Wednesday, September 19, 2012


A few semi-connected thoughts for a Wednesday before I hit the road. I'ma revise my World Cup participation numbers estimate. I think they'll break 300 now or come mighty close to it. Registered teams hit 336 last night. I was looking at the teams listed curious to see how many appear to be international teams. Euro representation may be down a bit--not unreasonable considering Paris-Disney is 2 weeks before Cup--but it looks like South America will be well represented. One thing I did find surprising was the appearance of "Hulk" in D3. Now it may be the rosters won't be the same--easily checked (but I haven't yet)--but Hulk Kiev is a Semi-pro team in the Millennium and if it's mostly the same guys they ought to be embarrassed about playing D3. (I noticed a couple other team names that might be in similar situations as well.) But that's as may be. The other thing that occurred to me is the place we need universal rankings isn't at the bottom of the divisional pile but at the top. It may be all well and good that APPA has expanded into "World Rankings" (in quotes 'cus APPA doesn't yet cover the world) but I remain unconvinced that Bobz Militia in D4 playing in Georgia has more than a passing acquaintance with any random D4 team from the Northeast or Cali or wherever. Just because the numbers work it doesn't mean anything until they play each other. And even if the rankings were excellent predictors the place we need them is in the upper divisions except, oops, neither the NPPL or MS use APPA. Granted, that isn't APPA's fault. Now if the Euros are as intent on their international organizations as they claim maybe it's time they put up or shut up and got with the program. Integrating the player base would be a big step in the right direction. (Btw, I'm hardly wedded to APPA but until or unless there's a better, cheaper system APPA is the default choice.)
While I'm at it there's also the bidness of letting Impact and XSV slum World Cup. For one thing it's gonna alter points results and will skew final season rankings for the other Pro teams that played the full season. It devalues the league's stature and could somebody tell me how it serves anybody's interest other than the NPPL? Is Impact gonna switch leagues? Not hardly. What about XSV? Yeah, right. So why give them an opportunity to polish their image at your league's expense? I don't get it. Sure, it could go the other way and knock both teams image down a notch or two but so what. And yes I realize requests came through sponsors to let them play but that decision [who sponsors would support] was made for 2012 before the season started--by everyone involved.
There's one other thing annoying me at the moment--and it's nothing new. I really like (most) of what PBAccess is doing, I really do but--Matty is killing me with all his trips down memory lane. I get that PBA isn't the PSP but right now the two are intertwined and PBA ain't gonna work without first succeeding with the PSP. That being the case more focus needs to be put on what's happening now--today--not ten years ago. Case in point, Mr. U. Great guy, good stories--has he played in the U.S. or the PSP in the last 5 years? Same thing with Sonny Lopez and the Hitmen. The Hitmen play mostly in the NPPL for goodness sake. (They're playing Vegas but not Cup.) It's all about as relevant as a 'Where Are They Now' TV show tracking down members of 80s hair bands. I'm pretty sure PBA isn't planning on being the living history museum of 90s era paintball so how 'bout getting with the program already?
(And just so's there's no confusion I am off the table when it comes to interviews, pod casts or anything else the PBA is doing. I am not looking to be included, I'm simply expressing an opinion about the way things are currently being done.)


Mark said...

True, shoulda had Pax or any current pro talk about how fun it is to roast 100's of scenario gamers ;)

Missy Q said...

I've never listened to the webcast as I'm usually busy while that's happening, but I can tell you that its tricky to talk and talk for 3 days straight and not throw in some anecdotes from the olden times. I have a bunch of them myself and often get kids asking what things were like 'back in the day'. So I do actually think that there is interest for that typa thing with the viewers/listeners (that perhaps aren't as jaded as yourself).
Another problem is that the people were waaay more interesting back in those days, more extreme, and the stories dating back to when we were all young men in our 20's are far more fun to hear than the super-lame modern day stories, which seldom include drugs, booze or chicks. A story without drugs booze or chicks in it isn't a story at all, it's just a conversation.

Baca Loco said...

Apparently Missy you've also never been to the PBA site. :) I am not referring to the webcast content, rather the other sorts of content the site provides; interviews, podcasts, etc.

Tiffany said...

We are all so hungry for any kind of a podcast that we'll take it and say god bless Matty for putting in the hours. I'd love to hear him pick a true paintball mind for an hour or 2. Might not happen but hell, weekly content is a happy thing.

That said I'd love to hear some insight into the modern game. Most of the guys he has access to are bros from "back in the day" and they certainly are known names. Would love to hear coaches or captains tell about setting up break outs, substitutions, field coordination etc.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear more interviews with the pro teams including the lower ranked ones. Ask some hard questions to teams like CEP, Seattle Thunder, ect. Teams we know little to nothing about. How they view their performances and standing in the league.

Also I would like to see some coverage on PBA on the division 1 & 2 teams. I agree with Baca I really don't care about the "back in the day" stories and guys and would like to see more coverage of this seasons players and teams.

Nick Brockdorff said...

There definitely is a need for a global ranking system.... but doing qualified rankings is going to be really hard.

Not that difficult if you only include PSP and MS - but once you get into farm league and regional league territory, how on earth do you rank a div. 2 team from the Mexican Paintball League vs a div. 2 team from the German DPL vs a div. 2 team from the WCPPL vs a div. 2 team in the Malaysian league?

Who has the knowledge to qualify what league is worth how many points - and indeed when to change the points spread when the quality of each league changes?

Sure, you might say you just rank all div. 2 the same, but doesn't rankings become pointless, if they are in no way qualified and only depend on what some random local organiser choses to call his divisions?

