Saturday, January 31, 2009

SPNS Player ID Tag

SPNS ID tags... for the first time, we are using hard cards for the SPNS identification. This is an improvement from last year's ID tag which was pouch laminated. This year, we have decided to go on full force so that each player will get their own collection of ID tags as they accumulate competition experience. Surely, the cost of making these cards have doubled but its well worth the effort and the money. Will the price of the ID tag rises because of this change? Highly possible... but hey, its worth it. Those who submit low resolution photos.... perhaps you might want to change the next time you register. Those without a photo on your tag? Serves you right.

*Guess I was too mean...but hey...if you didnt send us the photos, we will not be able to produce your card in time...

Do you have a paintball nickname?

Do you have a paintball nickname?

When I first started playing paintball... the first person who introduced himself using his nickname was Badman, he was then playing for Killers Stingers which is now disbanded and no longer playing in any tournament. Recently, I have seen him guest for Isi Rimba, and of course wearing his famous yellow boots walking around tournament ground, I dont think anyone will miss him. Initally, I thought he mentioned "Batman"... and I was like "WOW... Batman... impressive name" It was much later that I found out that its actually, Badman...not too bad either. Either way, he's got my attention. Until now... I still dont know his real name.

In fact, he is not the only one... I know a few other guys by their nick and not by their names...people like Dogtooth, Cabel, AXN, Flame, too many to name. Of course, there were a few others who had some amazing nicknames like Ping Pong, Stealth, Seburo, Calgar... I mean what is Calgar? hahahha.... I mixed up Calgar as Cougar... Ping Pong? But one thing for sure, these nicknames surely mean a thing or two to the individual.

Nicknames are easier to address too... people used it on the forum, they used it as their identity, they used it when they are on the field, they used it to cover their private hobby (dont want people to know that they are playing paintball during weekends...).

Let me give you an example:

A: "Hi, nice meeting you...the paintball game was great! Btw, what is your name?"

B: "Hi, nice to meet you too, my name is Lee Cheng Biong"

A: "Cheng Bong?"

Instead... it could be like this...

B: "Hi, nice to meet you too, my name is Shadow"...

There you go...easy to remember. So for those without a paintball nickname, start thinking of one.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paintball clinic by Francis Lucena Kiko "The ONE" at Red Dynasty

"Keep the fire burning!", "We are one big family!", "Spread the love of paintball". These are the exact words coming from a 2 time Division 2 Asia World Cup Champion. A few months ago, we invited Matthew Nekvapil from the Demonz (Malaysia) to impart his paintball knowledge to the paintball community in Singapore and this round, we brought you "The ONE", who is also famously known as Kiko to the Singapore paintball community. Having played competitive paintball for 6 years, Kiko is no stranger to paintball and this man has everything under his belt to showcase.

On a bright Sunday morning (yes, I know, you have read this phrase somewhere...and it is always a bright sunny day) where most people are busy preparing for Chinese New Year, we have a group of ardent paintballers who were trying to pick up a tip or two from the World Champion himself.
As per all paintball clinics, participants were introduced to how one should always remain focus when participating in tournament, as Calgar puts it, "We must maintain our focus from the start to the end" Visualization or sports imagery is one of the ways to upkeep that concentration before any paintball games. Fazz, who is a trained fitness instructor lead the team in a warm up. He also took the opportunity to explain the key factors of a good warm up. Participants stretched their necessary muscle groups by "sending signals" from the brain to all parts of their body and this according to Fazz, helps to prevent muscular injuries. The group ended the warm up with 20 counts of 4 jumping jacks which Kiko had a hard time following...DOH!
As one of the fastest front player in Asia, Kiko's clinic was focused on how to be "the best front player"... he started off by introducing to the participants on the various styles of sliding into the big temple followed by the small tombstone. He then went on to focus on correcting players' posture when playing behind the tombstone bunker. As mentioned by Kiko "It is important to understand the art of bunkering" and with that, the participants spent another 30 minutes perfecting their posture and movement while trying to bunker cones in a zig zag manner.
Kiko will shout LEFT and the player will have to bunker from his left. RIGHT and the player will move towards his right. And yes, there were times that he had forgotten about calling left and right...and you can see players running straight into the bunker??? How on earth did that happen?
As Kiko spreads his love for paintball, one can see the dedication that this man has in paintball..., Kiko has played in some of the biggest paintball teams in the Philippines, namely the Global Gutz and the Real Pinoys and this "little" man (some may say) is a true ambassador for paintball and one who flys the Philippines flag really high in Singapore.
Kiko focused on snapshooting too...but instead of having a loser out system, one must win in snapshooting in order to be rotated. With this, you can see players trying their best to snapshoot and focus on accuracy as no one likes to be many times.
How can one forget about the Superman slide...? Two hammer structures were prepared to allow all participants to have a go at the famous Superman slide. Initially, there was a little bit of reluctance...but once Benguin stepped up to do the famous "Ananconda" slide...more follow suite.
At the end of the clinic, participants put to test all that they have learnt with some friendly skirmishes.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Kiko "The ONE" for his time and effort in showcasing his knowledge to the Singapore paintball community.
Until next time!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Singapore Paintball Novice Series 2009 Leg 1

