Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Poll in Review

I heard from a reliable source this past week that powers in the PSP weren't exactly thrilled to see last week's The Monday Poll. (And given the results I suspect the NPPL kids liked it even less.) So let this be a teaching moment on why Baca is always right. The point of the poll was a) to give voice to you, the competitive player, and b) to make painfully clear that whatever reasons may be offered in favor of the 7-man format widespread popularity isn't one of them. (More on this coming later.)
(Reason a is also why I am on occasion frustrated at the lack of participation. Outlets for expressing your moods, views, opinions and general thoughts are relatively few and far between and trust me, participating here, at VFTD will get you a lot further than bitching & whining will over on PBN. On the flip side your apathy is a green light for the paintball powers-that-be to do what they want, when they want.)
Allow me to demonstrate. (We're talking about the poll again.) Given all the different options let's add up the percentages that favor any form of 7-man. That total is 16% of the vote. The total favoring some form of xball or Race 2 is 73%. In the debate over what format a unified major league ought to offer the answer seems pretty clear, doesn't it? Also of interest 18% voted for the current form of Race 2 while only 2% voted for the current form of 7-man. That, my friends, is 9:1 in favor of xball. (7-man collected most of its votes [14%] in the S7 category of Best of 3 competition that I am certain most of those voting for haven't actually played. Largely because it turned out to be a confusing pain in the --) And of course there is no way original Xball , despite receiving 24% of the vote, makes a surprise return because a) nobody could afford to play it (unless the PSP turned into the CXBL and nobody is gonna commit major league resources to playing two matches or whatever per event) and b) divisional teams would scream bloody murder if they were forced to return to a double elimination format or something similar. (I'll believe there's a real market for 10-man [5%] when somebody offers a 10-man tourney and anybody shows up.) For better or worse Xball Lite is where we're at. That is what has the majority of the grassroots support. That's what most of the regional leagues are playing. That's what Euroland is playing. That's what the developing paintball world aspires to compete in. The debate is over. For better or worse xball is the dominant competitive format.

NPPL Owners Extra: Sorry, kids, you got nothing. Stick with the claim of marketing superiority. Minus the revolving pro teams merry-go-round your events have averaged less than 70 paid teams per event in your first two years. Take the 5-man & pump teams out of the equation and the number of teams actually competing in 7-man drops noticeably. There's no real debate here, only your delusions. While I'm at it here's a prediction for y'all: Any format decision that isn't basically Race 2 will, within about ten minutes, spawn a new competing league or some cooperative competing national championship among the regional Race 2 series.

Edited for accuracy: I changed the number of paid teams on average in the above paragraph after double checking my recollection. More data can be found in the post Buy The Numbers. And if you remove 5-man & pump the number of divisional teams competing in the 7-man format averaged 40 teams during the first two years of NPPL 3.0.


Anonymous said...

RaceTo .5 gets my vote

10 foot by 30 foot fields- 3:00 game time.

1vs.1= PERFECT for the XGames.

Thank you for posting these polls. I vote in each one and do appreciate the opportunity you are providing.


Anonymous said...

That's 3x9 meters... My living room has more space.

Missy Q said...

yes, but does it have the necessary parking? Thanks for the offer, but we can't just start olding events in peoples living rooms, no matter how big they may be.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous/cubed said:
I think there is a disconnect with the average race2 player when it comes to this discussion in that they don't take it all too seriously, because the 4 or 5 neurons they possess has little chance in forming the obvious question: WHY IN THE F*** WOULD THOSE ON THE SIDE OF THE WINNING FORMAT EVER CONSIDER ADOPTING ASPECTS THE LOSERS?!?!?!?

Baca said...

Anon #3
That question should properly be addressed to the NPPL Board.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous/cubed said:
But the "Tank" might hurt me if I do.

Anonymous said...

Baca, I just started reading VFTD a week so ago, and just wanted to thank you for giving us the perspective of whats going on through your eyes. Definitely informative and an interesting read.

I really don't understand why... How everyone is all about 7-man? Woulda been nice if they just allowed it to die back after 09. Also, maybe you could provide your insight... why is it the NPPL has such a low turn out compared to PSP, yet NPPL still manages to score all these sponsors? How the eff did they score Monster (energy drink)for DC? That event, MIGHT get 70 teams.

