Thursday, March 25, 2010

NPPL Rules 2010

The post title is the link. I've only had a few minutes to look it over and I've only got a few minutes before it's off to the airport for a flight to Phoenix, but--
I didn't get this post done last week. Obviously. Otherwise, nothing's changed. I've seen Part 2 of the interview with the cast of NPPL characters over at ProPaintball. I didn't see anything that offered any clarification with respect to the rules but did enjoy Chuck's ongoing delusions of grandeur. Now that's entertainment!

Having read through the rules a couple of times I have a couple of questions and a comment or two. (Go figure.) Beginning at the beginning and working through the rules first up is rule 4.06 (1) which deals with roster changes. My interest pertains to Pro rosters in particular. Divisional teams are allowed unlimited roster changes but Pro teams are only allowed 2 changes per event. I don't understand the distinction. If a team is playing great are they likely to make big changes? If they suck then isn't the potential of greater parity a positive? Why the limitation? Mostly I'm curious. I don't think it's a huge deal. If the concern is related to raiding team rosters this probably isn't the best way to handle it.

Rule 4.08 Changes to Player Status allows players to request reclassification. Which they have to do because it's not addressed in the rules. It's really just a $50.00 shakedown which must be paid prior to adjudication of the request.

Rule 7.02. (I confess I looked for this one first--along with other "semi-auto" related rules--as I was particularly curious to see if the latest Rules Committee had made any real progress. The short answer is no.) This rule pertains to triggers, what constitutes a trigger pull and what the result (one pull and release, one shot) ought to be. It also clearly states that initiation of a switch does not constitute a trigger pull. By this definition virtually every gun in the event will be illegal because virtually every gun will cycle more shots than there will be trigger pulls and releases as defined by the rule. Later in the rules "bounce" is mentioned (in quotation marks) because (apparently) the committee doesn't know what it is nor is it anywhere in the rules defined but you can still be suspended for 6 games (or worse) for employing "bounce", whatever it is. Can you say subjective, boys and girls?

In rule 7.12 markers (guns to y'all) may only be exposed--sounds naughty--within the players paddock or on the field (presumably). That means, I think, all guns must be put away in gear bags or gun cases etc. at all times except when you're in the paddock or playing. I'm not objecting to the this rule, btw, only incredulous that it was written and very interested to see it enforced. I can see it now. Team entering tourney area lugging gear and guns receive suspensions prior to entering paddock or playing a game. Thanks, NPPL 3.0, I'll be back for sure. Just saying. (Fortunately it appears there is a provision for a discretionary warning first, as there is for guns that might be in violation of other rules, though how the league will keep track of who has been warned and who hasn't wasn't explained.)

Rule 11.05 describes what constitutes a valid hit when making a paint check. Rule 19 (Marked by Paint) confirms what constitutes an eliminating hit. A paintball must have broken on "--and marked a player." Now I'm cool with this rule if that's really what they mean but odds are it isn't. Because what is written means a ball can break and leave no mark and NOT be a valid hit. You and I both know this happens. But you and I also both know that's not how it will be called. And rule 19 (4) appears to obligate refs to wipe off players marked by paint that isn't a valid hit. I'll be watching to see how that works out.

Rule 11.09 attempts to deal with the idea of official bias, by the refs that is, by suggesting there is some recourse should a ref be deemed to be biased. Does anyone see that happening during the course of competition in such a way that everyone (anyone) walks away satisfied? Me either. What is bias? Does everyone know it when they see it? I appreciate the sentiment but as formulated it's a can of worms waiting to be opened.

Rule 11.10 Disputing Referee's Call. Is pointless and a waste of time even if you're correct. And everybody knows it. It's Kabuki. The rule is procedural. In light of 22.07, Finality of Calls, the chances of any "resolution" are virtually nil. Always have been, always will be. The rule should be called when you think you've been screwed this is how we pretend to make it all better.

Rule 22.02 (8) I get the basic idea. No problem. But why add the bit about compressing the bunkers or altering their shapes? It's non-specific and easy to over-interpret. It could be argued it's something players do all the time without moving the bunkers, stepping on, climbing on or over or otherwise moving off their axes yadda yadda yadda. The wording seems like it's begging for an over zealous ref to start pulling peeps for pushing their guns into the props.

In a few places Over Shooting is mentioned and always includes the caveat "with intent to injure." The thing is nobody overshoots with the intent to injure. Could it happen? Sure. Does it? Seldom if ever. The problem is by the wording of these rules you can't call a player for over shooting (or excessive bonus balling) without claiming an intent to injure and that isn't why people do it. Of course this won't stop some ref making the call and when it's obvious the ref can't offer any real proof of intent to injure it makes a mockery of the rule, the ref and the league--all because of the way the rule is written.

Regarding general enforcement of so-called semi-auto this latest batch of rules is a rehash of the same old with a first round of arbitrary warnings thrown into the mix. I suppose the idea is that since enforcement remains largely subjective that a warning first allows a player (and/or team) to adjust the questionable gun but that adjustment, if made, doesn't guarantee a legal marker or one that won't be picked out again. And the warning mostly will make it safer for players to take risks with their setup as step one is only a warning. And, of course, "real" cheaters won't care about these rules (or fear them) anymore than they did in the past.

Mostly it's small potatoes. With the exception of the still ridiculous gun rules I doubt other potential problem areas will actually ever cause much of a real problem during an event. Past incarnations of the NPPL were always disinclined to enforce their more draconian rules--except in rare, usually ludicrously inappropriate circumstances--and I suspect the same will hold for NPPL 3.0. But watch out, there could be lots of warnings dished out.


J-Bird said...

NPPL3.0 = total circle jerk.

the interview read was awful...tons of sun-shine being pumped.

Anonymous said...

So everyone should use ramping guns until they get the warning?

Anonymous said...