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Old 07-08-2011, 03:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The "Flagger" Format

(Note to Carter/Mods: If you guys don't want this here, sorry. Let me know where you move it)

In reading about the most recent requests of a merger between NPPL and PSP, I’m motivated to put this information down on paper and get it out to the paintball community.

Paintball is still in its infancy as a professional sport. It is an incredibly complex sport as it busts through genres of ‘team’ sport and ‘extreme’ sport. It is the only extreme sport that is played as a team. The problem that arises for broadcasting paintball is one that no other professional sport has had to incur. I present to you the problem with paintball, and the best possible remedy that I have come up with:

Professional sports have a focal point, that is, the guy with the ball. Paintball is a sport built around balls and there are tens of thousands on the field at every given moment. Paintball has no focal point and consequently, no true form of offense and/or defense.

This is the single problem with the foundation of paintball as an organized team sport. The broadcasters follow certain star players that make big plays, but the plays could come at any moment and there are not enough cameras to cover everything. What paintball needs is a focal point, a dedicated offense, and dedicated defense. I propose the “flagger”.

In this format, each team will maintain five gunmen as is traditional. There will be a clock as with any other major sport with play stoppage, penalties, and point scoring. The difference is, the “flagger” will be the ball. At the beginning of the game, the teams will flip a coin to see whose “flagger” will be on the field first, the winning team will chose whether or not to have their “flagger” on the field first. The loosing team will chose which end they’d like to defend for quarters one and three. At the end of each quarter, teams will switch ends, like in hockey.

The “flagger” is a sixth player on the field for the offensive team. This player is not issued a marker for play and the player’s only job is to pull the flag from the opposing teams goal. This player is marked with a “flagger” specific indicator (jersey, mask, or a vest to wear over his playing apparel).

While the current primary objective is to gain possession of the other teams flag, the new format will only require that the “flagger” pull the flag from it’s stand to score a point. This “flagger” is the only player on the field able to score a point. When he is eliminated (such as the current method of the player being marked with paint) play will stop and a reset will occur. This time however, the opposite team will have their “flagger” on the field.

Play will stop as soon as the “flagger” is hit. This way, a team who has several early eliminations may still be able to stop the offensive strike of their opponent by focusing on eliminating the “flagger” to stop play.

Penalties are allotted as the traditional structure of “1 for 1,” “2 for 1” etc. No team will have to begin a breakout short players.

What does this solve?

Primarily it resolves the antiquated methods of scoring. Additionally, it will reduce the “quiet time” that happens when teams have eliminated several players on both teams and everyone is waiting for moves. It also cures the issue of “focal point,” “offense,” and “defense.”

Notes on play:

I make no indications anywhere on this proposal for field layouts. I do this on purpose because I believe that there needs to be a collaborative effort by paintball experts and broadcast experts to maximize exposure, playability, and broadcasting, but I do have one comment on play.

Paintball is a game of movement first and foremost. The big plays don’t come from hammering excessive amounts of paint against bunkers. The biggest and most exciting plays come from players who make big moves. With that in mind, why do rates of fire have to be so incredibly high? I see no reason to cap the amount of paint a player can bring on the field as there is no telling how long a play will last, but I do think, that to promote big moves and more exciting opportunities, rates of fire should be capped at 9 balls per second. 9 balls per second is more than fast enough to pick off the quickest runners, but slow enough to enable players to make the moves that spectators want to see.

Additional thoughts:

First, paintball needs to have better broadcast production. A ‘super producer’ needs to be brought in and a vast influx of cameras and perspectives need to be added. Helmet cams, bunker cams, and the traditional panes need to be properly cut and blended in real time by a team of broadcasters that can work at a tremendous pace.

Second, paintball needs to present this format of play to major sponsors outside the industry (obviously). But the current problems of broadcast focal point and overall complexity have prevented that from occurring to date. With the new format and an investment in better quality broadcasting, the sponsors will come and the days of webcasting events will be over. Major networks will be interested in picking up this sport that combines incredible excitement and a unique flavor of game.

That's it from me--Kazzy out.
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Last edited by RCasna; 07-08-2011 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I could see this being boring to watch. What if teams find the best strategy is to camp the flagger at their end of the field until they clear a path for them. This could just turn into 5 on 5 paintball with one extra guy sitting in the back waiting to pull the flag should his team win. Seems there should be some incentive to move him up the field during play.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yea, I'm not really into the idea. I'd rather play football/soccer than something like this... or better yet, Paintball.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by weekendballer View Post
I could see this being boring to watch. What if teams find the best strategy is to camp the flagger at their end of the field until they clear a path for them. This could just turn into 5 on 5 paintball with one extra guy sitting in the back waiting to pull the flag should his team win. Seems there should be some incentive to move him up the field during play.

The way I saw it, the only way to score is to get him to the other end...if your offensive strategy is to try to kill everyone and camp the only person who can score for you, I would think you'd have to be better than every other team for that to work? They only have to shoot that one guy to get a reset and get their own scorer on the field?
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No, sorry, I think this is just plain stupid. Let paintball stay how it is, unique.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I guess there would be multiple strategy's to playing the game. I could just see a few of them being pretty boring to watch. Just seems like there would need to be more incentive to push the flagger up the field faster.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i like the idea of a focal point. why not have 1 flag at 1 end of the field. this way there is a deffending team and an offending team. also i think they should get rid of the air ball bunkers and have solid bunkers. i hate seeing people using long barrels to push the bunkers out the way. i had a friend that would slide under air bunkers and pop out the other side to shoot people. just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Airball bunkers are safe and cheap.

Besides that, the incentive to push upfield needs to be stronger, somehow. Maybe 2 minutes to score, then the flagger switches. Or you need an elimination every 30 seconds. Something.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Why not add in paint grenades and launchers? that'd be fun...lol

I think we should leave it the way it is, just because it's different, and that makes it awesome.
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