7-man, I'm sure it's fun to play... But watching has gotta be the most boring thing ever. Having 14 players on the field as opposed to 10 at a time just makes it an even harder "sport" to follow. I said this in an earlier blog of yours, 7-man seems to be more a game while xball/raceTo more resembles a sport and allows the better team to win. Being with a team that plays both leagues, do you guys feel the same?

I don't know... I just hope the two leagues can merge. The NPPL appears to have paid attention in their marketing classes while the PSP knows how to run a league. The next thing they need to really work on is make their feeder leagues true feeder leagues that actually count for something.

Anonymous said...

If it moves slower, how is it harder to follow?

Chess vs. Checkers.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to get sponsored by an energy drink company. Just call the local rep up and tell them they can come hand out free samples at your event. Chuck and Frank even get a couple hot chicks that have to talk to them for at least a couple minutes.

That's actually been one of NPPL's problems. They've been so concerned with looking like they are having a "mainstream" impact that they settle for sponsor deals that don't pay the bills instead of working to develop actual sponsor value.

Anonymous said...

I think you have no idea what you are talking about.


Baca said...

Anon (the thoughtful one)
Resurrecting the format was a secondary consideration. The object was self-determination for the pro teams. (Not, btw, a bad thing.) The rah rah since for 7-man is really about making the best of the situation. The reality is some in that camp are aware that most of their promotional efforts have been superficial and a dispassionate look at the status of the two formats offers a clear picture. Unfortunately there are folks in the NPPL camp who are delusional--at least regarding the importance & popularity of their format.

Re: Monster and sponsors in general. If Pev agreed to place or already has refirgerated Monster displays at his paintball sites that would be a fairly commonplace arrangement and the hand outs a quid pro quo. I'm not saying that's what's happened--just a possible answer. If you look at the NPPL's sponsor page most of them didn't actually pay the NPPL anything. 15 of them are paintball media outfits.
They talk a big game but the simple facts are they couldn't continue with ESPN3 unless somebody else subsidized the webcast. They get the contact, make the arrangements, do the webcast, retain ESPN3's interest and then turn them down 'cus ESPN3 won't pony up some cash. There's a lot of talk from the NPPL--always has been--never much substance.

As to the validity of the formats as representations of competitive paintball. Each has some elements that commend themselves and both are subject to the fundamentals of tactical play. The player skill sets are or ought to be the same. 7-man is less spectator friendly in my estimation because actual knowledge of the game matters and even most players, regardless of format, don't understand a helluva lot about how the game works.

There was resistance from a number of our players and most of them still prefer xball. The decision to participate was made by the team looking down the road at the potential future benefits--not the players preferences or the format.

Anonymous said...

What's your ideal format/league Baca?

How would you organize events and the franchises? I'm interested to know. Sometimes while reading these posts, I get the feeling you've got a great card up your sleeve.

How would you handle media? Sponsors?

How would you handle this problem if you were playing the role of an events coordinator as opposed to a coach?

Don Saavedra said...

You can't get free advice for your league by posting as Anonymous.


Baca said...

You must be relatively new. I first discussed an improved league structure in the pages of PGI magazine in 2005 (I think it was.) SEE Dead Tree Archive. (Link on sidebar.) Anyway search the blog for "Pro Circuit" for VFTD postings on same. As for format I'm not advocating a format here, simply stating the facts. However if you search "Bacaball" you will get posts on an alternate format as well and I hope to post soon on another format mod I received via the mailbag recently but I need permission from the sender first.
As to media and sponsors I'd focus on the sport and not the spectacle and if I was the industry I'd focus--at least in the context of competitive paintball--on the schools and colleges. It seems to me that's the path of least resistance to sports acceptance.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the response Baca.

"Anonymous said...
If it moves slower, how is it harder to follow?

Chess vs. Checkers."

Haha, my apologies for not elaborating on that part. I was referring to how paintball doesnt have one true/single "focal point." You basically just follow the players, and by having more "focal points running around" on the field at one time makes it more difficult to follow. And of course, if it's slower, you start falling asleep... and that makes it pretty difficult to follow as well. :P

Anonymous said...

