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DPL statement on the first matchday of 2020
Wednesday October 21, 2020


The paintball year 2020 is a more than crazy, even almost unreal paintball year. The DPL has already addressed several times at various points how and why decisions were made under the influence of the entire corona situation. The plan is in place, and the still-unpopular seasonal split approach must begin to prove itself. The fact is that more and more people want to give the whole thing a chance, who were previously very much opposed to it. It is important to emphasize again that the name of the DPL also defines the job of the DPL quite precisely. That means organizing and setting up a paintball league with the aim of bringing the best possible level to the track under the given conditions. A “simple” cancellation would therefore never be the first choice. The game days started this year with those of the regional and 3rd Bundesliga divisions. This was also the case in the past in terms of the order. However, this has now been adjusted in such a way that the top divisions, i.e. the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga, should actually start in order to fit better chronologically and thus give the teams from the lower divisions the opportunity to compete with the "big" boys to look at one or the other game plan and, if necessary, to consult a coach from the next higher division. However, in order to have the better chance of being able to carry out the scheduled first two matchdays of all divisions, especially in the divisions most affected internationally (BL 1 and 2), this was adjusted again in order to have the better chance of being able to play Corona technically. The premier class shouldn't have the very first matchday of the season after all, which later on in the overall constellation should not prove to be very fortunate. (*Side note: complain about crystal ball) The plan worked. Case numbers, government decisions, relaxation of measures, health authorities and everything else played a part. The teams were able to have fun and relax in the short preparation and also complete some training sessions and then August 22nd came. Finally. The first matchday of the 2020/2021 season. And it was good. It was very good and really nice to see that the teams were finally able to pursue their passion again, even though a few weeks earlier some players had called for the league to be canceled and more and more leagues around had canceled the game. You could also see these players on the fields and these players had fun, were in a good mood and certainly had a good time. This is also the feedback that was given to the DPL. Many players are very grateful that there have been game days at a reasonable level again. This is definitely a very important thing for tournament paintball and it also confirms that it was right to make these difficult decisions and not to choose the easy way. This good and positive atmosphere has spread through all divisions. The first major turning point was certainly that the international top team Kyiv United could not compete in the 1st Bundesliga. It was also no longer possible to set up an EU squad at short notice, which meant that the first Bundesliga started with only 11 teams. In the discussions with the teams of the 1st Bundesliga, a consistently professional behavior was shown and there was a corresponding understanding for this circumstance in this modest Corona year. The Bundesliga weekend was great. The mood among the teams was really great, the games were hot, unfortunately without a live stream and only with minimal visitor numbers.

The fact that there was no live stream, especially in times when it is not possible to watch the game directly on the field, is still met with incomprehension from some players and fans. And that is certainly understandable. The DPL itself is more than sad that there will be no live stream this year, even though there were first plans for innovations in mid-2019. The fact that a short, live broadcast moment, which despite hygiene concepts could not be Corona-compliant, lands on the wrong desktop, endangers the practice of paintball sport with even the smallest probability, due to the responsibility towards the teams and players, no choice but to skip the live stream. Yes, the probability is approaching zero, but what if? Sometimes the devil needs to be painted on the wall to see more clearly. Instead, those who stayed at home should have the opportunity to take a quick look at the DPL Facebook page, even while having a coffee party with grandma, to see how your favorite team is doing in the current match and how that is going affects the table. Following the example of the NBA, the scoreboard screen was broadcast live this weekend. Furthermore, an old, new format should revive – DPL buzzer – to the point. The whole thing is a fast pilot project, which is to be gradually improved and provides a very compact, good overview of the day with a few interviews of the teams, small background information, game scenes and a "highlight" compilation. At this point, many thanks to everyone who has supported the project and is working on it to bring some paintball into the walls of everyone out there. Above all, of course, Tom and his crew from Radical, the moderators and all interview guests. THANKS! After that, the second days of play in all divisions started and continued to go well, thanks to the field operators and league coordinators. Without you and your passion none of this would be possible.

Up to that point everything was going smoothly and many challenges were mastered until a little sand in the gears became noticeable. The second day of the national league in the Czech Republic had to be postponed because it was classified as a risk area. But that was also solved superbly in direct communication with the teams by league coordinator Tim Bauer. It is particularly unfortunate because a brand new tournament field with the highest standards was built from scratch on the field, which is definitely worth a visit or two. Also worth a visit is the venue in Uffenheim, which now, after a few years without league matchdays, is home to a large number of leagues and was able to optimally deal with this not easy challenge. As I said, all field operators and league coordinators are doing a great job and are very grateful to the teams for coming back to the fields to train despite Corona. The new set of rules, new referee structures, adapted formats, the team development program and other changes have had a positive effect and will be further optimized. In this situation everything seemed to be going as well as it could. And then the "worst-case" happened that the permanent observations of the corona developments gradually indicated that the last date for the first half of the season was chosen too late. The postponed BL 1 and 2 weekend, which should now take place at the end of the half of the season instead of at the beginning. In addition, a week later than initially desired, as a weekend was left in order not to cause a conflict with the postponed Spain event of the NXL. This one week at the latest and the regulation that will come into force on October 15th, as well as all the developments, have of course allowed no other reasonable and responsible conclusion than to postpone the second day of the game in the top two divisions. This decision does not make you happy, but it is the right one, which all 23 teams in the affected divisions have confirmed in personal discussions. It is not yet clear to which date this game weekend will be postponed. All other game days, each division are still standing. Nobody knows yet whether these will have to be adjusted due to Corona. However, these dates will continue to exist and will not be changed to reverse the season split. Again, it should be said that the decision to split the seasons was made because the DPL is still convinced that this will have a positive impact on team structures, team growth, team inventory and thus on paintball. Of course, the whole thing has to be viewed and evaluated in the long term. There are players, and there are quite a few, who can't get used to it and maybe never will, there will also be one or the other no-show, from teams that were perhaps on the verge of disintegration anyway. But it will also bring many teams closer together in the winter months, because you have a reason to get through the winter and start the second half stronger. It will be easier for new teams to start the season. It will be easier to balance paintball with family life. At least these are the expectations of the DPL, which are supported by similar systems in many popular sports. Paintball isn't like soccer or anything like that and that's a good thing. Time will tell whether this courageous step, which would have been reasonable even without Corona but would probably never have been feasible, will bring the desired effect and thus success. Speaking of success. Was this first half of the season something that can be considered a success, even though a matchday in the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga and a state league matchday didn't take place? The DPL's own claim is certainly high and there is a shadow from the postponement of these three game days, but considering the overall situation, the comparison with all other paintball leagues in the world, this half of the season is definitely a success to evaluate. Game days in eight different divisions took place at nine different venues. This means that of 58 planned events, 55 events took place successfully. In principle, the DPL is not dissatisfied with this and the air upwards should please become thinner. The DPL will continue to work for this with a lot of passion and would like to further develop paintball together with the players and everyone who wants to contribute. Anyone who wants to is invited to express their wishes and criticism. Ideally, this is done via email and for each subject area with a separate email with concrete and realistic implementation proposals in order to promote a structured approach. Please send your email to: [email protected]

Finally, we would like to thank every single player and supporter of the DPL, because without you there would be no league that could call itself the largest paintball league this year.

Thank you very much for your supportand your trust.

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