Friday, March 6, 2015

Another Kind of March Madness

Major League Paintball's leading series kick off the 2015 season this month. PSP Dallas is less than a week away and the Millennium's Med Cup is the last weekend of the month. As of Tuesday morning--after the official final deadline for entry--Dallas was at 125, down more than 25% from last year's Dallas opener. One explanation that hadn't occurred to me before may be simple as the weather. Not only was Dallas cold last year but the worst of the winter weather has hit much of the country in January and February and shows little sign of abating in some places. Med Cup numbers could be similar but the MS hasn't yet posted registrants in the Semi-Pro divisions and the Open divisions are a bit thin. While there's still time for teams to jump in VFTD is projecting event numbers around 110 teams. The MS has seen a fair amount of team turnover in recent seasons with a trend that's in decline. Until this coming event the PSP had been growing over the last two or three seasons. The MS made some off season moves to change the pattern and it will be interesting to watch what happens in both leagues over the course of the season.
The rumor mill continues to churn regarding the PSP with tales of high profile buyers trying to buy the Dye shares along with competing rumors of a competing start-up national league looking to use the current uncertainties to make a move. So far Dye is standing pat--at least according to the latest rumor--and as more industry sponsors sign on with the PSP the likelihood of an upstart league trying to gain a foothold after Dallas seems unlikely.
Across the pond the MS announced an exhibition to run concurrently with the Med Cup in which top Champions League teams will play using a limited paint per point format modification. That should attract the attention of all the teams attending and give everyone a chance to see it in action or actually try it out. There has been talk for many years about limiting paint as an alternative to reduced ROF or other efforts to reduce paint costs and variability. By offering an exhibition the Millennium is taking a reasonable step in that direction while respecting their competing teams.
Remaining across the pond VFTD mentioned the X Series last week and I have some additional information. Begun last year in Germany largely as an alternative for local venues to the top heavy DPL and teams interested in something a little different--the X Series uses a modified PSP rulebook and field layouts--the league has grown substantially over last season with the recent announcement they would have 150 teams competing across the series of events. For the host venues the big deal is the DPL is modeled on typical soccer league practice which sees much of the money stay at the top of the league while the X Series offers greater monetary rewards to the host venues. Of more interest is the fact that in one season the league has attracted such significant growth. Last year the DPL had over 300 teams competing across Germany. It remains to be seen whether or not the X Series will cut into those numbers or if competitive paintball in Germany is still growing.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would you mind doing another post about teams? For example, how to run a team the most effectively? How do you (Baca) as a coach prepare for an event? What's the most important aspect in order to improve as a team?

Would you say field knowledge is the most important thing to do before an event? How do you improve each person's field knowledge?

I know I asked a lot of questions but with PSP Dallas approaching and the season starting I think it would be helpful for divisional players. If you could please answer them and link me to some posts I would appreciate it. Keep up the good work with your blog!

PlayMistyforQ said...

I would imagine that splurging these goods would diminish Loco's value in the marketplace.
Why not hire him for your team and keep the resulting net advantages to yourself?

Anonymous said...

Do you have any insight on why paintball in Germany seems to be growing so successfully? From what I understand, they have severe restrictions on paintball guns and very low velocity restrictions. How can paintball thrive in such conditions, while it seems to be declining here in the US?

Reiner Schafer said...

Do they actually play at those velocities in Germany? If they do (or at least closer to that low velocity, it would make for a much less extreme game. Maybe a less extreme game attracts a wider demographic and therefore more players willing to take part. Just a thought.

Reiner Schafer said...

I was thinking a little more about what might contribute to the popularity of paintball in Germany compared to North America. I have never played paintball in Germany nor have I lived there since paintball has become popular, so this is more about what I have heard and what I know of the culture.

First, I believe kids are not allowed to play paintball in Germany. Not sure what the minimum age is, but it’s either 16 or 18 I think. Not sure if that would have an affect, but it’s certainly going to change what an average paintball outing is like or what the makeup of teams would be like, especially in the lower divisions.

Second has to do with the gun culture in Germany. I believe it very difficult for Germans to own and shoot real guns. Germans are still bombarded by gun imagery in movies and on TV, so there would still be that desire for many to “be like those guys”. Paintball gets them about as close as German culture allows. They can shoot “guns” even if they can’t own or shoot real guns, unlike we can in North America.

Anonymous said...

In Germany the velocity restrictions are not enforced at tournament paintball, Maybe in the woods and rental, but never played that in Germany.

The velocity and special stamps is mostly annoying, if you ever would get stopped by the police and checked and they know the special rules..You do need an F stamps and such which "proves" your marker was bought in Germany and was legal to their standards at some point. Dont see how that has any affect on why tournament ball seems to be big there.
What does help is that they do have a real Solid league(s) that gets backed by big paintball shops with enough funding and that it has run for many years. So they have a good base to play competitive and that also attracts many teams from outside Germany on all levels

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