I don't think either format is easy to follow for outsiders, and would argue that, if anything, 7-man is easier to grasp.
The NPPL do a better job of marketing because the PSP have no clue when it comes to marketing, never have.
In fact, 3 incarnations of the NPPL have actually been better at marketing high-end paintball than the PSP. Is this simply because the PSP is crap at this, or because they don't care about it? Lil' tip - most marketing is free, and just requires some imagination, and a little leg-work. If you believe the guy above, it's just a case of calling a company up and asking them to come out and give away free stuff. Is this guy ignorant of the truth (yes), or did the PSP just not bother calling anyone (probably also yes)?
But, you're all totally right, the NPPL should just curl up and die, because, you know, it's lame, and the PSP is wikked-cool, right? I mean, with those 4 extra guys shooting and stuff, it's no wonder people fall asleep while watching 7-man, right? It's way better to watch the same point played-out 10 times in a row, and it's super-cool that the people that are 'in the know' are the only people that can grasp the format and actually know who's winning/losing. If everyone knew that, even those stupid noobs, it would be totally lame.
How about this - If the NPPL do you guys a favor, wake up this morning, and decide to roll-over and stop being douches; is this better for the sport of paintball in the long run? Won't you end up back at crappy Badlandz-style venues? Will any existing outside sponsors just fade away as no-one is putting in any marketing effort anymore? Do you even care if there is any marketing, or is it just about the league you play 'winning', and whatever happens after that is unimportant?

Don Saavedra said...

I like how marketing, to the smaller minds out there, is a means to its own end. As though seeing product branding in all its glory at an event is the golden ticket to success. One league, many say, is "better" at it. To what end? Less than 60 team average per event? Bankruptcy?

Maybe "marketing" isn't some kind of panacea of cure-alls for paintball.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the guy above ask 'how is the NPPL still getting sponsors with so few teams?'
I thought that was what was asked...

But you're right, obviously marketing is worthless, at least in the context of bashing the NPPL..
If the PSP can't do it that's fine, as they have more teams at the moment. When the NPPL had more teams than the PSP, was airing on ESPN and attracting sponsors like Activision it was mainly luck, and we don't need those outside industry guys anyway, especially as they have the NPPL stink on them now...
Best to back a league that has a history of stagnating and improving the game only when competitive pressure forces their hand. of course, without that pressure, we won't need to put up with any of that 'improvement' bullshit, and will be able to focus on bashing the only remaining league for not doing the things the stupid NPPL clowns used to do...

Anonymous said...

NPPL may have spent a lot of money on marketing, and they may have done MORE marketing, but if it didn't result in more paying customers, was it GOOD marketing?

PSP spends almost no money on marketing, but the people who matter - the customers paying the entry fees - apparently believe PSP has a good product and will buy it. Isn't that the point of marketing?

NPPL may spend a lot of money and effort at marketing, but it apparently didn't work. Running radio ads aimed at the general public is not good marketing when your customers are tournament paintball players. Billboards are not good marketing. Your customers telling other potential customers that your reffing is horrible is not good marketing. Putting a paintball event in a stadium parking lot is not good marketing. NPPL has lots of marketing, but NPPL does not have good marketing, and it certainly doesn't have better marketing than PSP.

PSP runs quality events that their customers tell other customers about. They run a top-notch webcast that their potential customers can watch. They have partnerships with more regional leagues to get their name in front of more regional customers. They have a system that lets fans see the history of their favorite teams and players.

That's not to say PSP can't do a much better job at marketing, and maybe NPPL will be able to help them, but we shouldn't confuse having more mis-directed promotion as having better marketing.

Anonymous said...

Outside sponsors require a through-put of people (the public) at an event in order to see value for their marketing dollars. This is why HB always got great sponsors, because they are guarenteed 125,000 public per day walking past. NPPL's marketing has often focused on trying to provide good 'turn-out' numbers, as these numbers drive sponsors. With that said, radio ads & billboards are required to try to reach people who could come and check out the event. If you believe that's not good marketing, perhaps you need to go to marketing school?
Radio ads are bartered ads, so no cost there. The billboards I know of are re-used, so that is an investment in people knowing where you are. When I read the PSP NJ report it seemed they were criticised for not signposting the event. Did they not do this because they are as wise as you, and know that signage is 'not good marketing?'. Are you the PSP marketing advisor? If so, please quit!
As for the refs, if I am hired as a ref, attend a training class, and then make a bad call, am I able to blame this on the league? Sweet! What about if I sleep through my alarm, should I lodge a complaint with Chuck?

