That would be major league paintball (MLP) to the uninitiated. Here at VFTD even my fingers are lazy so I abbreviate most anything and everything one time or another. Following on yesterday's post I want to look at the (potential) ramifications of the current political track represented by the EPBF & some hypotheticals of what a merger (or the collapse of one league or the other) would really accomplish. (Both of which are far more interesting than any merger talk alone.)
But first a brief history reminder to put our speculation into context. About the time (a few years ago) when a resurgent NPPL was openly contemplating creating a European NPPL both the MS & PSP considered it beneficial to align their interests. Included in that dialogue was a minor item called the UPBF. (Minor from the PSP's point of view, not so much the other way around.) From those alignment efforts came a new format--for the MS (and eventually the PSP), general plans to slowly integrate the offerings from each league and lay the foundation for a world federation--along with all the smaller pieces of such a puzzle like national federations & the EPBF (which might someday be matched by the NAPBF, for example.) [Back then I objected on principle concerned that ultimately the PSP would end up more like the MS than the other way around. And, predictably, I was correct.]
During the intervening years elements of the MS and European paintball have continued to move forward to gain international recognition via the organizational structures they are putting into place. Not long ago outreach into Asia has gained some momentum with stronger ties between the MS & PALS along with the formation of the MPBL. Before that inclusion into the last World Games (2009)--where odd sports go that don't make the Olympics--as a demonstration sport was heralded as a great success and a step forward toward an Olympic future. (To date, very few--I know one--sports have made the crossover from WG to Olympics & the IOC has capped participant numbers making the future inclusion of new sports problematic.) And over the recent 4th of July weekend the EPBF celebrated perhaps its greatest success to date with the Nation's Cup event tacked onto Campaign Cup. Step by step the forces behind the international federation movement are making progress. In the recent VFTD post, The EPBF Strikes Back, one comment in particular offers insight into the federationist's thinking.
The comment as follows:
--"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!
VFTD is not ideologically opposed to the UPBF and I certainly don't care what Europeans choose to do with European paintball but as a happening fait accompli I am concerned that North American paintball will someday (perhaps soon) discover that international paintball forms & norms are a done deal we either align with or choose to go it alone. Is that a big deal? Probably not. Will it change the competitive paintball experience over here? Cooperation with the MS already has. (I couldn't have said it better myself.) Watch out! A new era in paintball is coming!
Okay, I'm running way long so tomorrow VFTD will take a look at some MLP counterfactuals--just for fun!