With the recent announcement by the NPPL that they are converting to Race2 for professional matches, and adding what they term as Millennium 5-man divisions, do you see this as:1) an attempt to offer a similar format as PSP, in the hope of a "smooth" transition in a future merger?
2) an attempt to offer enough formats to satisfy all tournament players, with the goal of stealing PSP market share?
In my mind, it has to be one or the other, or am I missing something?
Re: question #1: That's very sweet and naive. And it will be the correct answer the same day Vegans vote unanimously that their favorite fast food is JackInTheBox.
Re: question #2: In some senses I almost find this one hard to credit as well because I am initially unconvinced that much thought went into this decision. Even so I think it has to be viewed, in part, as a direct challenge to the PSP whether that was intended or not. (Nor would it surprise me to see the PSP respond in kind or at least use their left over scheduling flexibility to best effect.)
I know those probably aren't the most satisfactory answers but there's still a lot of necessary information missing before this move can be fairly judged. Things like what will the prelims look like? How will Sunday play proceed? Will the fields all still comply with current NPPL design characteristics, etc.? Will there be time limit? How will it work? Without this sort of info it's impossible to adequately project how this might work out.
However, given what we do know there are some, if not conclusions to be drawn, pitfalls that might arise. How much paint will the Pro teams shoot under this formula? (Contrary to popular belief many of them have marginal sponsorships.) Will they severely limit the prelims in order to split the difference? (Something like the Millennium currently do where teams only play 3 matches in the prelims. In which the scoring becomes matches won--which will frequently end in ties and come down to the plus/minus ratio of points scored to determine who moves on. A variant of the system that was both confusing and unsatisfactory in HB last year.) Will the return of Semi-Pro be a mixed division with D1 or an attempt to revive a separate division? Will the new formats cost more in entries? Will the offer of 5-man Xball Lite prove to be direct competition with traditional 7-man among the am teams? There are dozens of similar questions but you get the idea, I'm sure.
And then there the issues that prior experience suggest might arise. How will the format changes be reflected in the rule book? (If the NPPL can't produce an adequate rule book for 7-man can they be expected to deliver one that covers multiple formats?) Format changes don't change a registration and ID system that only function as a revenue stream for the league and they don't instantly improve the officiating. In fact they put more stress on both those factors. And then there's scheduling and field prep requirements? How many more fields will it take? The league was running 12 hour days in Vegas trying to get in all the scheduled games for much less time intensive formats. With 3 fields in Vegas the quality of the carpets was noticeably diminished--the fields looked like green quilts. How many more fields will the league need? How many more refs will it take? Does the league have any idea if they can effectively run Race 2 on 7-man style fields?
The bottom line is format changes don't fix the endemic problems. All the NPPL has done so far with this announcement is confirm that they too believe their prior format was lacking--at least when it comes to the Pros and the 5-man teams.