Reiner Schafer said...

Coincidentally I just wrote a short piece on marketing in competitive paintball on my blog. Too long to post here, so I will shamelessly post a link. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am with the guy above to an extent. I am pro-merge, but am tired of seeing the NPPL's efforts belittled. The PSP is a good league, but far from perfect. They definitely lack elements that the NPPL has and anyone who can't see that needs to take their blindfolds off. If you have to bash on the NPPL to make the PSP look good, what does that say?
I like both leagues, but agree that one league is the way forwards.
Is there anyone that posts on here that has a balanced opinion and would like to put forward the positive aspects that both leagues could bring to the table, and which should be kjept in order to give our game the best possible chance of growth and success? No? Didn't think so - better to carry on telling yourselves that the NPPL needs to 'go away', and that once they do, you'll all be better off. Enjoy your sand-hats.

Baca said...

Proud NPPL supporting Anon,
Can you give any examples of how the NPPL's superior marketing abilities have helped sustain the NPPL, improve the staus of competitive paintball & promoted the mainstreaming of tournament paintball as sport?

Any such example needs to be relevant today, not for 15 minutes 8 years ago. I ask because I think most of us are confused by the fact the NPPL's marketing mastery has apparently turned a league that once boasted of event sell outs in hours into one that can't get 50 teams to play their chosen format.

Baca said...

Can't We All Just Get Along Anon
Seriously, Dude? Really?

While you can easily paper over any potential points of conflict the principles can't if the merger is to go forward. They have to come to terms on the issues where there is disagreement. Format is one of those.

Looming over all the rest is a very simple question: What real value does each league come to the table with? The industry may be pushing a deal but they don't have to live and function with the results; the principles do. What kind of stake is the NPPL gonna ask for? Do they merit what they want?

Why don't you get the ball rolling and answer your own question: Put forward the positive aspects that both leagues could bring to the table, and which should be kept in order to give our game the best possible chance of growth and success.

Mr Q said...

For the leagues to merge and for paintball to grow we all must realise that this needs to be done globally and we need a global platform for tournament ball and not just a US platform.

Once the global platform is in place we can then move forward to grow.....

Anonymous said...

Marketing is always current, so it's hard to answer your question while adhering to the rules you lay down re. the answering of your question, but you knew that.
In any business, how is the marketing someone did 8 years ago really relevant today? If I had to take a stab at it, I would point to general participation (that's right, you worded your 'question-rules' to preclude that, but I don't care). I would expect that the TV shows, and marketing done during the Pure Promotions days has put people into the game that are still there and still participating.
To turn it around though - How is everything the NPPL has done in current or past incarnations irrelevant?
Also - PSP webcast - everyone loves it I'm sure - I venture that it would not exist if it were not for the introduction of quality webcasts by the NPPL. The PSP took a lead from the NPPL in this, as they have done in other area's of their business, especially since picking up Camille (from the NPPL).
Also, the NPPL is not the same league today as when it was selling out events in hours. I think everyone knows that. When it was selling out in hours, this discussion was the other way around, and those that have been here for more than a couple of years would remember that. Still, we don't live in the past, and like I said, I am pro-merge. I just hope that the anti-NPPL crowd don't underestimate the value of marketing and promoting events outside of the tiny customer-base the industry currently 'enjoys'.
Many on here seem to think that the purpose of a pro league at the pinnacle of the industry is to provide decent reffing and a place to play. I think the role is much bigger than that, and that while the major league has a responsibility to the players, it should also carry a responsibility to the industry and the sponsors - to push the sport forward and continue to expose the public to what we do.

Anonymous said...

In order for someone to mention the positive aspects of NPPL, there would have to be some.

NPPL has...

...superior reffing?
...preferred format?
...enforceable gun rules?
...player tracking system?
...affiliate regional leagues?
...higher participation?
...superior venues?

There you go. NPPL has HB. Whew. I was getting worried for a minute there.

Anonymous said...

