Paintball, like much of life, is in a state of constant flux. New players join the game and old players leave. New fields come and old fields close. People do stupid things (and sometimes show up on the news) and positive depictions will get picked up by the media. With all this change, though, there is a general trend where the sport is evolving. The 1980s saw the framework laid for the sport as we now know it while the 1990s saw the development of a more formal competitive framework and the 2000s have seen extensive growth in the technology backing the sport. With competing approaches from aficionados of woodsball, speedball, and other, forms of the game, different visions for the future are seen. What, though, is the future of the sport?
I'm not here to answer that question in a single blog post, but I do have a few thoughts and I'm interested to hear what you think. First, paintball is not going away. It has been around for three decades and is not going to end in the future because it is such a fun sport. Second, there is going to be a continued schism between tournament players and woodsball players where there are almost two forms of the same, basic sport (think NASCAR versus Formula 1). Third, technological growth will slow as equipment reaches a point where the only major improvements are so incremental that they cease to matter in function.
So, what do you think? With all the change that happens, what direction is paintball, overall, taking?