Do you want the bad news first? Okay, the bad news is there's no good news. Hey, it's a Monday. Better to get it out of the way now rather than later, right? Look, if I had good news I'd be all over it. Wait, there are some positives floating around. PSP has over 300 teams registered for Cup and getting 300 teams for Cup would be a significant plus for competitive paintball on top of the expanded 5 event season. If I were a betting man though I'd say between 280-290 teams will be the official number. And we could kick in the NPPL Vegas championships (114 teams or thereabouts) and MS Paris-Disney season ender (192 teams). The result of those 3 events would see nearly 600 different tournament teams competing in international competition over a 3 week period in October--and that doesn't include World Cup Asia in November. Not so bad after all.
A quick comment on prizes (which is generating a minimal buzz over on PBN--again--and again--and zzzzz.) Two things; NPPL vs. PSP. NPPL bases prizes on division participation assigning a percentage based on the division. A greater percentage for the higher divisions--except Pro--which gets jack or thereabouts. And jack isn't in high demand. Anyway the point is that NPPL prizes are conditional on participation and they are antithetical to true competition and the spirit of sport. You don't reward mediocrity just because there's a lot of it. Then there's the small matter of not actually giving the prize payout formula anymore. Not on the website. Not in the rule book. I'm assuming it's some version of what it originally was. It may not be, I don't know. What I do know is if you're playing D2 traditional you won't be taking home beaucoup bucks.
There's good news and then there's good news. And I'ma put a tiny damper on some of the latest "good" news. You know, the whole Google Maps thing putting 'Paintball' on top of Top Rising Searches of the summer data point that's being touted as proof of Paintball's revival. 'Top risers' sounded to me like a comparative number meaning that if the baseline number was really small to begin with it wouldn't necessarily take a really big number to make the subject a top riser. So I did what a mildly curious lazy slacker would do and spent about 5 minutes Googling the whole thing--'cus the original information source doesn't explain how the value was determined. I didn't find any clear unambiguous explanation but it appears the number is real in the sense 'Paintball' got the most map searches compared to the other 'top risers'--and that is both pretty cool and, I gotta admit, kinda surprising. What we don't know is how many searches are we talking about? Since I wasn't finding easy answers but wanted some context I switched to Google Trends and punched in 'Paintball.' That result isn't nearly as gaudy as the top rising biz. It shows all paintball searches continuing a slow downward trend from 2004. The only "positives" from the trend numbers is that the decline has slowed to a nearly flat line--and the full summer 2012 numbers aren't available yet--so maybe the trend went up slightly along with that top rising value. And who knows, maybe top rising is an outlier for coming positives trends that will show the summer of 2012 was when Paintball turned around.
The bad news, is, if you're a VFTD junkie--and you know you are--that this next month, through World Cup, is likely to be a little thin on posts. This week I'm headed for Copenhagen to do a team clinic as part of the grand opening of Extreme Paintball. The following weekend is pre-Cup practice, the next weekend is Vegas NPPL and then the final push to Cup. And that's just paintball. I'm sure I'll get some posts up--after all I do it 'cus I enjoy it--except those damned Basic Tactics posts (which are beginning to bore me.) Yeah, I'll finish them too but the point is y'all are spoiled and you're gonna have to get used to less--at least for a while. So there it is.