To Pro NPPL anonymous:

Increasing participation in paintball is good. But, aside from the ESPN show, NPPL has not done a thing since the split to have any impact on general paintball participation, and even with the ESPN show, NPPL did a very, very poor job maximizing that potential impact. In terms of bringing new players into paintball, the current NPPL brings absolutely nothing to the table.

PSP doesn't either. But PSP does seem to get more people to play paintball more frequently. It provides a reason for people to buy high-end equipment and shoot lots of paint. And that's step one - before you can worry about outreach to the general public, you have to have a good product for your participants.

NPPL kept trying to skip the important steps - provide a quality product to the people who are paying for it. That's, ultimately, why they failed.

PSP has not done great marketing to the general public. But they have not done bad marketing either. Is not doing it worse than doing it wrong?

Mr Q said...

?? do we consider the PSP and NPPL to be national leagues or glorified reginals??

Anonymous said...

Does the answer have to be the same for both?

Mr Q said...


Anonymous said...

The NPPL doesn't provide 'a reason to buy high end paintball equipment and shoot lots of paint?' How so?

If the PSP and NPPL both have events around the country, that teams from across North America play in, why would one be considered a national league and the other not? Because that's the way you would like it to be? If not, why?

As for marketing - go ask a marketing guy whether no marketing is better than some marketing - maybe you'll believe him? And you're missing the point. You HAVE to demonstrate active marketing to attract sponsors. It's one of the first questions they will ask - "What marketing have you done for the event?". Is the league that says 'erm, none, we don't do any of that shit, we leave that to the other league to waste their time with" the better league? Why? Because they have good refs? Why so short-sighted? Why don't you want more out of your league than that?

Mr Q said...

some figures for thought.....
according to my resouces the psp has had 3 events totaling 262 different teams, of those 262 only 45 have played all 3 events.
the nppl has had 2 events and a total of 137 teams of the 137 47 have played both events.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the NPPL skipped the important steps.
In 2003 they invested heavily in refs, and the PRO refrfing program, to the tune of over $150,000. The step wasn't skipped, but the PSP told their refs that anyone reffing the NPPL would be fired from their own reffing crew, hence, experienced refs were not easy to find. The NPPL invested again, flying swedish refs in to provide experience. Everyone seemed to like those refs.
The NPPL also invested in ref training clinics, to try to boost their own reffing staff, but unfortunately most people don't want to ref, because of how the players can often be complete assholes...

So they did invest, I think they likely invested more that the PSP did (dollar value) in reffing, but they failed to get the experienced refs they needed to marshal todays teams, for sure. If the PSP's refs had been permitted to ref both leagues, that may not have been an issue. Not that I blame the PSP for exercising this financial control over their reffing staff, I just don't think it's accurate to say that the NPPL don't care, or never invested, in a reffing crew.

Anonymous said...

puhleez, stop trying to make the NPPL look gud. No body cares about them. They just need to die and let the PSP take over every thing. Then the psp will make the entris cheaper because they will have even more teams. then they will be on tv because they are the only league. die nppl die.

Anonymous said...

You're right, I'll stop.

Anonymous said...

You're claiming NPPL invested a lot in reffing, but it didn't work because PSP told their refs not to ref NPPL?

That doesn't make any sense. If the reason NPPL didn't have good refs was because PSP wouldn't let their refs ref NPPL, then *PSP* invested in developing good refs. If *NPPL* had invested in developing good refs, then NPPL would have been telling their refs that they couldn't ref PSP, not the other way around.

And PSP only told that to the 12 NXL refs. You can't be seriously suggesting that there were only 12 people who could be trained to do the job well and PSP had all of them.

Sounds like PSP invested in reffing, NPPL said "Hey, let us use those great refs too!" and when the answer was no just didn't do anything. Other than maybe blow $150k paying for not good reffing.

NPPL needs to figure out that in the real world, you get credit for success, not failing but trying real hard.

Anonymous said...

Too many anons...

To Pro NPPL anonymous/Closet Chuck/Guy on a NPPL team whose only interest with the NPPL is that his team has a good rank this year:

Marketing does not equate promotions and promotions does not equate good marketing. I'd venture to say the NPPL's promotions has tarnished their image and instead markets a frills event, not a competitive paintball event. The PSP does market themselves. As a solid, consistent league. The PSP strongest form of marketing is invested in their webcast.

Remember: Marketing =/ Promotions

Anonymous said...


