Rumor: Paintball manufactures call for NPPL, PSP merger

ProPaintball insiders indicate that the big paintball manufactures (the guys making the paint) are suggesting that the major paintball leagues merge. According to a rumor floating around, the paintball companies want the National Professional Paintball League to merge with Paintball Sports Promotions in 2012 to reduce the amount of times they need to roll out the heavy duty/expensive event trucks. The rumor goes as far as to suggest the paintball manufactures are considering pulling their sponsorship of the leagues if a merger is not completed.

GI Sports Paintball Truck

The concept of a major league merger is not a new one. In fact, the “merger” rumor has shown its face for as long as many of us can remember. The issues preventing the leagues from merging boil down to a few key points; who and how much ownership everyone would hold in combined league, which format would survive, and, most of all, personal ego.

For those of you unfamiliar, the NPPL is compromised of a group of pro teams who own various percentage interests in the league. The PSP is backed by Dave Dehaan, the owner of DYE Precision. Each league has its established customer base and feels that its format and operation is superior to that of the competition.

Further, the NPPL owners want a seat at the decision making table (a position a core group of NPPL owners have held since 2007) in order to influence the course and direction of the league. The PSP is under the impression that they run a good show and that while a think tank might be good, there is no guarantee that those ideas will be implemented or taken into consideration.

Here are a few questions for you. Please share your thoughts in the comments below;

Is a merger between the NPPL and the PSP a possibility? If so, why now?

What format do you think the combined league should utilize?

Is a player-guided governing board important for a successful league?

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Comments

  1. Air Jordan

    All it takes is for the league to produce their own paintballs to avoid the merger… don’t think it will happen. Making self branded paintballs though is highly possible.

    1. chuckles

      I was thinking the same thing. Or certain paint companies join a certain league and only travel with that league. They would loose half there business on tourny day but they wouldn’t have to travel to 2 different events.

  2. noOnefOu

    People will continue to play tournament paintball even if there was one league. There will be more players/teams at events.

    I think there should be a combined format that has a little bit of both aspects of the game. What if they went back to playing 5v5 15 minute games or some time limit, PSP size field. If paint is an issue, set a cap of cases how much a team can use for one match. I’ve never been a fan of coaching, only because I think there are more creative plays without it. I feel the better players will really show because everything won’t be showcased into one game like, 7man.

  3. NewPro

    7 man, 15 minute halfs, race to 7, capped at 12.5…Good, we’re all in agreement, cyas at the next psppl

    1. my thought

      YESSSS!!! that would be amazing, but it would be better to keep the race-7 for pros and d1 and race-5 for d2, and race-4 d3,4

  4. chris

    Hmmm… let’s see. After bankruptcies, years apart and, the aboved mentioned “egos”..they still run their seperate ways..
    I dont see it happening unless the big manufactures pull the plug on funding in order to force a merger.
    and at that point…what would the result be? whom would a merger benfit more? Manufactures? Players? Staff members? Both? None of them???

  5. pm

    This is a nice way of saying “we are done with the poorly attended and unorganized NPPL.” This is nothing close to a 50/50 merger. The NPPL has little of nothing to bring to the table.

    In other words, they (the NPPL)say no? . . .they have no paint sponsors. PSP is not in the same boat. The handwriting was on the wall when Mike went to the Race to Format with the WCPPL in the NPPL’s backyard.. But some people just insist on a slow painful death.

    Im not holding my breath for the ‘ego’s that be’ on the one side of the table to do the right thing. But then again, they really don’t have a choice. Good job paint companies for forcing an issue that a lot of us have looked on in disbelief at.

  6. Jack

    Honestly, NPPL was going to go bankrupt eventually anyway, they use an old format compared to race to which in my opinion is much more exciting anyway, just look at both webcasts the leagues put put, they get no where near as many teams as PSP, and PSP is considerably cheaper to play and you are guaranteed many more games to play for your money.

    NPPL has nothing to bring to the table except possibly outside sources which at this point have led to nothing but heavy money loss for the NPPL. Sure while a table of players might lead to some good ideas, all it seems to do at the NPPL is glorify the pros at the expense of the divisional teams, their actual customers that truly support the league. Ex: The Webcast or their planned “pro only” event that never took place. PSP has been on great financial footing for many years now and they know how to run a great paintball event. This can only be attributed to the knowledge and skill the owners of the PSP possess, more so than the owners of the NPPL. If they were to merge, IMO it should be the PSP with all the NPPL teams coming over to play the PSP format with no elements whatsoever of the NPPL.

