Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My paintball story

Shared this too many times and thought I pen it down so that people who chance upon this blog can also see the light of this game we love. I have been playing competitive paintball since 2006. In a few more days, I will be going into my 6 years of competitive paintball. Similarly, one thing that is always doing the catching up is my age... I will be 34 years old in a few days. I started the game in what I considered as a out-dated age for any athlete, at the age of 28 years old, you will roughly have an idea if you are going to treat sport as just a recreational hobby... and this was what I thought until I found out about competitive paintball. I have been playing sports my entire life... I did a little bit of everything but seriously a master of none. I had my first taste of volleyball at the age of 10 and knew that volleyball was not my cup of tea. I ran in National events when I was in primary school and thought that running was all that I knew. In secondary school, I was crazy about basketball and played a lot until I saw my results at the final exam. Then I took up running again... but this time, I did a longer distance. Although I am an asthmatic, I considered myself to be a pretty good long distance runner having been one of the very few to cross the finishing line early when I was an officer trainee in the army. Short and long burst of 5km, 10km, 15km, 21km was a daily affair. Running stopped after I started working and I returned to my first love, basketball. I was working in a tertiary institution back then and sports was easily available. I started playing recreational soccer and did a little bit of running here and there just to keep myself fit for the annual IPPT. And of course, being a social runner and with the growing popularity of endurance events in Singapore, I tried my hands on the Osim Triathlon. Well... just say that I finished the event with many unforgettable memories. My love of sports persuaded me to find out more about this wonderful social invention and soon enough I was going back to school again and took up a part time Sports and Exercise diploma in Singapore to further my interest. I graduated in a pretty well known university in Australia with an Electrical Engineering honours degree. When I was studying in Australia, I was playing a lot of weekend soccer and was very impressed with the sporting culture downunder. Sport is not just an individual affair, it is a family affair. People will come and support friends and family members who are playing sports. When I came back to Singapore, I wasn't ready to accept the fact that most of the buddies that I used to play sports with are now setting different life priorities and commitment which leaves them with no time for sports... I suddenly had no one to run with, no one to play basketball with, no one to talk about sports except to watch them on TV, usually with a bag of chips. And I seriously thought that things are going to be so dull and all my aspirations of being a good sports fan had to die a horrible death. But my life soon change after I found out about competitive paintball, speedball.

It happened at the end of 2006 when I was on a trip to Malaysia to find out about the Paintball World Cup Asia. Very soon enough, I was already playing this sport. But surely of course, no one else in Singapore was playing competitive paintball back then and so I had to recruit people of the same interest and it didn't help that there wasn't many videos on the internet for us to relate the sports to anyone who might be interested. Every weekend, I will have to travel 640km back and forth to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia to learn more about this competitive sport. Trust me it wasn't easy travelling this distance every weekend for a period of more than 1 year. I have to miss precious time with my family and was constantly on the road. But most importantly, I found a new sport which took me to a new level that I never knew existed. I was like a crazy man thinking about paintball almost every single minute of my life. I would look into the mirror, pretending that someone was shooting at from the other end and dodging my way out of the shot. I would do nothing at times but to "run my fingers" like I was going to pull the trigger at the fastest speed that I can ever attain. I was looking out for information about the game and how to perfect my posture and movement. I was constantly searching videos and spent hours watching, talking and thinking about paintball. It changed my life again but more importantly, I found the real essence of playing sports again.

6 years down the road, I am now still an avid paintball player with a Division 2 Champion title under my belt. I have coached countless number of paintball players who are now far better and more skillful than me. I have affected everyone who crossed my path and was as crazy as myself 6 years ago. There are still a lot to be done for the sport in Singapore. While we now have a large community of players and the right development plans for paintball in Singapore, we are still very far away from achieving flexibility to the restriction that will give many 2nd life to many "athletes" like myself. I believe every paintball player have their own story to tell and I wish that by writing this paragraph, I am able to stimulate the passion within each and everyone of you to write something about paintball. Something about how you first started playing this game about how you met the many players and friends that you never knew existed but will always carry a thought about them when you don't see them playing paintball anymore. Paintball is not just about passion for sports, paintballers live their life thinking about their fellow comrades all the time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

How much does a paintball marker (gun) cost in Singapore?


