The Age of Covid Paintball – What did they know and when did they know it?

I am by no means an expert on ANYTHING.  I don’t pretend to be and I don’t play one on TV.  “Expert” denotes an “authoritative knowledge”, or an uncanny ability or “mastery” of something most don’t possess. Besides being an expert at driving my wife bat stuff crazy, I can’t think of a single thing I am “authoritatively knowledgeable” about.  Do I believe there are experts in this world? Absolutely.  Do I feel they are rare? More than likely, yes, I think they are rarer than most probably do.

I do try to keep things in perspective though, as well as try to apply logic and reasoning to anything I engage in.  For example, someone might send me a video of a political figure saying something that could be construed a particular way.  Whether I like or dislike the politician or agree with what was said or not, I always try to apply logic and reasoning to what is being stated.  Perhaps choosing politics is a terrible example because of the incredible amount of polarization in today’s world, especially here in the United States.  But I pride myself on understanding context.  I am by no means an expert but I am pretty well informed.  This is because I actively search to understand a point as oppose to just attacking it because it doesn’t line up with my own personal ideology.

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain

The heart of the matter lies in understanding, discernment, comprehension, and good judgement.  The majority of misunderstanding, inaccurate discernment/comprehension, and bad judgement can be avoided through effective communication.  Effective communication is way more than exchanging information.  It’s about understanding the context behind the information.  It is about being able to clearly convey a message.

20200511_110958_HDR~2
Does it mean what I think it means? 

Take, for example, when you search “Infamous Paintball”.  Now, I’m pretty sure I know what they are trying to convey with this tag line.  We are Infamous Paintball and if you use our gear, you can beat anyone (the “good teams”).  But the tag line on its face doesn’t leave the most flattering message or impression for a product.   Again, context.  As a paintballer, I see it.  As a regular consumer, I’m thinking this is a joke, right?

*This is not a slight on Infamous.  Love what they do.  They just happen to have an example of where I am heading…

Of course, being able to clearly convey a message is important – that is – if there is one.  And no communication can say plenty as well.

As of this writing, the “Latest News” tab on the NXL website is from March 18th titled “2020 NXL Texas Open, April 30 – May3 : CANCELLED”.  Here is a link to the page:
https://www.nxlpaintball.com/us-latest-news

Obviously, there is no update on the page.  Not even a mention of how they have since cancelled Virginia (and it would appear, Chicago).

I couldn’t help but notice on what many consider the crème de la crème for paintball communication, http://www.PBNation.com, doesn’t have any information regarding the rest of the season either.  John runs a tight ship over there and is almost always on top of this stuff. I just checked http://www.Gosports.com and didn’t find anything there.  I don’t have Twitter so maybe I missed something there…  Maybe… we’ll get to that.

Since then, communication has been scarce and limited.  The only communications that have taken place since mid-March were a live stream by, oddly enough, Infamous Paintball, featuring NXL President Tom Cole on April 17th, a post on the NXL Facebook page announcing the Virginia Event’s cancellation on May 5th, and another Q&A live stream featuring Tom Cole the next day on May 6th.

Tomcole
He doesn’t have an easy job.  And every keyboard warrior can do it better…

As someone who works in the corporate world, I certainly understand how difficult it can be to get everyone “rowing in the same direction”, especially when running a business.  It is hard enough without the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 and the restrictions implemented on travel and gatherings here and in Europe.  Let me make something perfectly clear; this is not a “Bash the NXL!” blog.  On the contrary actually.  I want to help by consolidating what info is out there for my readers to help the NXL get the word out (keep reading or scroll down).  Lord knows hindsight is 20/20 and it is easy to commentate outside looking in.  Although, I do want to say and the NXL would do well to remember that, no news is still news.

Leverage the mediums you have at your disposal (PBNation, NXL website, FB, Instagram, Twitter, GoSports, Email blasts, etc.) and let people know, even if you don’t have an answer, that you are actively pursuing one.  I am almost positive they have a Director of Communications, yes?  Let the players know what you know.  If you don’t know anything yet, then say so. But say SOMETHING. And say it regularly. Communicate and use the tools at your disposal to get the coverage you need for that message to get out.

All that being said, here is what we know as of today based off Tom’s last live stream (As more information comes in, I will try and update this in the comments or here on the page):

The Richmond, VA event scheduled for June 25th-28th and the Chicago, IL event scheduled for September 10th-13th are CANCELLED.  They will be replaced by 3 smaller REGIONAL events.  Here’s what we know about those:

The Pros will be split into 3 Divisions that will correlate with Regional events.  They are:

  • 6 pro teams in the West Coast division/regional event
  • 6 pro teams in the Texas division/regional event
  • 8 Pro teams in the Mid Atlantic division/regional event

Divisional play beneath Pro will be done similarly.  There will be 3 events just as the ones above at the same locations.  The difference is, if capable/possible, Division 1 (semi-pro) and below (D2, D3, D4, etc.) can attend more than one event.  However, only ONE event score (presumably your best showing) will go towards your series points.  The preference, according to Tom Cole during his last live Q&A, is for you to play one regional event and then World Cup (still scheduled for November 11th – 15th). All formats will be provided at the regional events (X-Ball, 5-man, etc.) just on a smaller scale.  Back to normal with World Cup.

For example – a team, based out of Louisiana, played the Las Vegas event.  They will more than likely play the Texas Regional event.  Your score from the Vegas event will determine your seeding for those teams attending the Texas event.  That team’s combined scores from Vegas and Texas should then determine their seeding headed into Cup… it will be interesting how they address when/if teams have the same score headed into Cup.

World Cup is currently still planned and will be hosted as originally scheduled in Kissimmee FL at the Gaylord Palms resort.  It will be one giant event as usual, not a divisional/regional deal.

gaylord-palms-resort-and-convention-center
World Cup will still be held across from the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee FL

Dates are forthcoming.  Estimate is that the events will START around the last week of August.  They will run every two weeks until September starting with Texas, followed by California, and then Mid Atlantic.  Obviously this will all be contingent on how states address their own “reopening”.  APPA entry fee is targeted to launch mid-July but again, dependent on State regulation.

No early layout release for these 3 regional events.  They will be a “blind” layout meaning you will see it when you get there. There is discussion of releasing the World Cup layout well in advance as opposed to the standard 2 week release prior to the event.

The locations for these events are still to be announced.  They are taking suggestions but the field must have the capability to fit at least 3 regulation X-ball fields (plus have significant parking I would imagine).  The NXL is going to help the fields selected with infrastructure to ensure the best event possible at these local/regional fields.  As it stands today, the following fields are in contention but not official:

  • California/West Coast Division event:
    • Capital Edge Paintball (Sacramento, CA)
  • Texas Division event
    • Paintball Fit (Waxahachie, TX)
    • XFactor Paintball (San Antonio, TX)
  • Mid Atlantic Division event
    • Topgun Paintball (Cream Ridge, NJ)
    • OXCC (Chesapeake City, MD)
    • LVL Up Paintball (Grove City, OH)

There may/may not be a relegation this year due to the possibility of a team not being “allowed” to travel and they are still wanting to bring a semi pro team up.  They are working through all of that.

And that’s what we know.  If you know more, please feel free to share and I will do what I can to get the information out as long as that information can be corroborated.  A lot of this is still fluid so, keep your eyes and ears open for more updates.

Until then

Be Water my Friends.

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