 119 are pump or 5-man teams with much lower entry fees than the 7-man teams. Still, in comparison to what's happening in the PSP and the MS the raw numbers may be considered better than expected. However, given that HB is the NPPL's premier event if it turns out to represent the best the league can expect it could be another long year.
In the last couple of days the league also announced a couple of pre-HB Cali events targeting the lower division teams. One to be played at Warped and the other at Jungle Island on the same weekend of March 27,28. Both are giving free HB entries to division winners with no apparent minimum number requirements I could find. And both will be competing on the HB layout.
The die is cast for PSP Phoenix and there's no reason to expect anything other than the usual well run weekend of national level competitive paintball. There were more than a few last minute unknowns in the Race 2 - 7 divisions but those have finally been resolved with the posting of the 2010 rule book at the PSP website in the last day or so. Even so there will be a few unknowns until matches are actually played. How will the 90 second turnaround work? How quickly will the refs adjust to changes that affect them? What will results coming out of the prelims look like? With 6 of 10 moving out of the prelims it should make the prelim results less controversial but we will still see some teams move on by virtue of tie-breaking procedure rather than clear cut superiority on the field of play. Scoring has also been modified with no OT point for the loser anymore, in fact, no overtime in the prelims anymore. 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and zippo for a loss. Now if you need two points you need to fight for it in regulation because there's no "free" point anymore. And in a 3 match prelim a tie isn't quite as bad as a loss but especially early in an event it is not a result any team will want either. The only objection I have after a quick look at the rules is the swing point in OT for a major penalty. If OT time is open-ended there is no need to decide the outcome by rule.