Thought that this might be an interesting awareness entry so that everyone is aware about the cost of a paintball marker (gun) in Singapore. I have heard this so many many times and thought that it might be good to clear the air so that everybody is on the same page. From hereon, I am going to use the word "gun" instead of "paintball marker" so that it will be easier for you to relate to this topic though in the world of paintball, the word "marker" is often used for the promotion of the game to mummies and daddies. We wouldn't want to see a kid relating his paintball experiences with his family using words such as "guns", "kills", "dead", "bullets". While some might disagree with the use of these industry naming convention, we are pretty clear about our direction for paintball which is to make it more welcoming for everyone to play. Paintball is after all one of the safest activity in the world!

But isn't it illegal to possess a paintball gun in Singapore? Yes, you can't own a personal paintball gun in Singapore. I hope this does not kill your interest to continue reading this article as I am about to share with you what if it is entirely legal to possess your own personal marker in Singapore? Not that it is already legal (though we were very very close...) but WHAT IF....

Before doing that, let us take a step back to understand that if this regulation does change, it doesn't mean that you can own the world. It only means that you can individually possess a personal paintball gun in the eyes of our law enforcers. So what does this really mean for you? Firstly, congratulations, the paintball gun is now lawfully yours. So what's the catch now? Simple... you are now entirely responsible for your paintball gun, meaning if it is stolen, damaged or lost, you are the main man who is now responsible for its safekeeping, repairs and whereabouts. Spiderman says "With great powers come great responsibilities". Surely, there will be terms and conditions that you will have to follow since you are now the licencee of your own personal paintball gun. Let me remind you again that a paintball gun is considered as a firearm in Singapore so quit asking if you are able to take your paintball gun home and keep it at there. I am sorry but it doesn't work that way. But surely, this might be a redundant condition in years to come but we'll never know what lies in our future.

This exact question was asked: "I want to own a Dye NT, let me know what you can do for me? I have budgeted $800.00 for it". No offence to this question, it is definitely legit. So what must you know about owning a paintball gun in Singapore, IF it really happens for us. I am also going to draw a comparison to our daily activities so that it will be easy for everyone to comprehend.

1) Membership. To possess a paintball gun in Singapore, you will need to be a registered member of the paintball field. There is a annual membership fee. Taking Red Dynasty Paintball Park (www.weplaypaintball.com) for example, this paintball field has an existing incentive membership program for regular players which cost $150.00 per year and $95.00 for subsequent renewal. Being an incentive program, regular players pay for discounted game packages at the paintball field. The common question: "Cannot you not be a member but purchase a paintball gun in Singapore?" The answer is, not possible. This is a directive.

Comparison = You can only borrow books from the library if you are a member of the library.

2) Cost of a paintball gun. Simple, just google it. Pick up a calculator and multiply by a conversion rate. Add another couple of cents to round up a more realistic figure. For example, if the conversion rate is USD1=SIN1.29 (based on XE.com, 26 Dec 2011), add another couple of cents to these figures in relation to bank charges, credit card conversions, etc. A reasonable figure in will be USD1 = SIN1.35.

Comparison = Petrol prices that you pay for at the petrol station is surely different from the market value at the stock exchange.

3) Shipping charges. Unlike conventional postage charges. A paintball gun is a firearm as such it cannot be posted like a conventional mail. Charges include shipping, handling, registered mail and custom clearance. A good estimate for one unit of paintball gun is about $450.00. Again, this is just an estimate and might be cheaper or more expensive depending on your shipping agent and the quantity of guns shipped.

Comparison = Imagine yourself in the shipping business and you are shipping a fleet of cars into Singapore. Surely, you cannot do it through parcel post. Unforeseen charges such as GST, handling fee, delivery fee, etc do apply.

4) Licence fee. Unlike other countries, you will need to possess a licence for your gun and yes, you will need to pay for this licence. The cost of this licence is $220.00 for 2 years. Who do you pay this amount to? The governing agency of course, in this case, the Singapore Police Force. Consider it with 730 days (2 years), you are effectively investing $0.30 a day.

