Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What good is SPLAT?

SPLAT is an initiative by Paintballers World (Singapore's first paintball pro shop) in collaboration with Red Dynasty Paintball Park to develop and promote competitive paintball in Singapore. Due to restricting firearms law in Singapore, it is illegal for any individual to possess a firearm without a possession permit.This regulation will remain for as long with the authorities until paintball has evolved into a mainstream sports similar to the X Games or the Olympics (well bowling is not an Olympic sports too). Perhaps when paintball becomes part of the Youth Olympics (you lucky bastards wrestling and handball...) that due recognition will be given. We know that with the firearms law, paintball might not be as big as we want to in the next 10 years or perhaps longer.

Instead of whining and waiting for things to happen, we need to effect changes and SPLAT it is... It is the closest where one comes to participating in local or overseas competition using a rental e-marker riding on the establishment and management of a paintball field.

Spending tons of investment in this sport and not utilizing the equipment fully is definitely not the best investment plan one could think of... think of all the time that you can save if you can train with these rentals and get to use the exact rental in competitions after maintaining the marker a week before the event. And they say time is money.

No more cases of missing markers... no more cases of misuse. While some might disagree with me that SPLAT is the best plan but certainly the closest (and I have to emphasize again...) that we can get given the restrictions. With a good take up rate, an e-division in Singapore can possibly take form. Standards of play can improve and the sport can grow and develop. With SPLAT Exclusive, players can purchase a box of paintballs at exclusive rates. Pricing issue is a never ending story... there is no actual definition for cheap and how cheap is cheap? Cross the straits and you can still see players complaining about paint prices and after so many years of development, people are still complaining. Its the same story in Malaysia, its the same story in Taiwan, its the same story in the States, its the same story everywhere. Its a never ending issue... the realistic truth is, paint prices in Singapore can never match our neighbours. Things just cost different in Singapore and in Malaysia.

One of the most common question that I get with SPLAT: "Can I rent a marker out of Singapore for training?" Dude... it's not going to happen and I hope it was that easy... With SPLAT, accountability is highly regarded by the authorities, which is why only tournaments of elite status are regarded as legitimate. Ask the same question again but from a different perspective of a Malaysian player: "Can I bring a marker into Singapore?" The answer is no... in fact I would assume that no Malaysians in their right mind would want to do this since our currency conversion is double of our neighbours.

At the end of the day, its all about choices... while there are people who do not mind spending a little bit more time travelling while exchanging for savings. There are also people who do not mind paying more for less travel. We just have to start somewhere and we call the people who come aboard PIONEERS...

In 2 years time, we will have more than 10 Division 4 teams, 4 Division 3 teams, 2 Division 2 teams and perhaps 1 Division 1 team... all 126 of them keeping markers in Malaysia? Something to ponder about... we just need to start somewhere.

A personal view about SPLAT.