PSP's Keely Watson makes some time in her hectic schedule to help clarify some things on the PSP and UPBF.
|And the magic 8 ball says...|
PBC: I think it's great that the PSP is going to straight out cash for the prizes, according to my math that will be a total of $769,000 for the season in prize money. I know that in the past with merchandise prizes that each of the sponsors added to the prize package. Where will the cash purses come from?
KW: Last year, our sponsors donated merchandise to be used for prizes. For 2006, they will be making cash contributions instead. For the NXL, 100% of the entry fees will be given out in the prize package.
PBC: Can you elaborate more on why the PSP is taking part in the UPBF?
KW: The UPBF was formed to help the sport on a global level. It will function to help regulate rules, refs, etc. As our sport continues to spread across the world, the UPBF will be there to assist it and help it grow.
PBC: I'm getting the UPBF press releases from Europe also, can you tell me the conglomerate that put this group together?
KW: The UPBF was first discussed in depth at the APPC in Malaysia. Several people within the industry saw the need to form a body such as the UPBF. Not only does it benefit the larger leagues already in existence such as the PSP and the Millennium, it also serves to help smaller leagues that are just beginning or trying to grow.
If these leagues belong to a worldwide organization like the UPBF, it gives them more validity and strength right off the bat. For example, leagues in Australia are having some trouble growing due to government regulations. Our hope is that if their government views these leagues as part of a worldwide organization and not just a regional event, it will give them far more credibility, enabling them to cut through some of the red tape.
PBC: Aside from what it looks to be a "universal" ID card system, what other benefits does the UPBF have for the PSP?
KW: I think that it’s not so much how the UPBF benefits the PSP, but how it benefits the sport as a whole. As I mentioned previously, the UPBF is really about growing the sport globally. In turn, that helps us all.
PBC: The entrance fees look, for the most part, to be the same as last season. Was there a conscious reason for this seeing as how all Divisions have gone to an X Ball Lite format? I'm sure teams would like to know.
KW: The entrance fees increased for D1, stayed the same for D2, and were lowered for D3. Overall with the new formats, teams are guaranteed more playtime. We have done away with double elimination which means no team will only get two matches before being sent home. By changing over to a round-robin format, all teams will get the chance to play at least 4 matches. This in my view is an increased value for their money.
In addition, paint consumption will level out across the board. You won’t get teams shooting 50 cases in a match, just to lose by 10 points. Teams will be shooting paint to battle for the win.
PBC: With the NXL opening their doors to the rest of the Pro teams, will the NXL still be there by name or will it be another Division of the PSP?
KW: The NXL will be the professional division for 2006 featuring the top teams in the world battling it out for $75,000 at each event. I think we can all anticipate some great match-ups to come out of this.