Comparison = In Singapore, you need a licence to do anything and everything.

5) Storage fee. Surely you are unable to keep a paintball gun at home so you will NOT be able to bring it home as such you will have to store it at a paintball field. A reasonable fee will be $150.00 a year which works out to be about $0.40 a day. Slightly more expensive than a packet of tissue.

Comparison = Just consider this as parking your car at a shopping mall. A space is allocated for your car and thus it is only reasonable that you are charge a fee for using the space.

So if you are still reading this article... let's do an example for a Dye NT11.

A Dye NT11 with a free Rotor cost USD1350.00 on the internet.

Membership = $150.00 (to the paintball field)
Cost of the marker = USD1350.00 x 1.35 = SIN1822.50 (to whom you buy the gun from)
Shipping charges = $450.00 (to the forwarding agent)
Storage charges = $150.00 (to the paintball field)
Licence fee = $220.00 (to the Singapore Police Force)

Total investment = $2792.50.

And say if you use this gun for a span of 2 years (which is a normal lifespan of a paintball gun), you will be paying about $3.87 a day. Yeah, we made assumptions that you have your own paintball tank.

Will you be ready when it is time to buy your own personal paintball gun?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Time of the year again... Paintball in Singapore

Let's take a look back for 2011 and make a quick assessment of the things that have happened for Singapore paintball. But before we go into that, I have attached an entry of last year's version so that we can make a quick comparison for 2010 and 2011, http://singaporepaintball.blogspot.com/2010/12/so-whats-next-for-singapore-paintball.html

I was hoping for 20 participating teams for WCA 2011 but we had 12 Singapore teams. Guess we didn't make the cut for 2011. One possible reason could be due to the expenses of travel since the WCA is not held within mainland Malaysia. If the dates are already locked in the calendar in the beginning of the year, there shouldn't be any doubt for non-attendance in Asia'a biggest paintball event. But hey, we can only improve from here and I don't speak on behalf of everyone.

So...what have we achieved in 2011? The Singapore Paintball Series was held over 2 legs in April and October. We managed to invite a government official to grace the tournament which is a first in Singapore. In addition, for the first time in Singapore history, we have a total of 38 participating paintball teams and among them are 2 overseas Division 1 paintball team from Malaysia. On the contrary, we had to cancel the Inter Tertiary Paintball Championship (ITPC), a paintball competition meant for tertiary institution at the beginning of the year and the SPS Friendship Cup which was organized to commemorate the good friendship within the paintball community. Both events were cancelled due to poor response which I felt was a waste considering the fact that paintball tournament is not a frequent come by in Singapore.

Year 2011 saw many local teams winning overseas honours for the local community and making their mark in overseas tournaments. As the saying goes: "Winning is a habit". To continue this winning trend, we must not forget about the hard work that has been put in. Winning a tournament is easy, defending the win and keeping it consistent is the harder part. Teams must continue to improve and train to better themselves if they want to continue the winning ways.

Unfortunately, the local community did not receive confidence from governing authorities in the possession individual of paintball marker; however, we remain highly positive that this will change in 2012. The question remains are we ready to embrace this change? I hope we are. I really hope so...

Friday, December 9, 2011

SPS Friendship Cup 2011


The inaugural FRIENDSHIP CUP is a NO FRILL paintball tournament which will be held on the last weekend of every calendar year. There is no registration fee to participate in this tournament but there is a lot to play for and that is friendship. The FRIENDSHIP CUP marks the closure of the Singapore paintball season for the year as we recognize the strong camaraderie within the paintball community and what a better way to celebrate the new year with some adrenaline pumping action!

As this is a no-frill tournament, there will be no prizes but just bragging rights! Being an informal tournament you do not have to play together with your team (you can if you wish to). You can either take this opportunity to try out your any potential recruits or to allow the newly joined players to play with the senior players and not be wary of any positional rankings. The main aim of the Friendship Cup is to allow everyone to come together on the last weekend of the year and have some fun! For teams that are new to the Race2 Format, this is also a good chance to have a go at it and work out your best strategy for the new year! This annual tournament is only limited to the first 8 teams which register with us. If you are interested to have some fun and "mark" the new year with a bang! Why wait?

