Brian writes in and says: I would like to hear your opinion on shortening the time between points for pro matches. I know that a few years back it was 90 seconds. In late 2008 I proposed the idea on Pbnation. [Matches] will be more fun to watch with a quicker turn around. Teams will have more trouble running the same 5 guys making your bench more important (A deep roster should count for something). Could put a premium on player conditioning. Would make pit crew, coaching decisions, time outs and play calling all more important. I really do think that at most the time between points should be 60 seconds. Anyone who has played xball/race2 understand that 2 min is more than enough time for even rookie teams to turn the same 5 guys around and IMO this is something that should change.
So my questions for you:
Why did they change it back to 2 min?
Do you think the time should drop?
What are possible negatives to having 1 min between points (and I really, really don’t want to hear that it’s too hard to do or that you can’t run the same 5 guys with only 1 min between points).
Questions answered first, then my opinion. It changed back because some of the pro teams were claiming it was an unfair advantage to teams with organized pit crews (that were often part of the team.) Keep in mind there are pro teams out there now who hunt for pit help at each event so the level of planning, organization and resources still diverges pretty dramatically. I would personally have no objection to returning to the 90 second time frame at the upper levels of play but I'm not sure I'd mandate it across the board. Unlike Brian I've seen a lot of lower division teams in particular struggle with their clock management but it's an issue for everyone now and then. Perhaps matched up with more but shorter time outs?
The only important negative is that there literally are teams that can't effectively negotiate a 60 second time clock. (So yes, despite risking your displeasure, Brian, I'm saying it's too hard--for now.) It is largely a matter of poor pit organization and/or lack of crew but is also an issue with regards team order and discipline. And what I wouldn't want to do is risk altering the quality of play by unnecessary rule or regulation. At divisional levels this is a non-starter automatically. To my mind they are customers first, competitors second. At the pro level if pro paintball were in fact a legit pro sport, even a modest one, I would be much more inclined to say bring it on. The teams and organizations will learn how to adjust on the fly. I've already designed play calls around a rapid shorthand system similar to calling football plays and there are lots of ways to accelerate the process--if you have the time and resources to properly develop those changes. I think 60 seconds is a reachable goal but that in the present it would be another burden most teams don't have the time or resources to deal with.
I wouldn't put the extra burden on lower level divisional teams. I would take a hard look at progressively integrating some restricted clock measures for the upper level divisional teams who clearly have aspirations of moving up; D2 & D1. I'd reinstitute the 90 second clock tomorrow if I could have 2 extra 30 second timeouts per match. And I'd make the 60 second turnaround the goal to be aimed for in the future.