Thursday, September 3, 2009

How is it affecting Singapore paintball?

Foods for thought... recently, there has been a calling for a unified federation for paintball in Malaysia. Basically, it is a recognized federation with sole purpose of promoting and developing paintball in Malaysia. This federation will be recognized by the National Sports Council and eventually a mainstream sports in Malaysia which youths can participate the sport in school and continue to play the game when they are into their adulthood while participating in what we call "THE" recognized national competition...

When it comes to deciding who should run this unified federation, everyone has their own personal view. BUT, personally, I think the answer is pretty clear. The federation should be run by the people who has brought Malaysia paintball to where it is today. To be honest, I am really happy for all Malaysian paintballers and paintball in Malaysia. With the recognition of paintball as a mainstream sport across the region, I am hoping that Singapore governing authorities can cut the red tape for our local paintballers to participate this sport in accordance to how it is done internationally, in this case, 1) paintball marker possession similar to a sporting equipment 2) declassification of paintball marker from the firearms act.

Last year, there was a tournament that was organized by a Malaysian organization known as the MPA (details of the tournament, Flora Festival), to be really honest, it is one of the most glamourous event that I have ever attended, there were 4 professional teams, there were hovercrafts shooting confetit in the air during the opening ceremony, there was a band playing music during the teams march pass, there was a stadium that was cater for this event. The food that was served throughout tournament days is free (seafood dinner, BBQ dinner, buffet breakfast, etc), the accomodation was free, the travel expenses (ferry and bus tickets) were free, we were playing with new JT bunkers covered by new professional paintball nettings and even the paintballs were free (we were given 5 boxes of paintballs). All we need to do is to show up for the event! What a good deal for any paintball team!!! The only thing about this tournament was that no one knew who the organizing committee was. I mean of course, we had to ask around... but the only reply that we got was "Its the MPA". I mean what more can I ask for when the event is 100% totally free! So we didnt really pursue it...

Please dont get me wrong, I am not saying that this event is not good or anything but in fact, it is one of the most organized tournament that I have ever attended. The organization of the event was fantastic, we even have a liaison leader who will cater to any of our queries, and show us around the place...

I was told that this organization apply for some government grant and was given loads of money to organize this event. I am not surprised given that the Malaysia government and the state government are fully behind this sport. But honestly, that was also the last time that I have heard from the MPA. Rumours had it that its a one off event...

With the recent "hoohaa" about a National Federation for paintball in Malaysia, one of the main focus will surely be the fundings and recognition from government. Surely, I would like to see the people who are driving paintball to get this funding because it is what they deserved for putting in the effort to plan, organize, develop and promote the sports in Malaysia. But I would also like to see that this funding is put into good use in driving for a common regional body who can not only promote paintball in Malaysia but also be a driving force for paintball in Asia. Some suggestions perhaps:

1) Statistics research - Research are important. Its the basis of putting everything that is wrong to right. A good research for paintball can cover areas such as statistics research for paintball safety. Not only will this research be used by paintball association or bodies across the region to develop paintball in their respective countries. But most importantly, it is backed by a registered, recongized and reputable paintball body that can be recognized by the local government.

2) Coaching aids - While majority of the paintballers I know learnt their skills from a fellow paintballer or watching videos on the internet. A structure paintball coaching aid is need to ensure that the fundamentals of paintball coaching is recognized. Yes, it takes a lot of time to come up with this coaching aid but it is also a piece of good material to get most if not all of the people doing the right thing.

3) Good refereeing body - This has always been the toughest to achieve. A good league can only be consider good if there is a good governing body for refeering and continuous development of referees in the region.

4) National representation - As per any team sports, there is always a national representation, in this case refers as a national team. The national team should only comprised of paintballers from the respective country based on their nationality. All paintballers know that there is no such thing as a national team but there are more pros than cons to forming one. With a national body, the association of the respective country is responsible for developing such a team and thus the due recognition from the paintball community, clubs and teams. The national body will also be able to lobby support from their respective sports council when it comes to funding the national team. National trials and selection can also be formulated. To continue developing the national team, the association is responsible for youth developments and awareness. So when will this national competition be held? Well... the World Cup perhaps? Let's put it this way... any good paintballers who already have a team will be playing in the World Cup. So they will be there anyway... a separate tournament in the World Cup where only national representative can play to represent their countries can help to determine the regional powers and grow the sport in the region. This could be done in a race to 2 or 3 format X ball style. This is nothing new as there are seperate tournaments in the Millenium competitions too, like the Activision Cup, the Intercontinental Cup, etc. The idea of formulating this tournament is to get the national bodies to be involved thus giving the sport the recognition it deserved.

I am hoping for more paintball awareness... more awareness means that paintball is more recognized in the region. One day, we will all hope for reply like this...

A: I play paintball...
B: Woah...I have heard of that... tell me more

instead of

A: I play paintball
B: Ohhh...pinpall


A: I play paintball
B: Ohhh...very painful leh!!! and expensive and I got no army uniform to play in.


A: I play paintball
B: What is that?

As the great man says: SOKONG SOKONG!!! from the Singapoeans!