Monday, December 17, 2012

Baca's Mailbag: Buying a Spot

Just wanted your thoughts on something. I was out with some friends the other night and we were talking about the whole CRUSH thing with them buying a spot. One of them made a point, we rag on them for buying a spot, but didn't HEAT do that?

The short answer is well yeah, kinda. (But you know I don't do short answers.) I doubt any cash changed hands in either situation but then we aren't necessarily talking about actually buying a spot. While it is literally possible, I suppose, to "buy a spot" in the NPPL and of course all (theoretically) of the original NPPL 3.0 teams bought their way in it's more than that. As I understand "buying a spot" it's become more like shorthand for didn't earn it or don't deserve it. In both examples given in the question teams were (are being) formed for the express purpose of competing at the pro level--and that's where the similarities end. The PSP took the Heat on because they were deemed to be a competitive prospect given they had established pro players, supporting organization and the independent resources capable of maintaining a team. And there was an opening. [Those aren't the only criteria the PSP consider but were the relevant ones in Heat's case.] The NPPL is operating from a different perspective and different priorities. Clearly they want to maintain a 16 team pro bracket. They also, unlike the PSP, need to establish some local, grassroots support for the NPPL and it appears they have begun using their prospective new pro teams (and Avalanche) to help do that. [Frank "moved" 'Lanche to the east coast and tied the team into an established local scene and began developing divisional teams.] In my estimation the new NPPL pro teams are expected to serve a similar function. And if the teams and league last another ten years it won't matter because established teams will eventually begin to draw in the talent. At least that's one way to look at it. 

As a sidebar it is, I think, interesting to note the nearly universal pejorative connotation of "buying a spot." Despite the fact the NPPL 3.0 has always allowed for that possibility and there have been a few cases like Heat in the PSP. I say nearly universal because there are some, mostly Pre-Skoolers, who don't seem bothered at all. To many working your way up through the divisions is the way to earn a spot and buying a spot intentionally skips all that leaving the perception those teams are illegitimate. So it's little wonder that most competitive ballers object without even thinking about it--or how often it happens. It also speaks to the need for a consistent, regulated mechanism for advancing teams to the pro level that legitimizes the new guy and protects the competitive integrity of the pro division. (You knew I was gonna take at least a short turn on the old soapbox, didn't you? Well, you do now.)

16 comments:

Nathan J said...

So the NPPL is acting more like a feeder league while the PSP is more of a premier league?

dan. said...

and surprisingly hasn't been a lot of talk about the Warped Army out of Louisiana going Pro in the NPPL.

Anonymous said...

It should be informative that who turns Pro in PSP still merits discussion while who turns "Pro" in NPPL does not.

Anonymous said...

An example of Paintball Snobbery while discussing a thread about Paintball Snobbery.

Sweet job Anon 4.49

There should be a word for that, like asnobberation or something.

Baca Loco said...

Nathan
Not exactly. What the NPPL need are feeder leagues and areas of the country that locally support their brand of competitive paintball in order to help generate the national level team base. And I think they are trying in part to do that using their new pro teams as beachheads into different areas.

Nick Brockdorff said...

NPPL should realise their salvation is to move to 5man X-ball already.

It's long overdue.

As for teams buying spots, it would still happen in a promotion/relegation system, unless the league did what the MS is about to:

Make it illegal to sell your spot, and team owners only option being to let the spot revert back to the league, who then promotes the next in line...

Personally, I think spots need to be traded for the first few years of a promotion/relegation scheme, as too many teams will fold in the first 2-3 years, when they make it to Pro and can't hack it.

After that, there is no longer a need for spots to be traded, as a promotion/relegation scheme will eventually create a much better quality base in the divisions below Pro.

But, it takes time to get there.... and during that time, you need the flexibility that being able to trade teams gives.

Nathan J said...

Dan - True but Warped Army has gone up the ranks so i think no one is giving them crap for doing it that way.

Dan said...

^^^ that Dan isn't me. I always use my google account to post.


Warped army isn't a new team. Crush held open tryouts to fill out their roster. This is a team who has never placed particularly well in d3 and less, and also has never put a team into the nppl. Tcp machine mops them at practices and little local 5 man events with mech autocockers.

Now there is 6 guys they've brought in from east Ohio and Pennsylvania , but none of them are "names" or to my knowledge have extensive experience in d1+

dan. said...

i always use dan. to help differentiate between me and the other Dan (i don't know if people have noticed that subtle difference). But Warped was also supposed to have Open tryouts this past weekend. I haven't heard any word about results though.

And there is some talent down there, Warped Army has been around but I was just commenting that not much at all has been discussed anywhere. And it's basically just 3 months till the first event in HB.

NewPro said...

Great,
so,the NPPL has opened the floodgates and is attempting to increase attendance from the top down...No sense in starting at the bottom, working your way through the ranks, winning lower divisions and finally making the huge jump to pro...Lets just start pro, shit..its easier.Better way, why not make everyone pro and teams have to attempt to be the worst. Anyone who thinks this is fine should climb up the chimney while santas coming down and insert head in buttcheeks

Anonymous said...

For many many years in paintball, all you had to do to play pro was pay the entry fee.

No one complained when "non pro" names like Lockout, or Trauma, or Revolution, etc. joined the pro ranks

Now, all of course, all those guys were really good. But I don't buy the argument that paying for a spot is bad for paintball.

Then again, paintball took a dive and never recovered the year after Ultimate joined the pro ranks...

Baca Loco said...

521
Those were some poor examples, dude. Lockout and Trauma were both powerhouse Am teams before they opted to play Pro. While it is true to say you could play where you wanted Old Skool teams by and large followed the work your way up path.

DanC. said...

I changed mu tag to DanC to avoid future confusion.

Anonymous said...

You have no clue my friend. Look at the roster.

Anonymous said...

Being that paintball isnt like anyother sport how can you even remotely argue who is ready and who is not. Team or player.

I see a ton of talent all over. Some just dont have the means to get to that level. What aboit some of the players in the rank of "pro" right now? Do they deserve it.

I think this is where our sport has hit a wall. Not many teams have worked from d3 ranks all the way up. And kust curious why not have a promotion demotion set up? Wont that weed out the weak. Not truly. Because 70% of players are only looking for free! Not team.

This is my opinion.

lilmikey said...

my biggest issue this year was the lack of compitition in psp. teams like cep, aftershock, and thunder are just getting blown out. the current system of high seeded teams playing low seeded teams no longer works. the lower seeded teams just are not at the level of teams like damage or heat. i understand that there need to be X amout of teams in order to have what we have but it means that the only games worth watching are on sunday. most prelim games are just plane boring to watch. im not saying that those lower teams are not talented, id like to see them play each other. cep v aftershock gave us two good games this year. im tierd of watching blow outs until sunday rolls around because these teams arnt ready for the current level of play. my thinking is change the schedualing. but the issue becomes how do we assure competitive games on sunday.