We played simulated matches today on the Chicago layout. Yesterday we ran breakouts and full points. Two days, one weekend and that's it until we play Shock on Friday afternoon. The old grind isn't what it once was. Oh, I know, a few teams will get in some extra scrimmage time during the week--and the Legion coaches are probably busy trying to figure out how their players can achieve positive visualizations in their sleep--if they don't already do that. Of course that isn't the only paintball we played to get ready but it was the most valuable time spent. If only we had layouts to play that really took advantage of the limited preparation time by offering unique characteristics that different teams might try to exploit in different ways. That might produce some pretty exciting paintball. That's not going to happen (much) in Chicago.
The virtue of the Chitown layout is in its lack of unique qualities. It made it easier to prep as we've all seen versions of this before. It also means there are some worthwhile general lessons to be learned from a field like Chicago. Consequently, after the event I'll try to spend some time revisiting the layout and discussing the keys to play & some of the trade-offs that will have been well illustrated during the tournament.
In some general PSP info it looks like the final number is 155 teams (although the optional registration during the event is being held open for a couple of Tactical Race 2-2 teams.) Last year's total was 154 but last year saw 93 xball teams compared to 80 this year with the difference made up in added Race 2-2 teams. During the registration period there were plenty of teams to get within sniffing distance at least of the old Chicago 200 team standard but apparently being registered for Chicago for three months was their competition.