Let’s make this simple- this isn’t by any means the whole story, but it’s a good place to get this discussion back on track and out of “majority rules” mentality.

PSP = Amateur league w/ Professional Bracket
NPPL = Professional league w/ Amateur Bracket

Average benefit-

NPPL- With fewer teams, more attention has been focused on individuals, sponsors of those teams and franchise efforts. Pro teams are the highlight where pro teams are the majority market.

PSP- With more teams, less attention has been paid to individuals, their sponsors and franchise efforts. Pro teams are the highlight where amateur teams are the majority market.

Outside Media-

The NPPL has provided consistent television appearances and entertainment for FOX SPORTS,, G4 and others over the course of many seasons + webcast.

The PSP has aired on ESPN only once with one episode which ran twice in a single month 7 years ago + webcast.


NPPL provides raw game footage, announcer broadcasts, a wide selection of commercials, on-field reporters/industry interviews, product highlights, sponsor showcases, clearly visible sponsor/vendor banners with more available talent.

The PSP provides raw game footage, announcer broadcasts, selection of 3-4 commercials, and one DYE related banner on the deadbox with less available talent.

The NPPL produces more with less.
The PSP produces less with more.


Anonymous said...

If the NPPL is doing more with less why is the PSP's less with more further effective in terms of participation?

The promotions are translating to better marketing.

Don Saavedra said...

To say that the NPPL fan boys need to stop trumpeting NPPL marketing prowess as something they have over the PSP is not to hate on the NPPL or even to say they bring nothing to the table.

It is simply to be realistic about what, exactly, the NPPL marketing prowess is. The PSP keeps getting hammered in Internetland for their piss poor marketing and the NPPL are treated like golden gods for having Monster Energy drink giveaways, and nobody stops to think about the results. What does it end up meaning for us, the paintball public?

I remember getting free Bawls drinks at PSP events, too. It's not like such gimmicks have always been one sided. And other than quenching my immediate thirst, what was the end result? Were there Bawls fanatics out there that came to the event because they heard there was free Bawls to be had, and then ended up forming teams and competing in the PSP? Did the PSP get anything out of it (I buy Bawls whenever I'm at Bev Mo because I did like how it tasted)? Or was it a nice benefit to the people at the event and Bawls got some exposure out of it, and neither one really amounted to much in our meta conversation? Is that "great marketing" or not? I'd say it's rather a non-starter. It might have an effect on what you or I might see on the surface, but it doesn't drive people to play. In fact, the jury is still out on whether paintball-ignorant passers-by think paintball is something they might want to try after seeing tournament players overshoot each other and yell at refs. Maybe a couple do... but enough to justify the cost of all that "marketing?" Doubtful.

That's not "hating" on the NPPL at all. Unless you are under the impression that if I were to poke a hole in your one argument for what the NPPL has going for them, I necessarily prove they have nothing at all going for them. Maybe that's not on me.

Mr Q said...

they both have piss poor marketing, thats why we have Monster give aways, they are both just glorified regional events, niether of them have figures that stack up to being a national event.
Its time to wipe the slate clean and start again while we still can with a global format and a global leadership similar to FIFA.

Baca said...

To Proud NPPL Supporting Anon
My question to you was really very simple and not the impossible to answer question you seem to imagine.
The only requirement my restrictions placed on your answer was that the past marketing efforts show any sort of ongoing positive result. If the marketing was successful, really successful, that doesn't seem like a huge hurdle to me.
And while ignoring my so-called restrictions all you came up with is that [you] "would expect" that Pure Promotions era marketing enlarged the player base? All you got is you think a company that no longer has anything to do with the current NPPL maybe enlarged the player base? Really?
Load your gun with bullets next time, eh?

Don Saavedra said...

I don't know. Anybody who is likely to sign up for and play in either the NPPL or the PSP knows when the events are and how to contact them. I'd say they at least have the basics down.

Anonymous said...

anon/cubed said:
PSP has free anti-monkey butt = winning!!!

Anonymous said...

"Out of business"

See you in the woods.


Anonymous said...

Free anti-monkey butt powder?!?!?!?!!!! If that doesn't get you on board with PSP, I don't know what will!

So if they did merge, which name do they stick with? PSP or NPPL... NPSPL - "The Super raceTo 7" ?