Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The View Before World Cup

1Feel free to pick your own favorite title. Be it the NPPL's World Championships, the Millennium's first ever true World Cup or the PSP's traditional World Cup all three events will be played within weeks of each other beginning with the Millennium's Paris-Chantilly event this coming weekend.
As everyone with a pulse--and an interest in competitive paintball--knows the NPPL is under new management and still struggling mightily. The Vegas event may have the second best attendance of the season but that's still only pushing 50 teams. And really, can anyone explain how staying in a dump like the Riviera on The Strip has any appeal to anyone old enough to take advantage of the entertainment available? At least before the tournament was right there--in a back parking lot--but still right there. And now that the league has sabotaged its own pro division the road to success is going to be a long and rocky one at best.
Of greater interest is the Millennium event north of Paris on the grounds of the Chantilly palace and museum complex. The league has been touting the virtues of the venue and its potential for reaching the non-paintballing public but who are they kidding? Only themselves. Sure, it's a lovely venue, even the horsetrack where the fields will be set up but is the gardens, museums and palaces crowd the ideal target demographic? Probably not. As for the players their idea of culture is Greek yogurt and a disco ball at the nearest strip club so I doubt there will be much cross over in that direction either. And despite the classy venue and (another) Nation's Cup tagged on to the proceedings attendance will be the second lowest of the season [but consistent with the Mediterranean Cup and Campaign numbers. The difference appears to be German teams attending the German (Bitburg) event.]
I also have a question or two about the national teams competition. Who picked the teams? The various national federations? If so then where did the U.S. and Canadian teams come from? And who is paying each national teams expenses? The whole event has the thumb's up stamp of approval from the EPBF (and the APPBF) but what about the UPBF or the NAPBF? And since the apparent definition of a World Cup is the participation of national teams why wasn't the first Nation's Cup earlier in the year also a World Cup event?
The weekend of the 20th of October is when the (other) World Cup will be held under the auspices of the PSP in sunny central Florida. It won't have any national teams or opening ceremonies but it will have the largest attendance and the best paintball teams in the world competing. Despite final numbers that will very likely exceed 300 teams it may prove to be less than expected. Current registrations total 330+ teams and given the consistently strong numbers this season the league was half expecting a turnout closer to 350 to 375 teams. And it could still happen but normally WC registrations come in early. There are those in the league convinced the webcast has been the primary cause of league growth but if WC doesn't sustain the numbers it leaves the hypothesis in doubt.
Can't we all just get along? Probably not. Formally laying claim to holding "the" World Cup poses a problem for the other World Cup even though Americans don't often pay all that much attention to what anyone else is doing. Using the formulations of international sport is a good way to get recognized as the representative of your sport even if your "elected" leadership are also mostly the Board of the Millennium Series and some of their business associates. And controlling national federations is a good way to protect your personal enterprises from competition. So while announcing the first true World Cup is the EPBF simply pushing its agenda or throwing down a challenge. Or both? And will that challenge be to join them or fight?


Anonymous said...

Oh god...the webcast has caused the growth? Please. Numbers are putrid at best, even on their own website. Much more like the economy is continuing to turn.

Grant H. said...

APPBF international affiliates were invited to send National teams to Paris. Team selection was up to the affiliate promoter but in most cases (in Asia) it was a case of (who ever wants to go and can afford it put your hands up for selection as long as you have played in the affiliate league/series. In Malaysia's case it's a club team that's heading over)

- I don't think there are any APPBF affiliates in Canada/US??

Anonymous said...

I don't know if there are any affiliates, but the rosters of the Canada and US teams are comprised of players who play the Millenium Series.

Baca Loco said...

414 Anon
Turning into a nosedive.

I thought the APPBF was the Asia-Pacific Paintball Federation.
For the U.S. and Canada it's the NAPBF but if it exists in anything but acronym only I've never heard who was member. (Perhaps this is a job for Chuck Hendsch?)
My understanding is that theoretically the individual federations should be putting their representative teams together--when in fact what is actually happening for the most part is that anyone is alredy there or willing and able to show gets the gig. Which only demonstrates again legitimacy is more than having a letterhead.

1200 Anon
Precisely the point. They are not teams chosen by member federations. They are convenient falsehoods propelling the EPBF agenda.

Grant H. said...

Baca - Generally when an acronym ends up leading to a non existent website then I tend to question the legitimacy of said acronym. eg. UPBF
Aside from the EPBF, there is little to no news on any other affiliated acronym's activities or board members.

EC Lil Baller said...

So who foots the bill for teams USA and Canada? Whoever is feeling charitable that day?? What's the incentive for providing team USA with its paint?

Anonymous said...

Well you can be sure it won't be the players...

Newpro said...

Lets use team Canada:
Who voted for the players,who selected the players,what leagues were they drawn from,what national camp had the evaulation camps for these players, what gear do they use,etc etc etc.

Actually, what international body oversees the national bodies who oversee the regional bodies who...yeah,you get my drift

Anyone who uses the words legitimate and official in this context should be tarred and feathered.

I dont know what pisses me off more, this entity proclaiming itself as the "world cup" or the players themselves who were selected to represent our respective nations.

Fuck it,Im strappin on the skates and hitting the ice with the american olympic hocket team...ohhh wait,that would require years of practice, skill,training camps, selection into an organization recognized by the world and its affiliated bodies/members

So much fail said...

From Day 1 webcast those stands looked rather empty so the touted exposing paintball to the masses seems to have failed as usual.

Baca Loco said...
Keep in mind that it's mid-50's there, overcast too and almost certainly off peak season and not quite in the middle of nowhere like Bitburg but not too far from it.

Even so it's a lovely area by all accounts.

