Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Lane Wright Statement Regarding TonTons' Guns

Originally Posted by Lane Wright (on PBN)
A few real points --
1. Teams claimed TonTons were shooting hot on the break.
2. If PSP took the word of every team that claimed another team was doing something illegal (after they lost to them) and PSP went and looked into every claim, we'd A) have to make the events 8 days long; B) have to hire a team of forensic investigators to swing into action 46 times a day at the events C) have to raise entry fees to $8600 per team to pay for the CSI unit to patrol the events
3. At some point enough people gave credible info for PSP to consider the fact that something may be going [on] plausible
4. Two separate individuals on the PSP staff watched the first 2 points of the TonTon Shock game and independently felt there were peculiar activities regarding the way the TonTons were handling their guns during chrono and prior to game start
5. The guns were spot chrono'd by surprise and 4 TonTon guns were indeed shooting hot. 1 slightly hot, 2 extremely hot, and 1 unbelievably hot. Aftershock also had 2 guns shooting slightly higher than 300fps.
6. Some TonTon equipment was confiscated and checked by techs.
7. There's no evidence that the guns were intentionally set up to cheat. Nothing about the guns and what they were doing would have given any real advantage to the team using them.
8. That doesn't mean it was just simply a accidental mistake however.
9. The chrono's were not malfunctioning. The issue had nothing to do with temperature change or paint size.

(A) The TonTon's are not dirty cheating bastards - or at least the facts of this situation do not prove or even lean toward that conclusion.
(B) The PSP did not knowingly let them play games with break out modes because we were too lazy to do anything, have no regard for safety, or any other of the ridiculous reasons people have surmised.
(C) Additional penalties will be forthcoming. There is no evidence that the TonTon's engaged in intentional acts to gain advantage over teams and no evidence that malice was involved. (D) Knowing the actual facts about what the guns were doing and/or not doing - there's no reason to believe the issues gave them any actual unfair advantage during competition.
(E) Be that as it may, what they did was unsafe, irresponsible, irrational and outside of the conduct expected from any team - especially a professional team. It is conduct that we do not take lightly and conduct that will not tolerated.
(F) PSP will release an official statement regarding the penalties and future sanctions imposed once we can get everyone home from the event and have the time to give the situation and sanctions proper thought.

The above (in italics) is a complete copy of the statement Lane posted yesterday on PBN in a thread discussing the Ton Tons' hot guns. While ambiguous in places and downright contradictory in others it still makes clear what the PSP believes happened and, broadly, what they will do in response.
Taking the statement point by point we begin with 1. More than one team claimed the Ton Tons were shooting hot OTB. 2. Boilerplate and bushwa you can safely ignore. The facts are that the league at one time routinely implemented the means to have caught these hot guns almost immediately but do not do so anymore. 3. Despite the disclaimer in number two the league eventually acted on "credible info." 4. In acting on the "credible info" two independent league officials observed actions that were characterized as being "peculiar" but were also, obviously, suspicious otherwise further action likely wouldn't have been taken. 5. Action was taken however and the guns, both team's guns, were spot-checked and Ton Tons were discovered to have 4 guns in violation of velocity limitations.

At this point we know what the PSP claims happened and we also know independently that the appropriate on field penalties were assessed at the time of the infraction(s). Now it gets a little murkier.

6. Additionally some [of the Ton Tons] equipment was taken for further examination. 7. First we have two separate statements. The first states there is no evidence of intentional cheating. The critical word being  "evidence." The second statement claims that anyway there was no advantage to be had by either constant or short term velocity spiking and that, of course, is simply wrong. At some point in excess of 300 fps paint tends to become squirrely and lose accuracy but there isn't a particular velocity that marks a consistent boundary and a handful of extra legal shots OTB could prove advantageous. 8. Well, if it wasn't accidental and it wasn't provably intentional, what's left? Intentionally accidental? 9. And any or every excuse about defective chronos or swollen paint etc. is not relevant.

Which begs the question; how much maneuvering room is there between not purely accidental but not blatant cheating either? Talk about your grey area. Maybe the closing statements will help clarify.

A.) The facts lean toward something though, don't they?
B.) True, but the PSP was once better equipped and more diligent in its efforts to regulate markers.
C.) If additional penalties will be enforced then the league must believe the Ton Tons weren't simply unlucky or completely innocent. It wasn't accidental but there also wasn't evidence of intentional cheating, so--what if the Ton Tons knew their guns were hot for a few shots and chose not to do anything about it except try to hide that fact from the chrono judges--who (apparently) weren't aggressively checking guns coming on field.
D.) This is simply incorrect. A handful of hot shots OTB is an advantage. Full stop. Period.
E.) & F.) Fair enough though I remain unconvinced it was irrational. It was certainly unsafe and a clear violation of the rules.