Information for Friendship Cup

Date: 31 December 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 9.00 am - 2.00 pm
Venue: Red Dynasty Paintball Park

Game Format

Format: Race2 Format (Race to 2)
House electronic markers will be provided (ETEK3 AM and/or Proto PMR) for Friendship Cup
12 balls semi automatic
Team roaster of up to 8 players
4 Race-to-2 games for each team if we have a total of 8 participating teams.

Game format will be as such (based on 8 participating teams), randomly drawn:

Round 1
Group 1 - A, B, C, D (Round Robin)
Group 2 - E, F, G, H (Round Robin)

Round 2
Based on ranking after Round 1 where if your team is ranked 2nd in your group after Round 1, you will be playing against the 2nd rank team from the other group.

Registration Fee - Not Applicable
Players ID Tag Fee - Not Applicable

Paintballs will be sold at SPS box rate of $(To be disclosed) for a box of 2000 paintballs.

Please email to info@singaporepaintballseries to register your interest! Closing date will be on 28 December 2011. All registration will be based on first come first served. For more information, please visit www.weplaypaintball.com/forum

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rumours...

With the new year approaching, we went around the field and asked for some insider news of some local paintball teams. We choose to spread these rumours to make the local paintball scene a more exciting one... but since these are only hearsay from the community, take it with a pinch of salt. It is entirely up to you to believe or to call it a fake.

1) Singapore will have a new Division 2 team in 2012. Following Red Sevens and ZOO, this local outfit will add a twist to the 2012 season by participating in the Division 2 category... My gut feel tells me that this is a decent team that has been around the paintball scene for a couple of years. Some call them the boys in blue...

2) Ballistics Origins will be history, the founding members of the team is combining the entire Ballistics roaster into one. We will see a stronger Ballistics Aftermath team in 2012 which this movement. We heard about a week of training camp with the MacDev Ronins from Malaysia... sources tell us that we might see a few Ronins in SPS 2012.

3) The boys that go around breaking hearts are having a few new inclusion into the team. Rumour tells us that they are "catching lost souls" and putting them into a completely new team. More heartbreakers perhaps?

4) Due to player movement and retirement from the game and to adapt to the changes to the regional league, Red Sevens Division 2 and Division 3 team are joining forces for 2012. Division 1 or Division 2? The truth remains unfold. As a ongoing recruitment, we will see a Division 4 team forming from the Red Sevens. Talk about recruiting youngblood... keep a look out for this team in 2012.

5) Blitzkrieg has recently added a few new players to its 2012 roaster. Our molly mole, tells us that we might see Blitzkrieg participating in a Thailand competition in 2012. PALS or TPOC, we cannot confirm as of this release.

More juicy news as we approach 2012!

If you have exciting news about your team and would like to share it with everyone... please find your ways to contact us. Surely, we will make it juicer so that it fits our local taste.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A brand new year! Here we come 2012!

Photo from Tilt and taken during Singapore Paintball Series 2011.

A brand new year with brand new hopes. My personal wishlist for Singapore paintball:

1) De-regulation of paintball marker from the Firearms Act by the Singapore Police Force.
2) De-regulation of paintball marker from the Firearms Act by the Singapore Police Force.
3) De-regulation of paintball marker from the Firearms Act by the Singapore Police Force.

and the list goes on...

Congratulations Team Generation Kill!


Photo is shamelessly ripped from Team Generation Kill's facebook page.

Well done team Singapore! Another podium finish in the final leg of the My-NPL 2011 held in Melaka. Team Generation Kill fought with gusto and clinched the 1st Runner Up position in the Division 4 category. This team which was formed in 2009 is made up of students mainly from Singapore Polytechnic. Playing in the 2nd MY-NPL tournament which the team won a 2nd Runner Up position in the previous leg, this team is ready to make a strong impact for the future of Singapore paintball. With good fundamental training and a good spirited team, we can only see this team going very far in the sport of paintball.

