Yeah originally the tournaments were in the woods....but back then trying to film them and such did not make it too interesting for the viewer. With today's technology however, a woodsball game could be much more exciting even on TV. And with leagues such as the UWL and such, I think it would be great to see more on ESPN 1000 even
But I think in order for that sort of thing to take place and that sort of visibility into the game it has to undergo a little bit of sportification if you will. That does not mandate changing how you go out and play on the weekend, but the appearance of the game to the casual peruser.
Just scan some of the forums even here talking about the game. It is inevitable that you will encounter a heavy dose of "cheaters", "wipers","overshootering", etc. That is not to say we don't talk about it....but because this is so prevalent in the game today...and sorry, but it is is all styles of play and it is not just because of tournaments, cheaters are cheaters no matter what style they play. But because it is so invasive it is often times new players get turned off of the game their first experience because they have encountered this.
Pirhana it sounds like you have a great field in the area that probably does a great job of addressing these sorts of issues when they come up. And they actively seek to ensure that this is not the mainstream mentality at their field. But I can say me personally have played in 3 different states as a rec player and more often than not you can see the new players that are getting let down because field operators are not as interested in the experience their customers are having.
I know I am not trying to say that the game is dieing, but I know in the past couple of years I have been to the field on some beautiful days and sat and just talked to the owner/operator/refs because no one else showed up. More than once my "group" of 4-6 players were the only ones on the field (which I am not denying was nice ).
I think the game is in need of an image reinvention. I am glad to see PB more and more in various outlets....I mean Big Bang Theory has the cast playing a good bit. Myth Busters has done specials....you see the sport on the fringes like that and I think it is great...but that only peaks an interest in some folks and then they start to google a little bit and maybe youtube some game and watch the tournaments and get scared, or they venture out to the field and get peppered and treated like scum because they are not on a team, does anyone think that person will ever recommend playing paintball to anyone?