  7. ahams

    nppl struggles to get teams to events and this is possibly the psp’s last year( he even said it himself they are not making money). ideas im in support of(for pro,would change for divisions

    race to 7 5man with no coaching 12.5 ramp or uncapped semi
    race to 5 7man 12.5 ramp or uncapped semi
    or just run both events at the same locations but keep them separate( the paint company’s really only want 4 events i dont think they care about if they really merge)

  8. ight

    I think they should make the merge and NPPL should walk in the PSP path. The only changes to the PSP from the NPPL could maybe be turf on the fields. I would b fine with that

  9. logical thinker

    Honestly, this comes down to dollars and cents. The fact is the PSP brings in more teams, this allows paint comapnies to sell more product. The NPPL has struggled in the past years, and should realize their presence is hurting the tourney scene of this sport more than helping it. I remember watching 10 man die, it sucked, but it was a natural progression of the sport. The fact that the NPPL is essentially lingering and leeching money from industry sponsors is something we should all realize is not helping. I’d much rather see the PSP with better industry support and more teams than two separate leagues causing financial woes in an already struggling sport. Put the 7-man Headstone next to 10-man one and call it a casualty of progress for the greater good of this industry

  10. jake

    For those of you that think psp is cheaper, look at the pricing comparison betweeen the 2 leagues. NPPL is cheaper than PSP in D3, D2, and D1; plus they do a actual payout of money. PSP all you get is a FREE entry, to me right now NPPL is doing better than the PSP. If they did merge then I would suggest 7-Man race to 5 with a 15min time limit and No Coaching.

    1. Jack

      And actually its not cheaper, Ex: NPPL D3 is $2025 and you are guaranteed 8 games at the least, PSP D3 Xball is $2600 but you are guaranteed 16 games, that is twice as many games for not that much more money. Im honestly hoping NPPL goes bankrupt after this year, they leech money away from the good leagues and does nothing but bring both leagues down. PSP is a much better league and always will be.

      1. Steve

        Tell me how you are guaranteed 16 games in PSP D3? We payed a event and played only 10 points.. 2-0,1-2,1-2,0-2 so tell me where you get that???????

  11. TreyV

    I really think the only way a unification will happen is if the financial gig is up for both leagues at the same time (both end up in the red) and a merged league is only viable solution for survival of a top-level US league. If this move by the paint makers (threatens) to create that situation, it might work. But I would guess the likelihood to be quite low. Eight years of two major leagues demonstrates that.

  12. ahams

    nppl has access to cheaper locations and richer people in there organization. psp losses money every year even with getting more teams. the nppl made a profit between 2010-2011 despite low team numbers.

  13. Jack

    Why is everybody so against coaching? they took away d-side coaching which I think was the right move but why take away snake side coaching where there is crowd participation. Do we really want PSP to become as boring as an NPPL event?

  14. blackmountain

    If this keeps progressing both leagues will be gone. The NPPL needs to really fold unlike the bull it pulled when it went to USPL. I agree with a mixed format, I kind of prefer the Millenium S7 rules but anything combination of both will still be good. Plus it will truly test the best teams in each division as they have all the national teams at one event vs. teams picking and choosing which they attend.

    The NPPL heads just need to get over the fact that they aren’t helping the sport grow and the industry is taking a hurting because of it. Ive been saying this for years now and hopefully paint companies will make this happen because the PSP and the NPPL really need to merge into one national league.

  15. yo

    keep psp current field deminsions, with race to format. No coaching on dside, coaching on snake, (crowd blocks alot of the coaching out anyway.) get ride of flags and make buzzer style points like the millinuim series. 13.3 capped semi-auto. Dont use the nppl name and the psp name. Call it something new like (for example NPL) so no company really wins whos name they use. and keep turf!

  16. Chris

    With the two merging, the events would be much larger, and there may be a more competitive aspect to the game if more teams compete. If there is no merge, then like people said above, Dye could be the main paint sponsor for psp, but then nppl is left in the dark.

