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NPPL Super 7
National Professional Paintball League
Since the NPPL considered sanctioning a new 7 Man Series at the World Cup in Orlando there has been much confusion and speculation as to what this means to the Teams and Players of the Worlds largest paintball league.
In order to clarify the situation and explain the reasons for the NPPL’s decision to part company with the PSP and run its own series of events, NPPL President Chuck Hendsch has issued the following press release:
‘The NPPL is a non-political governing body responsible for sanctioning quality paintball events and committed to growing the sport at all levels. We are also dedicated to improving and maintaining the Sports integrity and professionalism. Our goal is to create a positive environment which encourages new players into the game and to provide all players and sponsors with a top quality flagship Paintball series with sound infrastructure that delivers on its promises. The further intention of the NPPL is to legitimise tournament paintball by maintaining a body of independent professional referees, whose sole purpose is to maintain and enforce the rules, regulations and standards at all NPPL events. The NPPL has also developed a sanctioning program with very strict guidelines to ensure that all event organisers adhere to the highest standards and work progressively in tandem with the teams and industry as a whole.’
‘The NPPL Super 7’s is formatted to globalise the game and make it more presentable to Television, outside sponsors and most importantly, spectators. 7-man is a very strategic game, is easy to follow, fun to watch, and fits more easily into desirable venue’s, allowing more impressive locations to be explored.
We are focusing on cleaning up the game, employing trained, dedicated refs who follow the series and adjudicate at every event. We cannot allow referee’s to be intimidated. They must have the knowledge and authority to properly enforce the rules, specifically for cheating, foul language, physical altercation and threats, which have not been properly addressed in the past.’
‘The NPPL is for everyone, teams, sponsors and industry alike. A team can show up and use any product so long as they are safe and falls within the NPPL guidelines. Our doors are open; we are excited and looking forward to moving Paintball onwards. Over the past years tournament paintball has grown in participation but the tournaments themselves have not kept pace with that growth. The 2003 NPPL 7-man series will revolutionise the game as we know it today’
For the latest information on the NPPL
and new developments within the NPPL, please refer to our Web site, www.nppl.com.
There has also been some detail released by the NPPL on what teams can expect from the new 7-man series.
The ‘Clean up’ program will be backed
up by trained Refs and Equipment Scrutineers that will be flown to each
event, instead of having to source referee’s at the location of each tournament
and giving them rudimentary schooling. This has been the difficulty with
the consistency of the Pro reffing since its inception and has been caused
in no small part by the lack of available funds required to finance the
levels of expenditure needed to pay for the flights and travelling expenses
of the more experienced Pro Referee’s. Good refs can be and have been found,
but if these refs are only used at their local event they do not gather
the experience necessary to enforce the rules properly, and the whole process
must be repeated at the location of the next event with no guarantee of
Another exciting development is the link to the European Millennium Series. Points from specific European events will count in the NPPL series, and vice versa, to entice more European teams to come over and try their skills in a 7 man format. Fewer European teams are making the trip over to the US due to the standard of events they get at home. Higher quality venues and grass playing surfaces are a requirement in the Millennium series, and this requirement must and will be applied to the NPPL Super 7’s in order to globalise a higher standard of event. It is also being considered that NPPL and Millennium membership could be combined, so that members of one series can travel to play in the other, and enjoy membership benefits of both series without paying another membership fee.
WDP Ltd, the British manufacturers of the Angel, has also issued a press release pledging full support to the NPPL Super 7 Series.
‘We want to see a clean series where talent can prosper and the best teams win on the day. We do not believe the tournament scene has developed sufficiently in the last few years and we will support any movement to address the problems that must be overcome before serious progress can be made.
Back in the mid 90’s Tournament paintball had reached a crossroads. It had stagnated in a woodland format that neither allowed nor facilitated the involvement of spectators. This woodland format also ensured that outside industry sponsors could not support paintball as it was impossible to film and televise commercially. WDP saw this as a major barrier to the future of the game and developed the arena based format of Hyperball in 1996 to successfully bring the game out of the woods. However, for the last 6 years tournament paintball has still failed to attract any serious, consistent involvement of outside sponsors or television companies.
The momentum of Arena-based tournaments paintball has carried a lot of new players into the game and has developed some true stars in our sport. The increased competitive edge this format presents encourages players at the top of the sport to push the boundaries, as they do in every other professional sport.
WDP believe that our Sport is now at another crossroads and in order for it to evolve we need a professionally organised tournament circuit where the correct measures have been taken to protect the legitimacy of the results and to present a professional image to spectators and sponsors at all times. This is why we have spent $75,000 to support the Pro-Ref Organisation to date. Unfortunately we now realise that the problem goes much deeper than the reffing of the events. The whole structure, format and organisation of NPPL sanctioned tournaments must also be addressed.
We will not be diluting our energies by supporting two series in 2003 and the NPPL Super 7’s is moving in the direction we feel paintball needs to go.’
‘WDP are committed to supporting a Flagship Paintball Series and will do whatever it takes to make this happen. We will gladly work with anyone who shares our desire and determination to provide a better standard of tournament paintball for the teams that play and for the industry as a whole.
The NPPL series has to give the players
high quality, unbiased events, with good prizes, monies and organisation,
while operating from a progressive, fair, non-political position through
which it can evolve the sport of paintball. We do not feel it is in the
best interest of our own business or the Game as a whole to stand by and
watch the single most potent marketing tool at the industry’s disposal
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