In the end we are left with a little league CYA and an inability to make a factual determination of intent that doesn't completely mitigate what the league does know and can prove. We may also surmise that whatever course the league follows there are ramifications beyond simply playing the game. For one this will set a precedent that will narrow the league's options in similar situations in the future so cool heads and wise counsel needs to prevail. (Unconfirmed rumor suggests that initially the league, at the highest levels, was ready, willing and almost determined to throw the proverbial book at the Ton Tons but without proof of intentional wrong-doing thought better of it.) And, like it or not, there are political elements involved as well given the ownership of the Ton Tons, competing international leagues and the vision of a unified international paintball federation.


Anonymous said...

Once again, we are faced with a group of people who are "never wrong", and will argue any angle to keep This streak intact. The guns were hot all weekend. Ask players from the teams they played. Look at the arm of the photographer for xsv... It looks like it is broken. If they looked suspicious enough to pull guns, then it was intentional... There was no middle ground. And what does that say for their sponsor? Do they not trust in the guns, or in the ability to break Downfield? They team should be banned from cup. They players shooting hot should have a 1 year ban, and dye should drop them immediately. They should have brought the guns to the virtue booth.... They would have recognized a cheating gun right away.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone truly thinks this was unintentional. So lets assume it was. The Ton Tons obviously felt that A. they wouldn't get caught. Or, B. if they did, daddy Dave has enough pull in the league to make sure that no serious punishment would be handed down. Now is the time that Lane and the league to show that they have some balls and are willing to make sure that everyone understands that these type of shenanigans won't be tolerated.

On another note, what happed to the fancy Chrono's and Pact timers the NXL used to have and use in almost every match?

Matthew Himes said...

That's the worst post I've ever seen from Lane, who is usually very astute with managing public message through PBN. It contradicts itself every third sentence.

Mark said...

"On another note, what happed to the fancy Chrono's and Pact timers the NXL used to have and use in almost every match?"

As someone who runs a pretty sizable pb series, and at only one location to boot, we have the hardest time getting our bps chrono's returned after each day. Not offering excuses, but OMG I could only imagine how many PSP has lost over the years. Since they had velocities and bps pretty much on lockdown for the better part of a decade I suppose they felt they can skimp a little on the chronoing for the huge savings in pact timers/chrono's themselves.

Anonymous said...


What do you think should happen to the Ton Ton's? Could the league do anything more to punish them or would they do that?

Did nobody think about asking the players themselves? Why are we having this big discussion about things when we could just ask the players and hear what they have to say about it. The main question for the Ton Ton's is did you intentionally change your guns to shoot above the limit or not?

Lets say the players did intentionally change their guns (I'm not saying that because I don't know) it might not change anything. They are already not playing in the Champions division for WC and they served the penalties during the match. If the Ton Ton's tell us from their perspective what happened it would clarify things.

Missy Q said...

didn't the league get sponsored by the Virtue Clocks as part of a PBA sponsorship trade-out?
That would have been my play.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps "criminally negligent" is the operative word for Mr. Wright here.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the fear of being too harsh and setting a precedent also itself sets a precedent.

The league has dropped the ball on chronos. Big time. From a rules perspective and a procedural one.

Back in the day tournaments were run where every player got chrono'd. Fields always used to chrono every non-rental gun.

Over the years people have become convinced that they can't or don't need to via group think. But it's possible to chrono 95% of the guns within the current time frame, and the couple that they miss here and there can be spot checked within the opening seconds of the game.

The reality is it hasn't been a priority, but an after thought. It's an after thought because most of the thought in the league is focused elsewhere, for good reasons. But something does have to give when you look elsewhere for long enough.

Anonymous said...

Although, interestingly, I don't think Lane needed to comment at all on this. He usually does a good job of putting out the fires, but this didn't effect anyone but a handful of pro teams. Pbnation isn't the place to comment to pro teams anyway. I'm surprised he just didn't stay out of it.

Penalties were assessed and issued.

Baca Loco said...

218 Anon
I am a stickler for abiding by the rules because it's the only real protection the weakest among us have of fair treatment.
In this case the penalties assessed at the time were for the velocity infractions themselves.
Any additional penalties will be based on the team's knowledge and/or intent and will likely be based on section 9 of the current rule book. Or not. In looking over section 9 and the rest of the rule book there really isn't anything that addressed team culpability except illegal rosters and the like. Under the circumstances the rulebook will require an addendum after the fact. Unpalatable but probably unavoidable.

Rumor has it that two of the guns were disassembled and rebuilt and efforts were made to engage any secret modes and given that the mechanicals appeared in order and no modes were discovered the league doesn't have a smoking gun. I don't know if DM boards can be flashed or not or if any effort can be taken to examine the software but that could be quite time consuming and require an expert examination. Rumor also has it the league did speak with the Ton Tons--through an interpreter--as their collective English mostly disappeared. From what I know I suspect the contents of that conversation will be the basis of any further penalties.

