MILLENNIUM 2011 CALENDAR & 2011 CHANGES
The Millennium Series is very pleased to announce its full calendar for 2011 and after much consultation with teams, sponsors and industry consultants, some changes that we believe are needed to help improve and increase the growth of our series and sport.
When choosing venues we have to balance the needs and interests of the teams, sponsors, industry & costs plus our continual desire to increase the profile of the sport to the wider world as fully as possible. For 2011 we also felt it important to try to keep the travelling costs and days of work to a minimum for Teams & Sponsors and so have concentrated our venues in the centre of Europe.
Although it is not possible to make all venues “High Profile”, we continuously look for opportunities to improve on what we are doing. During 2010 we started negotiating with a very high profile venue in Paris which we believe will attract large outside interest whilst also provides us all with a near perfect site to launch the 2011 series. To our great delight these negotiations have now been successfully completed allowing us to confirm the entire season.
The exact details of the new venue can only be announced next week together with hotel & booking information for contractual reasons. What we can tell you is that the venue is one of the best we have ever been at, there is a massive choice of hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs, nightlife etc. etc.. very nearby. Although we are in Paris, it is a very easy venue to get to by road, plane or train and should provide a fantastic event with tons of Parisian atmosphere.
2011 Calendar is now therefore;
- March 25th to March 27th – Millennium Cup – Paris, France
- May 20th to May 22nd – European Masters – Bitburg, Germany
- July 1st to July 3rd – Campaign Cup – London, U.K.
- September 30th to October 2nd – World Cup – Disney, France
At the Millennium we have always been advocates & supporters of a strong EPBF and of National Federations as we understand and believe that they are imperative for the growth of paintball at all levels. In 2011 we will be launching three additional cups to be held at our venues in collaboration with these organisations. These will be;
- Ladies Cup – At The European Masters – Germany
- Youth Cup – At The Campaign Cup – UK
- Nations Cup – At The World Cup – France
These events are designed to introduce paintball to a broader market both in terms of new demographics but also courtesy of Federations broaden National participations of new players. We will also be helping increase the sports profile and make for entertaining new competition within the Millennium events. It is our aim and intention to improve the atmosphere at our events by bringing more spectators, media and by having more entertainment.
Full information will be made available via The Millennium, EPBF & National federations over the coming weeks.
There have been many new developments, ideas & points of view in Tournament Paintball recently which we have followed closely and discussed the various implications and effects on Teams and industry both positive and negative. Despite some pressure to comment or come to decisions earlier, we decided to look at the many differing views and have consulted heavily in order to ensure we are offering the best possible package to all our participants whilst not damaging what has already been achieved and not making change for the sake of change. We have looked at each and every idea in terms of the enjoyment of the sport, the cost implications for players, viability and implications for the sport & players on a broader level.
For 2011 we are pleased to announce the following alterations to be in effect at Millennium events.
- Revoking Spotter Privilages / No spectator side “Coaching”.
- Improved Game Format for Division 3
- Field Size Adjustment
- Extra Competitions for Nation Teams in Three Categories
Paintball in Europe has matured in the last 20 years from a mere leisure activity to a competitive sport, which has the potential to attract new players even in times of economic downturn. This development from an exotic hobby to a serious team sport is crucial in making sure paintball is affordable to us all.
We see the role of a coach in paintball as an integral part of the team, as in other sports such as Football or Basketball. The coach has the job of selecting players, to train and educate them & to provide guidance and leadership. During games they issue match plans and analyse movement of opponents. They are the only people to be able to ask for a time out or to surrender a point for tactical reasons. The impact on the game of a coach shouting positions & orders to the nearest player are often much overrated. The majority of the time this type of “coaching” is neutralised by the opponents coach. So actually it’s just a side show and can be left to Pit Crew and spare players, with the coach more focused on the overall strategy. It is only natural for the rest of the team, (spare players & pit crew), to try to help their teammates on the field by giving advice, like in other team sports. In reality the impact is limited because of the noisy environment. This also addresses the near impossible task of policing the pit area. Nevertheless, to reduce the impact from outside the field, we will revoke spotter privileges from the spectator side, no longer allowing people to stand between the barrier and the netting. We believe this is a fitting compromise as it keeps the coach and pit crew in touch with their players, the spectators immersed in the game and the fans supporting their teams, whilst minimising outside impact on the point currently being played.
Last season we introduced a new format for Division 3 which was a kind of hybrid between 5-man and the Race To format. The intention was to bridge the gap for teams that had played 5-man regularly but wanted to try the Race To format. The hybrid format used all the normal Race To rules, including scoring and coaching, but avoided back to back games. From customer feedback we have learned that our teams see no problem with 2 minute breaks between points. So for 2011 Division 3 will play in full R:2 (Race To 2 points) format, with 8 minute maximum game times.
For the sake of a unified format, in 2011 we will adjust the width of the field to 36m, like the PSP is using already. However, we will not increase the field length. We have seen over the last seasons that the combination of lower rates of fire and current field size makes for fast paced, exciting games, with lots of movement with the best team usually winning. Going back to the old style, long drawn out battles with player sitting behind big bunkers at the far end, wasting tons of paint for just holding lanes is not a viable option. Larger fields are not only more expensive for players due to higher paint consumption but would hurt the whole paintball infrastructure in Europe. In the last years we have seen many new fields, both indoor and outdoor, coming online, many of which are fully equipped with Millennium Series fields and bunkers. Also many are on turf which will not be easy to adjust to an increased length without destroying a nice even surface, not to mention the costs involved. For most it would be impossible to increase field size due to lack of space and money. The Millennium Series sees both Teams & Field operators as partners in the promotion of the sport and we don’t want to force them to waste money, particularly in today’s environment.
2011 Field layout will be published 4-5 weeks before each event allowing National Leagues to use the same at their events.
Currently the Millennium Series is offering International Competitions for club teams, like UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in football. As in other mainstream sports, it is now time for paintball to host a competition for National teams as well. In conjunction with the EPBF and National Federations the Millennium Series will now host competitions for Male, Female & Youth National teams as previously explained in this release.
We very much look forward to welcoming you to the 2011 Series which we believe has all the elements to prove to be an enjoyable and successful series for all and for European paintball.
Credit to Van Den Akker