View Full Version : Paintball In The Olympics.

10-23-2008, 06:28 AM
I saw some disgussion about this earlier while the Summer Olympics were going on. I know there was a lot of doubt and people saying it couldn't happen... but the truth is, it could. Here is an article I found in PB2X that I took the time to type up (because the issue isn't available on the internet yet) for you guys to glance at.

Paintball in the Olympics – What will it take?
Paintball 2Xtremes – November ’08
By John Amodea

One of the most talked about topics in various paintball forums online is the subject of paintball being played in the Olympics. And with the Summer Olympic Games recently concluded in China, there may not be a hotter paintball topic than this. And for me personally, this is a topic I’ve been researching for years and it’s a topic I know well.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chooses the sports that are introduced into Olympic. According to the IOC’s bylaws (Olympic Charter), to have any shot to be included in the Summer Olympic Games a sport must be “widely practiced by men in at least seventy-five countries and on four continents, and by women in at lest forty countries and on three continents.” Sports widely practiced in at least twenty-five countries and on three continents may be included in the program of the Olympic Winter Games. In addition all sports must have an international governing body that runs events, develops the rules, and looks after the sports international interest. Lastly, all sports that are to be considered by the IOC must be played at a variety of competitive levels.

One or two demonstration/exhibition sports can be added to an Olympic Games per event. These sports are chosen by the host country (The National Olympic Committee of the host country actually chooses the demonstration sport.). If enough interest is generated, a demonstration sport may be added as an official medal sport in the future. This has happened before. For example, baseball and tennis were demonstration sports in Los Angeles in 1984 and became medal sports in the 1988 Games. Since 1992 however, no demonstration sports have been added to the Olympic Games.

We’re getting there. Paintball is now being played competitively in more than 40 countries and certainly on four continents-so that’s a good start. The problem with paintball is that there currently is not a “World (WF) or International Federation (IF)” governing the sport. International Federations (IFs) are non-governmental organizations responsible for the international administration of one or more sports. The IFs are responsible for developing their sports worldwide, enforcing the rules of their sports, establishing eligibility criteria, hosting international competitions, conducing their sports at the Olympic Games, and contributing to the “Olympic Ideal” in general.

There have been several attempts at creating an intentional governing body for paintball but none have worked to date. This is a must before any serious consideration will be given to including paintball in the Olympics, even in a demonstration mode. The sport of paintball currently has no international organization (IF or WF) capable of handling the necessary functions to be considered an Olympic Federation. The NPPL (National Professional Paintball League) rules have been accepted by many leagues (The Millennium Series rules are very similar to those of the NPPL) and events world-wide and this is a start. X-Ball’s rules have also been accepted by many leagues and events world-wide, but they are vastly different from the NPPL/Millennium rules. This would create a problem for the IOC. How can the IOC take paintball seriously when the game is played in two completely different formats, even within the same country as it is in the U.S.?

Also important to the “Olympic Movement” is the inclusion of multiple levels of play and a variety of disciplines and events for its sports. Most sports that are played in the Olympic Games have several events. For example, there were eight men’s swimming events at this year’s Summer Games. While having multiple events for each sport is not a steadfast rule, it’s probably what the IOC would prefer. Multiple levels of competitive play worldwide is also important to the IOC. The NPPL and other organizations do meet the eligibility criteria in terms of levels of play (Division One, Two, Three, etc.) and designing several disciplines/events specifically geared towards the Olympic Movement seems very possible. There could easily be a team paintball event and individual one-on-one games created with the specific goal of gearing up for a presentation to the IOC.

A true international paintball league or series would have to be established before getting consideration from the International Olympic Committee. This league or series should have a standard set of rules, criteria for levels of play, a board that oversees the entire league (and reports to the governing body), a serious reffing team, and a well-planned and a well-attended international series of events. While some of us may consider the NPPL and Millennium Series events to be international tournaments, the IOC probably would need to see more competitions from teams outside of the U.S., England, France, Russia and other current paintball powerhouses. In keeping with the true spirit of the Olympic Games the IOC will probably not be impressed with a sport that is dominated by a select few countries. Proof of this is the IOC recently announced that it is removing softball from the Olympic Games because until the 2008 Summer Games, the U.S. has been dominating softball for years.

