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.