In this edition of The Balls, commentator Nicole Episcopo gives her opinion on the recent changes in the PSP:
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to SocialPaintball.
Hello Social Paintball readers! Considering I have written a 3 part blog story about my start in paintball, I figured I would tap into some things that are at the forefront of relevancy, and I would like to get as many people involved in this particular blog to see if we, as a community, can create a voice loud enough for everyone to hear. So lets do this TOGETHER!
All of these changes in the PSP I feel are exactly that, changes, and I do not feel they are positive, or necessary. Here is my first problem:
I feel the change is going to be rough on anyone that has a goal to play pro. If you have been playing tournament paintball for ten years, and the last two to three years you have been on a dedicated Division 1 team, what do you think the next step is? To play pro, right? How difficult do you think the transformation is going go if you have been shooting 12.5 balls per second, and have had snake side coaching throughout your entire career. Then, as soon as you go tryout for a pro-team, and make-it, it’s like picking up a Xbox controller after playing on a Playstation console for ten years.
Paintball is unlike every sport in the world, nothing can even come close to compare to it. Even the adrenaline when your trying to close out a one on one for your team to win can not be compared to anything else in this whole universe. So why are we making changes like this and casting the divisional players to the side?
For example, take a look at college football verse pro-football or college basketball verse pro-basketball. Rookies in those pro-league sports make so many dumb mistakes, because they did not have the same rules in college. We as divisional paintball players aspire to be like Jason Edwards, Ollie Lang, Chad George, Mike Paxson, Konstantin Fedorov, and how can we do that if they are basically playing different rules than us? Not to mention, we already have strong evidence that the the pro’s prefer a halves-based format, versus RaceTo. My question is: what if they bring back halves? Will PSP only allow that for the pro division too?
Paintball does not need segregation, if anything we need more equality.
Here is something else that I think everyone can agree on: How about making the referees more professional?
I am not saying that they do not work hard and do their job, because I personally know refs that are fantastic at what they do. I think that if the PSP wants to make the sport more “professional”, they should make the reffing more consistent. How many times have you been playing an event and when you walk over to your friends they say “Dude, the refs on my field suck.” your response is usually, “Actually, the refs on my field are pretty bad ass”. This has to stop. Some pro fields have walkie-talkies…Why can’t EVERY field have them? Not just every pro field, every divisional field! I know that being a referee is not easy and there is no way to perfect it, but there is a way to improve it. I have an idea, ask the players! Reach out to the people that help keep this league alive and ask us!
The newest change in the PSP that has everyone in an uproar, is the new media policy for photographers, media bodies, and teams at events.
How could you take away one of the most appreciated aspects of the sport? Photographers go out there and take pictures of teams that hire them at their own set costs (which are usually not a lot), so they can part-take in the memories for those teams. The PSP is taking the joy out of the sport for the teams that rely on photographers to capture the run-downs, the run off the break to the “X”, the one on one close out, the flag hangs with 8 seconds left on the clock and the team huddles all for what? So the PSP can charge $1,200 per event for these photographers to be there? I know teams that pay close to $600 per player just to get to world cup and play. I don’t know about you, but asking a photographer to pay so much money plus food, flight, and hotel is crazy and they aren’t even playing the event! I can think of a few for hire photographers right off the bat that have so much respect in this sport as photographers: Mike Deep, Michael Mohr (MM Photography), GemFox Photography, Molly Block (MB Photography), NVoke Media and thats just a few of the photographers that go out and capture moments for teams just for the sheer enjoyment and passion they have for their hobby and the sport.
I guess they will only be at your practice fields from now on.
The owner of MBC Photography, Charlotte Pittman, wanted to to reach out to every photographer and player and give me a quote for this blog:
“I am so upset Nicole over this. I do this for free I started doing this to to spend time with with my son because he loved it so much and wants to go pro one day and fell in love with taking pictures for the teams. I have never charged and will never charge because everyone deserves quality pictures of themselves doing something they love so much. Now they want to charge us an outrageous amount for supporting the sport. I am a professional photographer but don’t even make enough with my other work to afford this. I will be glad to send you the email I got from psp with the changes if you like. It saddens me because this hurts the players and they don’t deserve this they put their hearts an souls into this sport. I know my son does”
Who else is with me that theses changes are ridiculous and agree with everything I have said in this blog? If you don’t agree, then that’s fine because everyone is entitled to their opinion. But for those of you that are with me and want to help this blog go viral, lets do this together as a community and let PSP know that this is not fair.
Source: SocialPaintball.com, Equality for All?