Had a brief conversation about small ball with somebody who knows while sitting under the refs tent at Phoenix waiting for our semi-final match on Sunday. (See? I'm getting better. I can type the word "Phoenix" today. Who knows what's in store for tomorrow.) I brought up the subject of small ball.
There were two elements to the conversation I found interesting. I enquired about release of product to the North American market and was told things were going so well in Euroland it was gobbling up everything the GI Milsim peeps can produce--but that the American market wasn't being forsaken.
I was aware that product was moving in Europe--if you mean being ordered and filling shelf and warehouse space. What I have yet to see is much indication of actual retail sales. Of course there could be more of that than I'm aware but the sales end of the equation doesn't seem to be going great guns, product or otherwise.
Of greater interest to me were comments regarding the U.S. market. I asked if there would be a presence at HB and the answer was no, certainly nothing big and showy. Tourney paintball wasn't the primary market. (Now that comment may only reflect a retrenchment or recognition of present resistence but I was pleased to hear it.) The big efforts will target some of the biggest of the Big Games looking to connect with a different (and more appropriate?) demographic where they play. If so I suspect small ball proponents will not be confronted with the same intensity and negativity they have been even prior to release of sample guns and paint at World Cup '09.