As to what I think ought to happen--without proof of intent I wouldn't eject or suspend the team which leaves either a fine or forfeiture of some sort, perhaps their seed (ranking) points from the event.

Mustache Trick said...

i agree with asking the players themselves and seeing what their side is, but lets be real everyone will say "i didnt touch it, i only shot it." "i was given it for the event only." which then leads to the coach or owner or tech any of them.
Also who took apart the guns and equipment was it DYE or PSP staff. if it was DYE would they admit about a secret mode for one of their flagship teams to cheat i think not. how would that look on DYE themselves?
If its PSP staff how does one go about learning the codes for the board to "unveil it all"

I think ton tons should have a to pay on fine for each extremely hot guns or.
be suspended for an event for each extremely hot gun world cup and event 1 of next year.

If they choose not to return so be it, we all know the PSP is the biggest name for paintball in US, and soon the rest of the other countries.. So sooner or later they will have to serve their time if they want to compete against the best in the world, plus more teams want to be in the Pro division so finding someone to replace them wont be they hard. Money is money after all.

Charlie Waters said...

Ruling on guns shooting hot:
301-310 minor penalty
311-325 major penalty
326+ gross penalty

These are stated in the PSP rule book and the penalties were (as far as I know) given on the day.

This IMO is complaicancy from the referees. They are there to ensure that teams are playing by the rules. Whether or not Tontons intentionally were shooting their guns hot is a moral question. If intent to harm another was the idea (which I'm sure it wasn't) then there should be some kind of action but this will never happen for many reasons, the main one being that there is no way of proving it.

I also noticed that after the incident that referees were spot chronoing everybody at the start of nearly every point which should be done all the time not just when something like this happens.

Again this is something that the PSP and their referees need to sort out. It would not have happened in the first place if the referees had been more vigilantly.

And before someone says "a referees job is very hard blah blah blah". Yes it is and I have a lot of respect for referees and what they do but safety is the most important job they have to do and should be a priority.


Anonymous said...

While I do not know what suspicious behaviour the PSP watchers observed which warranted a suprise spot gun check, I do know how I would go about making a marker do things like that. It requires a good understanding of the mechanics of a specific marker model and some programming skills, coupled with a month or two of work writing the software itself, unless I'd have access to the source code of the original software (either straight from the source or due to someone being careless in making the code on the chip harder to read). The end result would be a marker capable of velocity spiking on demand and only catchable 100% if somebody figured out my specific activation sequence. Otherwise it would be all circumstantial. There would still be certain noticeable quirks in the marker's setup but nothing that anyone could prove beyond any doubt.
As to whether TonTons would do it...I don't know...It's not like we're talking about a team that has been caught in the past practicing on a yet to be released field for a major tournament series said team competed in.

TTYL Paul.

Anonymous said...

Complete TonTon statement, in english, can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/Xpaint.Paintball.Magazine?ref=hl

Guess should be soon on Pbn as well...

Mike said...

I had mentioned in the Art Chaos thread that I had helped pit the TonTons during their DMG/Royalty games. I made my statement prior to reading Lanes statement and not seeing the PBN thread that has grown to 16 pages of ranting as of today.

In hind site it appears the TonTons were scamming the PSP from the get go. Their was one point against DMG where we didn't need to send the pod runner on the field because their weren't any pods to pick up.

I friend of mine who reffed the event says that one way to get a hot gun past the chrono is to loosen the barrel and the barrel tip as that dissipates the pressure the Chrono picks up. The refs are suppose to grab the barrel and make sure that's it's screwed down all the way before chronoing.

I didn't see anything unusual in the pit. It was wipe them down, fill their pod belts, just the usual. I also saw them getting chronoed by the refs going onto the field.

If their is some video tape out their where you can see the players tightening up their barrels on the way to the gate or at the gate that might be the smoking gun.

I think at Cup the pendulum will swing the other way and the PSP will have refs cronoing guns every 15 minutes. lol

Mike said...

I also want to add that in the pit I didn't see any of them fiddling around with their markers. I think if they were loosening their barrels before going onto the field I would have noticed that.

Anonymous said...

"as their collective English mostly disappeared."

Now that is truly funny..

I agree that Lane's statement was full of contradiction and CYA BS.. How can someone say they aren't sure about "intent" on one hand.. And then say league officials noticed peculiar behavior that called attention. What am I missing here. If there was peculiar behavior that was noticeable .. To me, that speaks to intent. If they were completely clueless about their hot guns, they would have been acting like business as usual. I guess it would help to hear exactly what this pecular behavior was. But, if a shoplifting is walking around suspiciously in a store.. To me, that's the telltale sign that the shoplifter meant to stuff the item in his pocket.

Anonymous said...

Toulouse HotGun Flingueurs.. Sorry, I just had to