Comprising 15 teams for 2013 the NPPL Pro Division will be introducing 7 all new (from the ground up) teams plus Phoenix Contact, which has one event's worth of pro experience. The remaining teams that carry over from last season are San Diego Dynasty, DC Arsenal, San Antonio X-Factor, Vancouver Vendetta, San Fan Explicit, New England Avalanche and Portland Uprising. Even LA Critical is taking a blow. Filling in those empty slots are (drum roll please) Camp Pendleton Raiders, Nawlins Warped Army, Orange County Flashpoint, Philadelphia Energy, Fort Wayne Outlaws, Buffalo Crush & LA Paintball Gateway.
Got your blood pumping yet? Mine either. But let's look at this another way. If the NPPL is no longer in competition with the PSP at the Pro level, and they aren't, what is the draw? I don't mean this in a flippant way either. It's a perfectly serious question. Without the league war to keep the NPPL relevant what is the draw?
Once upon a time it was the format. Maybe it still is. If it is then the NPPL is in a potentially good place to begin building for the future. By expanding their relevance in adopting the PSP bunker set and perhaps using the new homegrown (and excited) pro scene to plant local seeds of future growth this could set the league down a productive, positive path.
On the other hand, the league has been consistently operating in the red. Who is there now to turn that around? Who is in a position to look at the books--though it has long been rumored a complete set of league records don't actually exist--and make the hard decisions that keep the league functioning and at least breaking even. The guys who are there now are some of the same guys who were there before and in some cases are reputed to be some of the people largely responsible for squandering league funds--and Bart's extra contributions--in the first place. Whatever the big talk and the bigger dreams the NPPL only has a future if they can get their fiscal house in order.