    1. nkypaintballr

      I would have to agree. With one single league i would believe that the sponsorships would not have to be divided between the two we have now. This would overall result in a more successful league that would always turn a profit. This would also make it easier for teams and specators. Not having to divide their time between the two. Obviously saving time, along with money and a lot of stress. However, the two leagues now do offer more events to play in and two different styles of playing for teams. If they dont do good in one they might in the other. It keeps this fresh and interesting.

  17. better planning

    maybe the two leagues should just work with eachother to plan events in the same areas around the same times (like same venue, 2 weeks apart)

    HB and texas were a few weeks apart – chicago and chicago (no move and haul needed) – PSP NJ and NPPL DC (dates are a little further apart) – then world cup and vegas – if the leagues work to have events around the same dates (week or 2 seperated) – they would just need to ship in paint, and if they ran out of certain product. i’m sure the companies sell a ton of paint in both leagues and that merging the two, only having half the events to sell paint at would hurt overall profit numbers

  18. Conor Tuskey

    Personally, I think a merger between the PSP and NPPL would be a great step forward for the sport of paintball. One of the biggest problems that I see keeping paintball from becoming a much more mainstream sport is the lack of a single governing entity for professional play. Football has the NFL, baseball has the MLB, hockey has the NHL, basketball has the NBA, etc. These sports saw a HUGE increase in popularity and opportunity for profit after merging smaller leagues and creating their single major professional leagues. I feel that following suit with paintball will allow the sport to continue to grow, with different industry players being able to focus on THE professional league, and the visibility of the sport on a national (and international) level increasing exponentially over time. Do I think that a merger will change everything overnight? No, but I believe that it is necessary for the sport of paintball to move on to bigger and better things.

    1. Z

      I agree one major paintball league . Set up a players assication and a governing body of team owners , players , company rep establish different smaller leagues minors and etc. then take the gudielines from NPPL and PSP and put it in one for field requriements and actually put teams in cites they are named after IE St.Louis Avalanche are based out of colorado set up divsions and conferences and all players get paid not just gear then its a win for everyone .

    1. uhh..

      The current NPPL has never televised a tournament. The last time they televised a tournament they went bankrupt.

  19. Kstyle

    Here’s what needs to happen. First the psp, nppl need and the UWL need to merge and retain the nppl name. Second, the newly formed league should set up satellite fields across the country. Each field should offer both high quality tournament fields “on turf”, recreational fields and woodsball fields. These fields should be set up in areas where paintball is most popular. This would greatly reduce the cost and hassle of setting up an event. Third, agree on a tournament and a recreational format that is conducive to both players and spectators. Im thinking race ball and whatever format the uwl uses. Fourth, run regional tournaments based out of these satellite fields. This will allow the league owned field to pay for itself. Finally, hold both tournament styles in the same week at the same location. This allow all the company sponsors and vendors to sell the most amount of product and consolidate the finances to allow the sport to grow. This would also help with scheduling. Since these tournaments will be held at stationary locations every year we can all plan ahead and manage our money and practice schedule accordingly.

  20. no coaching

    …maybe follow a working format like traditional Xball like the CXBL is using… with division system and standardized jerseys and stuff. Most paintball stuff comes from CANADA.

  21. Jon

    Yes, the two leagues need to merge but forcing them to do it is not the right way to go about. First a single governening body does need to be established, second one format shouldnt be the new way style of play. Many teams and players like certain styles, if 7man was the new format would the russian legion still continue to play? Or if xball was the sole format would Arsenal play. People these are the questions that have to be asked to get ride of one league for the other would destroy many teams as many players play on other teams in different tournaments. As well playing multiple events is how players get paid as little as they do. And another thing the idea of a merger is nothing new its been a concept for as long as I can remember. Though I dont think that the paint manufacturs would really pull their sponsorships as many people see what the pros are shooting and see how well it shoots then they go out and buy what their using.

  22. Some dude

    leagues wont merge anytime soon. Will a paint company boycott a league and let a small competitor take a piece of their market share? not likely. Is having a truck at 4 more events hurting that company? Not when multiple skids are sold at each of those events.

