If you cared you already know the results and about the thunderstorms on Monday. (Lots of scary lightning & thunder but the venue temperature dropped 15 degrees or more and lasted long enough that it never got ugly hot and humid.) And if you follow the MLP weekly updates you know what the turnout was, more or less, so I'ma focus on the venue, the vendors, the Big Game tie-in, the guns and the Dogs Silver.
What about the Dogs Silver? As one of three D1 teams they got tossed into the pro prelim mix and got trampled. Without complaint--they were right next to us in the pits--they made the best of it and focused on learning and by the time the event was finished on Monday they were the D1 winners. There's a lesson in there somewhere.
Initially the venue was a bit of a disappointment because you can't see any of the cool custom rec fields and because it's way out in Children of the Corn country. Once there everything was easily accessible with plenty of parking. (Seems the CPX folks don't normally charge for parking but thought $5 wasn't unreasonable (as an auxiliary parking lot was part of the preparation)--until the scenario kids cried foul--after which it was announced parking fees would be donated to the fund of money raised for paintball co-founder Bob Gurnsey who is battling cancer. The tourney fields were next to the parking lots as were the vendors--though there were other paved lots for the park further away. The daily drive was 20 minutes plus from a league recommended hotel and Joliet is a few minutes further down the highway than the old PSP Bollingbrook venue. Neither of which was a big deal unless you were planning on spending time in the big city.
It seems however that there is accessibility and then there's accessibility because the word on site was that the vendors weren't getting the volume of traffic they'd hoped for (expected?) from the scenario crowd in part because of the distance from the main park entrance. (The vendors were set-up right by the NPPL fields.) Apparently it was too far to walk or maybe they were counting on a CPX transport to deliver them to an insertion point. At least that was the word I heard and that was consistent with the way it looked to me. I don't know who was there primarily for LL3 and who was there sponsoring the NPPL but the big DYE rig & tent was there for LL3 for sure. The other bigger players were Valken, Empire & Tippmann. There were also quite a few smaller companies repping the event too like Trade Your Gun and First Call. It also looked like Ninja ponied up a few bucks to get a banner and have one end of the grandstand field named for them; as in Dynasty heads for the Ninja end of the field only to get rained out. I'm not picking and choosing who to mention--I just don't pay that much attention.
I liked the idea of the scenario game/tournament tie-in and it was a nice perk that the pro players got to play on Saturday if they wanted to--and I'm sure everyone enjoyed themselves but beyond that there didn't seem to be much interaction between the two groups. Don't know that I expected anything different--didn't really think about it--but if I were to pick a group that seemed more resistant to mingling with the other I'd pick the scenario crowd. But the truth is how much do the two sides really have in common other than the tools of the game?
Okay, it's time to talk gun rules for a second. Look, I'm not going to get into specifics because there's no point in pointing fingers or arguing over who did what intentionally or mistakenly or whatever. What matters is that the rules work and are consistent. And they aren't. In the NPPL they weren't before and they still aren't. For whatever reason the NPPL guys can't seem to give up on their uncapped semi-auto and in an attempt to not be overly harsh in enforcing gun rules on the lower divisions where intent is viewed as less likely--rules are still rules. So it would seem the real intent is to cut the lower divisions some slack, not give the pros carte blanche but at the end of the day the enforcement remains subjective and haphazard and under those circumstances there will be no satisfactory outcome. At a minimum the league ought to at least consider capped "semi-auto" so they have a standard to judge against.
Next stop DC.