Last week we asked you to submit your questions for Rich Telford on a wide range of NPPL & 7-man related issues. Read on for the latest paintball news regarding the NPPL, paintball player classifications, banned paintball colors, modifications to the format and a few words on the new pro paintball teams.

Ben S. asks; will the NPPL be utilizing the APPA ranking system? And if so, will the USPL be honoring the PSP classifications now that the PSP has changed its guidelines?

Rich: We are currently considering two different options with one being the APPA and the other being a company called XTRM. XTRM has a registration and classification system for other extreme sports, and it has a lot of other cool features. Regardless of who we choose to handle our registration, we’re hopeful that we can work with the APPA to keep all player classifications in one place.

PPB: Will we see modifications to the 7-man format such as a best of 3 or something similar to Millennium?

Rich: We currently use a best of 3 formant in the quarter finals, semi finals, and finals (only semi-finals and finals for Pro Division). The concept of using that format in all rounds of play has been discussed, but no decision has been reached at this time.

PPB: What improvements will the NPPL implementing this season over last season?

Rich: One of the things we are doing that I am most excited about is combining our Chicago event with one of the biggest and best scenario events out there. This crossover could be huge for the industry, bridging the gap between the tournament and recreational player.

Al asks; With all of the recent buzz regarding .50 cal and the potential costs savings (and increased paintballs in your hoppers), does the NPPL/USPL plan to allow for multiple calibers?

Rich: The NPPL is more than happy to allow 50 cal paintballs at the events as long as there are no insurance or safety issues. We are working to make sure there will be no issues with goggles or netting by allowing 50 cal balls. We also have to see if we would have to make any rule changes or division adjustments.

DJ Whitacker asks; Will the NPPL be willing to put another event in the southeast (Georgia, Florida, the Carolina’s) in the near future?

Rich: With only four events, we can’t be everywhere. We look for the best venues we can find, as well as areas that can support the event. We will go wherever there are enough teams to justify being there. We would love to have an event somewhere in the south, we just need the demand to be there from the teams and the right venue.

Jmetz asks; Are there any efforts to promote NPPL layouts at local fields across the country? Obviously there are plenty of fields out there using PSP layouts, and most of them change the moment PSP releases a new layout for events. Is this something entirely up to local fields, or does NPPL have a plan for promoting the format so it just doesn’t plain die out because of lack of exposure? Thanks!

Rich: We release our fields weeks before the event, and hope that fields set them up so teams can play. I do like the idea of doing some sort of program where we can help fields do this.

SplattDaddy asks; Why wouldn’t the NPPL go to a “race-to” format? And as a follow up, ViciousPlaya inquires as to if a 7-man “race-to” format has been considered?

Rich: We have talked about using a “race-to” format, and it’s a real possibility. The NPPL has been doing it on Sunday for a long time. Right now we are focused on getting together a group of players and industry leaders to focus on just this kind of topic. We want to try and get as much input as possible from as many people as possible, and then move forward.

PPB: What can you tell us about the two new pro paintball teams that have been rumored?

Rich: Not all that much. I have some general information. There is a team from Canada that have some Impact players on the roster who will be playing. You guys all know Entourage and the Naughty Dogs, and we haven’t made a decision one way or another on the other teams that have applied.

PPB: There has been a rumor floating around that KEE or another manufacture of paintballs would be selling their brand exclusively at all NPPL events. Is this idea still being considered?

Rich: The NPPL is really excited to be working with KEE this season. KEE has really stepped up and gone out of their way to support the league and the teams. Their deal is to be a paint sponsor for the league, and it is not exclusive. I do know that a company must sponsor the league for their paint to be used. And speaking of paint, yellow is not going to be a protected color for 2010.

On a lighter note –  CitrusMaximus asks; Who do you think would win in a fist fight – Ghandi or Jesus?

Rich: This is a tough one, but Ghandi was a pacifist and Jesus believed in an eye for an eye. On the other hand, a little known fact is that martial arts started in India, so Ghandi might have used something like Aikido to defend himself leaving Jesus wondering what happened.

PPB: Anything you would like to share?

Rich: Yes. First, thanks for this opportunity. I’m a big fan of the site, and I check this and Ballers everyday to get my daily does of what’s going on. Secondly, there is a lot of negativity and bitter people out there. Don’t be one of those people. Emotions run high because we all feel so strongly about paintball. In the end though, it’s all paintball so support it. 3-man, 5-man, 7-man—it’s just paintball so if you love the sport then support it. If you can’t so that, at least don’t try to tear it down. There has been more damage done to our sport in the last 3-5 years than we could possible imagine. We have set ourselves back into the stone ages. That’s all I have. See you at the next event.

About Rich Telford: When not captaining pro paintball team Sacramento XSV, Rich Telford works with the National Professional Paintball League and assists his wife, Gina, in running Extreme Paintball, a paintball store and field located in Modesto, CA.

Special thanks to SplatMagazine for the photograph of Rich Telford.