Friday, September 23, 2011

Format Wars

Okay, "wars" is definitely over the top but the whole topic is just plain silly. It's laughable. Deserving of ridicule. (That's where VFTD comes in.) And if that wasn't enough the proponents are positively delusional. They haven't just jumped the shark, they were jumped while they jumped the shark. (And yes, even I'm a little confused by that one.)
But as a pretense of being fair and open-minded let's first list the virtues of the glorious 7-man format. It doesn't have much of a history. It's only been a nationally recognized format since NPPL 1.0 (Pure Promotions) transplanted it stateside from Euroland circa 2003. Less than a decade. Even by paintball standards that's not very long. (Yes, 7-man was around before that, here and there, played mostly as the poor man's 10-man.) (And, maybe you can make a case that 7-man as a format and style of play continued in the tradition of 10-man--after 10-man was gone--minus 3 guys and on a field a fraction of the size. Of course for a couple of years the NPPL's 7-man was competing against the remnant of the PSP's 10-man format so, then again, maybe not so much.) But (and it's a big but) 7-man is played on a field that's longer and narrower than xball. With carwash bunkers. Can't forget the carwashes. And 7-man still has semi-auto and sneakiness. Well, except that it doesn't really. Is sneakiness a format feature? Or is it a result of no sideline coaching or crowd participation? And then there's the factoid that the recent All*Star demonstration allowed grandstand side crowd participation so ... Okay, but hey they've still got semi-auto! Capped. At 15bps and as every semi-auto aficionado knows tons of 7-man players can easily exceed the cap with their crazy fast twitching skillz. And no way to determine if the guns are ramping, bouncing, etc. Only whether or not they go over the cap. Which is a warning and/or a penalty.
Maybe the best thing about 7-man is the NPPL's willingness to change with the times. To hold on to tradition and still reach out to the majority of competitive players. Why over the last year they've considered multiple point matches, crowd participation, capped markers, shorter points and they're thinking of adding buzzers and getting rid of the flag, at least the station flags. Can bells & whistles be far behind?
And then there's the fact the rest of the world plays 7-man and if we're ever going to legitimize competitive paintball we--what? The Eurokids don't play 7-man anymore? The Asians either? They play what?!? Xball Lite? Race to 4 or 5? Really? Well, that's not very helpful, is it?
But still, at least 7-man isn't xball, right, and that's what's important.

Time to be serious for a moment. The move to capped markers is a concession to the fact the NPPL has never been able to adequately regulate guns or enforce legitimate, workable rules--until now. And anybody who spends 5 minutes at a NPPL tournament knows 98% of the guns are ramping, bouncing, adding shots, whatever you want to deny in order to rationalize the "skill" involved. (The other 2% are pumps.) The move to multiple points is a concession to the fact the outcome is both fairer and more likely to advance the better team. Everything the NPPL has done to improve their format has brought it closer to xball (Race 2). Undeniable fact. All that's left is the dimensions of the playing field and the number of players per point. So here's your compromise. Use the current PSP field dimensions as they're closer to NPPL than old xball layout. Add a few bunkers to the basic set. 4 will probably do the trick. Keep the current PSP rules regarding sideline participation and keep the spectators far enough away that all the noise is just that, noise. Field 5 guys because now isn't the time to try and force the world tournament community to change--again. And hey, we'll all go "semi-auto." Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.


Anonymous said...


What's the issue here? Pretty pointless post Baca.

Anonymous said...


Truth to close to home for ya?

Brad Johnson said...

Never really though about it, but the whole world does play xball....

Anonymous said...

Dear 7-man,

Please accept that natural selection does exist, and die already.

Dear RaceTo-4+,

Please find a way to make the RaceTo-4+ guys stop sitting on their ass and playing a 7-man game.

Maybe change the finals match to a uncapped, score as many points as you can (xball)match to make it more interesting.

With much love,

Anonymosorious rex

raehl said...


Actually, the whole world plays Soccer. Just sayin'.

(Except they call it Football.)

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the playa haters ball. Starring Baca as PSP fan-boy #1!

The more paintball the better. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just stupid. To wish another league to go under (either saying it directly, or being veiled about it as Baca is) is what's been wrong with the paintball industry for years.

VFTD = Fox News of paintball

Anonymous said...

The more paintball the better, yes.

The more you try to go agaisnt what every major format plays, is a stupid, and terrible idea. Take a hint... There's a reason why over there's over a 100 5-man teams playing in Millenium, PSP, CXBL, hell even PAL's World Cup. It makes absolutely zero sense to not try and go towards a uniform format that the rest of the paintball world follows.

Apparently uniformity is bad. I mean, why the hell would we want that? One format, field dimension, firing mode(that's actually controllable), and a universal ranking system? Oh ok, let's make life difficult and promote sandbagging, yeah!!

Anonymous said...

***By 5-man I mean 5 guys out on the field at a time.

Anonymous said...