In a note from the Library of the AAFLA (Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles) we were told in an e-mail, “I believe the IOC is concerned that adding sports makes the Games unmanageable and unpractical for the athletes who compete. The bottom line is that even if the general criteria are met, the addition of a particular sport is not guaranteed. Some things that may be seen as prohibitive would be items like logistics, difficulty to adequately broadcast or show the game’s action, safety concerns for the athletes or spectators, etc. So if a particular sport would need to take up a disproportionate amount of physical space compared to sports, it may not ever be added to the Olympic Games for that reason alone. If a sport like paintball is seen as too difficult or too expensive to capture for the television audience that could also prevent the sport from being added. Suffice to say the general criteria is just a starting point. In the end, even those sports that meet the IOC criteria must be voted in by the IOC.

We’ve already covered the qualifications for both summer and winter Olympic Game inclusion to a degree but it’s important to note that there’s a much longer “waiting list” of summer sports than there are winter games. There are currently 38 different sports in the Summer Games and 14 in the Winter Games. On a side note, only one new metal sport was added to the 2008 Summer Games (BMX) and no winter sports have been added to the Olympics since 2002 (skeleton)- so there’s no minimum amount of sports added to the games each four year period.

There are many recognized Olympic sports that are probably a lot smaller than paintball in terms of how any players compete internationally. This gives us great hope. Sports like badminton, luge and fencing are Olympic sports with far less international participation than paintball. The growth of paintball world-wide is a source of hope as well. But the fact that organizations come and go in paintball is one of the biggest problems advocates of paintball in the Olympics face. Our industry can make paintball in the Olympics a really if it can come together and work at it. It won’t happen on its own and the current organizations in our sport are not equipped to handle this.

We need an organizing body that can take the resources that are already available and form a true international paintball series. Adding several overseas events to a current tournament series can work, especially if some of the added events are played in Asia. Including countries like China, Japan, and others in that region of the world will be necessary. Tying-in smaller events in other countries is a must. In other words tournaments that are already happening in Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, etc. can use the newly established league name. This would give the appearance (and rightly so) that paintball truly is an international sport, not just a recreational hobby.

Once these things are in lace, presentations to the National Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee may be all that is needed to get the ball rolling. The question is, who is going to step up to the plate?

Sources: The Baltimore Sun, www.olympic.org, United States Olympic Committee, and Association of Recognized IOC International Sports Federations.

10-23-2008, 10:49 AM
do enough nations play?

10-23-2008, 10:54 AM
I'd think so. It's played in 4 different continents for sure. Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and North America all play it, as well as Australia. As for the countries... I have no doubt we're either right under the marker or above it.

10-24-2008, 01:16 PM
I think there's one major flaw with getting PB into the Olympics; shooting one another. And even more, getting other countries to shoot one another, it's a little too close to actual war IMO, that's probably going to be the single reason why it'll never be in.

10-24-2008, 04:22 PM
Hopefully they'll have the maturity to overlook that aspect.

10-25-2008, 05:39 PM
I think there's one major flaw with getting PB into the Olympics; shooting one another. And even more, getting other countries to shoot one another, it's a little too close to actual war IMO, that's probably going to be the single reason why it'll never be in.

look aat fencing, you are trying to "stab" people with "swords"

10-25-2008, 05:59 PM
Yes, but fencing is practically a religion with snobby euro types. Paintball might as well be a group of guys clubbing each other over the head as far as they're concerned.

10-25-2008, 06:48 PM
wait, you mean theres other uses for long barrels and giant tanks? :p

10-26-2008, 04:09 AM
What's the big deal with it in the Olympics?

It won't give our sport anymore coverage than it already has, it won't be seen by the majority of the world (it's a daytime sport that would be opposite swimming, gymnastics, baseball, soccer, and all the other sports that are hardcore watched already) so if anything, it'll just be a blurb on the news in the evening, it's been proven to be difficult to watch on television due to camera angles and the amount of paint in the air at once, it does resemble "war" and has a major attitude issue at the moment, both of which go against what the Olympics really stand for, 6 million players in the world and not one group can agree with the other (3 man vs 5 man vs 7 man vs 10 man vs PSP rules vs NPPL rules vs SPPL rules vs CFOA rules vs 13.33 bps vs 15 bps vs uncapped semi vs cheating vs not cheating vs penalties vs disqualification, vs field size vs venues vs sponsors vs guns vs high level vs mid level vs low level guns vs what actually constitutes a low, mid and high level gun - I could go on and on and on...), but more blatantly the unsportsmanship attitude we pb players have...the list is LONG and PLENTIFUL as to why is shouldn't be in the olympics, whereas the list as to why it should is short and embarassing.

I swear, this comes up EVERY year. And every year, I say the same thing. I personally DON'T want it in the Olympics. Right now, I enjoy not being governed by a single group of people - and I like being one of the 7-10 players in this part of world that are serious paintball players (as in tournament type players). It makes me feel like a semi-pro/pro because I'm the ONLY one that does it! What more do we need?