There you go...participating teams of SPNS Leg 1:

If all goes well, we will have the participation of 8 teams in the 1st Leg of SPNS 2009, namely:
PSG Warfreakz, Death Mavericks, Contract Killers, Wargh!Nuts, EVIL Avengers, Dark Militia, Red Fraction and Kamikaze.

In this leg, we welcomed back Death Mavericks who was out of action for SPNS 2008 Leg 3. A team made up of mainly students age ranging from 16 - 21 years old, they will definitely give the oldies some tough fight in the field. Never look down on them as they can all snapshoot very well. If there is an award for the most discplined team in Singapore, it will be them. Every Saturday can always see them at the field, shooting, running, breaking out, everything!!!

PSG Warfreakz was last year's series champion. This year, they are back again with an almost new set up. While some of the members sitting out for Leg 1, their trademark of being fast and furious will surely remain as the talk of the town. Papaya dance again? We'll see...

EVIL Avengers, a newly formed team is no stranger to the SPNS, its members were formerly from the Redlords, Red Shadows, Hot Fuzz and Team ExsequorX, this mixed team is indeed THE team to watch out for.

Wargh!Nuts is joined by Houdini RIP from Team Damnation. His experience from the recent World Cup Asia and MPOC will definitely give the Wargh! team a hard boost!

Dark Militia is a newly formed team but rest assured that they are not here to make up numbers. While they maybe new, being the underdog always have the upperhand when garnering support from everyone. A trump card to turn the tides...

Kamikaze pick up a few new players this season. Raring to showcase their skills and participating SPNS for the first time are Delusion, Darren and Chikuawho but really, they are not that new afterall.

Red Fraction under the leadership of Fadzzi will be here to proof that they are no pushover. With a slow start into the SPNS season last year, the Red Fraction will be proving a point that they too can make it to the bigger stage. A fully bonded team with a full turn out this time, anything less than a top 4 position is indeed questioning...

Contract Killers has a new member, Wolfcry...filled with the desire to do well in paintball, these guys are fundamentally sound and will put up a good fight into the new season.

So that's the round up of the new season. Paintball is round and it can be anybody's game...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Questions you shouldnt ask during the BTO...

Yes...its frustrating. But these are the questions that you should never ask during the BTO.

BTO is not a platform designed for people to learn how to play paintball or understand the rules of speedball. The BTO is catered for people who are keen to participate in tournament paintball without violating any regulations as stated by the SPF, in this case playing without the center line, its is also a platform for us to promote paintball as a sport in accordance to international rulings. Well of course, it is also a platform for participants to ask questions pertaining to rules and regulations of speedball.