. . .whats the issue?

the issue is a 'hanging on by its nails' format that is not helping tournament paintball.

and as baca aptly pointed out, every adjustment the NPPL has made is an attempt to look like the more popular format.

why would they do this? out of a sense of solidarity with the PSP and 'lets make this better for everyone'? hardly.

to salvage an ever shrinking customer base is the correct answer. and as a by product, better leverage in a merger deal.

but heres the caviats kids. . .there is no leverage to be had. (Better promoting? of what exactly? a league that has shown over and over that it writes to many ambiguous rules and circumvents them when its convenient? that using officials who have clear conflict of interest is an acceptable way to run a fair and equitable tournament?)

the WCPPL can make a better argument for merger with the PSP than than the NPPL. its numbers rival the NPPL's (outside of the locked in pro division) and its a regional tournament.

i marvel at the hostility over the obvious. certainly the loudest voices whose panties get all wadded up have some vested interest or friendship in the NPPL. otherwise that 'voice' borders on a lack of common sense and of seeing the handwriting on the wall.

Baca said...

I despair. I really do. "Lame." And "playa hater." Such cogent criticism. And right after offering anyone with the balls to try it an opportunity to make an actual affirmative case. Instead all I get is a couple more clowns.

One thing that might help y'all is to actually attempt to criticize something I've actually done. 2 minutes of searching will give you a list of posts as long of your arm where I've criticized the PSP. And supported the idea of the NPPL.

The fact that the current NPPL is a failing enterprise isn't my fault. The fact the ownership cares more about what the league can do for them than what the league is, isn't my fault either.

And seriously "the fox news of paintball?" That says volumes more about you than it does about me. :-)

papa chad said...

I don't understand why we should want quantity over quality. I'd rather have one format that gets the game mostly correct.

as each league adopts its counterpart's pros to replace its cons, the formats will become one. there will be no reason to continue split leagues besides monetary conflict and politics. unification will come through evolution or we can try to mash them together right now. either way, it's going to happen and it's definitely for the better of the competitive game and the players.

Don Saavedra said...

Baca is more like the Perez Hilton of paintball...

Anonymous said...

Who cares?

Some teams play both PSP and NPPL because they just really like 7-man, or they really do think "owning" something matters.

Some teams only play NPPL because they really like 7-man, or their cheater boards won't give them an advantage in PSP, or they just want to call themselves Pro and NPPL will let them, or they got a bad call in PSP in 2004 and are still mad about it.

Some teams only play NPPL because they exemplify the kind of shenanigans that PSP won't tolerate but NPPL lets flourish.

Whatever the reason teams have for playing NPPL, if they are not playing PSP now, they are not going to play PSP if NPPL goes away either.

If NPPL wants to keep pretending to be a national league, it's not going to make any difference to anyone else.

If you think NPPL is a sham, the best thing to do is just stop paying attention to it. Not even worth thinking about.

Baca said...

For something not even worth thinking about you sure did have a lot to say. :-)

Anonymous said...

Anon#1 says...

We get it- you're dick hungry for the PSP.

Move on.

Baca said...

Hey latest Anon,
When you say "we" do you mean you and Anon #1 or that you are representing more than one anonymous gutless clown or are you referring to the voices in your head?
It's hard for me to keep all you anon guys straight--oh, but then you wouldn't know anything about being straight, would you?

Anonymous said...

Hahaha. Make those damn VFTD shirts Baca! I want to give you all the money I have!!!

As for the NPPL the only thing they have going for them is the Huntington Beach and Las Vegas venue. Otherwise they're just a traveling side show with a funny name.

Actually would it be possible for the PSP to host an event at HB and go head to head with the NPPL? I would imagine the NPPL/PT Barnum circus would shit their pants.

Anonymous said...

The HB venue is the best venue in the game. 2nd best venue in the game is probably Vegas. 3rd best is the PSP Phoenix one IMO. The WC has been losing it's shine in recent years as it's just not close to anything (geographically), and as a result I think a lot of the festival feel of the Cup is gone. Given a coice of HB or Cup to attend, I would choose HB every time. HB and Vegas are 2 venues the NPPL has done very well to secure.

Reiner Schafer said...

"HB and Vegas are 2 venues the NPPL has done very well to secure."

Yes, but they are only secure as long as they can afford to pay for them.

Mark said...

Walking through the sand all day long then playing paintball sucks balls! I do like Vegas though.

Anonymous said...

The Las Vegas venue? Are you kidding? Fields on a parking lot on a deserted back-street surrounded by spectator-thwarting fencing?

Vegas itself is fun, but there's nothing special about securing a parking lot.

Anonymous said...

It depends what you want in a venue. All of PSP's venues are better than all of NPPL's venues because you get to play on level grass.

If you're going to events to compete, PSP has the best venues. If you're going to events to party and don't care about the sand, or the hard pavement just under the surface you're sliding on, then you'll like HB and Vegas. But both are crappy locations for actually playing paintball.

Chicago is a tie though!

JoeMalaka said...

I don't mean to chime in but feel it nessasary. The eurokids have the right format a race to with no time pro should be a race-7 sp/d1 race-6 d2 race-5 d3 race-4. You then make 7 's people happy which I have yet to meet by offering open 7's and closed 7's ran the same way The nppl tries to but with the millennium gun rules 7's takes the place of 5 man. Race to has horns like the eurokids.

This is a simple solution on format that no one sees. The same problem is repeated within society the easiest solution that is most logical is ignored while we try to come up with something better that doesn't exsist. When in doubt apply the KISS princable keep it simple stupid