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vikingshadow
04-14-2006, 01:27 PM
So I was thinking about all the talk of paintball players going professional, with the different leagues and so forth and it suddenly dawned on me. All of us refer to the TOP teams (XSV, Dynasty, etc) when referring to professional players. However, did you ever stop to think that I'm a professional paintball player (or was, as the case may be!) Not only that, but so are a lot of you guys!

Ok, so Vike's lost his mind. Not really! Let me explain my thinking......

A partial definition of PROFESSIONAL includes this:

Performed by persons receiving pay:
Having or showing great skill; expert:

Now, PAY is partially defined as: To give in exchange for goods or services; Of, relating to, giving, or receiving payments

SKILL is defined as:

Proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed through training or experience.

An art, trade, or technique, particularly one requiring use of the hands or body. A developed talent or ability.

Ok with these definitions in mind, let's discuss. How many of you have sponsors who either give you gear or give big discounts for it. All you have to do is play, do well in tournaments and represent your sponsor in a positive way. How many of you have placed and received things in tournaments? How many of you have the skill involved, dexterity, facility and proficiency to play the sport and use your hands and body to play the game? Go ahead, raise your hands!

Ok, I look at it like this. A professional athlete is one that gets "paid" for playing his/her sport. One who trains constantly and strives to become better to get paid more. People tend to forget that even "minor" league players get paid and are considered professionals.

So, my thinking is that ANYONE who is sponsored and receiving goods (or PAY) for their playing, ANYONE who has the ability and talent to play on a team (skill) can be considered professional, to a point. True, we can't make a living at it, though most of our lives are consumed by it, but how is this different than any other sport???

I say that these people (people who get sponsorships, get paid whether in goods and services or money and train themselves to play) are "minor league" players in this sport. In a time when paintball is busily defining itself, why should we only settle for defining the "top" players in the sport?

Open for discussion!

NB_Hacker_NB
04-14-2006, 01:32 PM
Exactly. You don't have to be on a pro team to go pro, Well Written Vike!

marvin-martian
04-14-2006, 01:44 PM
inspirational

ricochet08
04-14-2006, 04:52 PM
i agree :D

durrell
04-14-2006, 09:27 PM
I agree, it's only split up into divisions based on skill (supposed skill). Kind of like the D-league in baseball, everyone is practically the same, just waiting to find their place and hone their skills while they're at it..

timmyshoota
04-14-2006, 09:33 PM
Your definition works veeery loosely. Sure you can put it a certain way and yeah it works, but really we aren't pros. If you wanna talk about baseball and its minor league players still being pros, I'd say we are the rec league softball players. I'd say that the people that play PSP or NPPL or some of the larger regional tourneys would be considered minor leaguers, but those that play just locals are like the softball players. I've played PSP before but I really don't consider myself to be anything near "pro" in any sense of the definition.

I lost my train of thought cuz I was IMing someone. If I can catch it again I'll finish. :dodgy:

vikingshadow
04-15-2006, 06:33 AM
While I agree with you, I was actually looking more at the "getting paid and learning a trade or skill" part of the definition. I'm considered a professional at work because of what I do. But there is no "split" between me and someone at a "higher" level or with more experience. The pay scale is different, but that's it. In fact, a lot of people think that those with LESS experience are actually better because they're fresher and have better ideas! I got my training, same as everyone else albeit at different universities, and we all get paid for doing our job. We constantly work to improve ourselves and such. That makes us professional.

Now, while the rec-league softball thing does makes some sense in terms of actual playing ability, I think that's taking it too far down. Rec ball softball players don't actually get sponsorships throughout the year - other than the primary "Hey! We have a team and we need a sponsor to pay our fees into the league. We'll put your name on our shirts!" They aren't actually given gear at a discount or for free to use and don't promote the sport as much as paintballers do. (At least not around Oklahoma, they don't!)

No, I think more in terms or "A", "AA" and "AAA" minor league baseball, then of course the majors. An "A" division minor leaguer is just a step above high school play, basically, yet is considered professional because he's being paid to play a sport. He's every bit as professional as the major leaguers becaue they both get paid to play.

As far as the PSP and NPPL being the minor leaguers, I thought of that as well, but it doesn't work. I know of a few teams that play in the PSP that my team has rolled consistantly in regular play and they don't do well in the PSP. They're playing there because they like it and can afford to play in that league. The only reason we hadn't played in the PSP yet because 1. we wanted to make sure we won when we started it, and 2. Didn't have the money for it. Paying a few more bucks to enter a tournament doesn't make your "professional" status any more or less than someone else. I also know several players who are definitely good enough to play in Division I but they don't want to mess with the hassle of it, or can't afford it. So I had to "re-define" and loosen up some of the definition to make it fit, although I didn't change anything.

In my thinking, your own personal cash flow out has to be taken out of the equation. ANYONE CAN PLAY IN THOSE LEAGUES. Seriously, if you have the money and are on time, you can sign up and get your butt handed to you in those tournaments but following your definition, we'd have to call them minor leaguers but no one else. No, I ONLY want to refer to those of us who have received sponsorship deals and placed/won tournaments and received something for it. We're getting PAID to play. We work on our skills weekly (more or less) and are training our bodies to perform. That makes us professional. About 30-40 years ago, the sponsorships alone would have kept us out of the Olympics because we were paid to play (see Jim Thorpe!) because you can't have received ANYTHING for playing a sport.

Again, I agree that my definition is somewhat loose. However, I'd like to state again that right now, paintball is very loose right now. Too many people are elitist in this sport (see "I play in the PSP, or the NPPL, and I'm better than you." or the MILLIONS of "STFU, you noob," on PBnation) or think that the only professionals are those cats that practice daily and get BIGGER deals than we do (see Red Legion, Dynasty, XSV, Naughty Dogs, the list goes on...) I actually see them as more as the Kobe Bryants, the Shaq's, or the Barry Bond's or the Derek Jeter's and A-Rods of the game. They're professionals, but not more than anyone else. They're just better at the GAME!

Good discussion! Let's keep this going!

Spinal
04-17-2006, 08:05 AM
in the first post its XSV not XSF but they do make good boards lol:p

OtterSC
04-17-2006, 08:35 AM
hmm.... since i have been playing since 1985, i guess i am considered a pro. kinda like that.

xtraking
04-17-2006, 11:27 AM
yeah im technically a professional photographer because i have been paid to take pictures. But yeah this will boost alot of egos i bet haha

Dave

vikingshadow
04-17-2006, 11:50 AM
in the first post its XSV not XSF but they do make good boards lol:p

Whups! Mental slip - happens to us senile people....:( I fixed it!

Otter, I'd say you were professional. Not just because you played all those years, but because you've been paid and have the skill and experience.

I figure it probably would boost egos. Unfortunately, that's one thing this sport doesn't need. There's plenty of egos out there all ready! LOL...

DRAGON
04-17-2006, 01:42 PM
I'm a wannabe pro. Can I perhaps pay my way in? - ;)

vikingshadow
04-17-2006, 01:51 PM
For the last time, no one accepts Dragon Dollars!!!!

Geez, and after the mods all chipped in and spent all the money on therapy for you...

DRAGON
04-17-2006, 02:01 PM
Well it was worth a try anyways - :smirk:

OtterSC
04-18-2006, 04:37 AM
Otter, I'd say you were professional. Not just because you played all those years, but because you've been paid and have the skill and experience.

skill? naw.... consider me a poser, really. that is what i have been told the last time i played. could not help it. the arthritis was acting up. :rolleyes:

vikingshadow
04-18-2006, 05:04 AM
Pssst - tell 'em it's gas. That's what I do!