Monday, January 12, 2015

The Peter Principle (Sorta)

A few of the OGs will recognize the post title. Back in the last millennium--no not the European tournament series--The Peter Principle was a popular fad in the business community. It posited that good employees were promoted to their level of incompetence. Every promotion was earned on merit until that good employee was no longer capable of doing a good job because eventually nearly everyone reaches the limit of their abilities. But it's impossible to tell when that limit will be reached because their past is filled with success.
This post, btw, is the year's first overtly devoted to the deficiencies of the (nearly) universal classification system employed by APPA and supported by the PSP. (Or vice versa. Whatever.)
The prior post published entitled, 'One Undeniable Truth About Paintball' was an introduction for today's post (and in case you failed to pick up on it was about so-called sandbagging. Now go back and read it again. Puts a different spin on things, doesn't it?)
Not so long ago there was a robust national scene--until there wasn't--while competitive paintball at the local level was frequently a free-for-all. Within this time frame the national level format was changed dramatically, a competing league evolved, the industry hit a brick wall and the turn out for traditional 5-man began eroding at the national level.
Within that environment the original classification system was introduced. It was considerably cruder than the present version. As most of you well know it not only classifies players but also engages in the redistribution of talent by formulaic determination of where a given player can or cannot play. It does so based on team rosters and team results. It does not--because it can not--evaluate and rate the player's performance. That means if a team rosters 12 players and 6 or 7 of them play most of the points all 12 are treated identically by the system.
By the numbers somewhere around 15% of a divisions competitors will be moved up a rank by season's end. Given however that multiple scores are required the teams that compete more frequently are effectively ranked up at a rate greater than 15%. The result tends to diminish the standard of competition in that division from year to year and elevate some teams and players who prove unprepared or unable to compete at the next level--and the end result of that is a significant attrition rate among teams and players.
(The gist of the counterargument is that teams and players quit everyday regardless of division of play and the life cycle of a competitive player is around 4 years so it's important to keep the up-and-comers motivated and with places to go.)
However even assuming all of that is correct shouldn't there be a focus on and an effort made toward retaining as many players and teams as possible while upholding a standard of competition that makes the divisions meaningful tiers of accomplishment?
For a league, an industry and current players everywhere concerned the sport is in decline isn't it rather foolish to be actively driving away players who want to play the game in the name of a formulaic fairness?

Next time, All Paintball Is Local.


Anonymous said...

Is it only a matter of time before the Raehlmaniacs can not only tell us which points a registered player played, but which points he won? And even further factor in which points were played and won/lost against which other players with various ranks?

It won't tell us (yet?) if you were shot on the break every game while your team won, but it doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility that we could incorporate point data into individual player classifications.

Anonymous said...

Now to address your driving away point. Do we save some players from driving themselves away after getting stomped on by sandbag hers who would otherwise almost always play down a division?

You may claim to know that x% of players failed to return in a given season, but how many would never sign up for another event period if they were being smashed on by other teams?

Anyway... I tend to agree that we should have as many classifications impeding paying customers.

Unknown said...

First they came for the fat guys, and I did not speak out -
Because I am not fat.

Then they came for the slow guys, and I did not speak out -
Because I am not slow.

Then they came for the poor guys, and I did not speak out -
Because I am not poor.

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.

Anonymous said...

When you have arrogance by the psp such as the interview by lane wright when asked about 2015 rule changes its apparent it's not about what the players want. So classification is irrelevant only money matters

Baca Loco said...

706 Anon
If you saw the bill for the pro field's stats monkeys you might change your opinion.

If you think I'm in favor of more divisions either I failed to accurately express myself or your reading comprehension is suspect.

Tom Romay said...

I totally agree with the concept that players are sometimes moved up before they're ready. So, what's a better way to do it? Is it better to have a team rating? For example -one in which the team is rated D4 and based on an amount of wins is promoted to D3.

I think there's flaws in any way that you do it. It's on the team owners/managers to not put people on the roster that don't have a legit shot to play. That keeps the guys that are "roster filler" from moving up when they really haven't earned the bump. Nothing is worse for a player than being bumped when they're not ready. Getting on the field and getting your ass handed to you every game really takes the wind out of your sails. Don't get me wrong, I think that you need to play better players/teams in order to get better, but you don't want beginner players playing against D1 teams - it's just not good for the growth and sustainability of the sport.

Paintball players are super fickle/flakey. Add to that the cost of playing and if it's not a super fun experience, players will quit. You're not going to make everyone happy, but ya gotta do what's best for the sport. I don't have a clue what that is in regards to a ranking system - I hope that you'll enlighten me.

To add some ass kissing, I really enjoy reading your perspectives. Great job with the blog!