    Does one tournament series leach away from the sport while the other gives back to the industry? Not a chance, more events more paintballs are shot, more merchandise is sold, more people play and are exposed to the game. Is one league hurting the other? as far as competition goes yes one steals customers from the other, this is a part of capitalism. However that competition requires both leagues to be innovative and try to offer something better than the other. This is advantageous to us the players. So long as players are playing the better league in their own mind they are voting for which league they like with their dollars (the only vote that matters in capitalism). So let the survival of the fittest sort out which league should survive.

    Until our small sport grows and gains enough notoriety and dollars no one should be so ignorant as to say fewer tournaments should be played. Every paintball event that takes place is good for our sport and industry as a whole. Once you no longer have to explain to someone what paintball is and you can actually see it on tv more than a time or two each year and there are enough players to truly have our sport grow we should not aim to reduce the amount of paintball played. But if that day ever comes then we can worry about what format should be the paramount format to take paintball to the nationally followed and respected spectator sport. But until that day we dont need to worry about what format needs to take over.

    Competition is good, one series with no strong competition that is allowed to sit stagnant and not be required to innovate and change is bad. Especially in a slumped economy.

    My 2 cents and then some.

  23. Rob

    I hope this is true, boy do I hope it’s true. Having multiple leagues doesn’t really create competition because even with a single league you’re still competing with every other sport people could play instead. Having a single league adds legitimacy, money and paves the way for a proper governing body like *actual* sports.

  24. Evan Feldman

    The only thing NPPL has that is better than PSP is their refs. I would like to see a merger, and keep the race to format, but have 7 man events with NPPL designed fields, and make them at the same place at the same time, but so that that you can play 7 and 5 man. That way you have just as much game time as if there where 8 events, but with half the amount of plane tickets, and it would be good for PSP because a lot of NPPL teams would start playing PSP, and visa verse. The sponers are happy, players are happy, PSP, and NPPL are happy!!!

    1. you're not serious...

      NPPL refs are better than PSP refs? Are you kidding? A Kindergarten class is better than NPPL refs! At least you know they’re not high!

  25. Austin

    has there been any other option? honestly if everyones interest was for the good of the sport it would have happened a long time ago…. but we all have to make money right?

  26. Economics at play

    The bottom line the this: our industry is unique , small, and struggling( broke). Want to make it bigger? put more money into one league and create events that feel like experiences not only to the players but to those spectating . The argument about competition, options for players and all that is irrelevant. Why? Cause we need an insurgence of money into tourney paintball for it to have any chance, and the only way that is gonna happen is to show the industry players that one UNIFIED league can be their venues and that they do not need to sponsor twice as many teams for two different leagues. Pick the best teams that represent the sport and those sponsors can choose who really deserves the pro title and put their money behind a more solid investment. Meanwhile, the venues will hopefully become more of a spectacle as companies dont have to spread it over 8 events in a year. It is a factor of finances people, dont lose sight of that in the arguments of format, a winning league or anything else. as UR MUTA said, ONE LEAGUE TO RULE THEM ALL

  27. PtH

    What did the NBA do about the ABA? They merged with the teams they wanted. If paintball wants to ever be considered “legitimate,” a merger needs to happen. Even if the money split is 50/50, both sides will be making just as much, if not more money than they are now. Teams would be able to play all events, because they would not have to choose between two formats in two different leagues.

      1. teebone

        fact is the only NPPL pro teams that dont also play PSP are the ones who either dislike the Race-To format, or want to specialise in one style of play. so if the leagues did merge, and 7 man was eliminated, the only teams that would disappear are the teams that fall under the first category.

  28. Sean

    NPPL seems like its dying, but they were the only ones who were able to get paintball on TV and ESPN3, So they can give those resources to the merge. I’d say that if they were to merge, the PSP people would do their thing to run tournaments cuz they are better at it, the NPPL people would try to work out deals to get it on TV. Give the Pros their ramping, restrict divisional to semi. that sounds good.

    1. not true

      I’m sorry, when did NPPL get paintball on TV? 2008? The current NPPL has *NEVER* been on television. Ever. The last NPPL was, but blew through millions in venture capital and went bankrupt in less than 2 years in the process. The previous NPPL before that was, but, lost so much money their only option was to sell out to the venture capitalists who then went bankrupt.