Baca Loco said...

EC Lil Baller
Including North American teams helps validate their "World Cup" in the paintball world's eyes because most aren't going to look that closely or care all that much beyond thinking it's pretty cool and the Olympics must be just around the corner.

Nick Brockdorff said...

People need to chill.

The first real "world Cup" in most sports has been far from perfect.

The important part here is that the ball is rolling, and hopefully the "if you build it they will come" method can still work in paintball.

http said...

Nick - wasn't that the motto of NPPL

Anonymous said...

what a bunch of cynical asses.yes its a ploy. Yes a power grab. Yes its contrived.

But it makes sense, its how anything gets started like this (what you think every other sports concept isn't contrived and designed on silly promtional concepts? )

Next you'll tell me all Yankees don't live in NY and that baseball is just a silly excuse so corporations can make millions.

Baca Loco said...

546 Anon
Cynical doesn't mean what you think it means, Anon. You should have said "idealistic asses" because you my friend are the cynical one. Admitting the effort is contrived, a ploy and a power grab is the very definition of cynical.
But it doesn't make you wrong and a know a few paintball people who agree with you.
My question for you though is this: Why should the average player support the effort of a small group to hijack the game for their owen benefit?

Baca Loco said...

Who is supposed to be coming?

Grant H said...

I have to admit - despite the Millennium World Cup being a hastily organised affair, it did bring out the national spirit in a lot of paintballers. Even if Bear D made us cringe with his fervent one-eyed pride of all things American, it was still an exciting finals to watch... maybe because the US didn't dominate and nearly got beaten twice.

I still don't know who the NAPBF are and I'm interested to know how they scheduled the international teams to play on the main field? Aside from Gabon, Turkey and the US, all the other teams were European? I would have liked to see a team from each continent given some air time or at least the games on other fields recorded for playback on the website.

While it looked a great venue, promoters still miss the mark trying to expose people to competition paintball. I'm telling you all here an now combine any paintball tournament with a food and drinks festival and you will get non paintball people in the stands.

Anyway I have to give props to Millennium for this one - looked like a great venue and fun event to attend.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Find-and-Replace Cynical with Critical if you want to be a Pedantic Ass (as well as a cynical one).

Why should they support it? The same reason they support Facebook. It provides a service they enjoy. Facebook makes billions (NSA silently listens in).

Am I cynical? Sure, I suppose, but privately. I'm not running around bashing Facebooks attempts at building an empire by providing services that people enjoy and benefiting as a result. Recognizing something is different than harping on it and tearing down the worthwhile efforts of others.

Likewise, I have no problems with them staging a World Cup. Lane and the PSP have no better claim to the term, merely because Jerry Braun applied the name to his tournament years ago in an effort to trump up excitement about the fact that the Far East Dragons, UK Predators, and Tontons showed up to pay for his event.

I suppose we could all laugh at what a joke the original game of basketball must have looked like or how Super Bowl I was poorly filmed, missed the major action, and rigidly commentated.

But I think its perfectly fine for the Millennium to put on this show and lay a competing claim to the name. I also don't really like the Millennium folks and would prefer the PSP took over events in Europe. Naturally, it's fine to criticize, but its one thing to dislike or disagree with something and another to sit on the sidelines and snipe as though we have the superior perspective when compared to those silly Millennium folks.

for the record, it's a decent venue, attractive, but a subpar turn out, the webcast looks great, world cup was a fun spectacle, some refs are dreadfully biased, little to no mass public interest (but it did draw some interest from high govt officials), and mediocre weather.

Baca Loco said...

523 Anon
You are all over the place, aren't you? :) But that's okay. Consistency, they say, is the hobgoblin of small minds--or something like that.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Baca: The federations

This "World Cup" is exactly the vehicle Laurent needs, to make people take an interest in the federations, once the move is made for the federations to select the teams (if that is not part of the plan, he is making a tactical mistake).

Missy Q said...

I agree mostly with what Anon 5.23 is saying, and Nick also.

There is no 'real' reason these guys can't have their own 'World Cup' and make it authentic by using 'Nations' teams. I think they will work on the selection process in the off season and put out a more organised offering in '14.
The reasons offered for why it's not a good idea seem to be:
1. There is already a world cup
2. They are European/not American
3. No organised national body did the selection

1. In Name only. 1980's marketing does not a real 'World Cu'p make.
2. So What?
3. Such a body does not exist (although there seems to be a tie-in with LH's work with the various federations).

Trying to discredit the product early-on is a typical and predictable approach, but Europe has led the advancement of Professional/Competitive paintball in the past and is certainly capable of doing it again, especially as it's the same guy/team that managed to do it the first time around.

Volkan said...


i know that couple of countries were represented by "teams" from those countries, but we have also countries that had selections for national teams (ladies, youth cup, THE national team) several mouths before the event. For Norway, that selection was done by the Norwegian federation. There were also practices for the national teams.

There were more teams this year then last year, the numbers might be even higher next year. 7 of the 24 teams were from outside Europe.It might also be more organized when a nation has a foot in by participating this year.

I dont agree on many things that Millennium/EPBF does, but the nationscup/WC is a step in a right direction.

Anonymous said...

In paintball, what will perform better, an 'all-star' team from a nation, or the best team from a nation? Or perhaps the 1st line from the best team and the 1st line from the 2nd best team combined into a single team? I can see practicing together as a national team being difficult in both finances and time when there are other competitions players are gearing up for.

Anonymous said...

Same problem that Soccer-club teams have during a World Cup year. Sometimes teams have to let players go do their national duty. They lose the player for a few games, but they have greater value in their squad because it now includes international players that they can sell at a profit.