The announcement this week of the NPPL’s schedule of events came with controversy.
For some unknown reason, the 2013 schedule of events was accidentally released a day early, with one date being incorrect. As part of reporting the news, Social Paintball’s Israel Lagares published the dates as sent to him via the NPPL’s mailing list on his site. I received the same email, and was happy to note that the NPPL is returning to the Tampa Bay area, which brings about the possibility of attending an NPPL event this year as well as visiting friends in the Tampa area.
Nobody in the news media knew the Denver date was incorrect in the first, allegedly accidental release from the NPPL. The Ford Report didn’t immediately release the dates on this website mainly because tournament paintball isn’t the main focus here. With regards to tournament news I prefer to defer to sites like Social Paintball, ProPaintball.Com and Paul Richard’s “View from the Deadbox”. According to Mr. Lagares, within a few minutes of the release of the dates on his site, he was contacted by NPPL Representative Frank Connell asking then demanding via Facebook messaging that Lagares pull the story because the dates were released early and the Denver dates were incorrect. Mr. Lagares is alleging that Connell “flipped out”, using abusive language and threats in an attempt to get Lagares to pull the story. Mr. Lagares tells me that he has screenshots of the conversations, which he alleges were subsequently deleted by Mr. Connell.
I first found out about a potential issue with the 2013 schedule when I received an email from TechPB’s forums with a statement from Lagares that had been copied and pasted from SocialPaintball.Com. It would appear that Connell made good on this alleged threat to punish Social Paintball:
As per Frank Connell, Vice President of the NPPL, Social Paintball has been banned from NPPL events. It is unfortunate that we will not be able to provide news and information about the league to the fans and viewers. We will still try to provide updates about the league throughout the year, as we can. The dates provided below are incorrect, as soon as they are released by the NPPL, we will update the page. We repeat, the dates are incorrect (they were incorrectly posted on the NPPL website and Facebook page by the NPPL). [Update: 5:50 PM ET]Frank Connell has posted on our Facebook stating, “Please delete this the dates are wrong.” It appears that the reason for the NPPL abruptly removing the dates/photos from their website and Facebook page is that they were prematurely and incorrectly posted. We have asked Mr. Connell to provide us with the correct dates. Stay tuned for more information.
I sent emails to Mr. Connell and Mr. Hendsch of the NPPL, with no response. If and when representatives from the NPPL comment regarding SocialPaintball’s status with the NPPL, The Ford Report will post that information here.