I know I shouldnt have blog about this since I am one of the instructors...but still feel the need to do this as a form of respect to the people who have spent their time and effort to come up with the BTO so that speedball can be facilitated in Singapore and who took time off to conduct the course, it is pretty amazing to see some of these questions being asked by the participants:

"What happens when I am hit?"
"What is the objective of the game?"
"You mean I have to read the rules before attending the BTO?"
"MCQ test!!! Are you sure we have to take these?"
"Why should I have my hands on my head when I am hit?"
"Deadman talking rule is not clear as it did not indicate who the "deadmen" are?"
"What happens if I run out of paintballs during the game?"
"You told me its supposed to be fun, but now I am mocked cos I am not prepared for the test"

Well, the instructors are nice people, we replied all questions posed but of course, no denying... there were some puzzled look among us. Hmmmm... just put yourself in the shoes of the instructors... At the end of the day, we received feedback that goes something like this "You looked pissed when I asked you this question...hey dont forget, I pay you to teach me and I am here to you must tell me, hey... paintball is not my job, its a complicated game"

Yah right!

**To all those who happen to find my blog if you are searching for the word BTO, please please please look through the Millenmium rules or at least have a good understanding to the game of paintball before attending the BTO. At the end of the day, we are here to facilitate so that we can get more people playing speedball in a safe manner and thus creating awareness for the game. It is not our objectives to make you look bad during the BTO, if you have zero understanding to paintball or fail you because you are not aware that you have to undergo a MCQ test.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Killer TANK!

The Killer Tank! I thought this topic can be very interesting since many people who plays paintball often overlook this part of the game. We have been talking about which markers to use, which gears to get, what masks to buy but when it comes to tanks, most of the people are left clueless. I am not so much of an expert myself but thought it will be good to share about the mechanics of paintball tanks and the dangers involved when it comes to handling one of these...

If you have a paintball magazine at home...flipped it again, you will surely see it somewhere that there is a warning page instructing people about the hazards of mishandling a paintball tank. Yes, its true, people get serious injuries from mishandling these... I have personally witnessed at least 5 counts of mishandling. One of these misfortunate victims had to be sent by an ambulance to the hospital to get a facial reconstruction done!!!

Here's how you can get injure (some of the most common ones, in random order):

1) Screw the killer tank into the marker without realizing that the threadings do not fit. By doing this, you will not only spoil the threadings of the tank and the marker, you simply do not get a perfect fit. Usually, it tends to be harder to screw as you screw further in. By the time you realize this, you will most probably end up with a badly scratched threading. To prevent this, a good practice is to ensure that the marker is tuck in between your legs as you screw in the tank, make sure that the marker and the tank is straight before turning the tank in. Attempt to clean the threadings of the marker and tank with a dry cloth to get rid of the residues from oxidation or sand particles.

2) While filling the killer tank at the distribution outlet, ALWAYS hold onto the valve while filling and look away from the marker. Make sure that the valve unit is fitted into the killer tank. You can do a simple test by pulling the valve and making sure that it holds before filling. Most players do not hold onto the valve and when the air compressor is turn will have a flapping/swinging valve which might possibly hit you in the face! Its okay if it hits you...but if it hits another mate standing next to you...Good luck.

3) When removing the killer tank from the marker (if you do not have the luxury of having a ASA attached), make sure that you "shoot the tank off". By shooting the tank off, I mean pull the trigger while trying to remove the tank in an anticlockwise motion. By pulling the trigger as you turn the tank, allow you to remove the tank in an easier way as there is less pressure at the pin valve forcing the tank to the marker. If unsure, just invest in a decent ASA.

4) Always look at the regulator when you are turning the tank. Often, the regulator can be loosen due to prolonged usage of turning in and out from the marker. If the regulator is loosen from the tank and is stucked in the marker, by turning the body of the tank, you will dislodge the regulator from the tank. This is extremely dangerous...if done slowly, you will see the O-ring that is inside the tank bursting...if done in a fast motion, the tank might hit you directly at your face. I have seen this happen many times to a teammate of mine. Good gracious...he is still alive.

5) Take note of the tank usage... there is a life span when it comes to using a tank. Always take note of the frequency of usage and the timeout date, especially if you are buying a second hand tank. Make sure that you do a regular visual inspection of the tank (though this doesnt really help with micro cracks...but least you are doing some checks).

