By now you already know the scores--and hopefully took some time yesterday to watch some of the matches on the webcast--so I won't belabor them other than to say congrats to all the teams that won and finished on the podium especially Infamous on the win and Russian Legion for their consistency and the outstanding job done in rebuilding the team. Heck, congrats to the rest as well and I hope everyone enjoyed the event. I'm also not going to belabor the struggle on Sunday to maintain the schedule. As it turned out everything went mostly according to schedule but there was a fair amount of unusual chaos behind the scenes. Not sure what happened because it was also an unusual state of affairs for the PSP.
Damage ran hot & cold this event opening on Friday like we finished in Phoenix only to turn it around for the rest of prelims. Sunday saw the team struggle in both the win over Heat and the loss to the Russian Legion. While third place isn't a bad result the way we achieved it was. I have talked about this sorta thing before and will again (in tomorrow's post.) For young teams the issues are often technical and about learning the game, both as individuals and as a group working together. More mature teams have to deal with the same concerns (to one degree or another) plus issues with execution, strategy and tactics. And then there's winning. One of the truisms of sport is the notion of learning how to win. There is something to that but the broader issue is the mental game, the psychology of competing and how each player responds to the pressures involved.
As a place to play paintball CPX is awesome. As a place to host a world class scenario game CPX is awesome. As a venue for world class tournament paintball it leaves a lot to be desired. It's not too far from two major airports and the highway system offers easy, if sometimes slow, access. There's plenty of accommodations, restaurants, etc. within minutes despite the rural location. Lots of parking. Nope, the issue is the field of grass used by both the NPPL & the PSP. It's inadequate. It's very rough and that's putting it mildly. I realize everyone is economizing and I appreciate the need but the playing surface is a critical element when playing the game. The PSP is strongly committed to playing on real grass. Under almost any circumstance I think that's better than carpet over asphalt but those aren't the only choices that exist. The best grass either league has played on is in Phoenix and it isn't a coincidence that it's also about the most expensive venue too. (And the best turf is DC.) I don't want to make a huge deal over this but I think if asked the majority would rate the playing surface a higher priority than some of the other factors the leagues have to take into consideration when choosing their venues.
Over at VFTD (Facebook) I had a bit of fun with some of the lingo used by the PBAccess commentators. While insisting I would never say "clutch" and other commenters picked on their least favorite expressions like "feasting" there is a serious aspect to the language used on the webcast. In an emerging sport or technology there is a language that develops around it that expresses the unique qualities and characteristics on display. Competitive paintball is in that position today. As an emerging sport there is both the need and the opportunity to describe our game the way we see it. And for right now the webcast delivered by PBAccess is the voice of competitive paintball. It is our voice whether we like it or not. It is the voice that may describe competitive paintball for the foreseeable future and shape the language that people know our game by. Considered like that it's also a responsibility. Too often in the past paintball has appropriated the idioms of other fringe and/or emerging sports or cultural niches. What competitive paintball needs is its own terms and expressions--and it will have them one way or another.
And for those of you who may have noticed but were too polite to comment; yes, I had a big gap in my teeth at the event but it doesn't mean I'm goin' all hillbilly on y'all. I will not be wearing denim coveralls, going barefoot, gigging for frogs or smoking a corn cob pipe anytime soon. (Lots of people make moonshine, you bigot.) I broke a bridge that couldn't be repaired in time for the tourney. Hopefully there aren't any pictures out there. That's all I need.