Earlier this season I mentioned that some members of our staff had formed a speedball team. By the time I had caught wind of it, more than a half dozen of our staff had been recruited. I have to admit that I panicked a bit. The busy season was starting and a good portion of our staff were committing to be at practice every Saturday (our busier of the two weekend days) plus they would be gone several Sundays during the season for tournaments. We had no choice but top look for some new staff to have on call so we wouldn’t be caught short.
Well, it’s been a few months now and the staffing shortages were short lived. It didn’t take long at all for some of the newly formed team to opt to work at our field and skip practice. Apparently when practicing speedball regularly, you need money constantly, even if the paintballs are dirt cheap compared to our field. Today I had a conversation with one of the team members and asked how things were going. I see them wearing their customized jerseys when playing at our field all the time, so I get reminded (it bugs me by the way when speedball teams come to a rec field and wear their jerseys). He told me that they hadn’t had a practice in about a month and even before that, the practices were always short of players. He told me he is not too interested anymore. It’s hard to get everyone to come out and it’s too expensive. Shooting a case or two every week really adds up he says. Then he asked me if I needed any help next weekend
How many times over the years have I heard and seen the same scenario play out; gung-ho wannabe speedball players with glory in their eyes, only to be defeated by shortages of funds and lack of commitment from team members. When are tournament league organizers going to come to realization that they need to find a format that is manageable for regular folk to get into and stay in for any length of time?
The fellow I was talking to also said that the BCPPL is looking to have a 3-man Pump Division and that might be something he wouldn’t mind getting into. 3-man is manageable and pump is fun and affordable. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s sustainable for the league though.