In last week's 'Being Charlie Sheen' post I mentioned that a number of friends and former teammates had decided to bring the old team back to life and play a CFPS event, a PSP affiliate series. I want to follow-up not so much on the results but on what happens next. And to encourage anyone in a similar situation (or who knows someone in a similar situation) to post up those experiences in the comments.
The upshot of the first fresh tourney experience in years was a near unanimous more please. In the process a number of the guys had to buy gear, some used, some new, arrange a practice or two and calculate what the hit to their personal budget was gonna be--all before they had competed again. And despite a less than stellar performance that included a number of penalties for violations the guys didn't realize they were committing for things like ROF. (Two guys got their settings wrong and one guy's gun was semi-auto out of the box and it was still the fastest gun he'd ever shot.)
Not only do they want to do it again but more of the old gang are hoping to jump in and join them. At this rate they could reconstitute two or three former teams in fairly short order. Follow-up conversations have broached the subject of making tourney days family days as they discuss the prospect of bringing out wives, girlfriends and children next time hang out, enjoy the atmosphere and spend some time together.
And as the plans become more comprehensive what was originally no more than a one off, let's have a few laughs, is already looking ahead to the next event and the rest of the season. If they stick with it, it will mean more gear sold (or re-sold) with more people returning to the field and who knows just where it leads next. It could easily expand to a group of fifteen or twenty players and two or three teams. That could sew the seeds for the next generation of players as their families grow up or, if one or two get seriously hooked (again) it could prove to be the beginning of completely new teams. The sky, as they say, is the limit. Or was that 300 fps? (I know, really lame joke.)
The one place this return to the tourney game is unlikely to lead is the PSP. (Or the NPPL, for that matter.) Questions have been asked and prices given. For the majority it's out of the question. Nor is that sort of competitive paintball really what most of them want. Sure they want the competition. They want the heat of battle and they want to win--but not at any price. Not at a totally unrealistic price in time, resources & money. That's way beyond what most of them are willing to even consider.
So call it good news and bad news. There are former players out there who may not need more than a little push to jump back into playing again. Guys with families that would create bridges to the next generation. Guys with experience (and resources) who could help new teams develop. Guys who are unlikely to ever play the national circuit again. But why stop with ex-tourney players?