      The only league that has been on television since 2008 is the NCPA, which has televised their national championships every year since 2005, and recently on the same network NPPL did their TV on in 2007 and 2008.

      The current NPPL did a webcast on ESPN3. One. Which they were not able to repeat. They were supposed to have a special July event somewhere and that…. didn’t happen. PSP webcast their Chicago event, NPPL did not.

      If getting on TV and doing quality webcasts is important to you, then the league you’d be interested in is clearly not NPPL.

  29. Jeff

    Run both formats at events. Teams will play the format they want to. Whichever format has the most teams, wins.

  30. merger

    I had called for this months ago. Sponsor pressure to merge the leagues. IT is mandatory in my opinion to join the leagues and have a UNITED SPORT.
    LIST OF PROS: #1.) There is not enough money in the sport for two leagues
    #2.) Presents a united front for the sport
    #3.)frees up sponsors monies for further backing of TEAMS..not leagues.
    #4.) Saves many teams the HUGE expense and time drain of attending TOO MANY events in two different leagues…so teams can do more with the money they have.
    #5.) Gives ONE league to FOCUS on promoting the sport via webcast or TV..rather then two leagues fighting each other over it.
    #6.)Larger attendance based on the teams attending one league. This makes the sport appear larger then it does now…divided into two leagues…and remember…success PERCIEVED often leads to success ACHIEVED. The larger numbers at events will make people take notice…(outside industry sponsors such as NIKE. or ESPN etc.)

    CONS: #1.) The format…7 man or 5 man..or offer both…(the best idea in my opinion).
    Thats the only con i could list…any others?

  31. logical thinker/ Economics at play

    I disagree with offering both formats, at a pro level at least. The professionals should be showcasing the unified league that is played in a unified way. Why? Becasue baseball, football, hockey, all play one format of play. If you plan on using the argument for something like X-Game sports don’t forget that most, if not all are individual sports. Paintball is and always will be a team sport, so lets try and follow suit of the sports that have had success and keep one format for the audience to understand, I personally could care less what this is, as my dream is to see this sport legitimized by any means necessary. I played ten man years ago, and though I was sad to see it fall into the pages of this sport’s history books, I also looked forward to the future of what was to come of this sport I care so much about. I hope everyone takes a step back and looks how far this sport has come, but also looks forward at what great steps need to be taken to push this sport into a more stable and legitimized position. The result of this should be to eliminate one format, as much as it may pain some , it will be for the greater good.

    In the end, I hope to see things such as professionals sticking whole season out with teams as they are getting some level of compensation due to the one league having freed up money that used to be spent on travel, and practice of two different formats, and companies that don’t have to struggle to make money in this industry, venues that are a real event, and not just a place to have the tourney. We should all support this merger as players and those who want to see our sport progress. Just some food for thought as I have just been an observer/player of the tourney scene for the past decade and have watched the many self inflicted, prideful pitfalls some have put on our sport, and see this as a step out of the dark.

    1. Zach

      i didnt read your entire post but psp used to offer both 5/10man/xball pro divisions as recent as 04 when 10 man finally died off and the 5 man pro division was just something for pro players to spend some extra sponsor money on. back then the psp ran the xball and 10 man formats on the same day with no issues, and now it offers the 5 man format in place of 10 man basically. i dont see why teams couldnt field a pro 7 man squad as well as their raceto/xball squad. given you would see which format teams actually wanted to play pretty quickly by putting their money/sponsors money into one format or the other.

      this is something that needs to happen and hopefully the industry actually does get on the ball and doesnt make idle threats.

  32. The South African

    Change it up, play Millennium Format in America. Standardise paintball across the globe. That’ll make it easier.

  33. FROM The Ford Report

    The kids over at ProPaintball.Com have reported on a rumor regarding the paint sponsors (who pay a mint to sell paint at events) are now demanding that the PSP and NPPL merge or face losing that sponsorship support. Check it out here: http://www.propaintball.com/2011/07/rumor-paintball-manufactures-league-merger/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+propaintballcom+%28ProPaintball.com!%29

    Enterprising soul that I am, I sent the link to the ProPaintball story over to some of the people I know in the industry and asked for their comment or a statement. Jason Taitano of Empire responded thusly: “Empire has no comment on whether the two leagues are trying to merge, that is between them. However, as an industry leader we feel combining the strengths and benefits of each league, and developing one cohesive platform would benefit players, manufacturers, and the sport. If there is a path to a single league and the two leagues are working together towards that end, Empire applauds the effort.”

