Rereading my previous post, I realized it was damn hard to follow and comprehend (I blame it on Captain Morgan; he can be a bad influence). Therefore I'm going to write it down as a very simple mathematical equation that anyone that passed grade 6 math should be able to understand. Please, if there is actually a real economics equation for this, I apologize for my simplicity. This is the way it looks in my head (which tends to be very simplistic).
For competitive paintball to be successful, the following equation must hold true for enough individuals to sustain the activity (by the way, this also is the case for recreational paintball):
The enjoyment of taking part in the activity. With competitive paintball that enjoyment often takes the form of satisfaction (i.e. satisfaction of winning or placing well or the satisfaction that comes with improvement), but it also includes anything that has a positive effect on the experience (i.e. camaraderie with teammates, adrenaline associated with hunting and being hunted among others)
The pain, discomfort or dissatisfaction of taking part in the activity. The pain in competitive paintball (actually all paintball) is an obvious physical discomfort. The more often one is hit, the more the discomfort accumulates. Dissatisfaction in competitive paintball is similar to dissatisfaction in almost all competitive team sports. It can be frustration with team members, frustration with tournament organization, officiating among many others. Basically anything that will have a negative effect on the experience (hence it follows a negative sign in the equation).
The financial cost to take part in the activity. This will include all finances to train for and take part in competitive paintball events. It also includes associated indirect costs such as travel, accommodations and food.
The time that the activity takes. This is time that if the person were to not take part, they could use to do something else (i.e. time that could be spent taking part in another activity, time that could be spent with loved ones, family or friends). Time is a resource, much like money. Time is not limitless; everyone only has a certain amount of it. As our society and cultures advance, it seems that individuals have less and less free time, meaning that time becomes a more treasured or valuable resource.