Once again, congratulations and thank you for flying the Singapore flag high!

Where to buy paintball gear in Singapore?


Are you looking for the cheapest paintball in Singapore?

This might be one of the most common search phrase in the search engine. But if you are looking for paintball gear, look no further than Paintballers World located at One Commonwealth Building, 1 Commonwealth Lane, #03-03, Singapore 149544 (5 minutes walk from Commonwealth MRT). Established in 2009, Paintballers World is the only paintball proshop in Singapore that are managed by active paintball enthusiasts. Don't know what to get? Don't worry, all you will need to do is to ask! Visit their website at www.paintballersworld.com

*Paintballers World is having a festive sales from 1st - 31st Dec where more than 150 items are up on sales! Make use of its FREE 7 days local delivery service!

Paintball possession in Singapore remains status quo!


New release from Red Dynasty Paintball Park about individual marker possession. After months of planning and development, it seems that more needs to be done for the Singapore paintball scene. Paintball marker is classified as a firearm under the Firearms Act and possession without a licence can face a penalty of up to $100000 fine or/and jail term. This regulation has been a hindrance to the development of paintball sports in Singapore. However, we remain positive and optimistic that this regulation will be lifted in the near future. Coincidentally, the people behind Vision 2030, a platform created for the everyone in Singapore to voice out about the future of sports in Singapore is taking a closer look into the development of non-traditional sport, http://vision2030.uservoice.com/forums/141295-how-can-we-promote-and-develop-non-traditional-s Make some noise and have you say in this.

World Cup Asia 2011 - A Family Affair!


A family affair indeed. A closely knit family is how I will describe this paintball event that was held in Langkawi, Malaysia on 11 - 13 November 2011. Many describe this paintball event as the biggest paintball event in Asia and I couldn't agree more. A weekend of travel to one of the world's most mesmerizing beach resort to paintball is what every paintball could ever wish for. This paintball event attracted more than 130 paintball teams from over 22 nations with several semi and professional teams from Europe and US plying their trade in the ever popular Inter-Continental Cup (ICC). Ton Ton from France walked away with the silverware edging out Ironmen from USA in the ICC. Both teams displayed perfect athleticism and won the respect of many for their performance. To see a professional team playing in this part of the world was simply amazing. There were a few complains about lightings, air, scheduling, players area, etc but none of these complains outweighs the significant and successful completion of this indoor event. Kudos to the organizers for putting on such a good show. Comparing with world class tournaments in USA to the WCA, I can confidently say that Asia paintballers are simply one of the best spoil child in the entire paintball scene. The good show that was put up by the organizers are second to none in this world. While there might be some hiccups along the way but which human do not err? With the organizers confirming that WCA will be held in the same venue for the next 2 years, I am sure they will do a better job the next round.



I am delighted to see many friends coming together again to play paintball. Paintballers are one of the most welcoming people around. Once you have made acquaintance with them, there is a certain belief that this friendship is going to last forever... I call this the Christmas where family members come together to celebrate the festive season and to see and say hi to one another and after the event... to remain in contact until they see one another again the following year. Singapore team, Rampage Onslaught is one team that took my attention away. As Liverpool fans would like to say: "You'll never walk alone". This team went to the event in full force with uncles, aunties, girlfriends, friends, cousins, everyone!!! A family affair indeed! Another team from Singapore, SKIN went to the event with a lineup of family members and found valiantly in the Division 3 category. When blood is thicker than water, the passion never die. A.C.E.S played with true dedication even though the team had to play with a lineup of only 4 players. While some may call it a last minute preparation but to be out in the field gunning down teams with an outnumbered situation is not everyone's best desired wish. I salute you! 2 other Singapore teams, Blitzkrieg and Outlaws decided to co-op on the final day to participate in the Command and Conquer Series and won a podium finish to add to the families roll of honour.


For those who were unable to make your presence at the WCA, you will get another chance to be part of the family!

A total of 12 Singapore teams participated in this year's event and each came home with a taste of international paintball at the very best!

Photo from www.residentevilchef.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

What lies in our future?

