Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A league of our own? Singapore style?

There used to be the Singapore Paintball Novice Series (SPNS) in 2008 and 2009. The SPNS was a platform for Singapore paintball enthusiasts to battle their guts out and to put their skills to the "test" before embarking on regional tournaments. I am using the word "test" because in Singapore, its all about "test" and more "test". Singaporeans need to "test" if the ERP works for road users before the full implementation, we need to "test" if the MRT will be overwhelmed before its opening, we need to "test" the YOG with the AYG, it is always putting things to the test... its the same for paintball. It has been pretty quiet around the Singapore paintball scene... Is this the end of paintball in Singapore? I beg to differ... as it is always peaceful before a storm so I am hoping this quiet period will be a good time for all to go back to the drawing board to rethink about paintball in Singapore. There are actually a few ways that paintball in Singapore can undergo a full revamp and I am going to share this in the later topics. While the local competition scene is quiet and some describing it as pins dropping, a handful of us are actually playing in Malaysia. With the last 2 weekends, there are a total of 8 Singapore teams participating in the Malaysia tournament scene. Not bad indeed...

Just last month, the Paintball Association (Singapore), PBAS was handed over to a new interim committee to oversee the promotion and development of paintball in Singapore. Change is always good... new ideas will be formed, new people will be involved, new support will be given... With only less than 30 years of history behind the sport, it will be an uphill task to develop this sport in Singapore given Singaporeans "testing" attitude towards committing to something new. Recreational paintball has been pretty well received across the borders with some gamers being featured in TNP and RazorTV. News like these are always good for creating paintball awareness. Competitively, Singapore teams are always giving their competitors a tough fight... podium wins from local teams such as Red Sevens, ZOO and Contract Killers are always good for the aspiring paintballers who are keen to take up the challenge of participating in regional tournaments against some of the best in Asia. In a recent blogging competition "Star Sports Blogger" organized by the Singapore Sports Council, local blogger and regular paintballer, Grant Harrison from team ZOO was awarded the 2nd prize. This is a big step for paintball as the sports need all the attention that it can get from governing bodies such as the Singapore Sports Council, the Singapore Police Force and of course the general acceptance of paintball as a sport.

In the planning is the Singapore Paintball Series (SPS), a tournament to takeover the responsibility of the SPNS. No longer are Singaporean players consider as novice players... so there must be a change in the naming of the tournament. Singapore players fret not... we will soon have our very own Singapore champion... Plans are underway and things are looking good so far. With a different approach to competitive paintball in Singapore, there are plans for a mechanical division, a tertiary division, an open division and possibly a SPLAT X division... we'll see... a big dream perhaps but something that is possible, we might not reach our target but it is definitely something that we are working towards to. Just be ready to lend your support when the dream gets going... we need all the support to create our own "test" bed.

Paintballers are the weirdest lot. We enjoy the game and we love the game so much that we sometimes become emotional towards the outcome of the game... we are so devoted to the game that it has become a religion to many of us. Others who are have not play the game do not understand our feelings. Its just pure devotion. Some people call it the plain shooting game, some call it cosplay, some call it dangerous, some call it no brainer... but hell yeah, what do they know? Its pure devotion. We just love the sport. I used to be one of those who asked "why so serious?"... it is serious to us cos we know. We spend hours watching paintball videos, we spend hours playing the game, we spend a whole chunk of our money to buy gears, we talk, eat, sleep paintball... we are always waiting for the weekend to come cos that's when we feel young again. We make tons of friends playing paintball... no other sports has that. We travel with strangers to competition hoping to bring back the glory... no other sports does that... We talk about the game with strangers and we talk like we have known one another for years! We are paintballers... its a religion and we are one.