Is it synchronicity or serendipity? (Google a definition, slacker.) The current Monday Poll wants to know your favorite format given that there is no world standard just yet--and the NPPL has jumped into the multi-point variant with both feet for 2012. But even that is just the same old same old after a fashion. Nothing groundbreaking. (Other than the tacit admission they needed to do something other than traditional 7-man to be competitive.) And then there's the new NPL (National Paintball League) being discussed over at the Nation. Like the original tourney alternative [the first USPL] it features offense and defense. A smaller field not unlike the old UAPL--that was also 3-man. The NPL splits the difference and goes with 4 players per side. Perhaps most intriguing is the fact the NPL is imagined to function from the grassroots up to a national title event modelled after more traditional sports but also akin to VFTD's own (Almost) Everything Tournament Paintball Needs To Know from the Dead Tree Archive (and the days of real paintball magazines.) Also along the way there's been real Xball, 'Moneyball' and truckloads of other random ideas for how competitive painball ought to be played. VFTD has even contributed the purely hypothetical Bacaball to the list of mostly ignored (forgotten) ideas--and probably rightly so. (Except of course for Bacaball.) But reading about the NPL got me thinking--and that's always a dangerous proposition. And I've got the answer. The Baca Addendum. [Cue Also sprach zarathustra]
Before I get into that though a couple of asides about the NPL. As raehl mentioned [at PBN] they need to focus on the basics for now and not sweat the superstructure of unnecessary rules and requirements and procedures that will only inhibit their potential for growth. (Thanks for asking, yes, agreeing with Chris about anything was a singularly unpleasant sensation.) This is not, btw, an endorsement. I've read the website, watched the videos and seen the comments (so far) and I'm unpersuaded but that's neither here nor there. If the game has something going for it--and the creators don't suffocate it prematurely--it may find an audience and if it gets and keeps peeps playing competition-oriented paintball that wouldn't be a bad thing.
About the Baca Addendum. It's one simple idea built on existing notions of playing competitive paintball. [So simple in fact that somebody must have already thought of it but was ignored or didn't set it up quite right. I'll be interested in finding out.] It's 3 simple rules that can be added to any common format or variation currently played although it really will work best in a multi-point or time limited match. It'll work in 3-man, 5-man, 7-man or whatever you like. On a PSP, NPPL or MS field layout. It will work for beginners or pros. It will both offer focus and strategic and tactical complications at the same time. It will make players better. It will reward both athletic and intellectual agility. The variety it can produce is unparalleled. And I will explain it in detail after I test play it. (Which will happen within the next two weeks.)