Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The EPBF Strikes Back

Never heard of the EPBF before? Relax, you're in good company. The EPBF is the European Paint-Ball Federation. (Yeah, I know. They're European. Do I need to say more?) The brain child of Euroland's paintball elites it began as a dream. If some bureaucracy is good, and who can doubt that it is, then more must be better and the EPBF is intent on proving it. First there was the Intercontinental Cup in '06 (in which 4 sacrificial CPL got mowed at WC and the paintball world yawned.) (True story.) Today--or rather this upcoming weekend--years of EPBF determination will result in a Nations Cup event played during Campaign Cup, or rather, after each day's regularly scheduled matches. (And the nations cheered. Yea.)
Okay, there's more to it than that. There's also an international ranking system, take that, APPA, based (sorta) on the model of tennis. (Yes, I know. But they're European. I thought you understood that part.) Complete with Grand Slam events, Masters events & a few others with big numbers. I confess however to being slightly confused. You see, a lot of the numbers (teams will be assigned based on where they finish) overlap. For example, the second division at a Grand Slam maxes out at 1000 points for the winner. I take that second division to be the equivalent of the Millennium's SPL--largely 'cus all but one of the Grand Slam events is a Millennium event. But then the top division of a Masters event maxes at 1000 points too. That makes them equivalent, right? But are they really? And look, the way the points overlap the back half of the CPL teams, for example, will be well behind the top SPL teams, or whatever they choose to call the divisions in an EPBF future. If I really cared how this was supposed to work I might have tried to figure it out. Since I don't I'ma give the EPBF the benefit of the doubt and assume it actually makes sense even if, at a cursory glance, it doesn't appear to. (Yes, I know they're European. I'm the one who brought it up in the first place!)
Perhaps more impressively the EPBF have strong-armed a number of different paintball leagues into joining and EPBF future. In the case of the Grand Tour--remember them?--all it took was to give them one Grand Slam and consider the rest of their circuit Masters events. If that doesn't help the league pull more than their usual 20-25 teams then nothing short of free play will accomplish that miracle. Beyond that the EPBF has signed up a list of some of the major national level tournament series. Although "signed up" may not tell the whole story. Let's just say it wouldn't surprise me if a few horse's heads didn't show up in a few beds.


Rob said...

If I'm not mistaken the ultimate goal of the EPBF and the APPBF etc. was to unite all major paintball leagues and countries under the UPBF - which would be the FIFA of paintball, responsible for a single worldwide format and able to put on an actual World Cup rather than the so called "World Cup" or four we currently have. Having a united international federation would mean the potential for paintball to become an olympic sport. Whether you do or don't like that idea, it would certainly add legitimacy.

I believe the PSP were onboard with the UPBF at one stage and may still be, though the NPPL weren't at the time and seemed to think they should be solely in charge of world paintball (and stated as much at one point on the nation).

While the idea of a proper World Cup and international governing body might seem unnecessary to you in the US where you've got all the paintball you want, for the rest of the world it would be great to be able to field an actual national team against other actual national teams. Because the sport would have a true federation, here in NZ we'd be able to apply for government funding for a national team - something that we can't currently do. As it stands paintball is not organised enough to be considered a legitimate sport by our government or the IOC for that matter.

So ah... yeah. That's what the EPBF is all about. You in the US may not care but the rest of us do. I for one support the idea.

Missy Q said...

So thats one guy. Who else is on board?

Anonymous said...

No one? EPBF leaders = Millennium Board.

Same names, same agenda. EPBF is just used to strengthen the grip of Millennium owners over tournament scene in europe and thus, continue their "we don't publish rulebooks" / "customers are wrong" / "if you complain about the series, you are against paintball" attitude these people have.

EPBF is used to to make controversial changes in MS to appeared have "FIFAs" support, hence directly players support and all suggestions / complaints about actually improving the series can be nullified.

In short, on grass roots level, everyone thinks EPBF is a joke, but it sure looks good on the cabinets. I just hope year 2012 will be as disasterous to MS as 2009-2011 was.

Less teams, less money, hopefully, less bullshit as they are forced to die or listen to customers. Listening to customers, is something that is unheard off in europe anyway..

Rob said...

It's funny, both Apple and Facebook are run on the principle that the customer is almost *never* right. They seem to be doing pretty well! We'll see how the Millenium etc. end up in a few years, but I wouldn't be surprised if they do ok.

Anonymous said...

Unless I missed something, it looks like this just ranks teams, not players, so looks like they still fail at anything APPA does.

The do seem to have gotten a whole continent to agree on one damned format though, which is an accomplishment.

Kai said...

I agree with Rob. Most countries in Asia still regard the paintball marker as a weapon/firearm, thus restricting the growth of the sport and industry. We need a World Federation that IOC recognises before our governments would ever think of paintball as a sport.

Anonymous said...

Very surprised by some comments from people which never travel outside US!
No doubt today, Millennium is by far the best series in the world in many ways. Organization, scheduling, atmosphere, reefing... (i am not even speaking about how cheap is the Millennium entry fee compare to the states)
Funny that no one see the work achieved by the millennium in most European countries. Do you American realize how strong is tournament paintball today in Europe! Just try to figure out how many European teams are competing today all over Europe and how many professional paintball sites are existing!
Do you even know that the EPBF and others confederations like the APPBF have been created to bring the sport to the Olympic games!
Do you even know that Paintball is going to be part of the World Games?
( ).
Already in 2009, Paintball was part as of the world Games in Kaohsiung as performances sports ( For your knowledge, Germany won the title ).

According to me EPBF for sure will be successful and will drive the future of Paintball.

By the way, even if some Millennium Board Members are among the executive committee, most of the members are president of Federations.
Just to finish. The EPBF president which has been elected is Laurent Hamet and for your knowledge he did in the last 15 years more things for Tournament Paintball than anybody in the Paintball world by just creating:
Quality events (Toulouse World cup in 1992 which became quickly a worldwide standard ).
7 man format
The millennium series
Xball light (race 2 format). He wrote the rules.
and now the EPBF and UPBF.
Watch out! A new era in Paintball is coming!

Missy Q said...

Hey Laurent, nice to see you on here.

Anonymous said...

Yes we are Europeans. And we consist of many countries/ nations/ standards/ leagues/ events. And the difference between us is not like between Texas and Wisconsin. For north Americans mentality that maybe difficult to understand, so let just acknowledge the fact, that something positive is going on in Europe that will have also very positive result for your country as well.