Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Passing of Time

This will be one of my shorter blogs because we are all given a length of time in this world. Most don't want to acknowledge that, or talk about this, but we are given only a certain amount of time. It's how we utilize that time that really matters. Please don't take things for granted, and do what you are ambitious about; because it's only a matter of time until it runs out and you can no longer do it.

The reason I bring this up is because a friend of mine has just passed away. He was a big inspiration and was a great influence for me and he's one of the reasons I started this blog. He helped me come to a realization about life, and that I shouldn't sit back and watch it go by. To speak out, and be upfront about things. To help others who need it, and not to be selfish. He was wise man, and a caring man. He influenced many people, and really left an impact on this world. To me, that's all a man can really ask for. And with that, I ask for you to be an impacting individual, like my friend Paul Richards. Speak out for the better. Be helpful and caring. Enjoy the time you have, love the people around you, and give it meaning.

I send my best regards in this blog and in my thoughts to a great man, Paul Richards. And I give my blessings to him and his family. Rest in peace.

And if you get the chance, I ask that you please read his blog,
And please give a prayer to him and his family. Thank you for the taking the time read this and acknowledging the passing of a good man. We need more like him in this world.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

National Paintball Shouldn't Exist

Why I think this and why I am bringing it up you may ask. Well the rumor has it that the NXL is buying the PSP. The NXL is owned by G.I. Sportz and the PSP is owned by Dye Paintball. There's a whole spew of conspiracies, and reasons why, etc. but that's just hear say for now. It's not so much the purchase I want to talk about, but I really just want to speak on National Paintball more as a whole. If you haven't read my previous blog, NXL Dropped The Pod, please do so as this is really a continuous of that.

Well the people in charge of the NXL, who also own the rights to Xball, want to do the Race-to format... Which is a dumb format for a National Event as I explained previously. The NXL, like the PSP, will continue to lose teams until they offer a better experience for the cost. Which they can't do with Race-to. And it got me to thinking, what's the purpose of national events? Do national events grow the sport? Are national events even the answer for the sport of paintball?

Does anyone really know the purpose of national events? The idea I have always been told is that it is supposed to be the best of the best going at it. However, is that really true? The PSP currently is the top league in the nation, but it has so many affiliate leagues that you can play and gain series points that go towards the PSP series. These affiliate leagues are pulling in around the same number of teams as the PSP is so they are giving out the same number of series points as well. On top of that, with them being significantly cheaper, a lot of good teams are sticking to playing the regional affiliate leagues over the national circuit. This severely takes away from teams playing against the best competition at the national level. So with that I say, what's the purpose of national events?

Do national events grow the sport? This is a huge topic in the paintball community. Especially after the huge drop of manufacturers and players years ago during the recession. A lot of players preach growing the sport to keep their passion alive. These leagues also preach growing the sport to keep the competition and sport alive and thriving. The manufacturers preach growing the sport in order to create a bigger market to sell to. And these same manufacturers are the ones that own the leagues. So, are the national leagues creating a bigger market for the manufacturers to sell to? Currently, I don't believe they do.

Don't believe me? Where is the NPPL? And if you look, the number of PSP teams have been lowering over the years. If it wasn't for the collapse of the NPPL and the PSP being able to absorb what teams the NPPL had left, the PSP wouldn't have had any teams left to lose and would probably be dead by now.

Regional events are getting as many divisional teams as national events because they can offer the same--if not better--experience for the cost. The regional events are more attractive than national events due to the experience/cost, which is why the National events have been trying to find venues where more people can drive to. If you look at the reasoning for events as of lately. The PSP moved their west coast event to Nashville, TN which is practically right in the middle of the USA. The NXL chose Cleveland for their first venue, their reasoning, "It's within 500miles of 43% of the population." This makes it much easier for teams to drive to and it helps lower the expense for teams.

Regional events have been shown that is what grows the sport. It's less expensive, and offers the same experience. It's shown so much, that the national events are trying to adopt a more regional feel with enabling more people to drive to their events like they can a regional event in an attempt to grow their attendance at the national events. People do not want to pay the price.

The sad thing is, national leagues right now just hinder the growth of the sport at the regional and local levels. The national events offer a poor experience to the players which actually turns players away from the sport. And if that poor experience is not enough, the cost to play national events is more than enough to hinder growth of the sport. The expense for national events destroys most teams' budgets to play in other leagues or to play at their local field as much afterwards. This negatively effects the local paintball scenes as less players are coming to the fields. It's creating a poor experience for players at the local fields trying to get into the sport with the lack of players there to play against.

But what does this all mean? It means there is no purpose for the national events. They do not grow the sport. Recreating the same tried and failed attempts, and continuing to have these national events is not the answer. Can national events serve a purpose, absolutely. But they need to be restructured. It needs to be something different. It can't involve taking away and destroying the regional and local paintball scene; it instead, needs to promote the growth of paintball around the local tournaments. That needs to be the purpose of the national league. Again, manufacturers preach the growth of the sport because that's their customers they sell to. They own the national leagues in effort to create a bigger market and grow the sport. But the league doesn't support where the growth happens, so it's counter-productive.

One of my solutions to this problem is simply to be like other major sports. There is usually a head league. Which is the professional league of that sport. They set the rules, and they set the standards for the sport. Then other leagues, either affiliated or not, base their rules and standards of their league off that professional league. The manufacturers who sponsor the professional league, use that league to create an image and use it as a marketing tool to get people interested in playing the sport. That professional league is attracting the new players, and those new players play at the local leagues, and those continue to grow at the local levels because of it. All those new players at the local leagues buy the manufacturers products that sponsor the professional league. And that's how the sport needs to grow for the manufacturers, for the leagues, and for the players.

The national league should have events that are just for the professional teams. And it should be promoted as a professional event so people want to come watch professional paintball. They can also have the webcast for people unable to attend and to continue to promote the sport. This with maybe an Open Amateur Class for Semi-pro/D1/D2 players trying to turn pro and get better by facing the best competition in the country. Those higher level teams can continue to compete all year at the professional events until the local scenes grow and catch up so these teams have competition regionally/locally and no longer have to play nationally.

But every one else should be playing strictly regional/local affiliate leagues all year to gain series points towards the national league. Then at the end of the season teams can attend a National Championships where all divisions will be played in a big championship event held by the National, Professional league.