No I am not doing any sort of field breakdown or analysis. At least not for publication here at VFTD. What I am doing is one of my favorite pastimes--one that regulars will instantly recognize--I am disinterring one of the dead horses buried in the back yard so I can beat on it some more.
When the PSP extended the field dimensions and announced a general intent to be more all inclusive in the sense that the league hoped to attract a broader pool of players--kinda like back in the day--with more large props, etc. for the older, fatter & slower players I didn't much care for the idea--and said so--repeatedly. Even though I understood the reasons why, and still do, I thought it was contrary to what the league had become. And was unlikely to succeed anyway.
And it hasn't. Succeeded, that is. And it hasn't succeeded in large part because it hasn't ever been fully implemented--and it hasn't been fully implemented because of a significant failure in communication and cooperation between the PSP and the kids at Sup'Air who unilaterally created a snake this year that is beyond "technical" for most players and shrank the rest of the props by some percentage. Yet Sup'Air's vision of the game is the perpetual run through, treating it like the paintball equivalent of the dunk. (Of course more difficult props means faster eliminations which provide numbers opportunities which encourage--you guessed it--run throughs.) And as the layout designers for the league routinely failed to design layouts last year, or this, that coincided with the PSP's stated goals. (I'm dangerously close to digging up another dead equine.) At the end of the day that is on the PSP. It was their policy. It's their layout and their league. But--
There are consequences. And they are predictable as day follows night. (And vice versa.) The new snake requires lots of supporting props to be marginally playable in a 5 up scenario. It also requires a preponderance of low elevation props--no stand-ups. Since the Pins (trees) are supporting the snake the stand-ups do double duty as lane blockers and are incidentally pulled above the 30's making the Cans in particular easier eliminations--and leaving no larger props in the back as the PSP (once) wanted. Another consequence is to divide the layouts into halves. What I mean is that designs with these characteristics tend to play up and down with much less emphasis on the cross field play often until one wire or the other is blown. Each wire tends to be dominated by gunfighting. On one wire it's played on your feet and on the other it's on your knees.
One complaint of xball oft repeated is the repetition of plays and points. It was a complaint aimed at the layouts but was more correctly seen as a lack of imagination or understanding on the players and teams part. It is a complaint that today could be more accurately aimed at layouts, whatever the features, that more and more reflect recurring patterns, standardized modules of thought and another failure of imagination.