Friday, May 18, 2012

NPPL Chicago: Thursday

The best thing about very early, early morning flights is ... nope, can't think of one good thing much less more than one or a best thing. But we arrived at O'Hare (yuck!) with very nearly all of Thursday still available. Which was a good thing as we had a practice scheduled, needed to register, check in to the hotel, walk the event field and conduct a post dinner team meeting to review plans and personnel for Friday and make sure everybody is on the same page. (I conducted the team meeting by myself--best meeting ever. That's a lie. I actually spent the time getting Brandon up to speed as he arrived late in the afternoon and missed the practice session. How's that gonna go? Ask me on Sunday.) Oh and there was some unscheduled nap time in there as well.
Turns out CPX put up a practice field so teams could get some last minute practice. (Thanks guys!) Turns out too they wanted $250 or the purchase of 10 cases of paint for the privilege of practicing on it. (Somebody has been taking Millennium lessons I see.) Next time they might want to keep in mind that at least the Mills kids are allowing teams to play on the actual event field. Our practice field was unnetted and bore only a passing resemblance to the event layout. (Same props, same general locations but a precise gridding is kinda important. Maybe next time, eh?) Regardless we got in some good competitive games with Infamous and overall it was a positive practice that included walking the event layout. If you're wondering how it could be considered a good practice when the layout was off there are other factors to consider. Fitting players to positions. Getting them used to the basics of the layout--or similar. Going through the game play routines like communication, etc. Having real competition shooting paint from the other end. Opportunities to try out breakout options in advance. Any practice time is better than none.
The venue is more or less the same as last year. More grass and less gravel. It's on the nearest patch of the big grass field just past the overflow parking lot on your right as you enter the CPX Sports complex. More where it was two years ago and less where it was last year. Word is there was indeed a modest uptick in the total number of teams competing but the event will still fit on two fields. (I'll try to get a solid count after the event.) The vendors line the woods edge boundary of the overflow gravel lot to form a giant L shape with the two fields and paddock area. If teams and guests alike are allowed to park in the gravel lot it will create a compact and ideally accessible small tournament environment. The only early sign of the coming Living Legends onslaught was the presence of Dye and Empire with big rigs and their full boat traveling circus and tent store(s). They are located in the closest corner (to the NPPL event) of the main parking lot nearly equidistant between the two events. By this time tomorrow the paved parking lot will be packed to overflowing.
For the curious here's a little advance info on the fallout from the HB finals; J-Rab will receive a 2 match suspension to be served on Friday. The team will not be required to play with 6 while Justin is out. Odds are you won't hear this anywhere else as I strongly suspect the league would rather not comment at all. Make of it what you will--I'll have more on the general subject next week.
What with a lot of uncertainty surrounding our roster coming into this event--work, school, stuff--we ended up with extra bodies when we were initially concerned we might be short. (Speaking of B. Short we were pleased to be able to pick him up for this event from fellow Dye-sponsored team, the Ironmen.) Now we have to decide what group is best suited to make a run at the Chicago Open title. The games begin tomorrow and part of our process will be winning matches as we evaluate various roster options.
Rumor has it that neither Fraige or Lang will be playing this event with Dynasty.


Anonymous said...

Being that DYE and KEE are supposedly not interested in sponsoring or supporting the NPPL, it seems strange their trailers are closest to the NPPL side of things.
Will KEE be selling paint to NPPL teams at this event?

Anonymous said...

This will probably be more appropriate upon your return;

Take a look at the facebook comments coming up about NPPL spam. The NPPL is posting small and almost non-sensical pieces of information. Totally ineffective media practice.

Is this method of inundating Facebook pages valuable to your team/players? What do they think about this approach?

Would it not be more valuable to save this information for a later date? Do you have a suggestion on how the NPPL should handle their media as it concerns the team?

You do quite well my Baca friend in delivering a message- so why does the NPPL, driven by the professional paintball media, do so poorly?

Is it a difference in presentation? Clearly- but what makes that difference valuable? Is it the environment of the MPL? Take a few moments and I'd love to hear the response.

Interested to know what the team thinks as a whole unit. Are they seeing this media while at the event? Does it inform them between games? Is it worthwhile as an overall media approach?

dan. said...

i'm just amazed there are only two fields.

Anonymous said...

Last year there were 70 teams this year there are 73. How many actually paid in either case is anyone's guess.

Anonymous said...

It's easier to fit on 2 fields when you have your refs going 12 hours a day and play in the dark.

Anonymous said...

5:56 anon:

NPPA says there's 73 teams, but counting teams actually included in the schedule, it's really 70. Regardless, would be surprised if 50 of those 73 actually paid.

Reiner Schafer said...

Just wondering, could they shorten the event down a day if they had more fields? Keep it cheaper for the participants?

Baca Loco said...

Anon #1
Dye and Empire are as close to the entrance of CPX as they are to the tourney.
KEE paint--don't believe so though sponsored Pros get their paint--and CPX was selling Evil to practice teams on Thursday.

Anon #2
In trying to review what the NPPL posted today it looks like mostly scores and on site photos with some event "color." If there was something else or something more you had in mind let me know.
Regarding what I've seen I think it's mostly a free & easy way to try and promote the event and create some buzz. Does it work? Does it help? I am inclined to think it probably works for anyone already sold on the NPPL. And of course some info about what's happening is better than none.
I'd say it has zero impact on the players but it may depend on whether they're getting online with their phones at the venue. ;)

Most NPPL 3.0 events have been two fields.

Perhaps but the question is at how much additional cost to the league?
Beyond that a weekend event isn't excessive. Back in the day World Cup lasted a whole week--literally!

Anonymous said...

Selecting the number of fields is really about the reffing. The more fields you have, the deeper into the ref talent pool you have to go. But you don't want to run your refs 14 hours a day either; that hurts on-field performance that event and talent retention over the longer term.

It's also a little bit about schedule - four race-to-5 matches in one day is a bit much for anyone.

Anonymous said...

gotta say: if i was a parent and stumbled upon the NPPL page yesterday, there'd be no way in heck i'd take my kid to this paintball tournament.

Would rather see the NPPL focus on the play rather than the boobs and beer. I enjoy boobs and beer, but I'm not sure it's the best presentation for a paintball league.

Anonymous said...

Sadly you have to shift through a ton of spam and photos of out of focus objects to find any boobs and beer...

Anonymous said...

To Boobs/Beer Anon:

I'd say it's a perfect mix given the sense this is how the NPPL must maintain their business.

Either league is a service example of catering, they just happen to use paintball. None of these folks are "hard core" paintball junkies, they simply serve customer wants.

18-24 yrs., with lack of sexual experience and whom play a game of discipline without responsibility.

Sounds to me a bikini contest is well worn...

Baca; Thanks, yes that answers what I was mostly seeking.