Lastly, do not "monkey see monkey do". You have to understand the danger and the basic handling of the killer tank. This part of the training is often until the next injury...not too sure how to fill a tank, just ask. Safety first...

SLG vs SLG 09

I thought this is one interesting thing to talk about...the SLG.

SLG is a product of Proto. The term SLG is derived from the words "Super Light Gun".

So as the name implies, its light...not only light but super light. As shown is the direct comparison of the 2 SLG markers in 2008 and 2009. I got my SLG 08 marker during the World Cup Asia 2007. It was first released in Asia to Dye vendors only and I had the previlege of getting one during the Dye tech class. A spool valve technology marker, the SLG has a loud ticking sound wherever the trigger is pulled. If I can remember correctly, I got this marker for a neat price of SIN$280.00! In fact, I bought 2 of was sold to Desmond Foo (the now so famous paintball photographer in Asia) who at that time was no longer playing for Red Sevens. Yes, for SIN$280.00. Come to think of it...I should have kept it. Not that I dont want him to get it at this good offer, just that firstly, he is not a Dye dealer so this deal should not be transfer to him and secondly, he was no longer with the Red Sevens. I was only helping knowing that he is keen to play but has no marker at that time. But anyway...its all in the past. Till this day, I am still using the SLG marker but only as a back up. Didnt really like the "feel" of it...until I was holding Kiko's prized SLG marker from winning the Division 2 World Cup Asia.

Its amazing light (now with the ultra light frame), the plastic feeling of pulling the trigger is no longer there...there is an upgrade on the feedneck...which is similar to the former PMR. The design looks more sleek on the exterior and it certainly look too good to be known as an entry levelled marker. Perhaps the only downside to the marker is the need to constantly lube the internals. Kiko has a hard time doing that... I say a good way to maintain this marker is to lube it after every 3 games.

A new year... a new beginning...and then the recession...

Couldnt find much time to blog nowadays, been busy with reservist (yes, I did try snapshooting with SAR21, hehehe), planning for paintball tournament and participating in paintball tournament. Just came back from KL participating in the MPOC with the Red Sevens gang. We did a 5th position after 10 rounds of qualifying with 15 participating teams. Qualified for the Quarters but luck was not with us. We could have clinched a couple of games but it didnt work well for us. Individual mistakes... team mistakes. We were glad to have the assistance of Kiko and Ivan. Kiko is an "old bird" in tournament, as Seburo mentioned on his blog, this guy has got more medals than us as compared to the markers we own. To date including Kiko's, we have 10 e-markers in the team, quite impressive actually... On the contary, Ivan is a "new bird"... his first game with e-markers and he certainly did well enough to earn him 5 MPOC games under his belt. In his first game, he even came back with the flag. Considering that this is the first time he is playing with e-markers, this guy is a born talent.

We did not surpassed our record of reaching the semis...but I am pretty confident that we should be able to clinch a spot before the season ends. Although we did not came back with a metal piece, I am excited about how this team is going to progress in 2009. This year, we have the inclusion of a few new faces: Jon, Edi, Kiko and Ivan. Not forgetting our 2 friends from US, Zach and Ryan. We are looking good. Time will tell... its a pity that we were unable to get Tom to join us but we'll never know. Now that we have a lot more players...perhaps the International Super Sevens? We'll see... certainly looks good.

Team Damnation is the other Singapore based team which travel to KL for the MPOC. I was hoping to see Atrox and PSG Warfreaks... but I guess the recession is hitting on everyone.

In Singapore, we are also busy planning for SPNS 2009. There seem to be a decline in the number of participating teams this year... what did we do wrong this time? Its funny because things were more uncertain previously, we had to find sponsors, we had to get the ambulance, we had to get approvals, we had to get prizes, we had to sign teams up for games, we had to conduct training for newbies, etc. We did many things to get SPNS 2008 started. 2009, we are more familiar with the proceedings, we did as many awareness clinics, workshops as before and yet, it seems like we are unable to get more teams to participate. Hmmmm... cheaper paintballs, cheaper entry fee, better prizes and prices...and yet, we have falling numbers. Its weird. So the myth of lowering prices and more people will play paintball is not true afterall. Okay okay...its the recession. Everything is the recession...

