Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Monday Poll in Review

Last week The Monday Poll wanted to get some sense of the player demographic and, more importantly, compare that to how much the responding players pay to play over the course of a season. While we can only draw limited conclusions I think the results won't be too surprising to those who compete unless its at the high end and how demanding of both time and money the game has become.
Part One asked responders to self-identify their current ranking from Pro to D5. Part Two asked responders to choose the highest level of competition they have competed in this season and Part Three asked that they pick an approx. expenditure to indicate how much they well spend this season to compete.
Put them altogether and the results look like this: 30% compete in divisions typically only available at the national and international level of competition. The other 70% have access to competition from the local and regional level all the way up to the international level.
In the second category nearly 60% compete locally or regionally as their highest level of competition leaving around 40% competing at the national and international level. (I'm not using hard numbers because the number of respondents is low enough that the percentage values assigned are soft with a likely 2% or 3% margin of error.)
In the third category over 40% spend something less than $3000 a year which leaves well over 50% paying more than $3000 a year. (And of those spending less than $3000 only 6% are spending less than $1000 a season.) And that doesn't begin to give a real sense of the costs involved as nearly 20% pay over $7500 to sums exceeding $10,000 a year. (And something close to 30% are spending more than $5000 a year to compete.) When you consider that only 8% of respondents identified as pro players and only some percentage of them pay little or nothing to play the top 20% in costs must include a significant number of D1 and D2 players.
Not only do serious players have to commit a lot of time and effort to compete but the costs are fairly staggering particularly when one considers the age group range the majority fit within. Toss into the equation the fact that buying power (what your dollars will purchase) is down as much as 35% in the last decade according to some calculations and it's hard not to conclude that it's only going to get tougher to replenish the pool of competitive players going into the near future.

Next time, Breaking Down the Costs.


Bruce Anderson said...

Thank you for taking time to look at this aspect of the sport. The financial aspect is probably the least understood and hardest to get a handle on and your analysis seems spot on. More please.

Bryan Parks said...

Money is what essentially made last season my last. I had two jobs to support travel and weekly practice expenses. I never thought that would be why I quit playing. I expected injury or something to force me out... not money... It's hard to see our sport growing until we figure out financial issues. Paintball is the only sport I can think of that costs large sums of cash upfront AND every practice.