I think I skipped last week. Mostly because there wasn't anything of consequence (or even interest) to review but the payment deadlines have come into play and event registration closing dates are in the offing.
PSP: While not all sunshine and lollipops things are looking up (and considerably brighter) than the apocalyptic worst case scenario the league had considered a possible outcome given year-to-year shrinking turnouts plus a change of venue. Current numbers already exceed that gloomy forecast and given the registrations to date it looks like Galveston will easily surpass last year's Phoenix. Nearly 100 teams paid and 137 registered as of this morning. It's also worth noting the Race 2-2 (5-man) numbers are up given Race 2-2 participation has been on a downward spiral that fell off a cliff last year (to brutally mix metaphors). It wouldn't surprise me if the Texas venue was contributing to the improved 5-man turnout. Additionally the sponsorship commitments of GI Milsim/Sports has pressed the industry to respond and begin to reverse (or at least hold steady) on the other source of lost revenue; PBIndustry sponsorship. Fingers crossed we avoid another Texas blizzard Galveston looks to be a very positive lead event for the 2011 season.
On the field it will be interesting to see what happens given the off season changes. It will also be interesting to see how much credit the changes receive for a successful Galveston. Points will be longer and more paint will be shot. There may be ways to mitigate the tendency to longer points but that will be, in some measure, dependent on the final field layout. Keep an eye on the scores of the lower divisions Race 2-X results to see how often teams run out of clock before reaching the race 2 limit.
Btw, recent rumors hinting at the demise of the league prior to Galveston and/or before Chicago have no merit at all.
NPPL: The league has their new NPPA site up and active for registering teams and buying I.D.s online, etc. According the NPPA HB has 86 teams registered including 14 pro teams with some new names added to last year's regulars. The new guys (so far) are Aftershock, Portland Uprising & Seattle Thunder, captained by former Naughty Dog, Corey Field. The 86 teams currently recorded is a jump of over 33% in the last week and given the event isn't until the first weekend of April it isn't at all unreasonable to expect final numbers similar to last year. The league has been very proactive this off season with the implementation of Stay, Play & Save plus a wide variety of discount packages and transportation discounts, the introduction of NPPA and the latest round of seeking the Holy Grail, TV. And every indication is that discussions with ESPN may provide competitive paintball another opportunity to find and audience and outside of industry support. That's still a ways off however and there are other practical issues at stake as well. The league has yet to release the field layout (though word is the delay is because the league and ESPN are working to make it accessible for filming.) Or the details of the new gun rules (and any other rule changes) and while NPPA is a website that can apparently collect data and payments it doesn't have any actual classification system yet. While it's hardly a deal breaker, or even a big deal at the moment, if the NPPL is gonna claim to offer a real classification system it needs to deliver at some point (and while I realize this is not the old ownership) most every incarnation of the NPPL simply wanted to generate a database on players.
MS: The first Millennium event falls in between the PSP and NPPL events and the big question is how many teams will show up--particularly in the locked divisions. The reshuffle continues with D1 picking up at least 6 new teams according to regular MS news announcements and the CPL, with the pick-up of Camp Carnage and Heat, remain one team short assuming both Dynapact and Syndicate remain in the CPL. (Word is that Dynasty intend to hold their spot but no confirmation of continuing relationship with Impact for the CPL spot.) I expect the league to resolve any open CPL spots which leaves a further diminished SPL from last year. Even so, if the locked divisions were to be something like 16 teams, 24 teams & 32 teams when the dust settles and play begins at the Longchamps Paris event the league will have done an excellent job not only of salvaging what could have been a horrible off season but of sustaining the core of the league. The only thing left is to keep an eye on the open divisions to see how their numbers compare to last year keeping in mind the league managed to draw at least 6 teams into D1 that might have otherwise played in an open division.
Grant Tour: Still no info on a 2011 season. Must say it doesn't look promising.