Friday, May 22, 2009

Singapore Paintball Novice Series (SPNS) 2009

Singapore Paintball Novice Series (SPNS) 2009 Leg 2 – Pasir Ris Park, Native Lawn

Bringing Paintball to the Hearts”

For the first time in Singapore, a competitive paintball tournament was held beyond a licensed paintball centre in Singapore. Established in 2008 and organized by the Paintball Association (Singapore), PBAS, SPNS 2009 Leg 2 sets its foot on a national park located in the eastern coast of the Singapore’s shores, Pasir Ris Park. Supported by the Singapore Sports Council and the National Parks Board, this leg of the competition saw 13 paintball teams vying for Singapore’s top paintball honour. With the slogan of “Bringing Paintball to the Hearts”, the objective of organizing the competition in a public park allows PBAS to showcase the sport of paintball to the heart of the community. This is also the first time that a 5-men competition format is adopted in the SPNS as compared to the previous legs of a 3 men and 4 men format.

Introduced to Singaporeans in 2008, competitive paintball otherwise known as speedball is increasingly gaining its popularity in Singapore. Efforts by PBAS to promote this sport have been significant with roadshows in tertiary institutions such as Singapore Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Singapore Polytechnic has also recently become the first Singapore institution to introduce the sport of speedball to its students and armed with the intention of establishing a paintball club in the school.

Another historical event is the conduct of the Malaysia Marshal Level 1 marshalling certification course for 6 local paintball referees by Mr. Junaidi Khalil who is the Head Referee in Asia with marshalling experiences in the Asia Paintball Invitational Tournament 2008 in Kao Hsiung, Taiwan and the Asia World Cup since 2007. "The Certification Course helped to raise the competency of many of the new recruits to local refereeing" added Benedict Chen, a second year student from the National University of Singapore who took on the Head Referee role during the SPNS. Indeed, the certification course and cross learning between the Singapore and Malaysia marshals helped to unify the conduct of the sport with similar regulations across the borders.

Team Red West who was the champion team in leg 1 of SPNS 2009 managed to defend their title by clinching another champion medal in this leg of the competition. With 3 of its players playing for the Red Sevens team, a Singapore Division 3 team participating in the Malaysia Paintball Official Circuit (MPOC) and Malaysia National Paintball League (MY-NPL), the Red West team displayed immense teamwork and proficiency to qualify for the 1st position during the 8 qualifying games and eventually winning the title. Five-O, participating for the first time in the SPNS took home the 2nd position after a series of impressive games against some of the top sides in the series such as Kamikaze and Dark Militia in Round 2 of the tournament. Last leg’s runners-up, Contract Killers, concluded the day with a 3rd position placing and Dark Militia claiming the 4th position. One of the most exciting segments of the tournament was the “Top Gun” Division where teams would send a representative to compete in a 1-on-1 paintball game where spectators of the event were involved in delivering sideline coaching. The “Top Gun” Division is a test of a player’s individual skills and of his ability to cope with the immense pressure of the match under the eyes of a crowd. This leg’s “Top Gun” Division was won by Sean Low, a student from Pei Cai Secondary School who has been playing paintball as a competitive sport for more than 2 years. His team the Death Mavericks was in 3rd position after the qualifying rounds.

“We have seen vast improvement in the level of the game. Participants are getting more skilful and technically sound as compared to last year. To continue developing paintball, we’ll need the local authorities to reconsider the classification of paintball markers as a firearm but as a sporting equipment, similar to a foil in fencing, a bow in archery or a bat in softball” exclaimed Jane Koh, President of the Paintball Association (Singapore) who is also the Tournament Director since the dawn of the SPNS. While many consider this event as a big leap for Singapore paintball, there are still many aspects of the sport that needs to be addressed to develop this sport into a mainstream sport. Through awareness program and paintball clinics, this sport will soon do away with the common branding of being “jungle-game, painful or just plain shooting”.
Official results of SPNS 2009 Leg 2 can be found in,

Article is contributed by Ben “King”, a paintball enthusiast and promoter in Singapore.

Photos courteosy of Tilt,