Also, since the MS is trying to do their own thing with the EPBF rankings (which is a joke currently... 8th rank in Europe is some french team nobody outside France ever heard of), I see a political problem with integrating with the APPA.

(Man, I should know better than to set myself up for a lengthy debate with Chris Raehl :D)

Yes, you are right on XSV and Impact - it's a bad move by the PSP - they would have been better off getting a couple of MS CPL teams to fill out the numbers, if they needed to.

But, for the fans, I'll bet you most a really pleased, to see 2 teams with broad fan bases take part in the WC pro division.

And who knows, maybe it's the first little signal that a merger will (finally) happen this off season?

Either way, to me it's silly that every "World Cup" in paintball, has a locked top division (except the Asian one, which is irrelevant in this context).

It would be cool if the PSP WC had an open Pro division - but then, ofcourse, steps would need to be taken, to ensure the "guesting teams" had as little impact as possibly on the PSP league championship.

Anonymous said...

I think it's good to have them. They have both played the PSP in the past so it's not like it's totally random.

The only argument against including them is the season standings.

But no one really cares about that other than the top team, and maybe the 2-3 teams.

If Impact and XSV come in and screw up your ranking, it means you can't compete against them on the field and just want to whine about rankings.

The fact is, if you beat them out, it won't affect your ranking. So go beat them.

raehl said...

Comparing divisions in the US vs. Asia isn't much different than doing so in different leagues in the US. We have had leagues in the US that run Am/Nov/Rookie, Nov/Intermediate/Rookie, Open/Am/Nov, etc, etc, and getting them into the same system hasn't been an insurmountable challenge.

D5 is players with little experience, D4 is anybody who isn't D5 and hasn't been promoted after performing very well, and D3 and up is the people who get promoted or chose to step up for big prizes. If you have enough teams in an area that the difference between the top of D3 and the bottom gets to be too much, you end up with a 4th division... D2.

Anonymous said...

I think XSV and Impact should be excluded from this season's stats.

Baca Loco said...

6:59 Anon
I actually often enjoy the back in the day stuff but that's partly 'cus I remember it. My point is that I'm not convinced that's what PBA oughta give priority to.

The integration problem isn't political, it's economic. Otherwise I'm with you.

7:43 Anon
You might want to check the current NPPL rankings.

You are exactly right in your first statement--and that is precisely the point. You may be able to numerically rank everybody but it's virtually meaningless.

8:43 Anon
I don't see how. You can't simply ignore them and pretend they haven't finished wherever they end up. Honestly I'd be surprised if either makes Sunday--Impact has the experience but will, I expect, be down some regulars plus their coach--but even if they both finish bottom half simply by being in the mix they alter what the numerical rank assigned to each spot.

Nick Brockdorff said...


As I said - how do you qualify ranking between leagues?

A team may be "Pro" in Malaysia, and enjoy heaps of support from the local paintball businesses out there and win big prize money.... but does that mean they should be ranked on par with MS Pros - or PSP Pros?

I don't think so, I think rankings then become futile.

The whole point of global rankings, imho, should be to create a valid pecking order (which can then be used for interesting things down the line).

But when the teams never face off, how do you truly do that? - Especially when you are ultimately talking about what? - 1-200 different leagues globally?

It's been easy to do for you inside the US, because there is a natural progression into the PSP.... but asian or european or south american or african (did I leave out antarctic?) teams don't graduate into the PSP.

I'm sure you are familiar with the european EPBF ranking system, which attempts to rank teams continent wide, irrespective of them playing in different local leagues, and their system is, at least presently, completely flawed.

The reason is, as far as I am concerned, that nobody has the knowledge to put a points value on every league, so you end up with a little local 7 leg french league, putting a team in the european top 10, while Russian Legion is 16th.

You might say "just give major events more points" - and sure, that will work for the team playing there.... but still - how do you qualify if the local french league should have less, the same or more points, than the local polish league?

Missy Q said...

Nope, you're right, I've never been to PBA either. Havn't even considered it, and if it wasn't for your blog, I wouldn't even know there was additional content on there.

Anonymous said...

(And just so's there's no confusion I am off the table when it comes to interviews, pod casts or anything else the PBA is doing. I am not looking to be included, I'm simply expressing an opinion about the way things are currently being done.)

So, Baca, you think the content should be about the current teams, players, and coaches, yet you are unwilling to be included? Why is that? To be honest shouldn't they have access to everyone involved in anyway with the league? Why remove yourself from the solution, when you seem to think that you're also part of the solution. Not that I think anyone person or coach is going to make or break the solution/equation, but it couldn't hurt...

Baca Loco said...

I took myself off the table to make it clear my opinion has nothing to do with me wanting to be a PBAccess feature or guest host or anything else.
I don't know where the idea fo "solution" comes from as there's nothing to solve here. I'm simply advocating a larger focus on current teams and players and coaches and there's plenty to choose from without me.

WC said...

There is no way D2 is as competitive in MS, DPL, PALS, MPOC, MYPL etc. as it is in PSP. Period. I would also take a gamble and say it rings true for all other divisions as well.

There is a reason everyone scrambles to pick up american players in those leagues.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Well, D2 in the MS is an anomaly, because it is the top open division, which means anyone not commited to the full series, will be playing there.

However, you are right the quality of play is slightly higher in the US.... it used to be more, but these days I'd say around half a division is the difference.

Meaning, a top divisional team in Europe, would place in the bottom half of the corresponding division in the PSP.