  34. Doyle

    NPPL has better Venues (Huntington Beach > Texas, Chicago = Chicago, DC Open > MOA, Vegas > Airfield in FL)

    Entry fees per person in NPPL is lower.
    Prize payouts in NPPL are higher.

    Its become evident that coaching has hurt the game

    Ramping is dumb, only reason they allow it is because they weren’t able to prevent people from doing it

    Media coverage is about equal, PSP has webcast.. NPPL had ESPN3 for HB

    Vendor turnout is about the same

    PSP draws more teams, but that is because they also have more divisions

    PSP ranking system is definately better and more established

    1. uh

      That’s a whole bunch of wrong.

      PSP has more divisions because more people want to play PSP.

      Per person entry fees in PSP are lower.

      Prize payouts are a wash – D1 teams don’t even win their entry fee back in NPPL, there are no Pro prizes, PSP D2 prizes are better. The only place NPPL prizes are better is D3.

      If coaching has hurt the game, why are so many more people playing the league with coaching?

      Ramping may be dumb, but everyone playing NPPL is ramping, even if they’re in denial about it. That’s why they finally had to give up and put in the cap.

      Don’t forget reffing. PSP actually provides a full compliment of referees.

      People may like 7-man more than XBall, but as a league, NPPL isn’t anywhere close to PSP.

  35. Hobo1234

    I think they should go old school Xball but with a twist, 7man xball 15min half 15bps, have a 5man and bring back 10man

  36. logical thinker/ Economics at play

    The Discussion isn’t whom is better, it is what is best for paintball at a tournament level. Don’t lose sight of that in the irrelevant discussion of what league is better, if there is a merger than the format will be worked out by those in charge. Wherever it may fall we should just have faith it is for the betterment of our sport as one unified league, we will all adapt, we always do as players. Who knows, maybe the byproduct of the merger will result in a new format we have yet to play here in the States ( or anywhere else for that matter)that could be loved by many in our sport, remember change is inevitable .

  37. CN

    If you’re going to merge the NPPL and PSP, then the Millenium series should be in on it as well. Whether it be 5man, 7man, 10man, all coaching or no coaching at all, everything should be the same all over the globe. I personally feel that coaching has made “some” people think less for themselves but I guess in the end the best players will eventually win.
    Unification is what we need.

  38. Sweet

    The amount of unrealistic ideas on here is a good measure of how out of touch a lot of players are with the economics of each league and the sport. Thus you have a lot of nonsense with very little progress.

  39. DannyD

    Hope theres not a lock out ^^

    Seriously though I wish bolth series would die and the wcppl would take over. Go Mike H!

  40. tom

    dont merge its not good everyone has a different playing style if the merger is not completed and u pull ur paint sponsorship then we have one company thats basically running a monopoly in and of the leagues for example if dxs is the only company left thats all we could buy and then they make a ton of money lol

  41. Chase

    Why can’t we just have 7 man in psp? And forget about nppl and just have everyone go psp ( which is whats happening) cause 7 man is still needed but we don’t need a seperate league for it we need to looks towards the future and think hard before we do something paintballs gonna die out and if it does sooner or later all we’re gonna have is cheap local tourneys idk who runs nppl but they haven’t been able to put out good numbers why? Idk but psp seems to have done just that so i think merge? Don’t need it let nppl die and make a 7 man in psp and watch how many teams transfer =]

  42. Tarrell

    Here is how it should work. More people like to watch PSP for a particular reason than NPPL so keep the PSP format. PSP AND NPPL should merge, that way you can possibly have cheaper entry fees, more games, a hella lot more teams. And with a bigger tournament means bigger prizes, I love paintball but if you are going to be spending money into tourneys like this, then the prizes need to be satisfactory. Take NPPL prizes list and transfer it to the merge. Pro teams get way more than $10k and lower divisions get money too. This will attract more people.

    In my honest opinion…..Bigger Prizes = More Money for the company

  43. Pingback: Huhuja NPPL:n ja PSP:n yhdistämispaineista – Splatweb

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