While we are planning for our local tournament. Somewhere out there... there is a group of people who are also playing competitively. It was mentioned before in Team Damnation's website of the new team known as Team Karma. Team Karma is not new to the local scene, it was a group of friends who decided to play paintball on a regular basis. They were at RD when we organized our clinic for newbies. They bought paintball stuff at our place too. If you were observant enough, you would have noticed that we even had a thread for them in our forum. (It has been removed about 2 months ago because no one was upkeeping the thread).

While the Red Sevens and Team Damnation were in KL playing our hearts out. Team Karma had a small party of their own..."Acid Test Paintball Challenge", it was held in our former training ground, Octville Country Club up in the North. It was meant to be a tournament for local boys to try out paintball and have some fun playing in competition format. Kudos to you for coming up with this idea. Surely good for promoting awareness in the game and allowing more people to love and feel the game we all loved.

On a second thought...I am very bothered by this outing. The first question that pops out from my head: "Where are they going with this?"

Okay, I know most Singaporean paintballers visit this blog of being the visionary for Singapore paintball, here's my take (and I will share with you my views later):

1) They are getting more people to play paintball thus improving the standard of play in Singapore, both recreationally and competitively.

2) They are planning on organizing paintball tournaments in the North so that more Singaporeans can play competitively without having to go through BTO.

3) They are planning to start a paintball field in Singapore. that we have 3 options, let's review them:

1) Good move...more people playing means more people are aware about the game. While they can improve in their standard of play, they can only play competitive paintball in the North, as we all know that in Singapore, we have strict rules for everything...even paintball...haiz. The centre line...So to play competitive paintball in Singapore, players who are "Poison" to the game will have to go through the BTO.

2) Not a bad move...but what's going to happen to paintball in Singapore? Let's take an example... Due to gobalisation, Singaporeans are exposed to international jobs and are all moving out of the country. They work overseas, they marry overseas, they study overseas... see where I am going. The question mark here is: What will happen to Singapore paintball? Its funny because paintball is more established in the States...but paintball in Mexico is more fun and affordable.
3) Highly possible. Hahahah....I am saying this because, one of them approached me previously and told me so. So its good for Singapore paintball afterall...but dont wait till you start and then start promoting paintball in Singapore cos by will be deem as the overseas expat who study, work and marry overseas. No offence to anyone, my dad for once is hardly at home too. Just dont wait until then...the idea here is to make the change, just like I did.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Your first time...

Yes, your first time. I know what you are thinking...but dont go there. But instead, let's take a step backwards...your first kiss. Do you still remember that special moment? Surely... or maybe not. But I am sure, you will remember your first experience with paintball. Yes? That moment when you are either shot by everyone from the opposing team or the hero who captured the flag and returned to the base...

So I thought perhaps I will do a short survey asking people around me about their "first time" with paintball... Well, just as I guess, they all remember. And there is always a story behind everyone's experience. Here's mine:

2001, Pete's Paintball in Mount White, Sydney, Australia. Scenario games...

I was having lunch and was approached by this nicely dress man (shirt, tie and pants) who was holding onto a booklet of coupons. At first I thought he was going to sell me tickets to some dance bash (very common in uni) but it turns out to be paintball coupons. Hmmmm...."What is paintball?" I have heard of it before...but what exactly is paintball?

Buy one coupon and bring along another friend for free. The only catch is to get this offer, I will have to buy 25 coupons!!! I cant remember how much the coupons were... I dont think they come cheap. But I bought them...hehehehe. The rest is history.

Got together a group of Singaporeans to join in the fun. A day out at Mount White, camofluage uniform, free bottle of Gatorade, free BBQ lunch. My cousin who was also studying in Sdyney joined me. There were different fields that we can choose to fields, forested fields, urban fields... we were tired, in fact we were very tired. In the last game, my cousin and I executed a flanking move and managed to whack my neighbour from the back...cruel I know but I remember his expression clearly till this day.