With 1 more day left to Asia's biggest paintball event, World Cup Asia... many are ready to enjoy themselves in the island of Langkawi playing paintball and making more friends from the game they love. As many embark on this journey to experience the best of Asia, many more remain rooted in Singapore only to envy those who make the trip. The question remains... what lies in our future? I am urging those who are making the journey to think and reflect about how paintball in Malaysia has grown over the years to where they are today. Do take note that all that what you are about to witness do not happen overnight and yet it only took Malaysians less than 8 years to achieve. So where are we now? With marker ownership regulation lifted recently, the ball is now in your court to implement the changes we have always wanted. You can now contribute to the growth of paintball in Singapore! We have open the gate for many great opportunities, the future lies in your hands. No more complains about centre line as we have clear that, no more complains about playing only at licenced premise as we have clear that, no more complains about marker ownership as we have clear that too... what else? The future lies in your hands...



If you are a registered SPLAT player, you have 7 days to let us know if you would like to purchase a 2nd hand ETEK3 AM at only SGD$499.00. Possession licence not included. First 10 buyers will get free storage at Red Dynasty Paintball Park for 1 year worth $160.50. Do your maths! No other hidden cost! Send an email to sales@paintballersworld.com

Changes to SPS 2012 - A big leap towards the future



SPS Announcement

Greetings my fellow Paintballers, It is indeed with great pleasure for me to make this announcement to the local paintball community which may possibly revolutionize or create possible future changes and opportunities to the way paintball sport is being played in Singapore.

We have just concluded the Singapore Paintball Series (SPS) 2011 in October with the highest showing of 38 local and overseas teams. This result would not have been possible if not for the staunch support that is given by the local paintball community. A flourishing paintball tournament can only be regarded as successful with a good turnout and likewise a good turnout will need a professionally run tournament to bring out the best of any paintballer. As an avid paintballer myself, I do understand the continuous commitment and effort that one has to sacrifice in order to upkeep a dedicated paintball team. Forming a team to play paintball is the easiest part; the hardest part in competitive paintball is keeping the team together. The cost of training and expenses that are involved in this sport have punctured holes in our limited budget in these uncertain times. As a result, teams do not train as often as they would like to and players are unsure about how they can contribute to make this sport grow in Singapore. With 13 local based teams participating in next week’s World Cup Asia tournament as compared to a few years ago when there were only one, Singapore paintball has seen tremendous growth in recent years. As Singapore’s premiere paintball event, the SPS is committed to the continuous growth of this sport in Singapore and will devote our limitless effort in creating awareness and publicity for the game we all love. In our effort to develop the sport, the SPS committee will be implementing several changes to SPS. These changes have been stoutly proposed, debated and reviewed where the final objective is to allow Singapore paintball to progress to the next level where we can benchmark our playing standards to our overseas counterparts. I am extremely thrilled to announce the following changes to SPS 2012 and would like to seek your incessant support in our new implementation:

a) With immediate effect, SPS Tertiary Division will ceased to continue and will not be included in future SPS events. Students from tertiary institutions can look forward to the Inter-Tertiary Paintball Championship (ITPC) which will be organized as a competition series in 2012.

b) Renaming of divisional category will be introduced to allow for wider classification of skill set level. SPS 2012 will see the renaming of Novice Division to Division 4 and Open Division to Division 3 classification similar to Paintball Asia League Series (PALS) classification. A new category catering to Division 2 and Division 1 teams will be introduced and named as the Open Division.

c) Along with the renaming of divisional category will be the introduction of a SPS pilot initiative to better classify all SPS registered players into their respective playing category. This is to allow players to be better classified according to their playing experiences in all paintball events organized by the SPS.

d) The newly introduced Division 3 and Open Division will adopt the Race-to-2 and Race-to-3 format respectively. Division 3 teams can roster up to 8 players and Division 2 teams can roster up to 10 players. Format for Division 4 (Novice Division) remains unchanged.

e) With the introduction of individual marker possession in October 2012, the SPS will cease to provide the use of electronic paintball markers to all teams participating in Division 3 and above. With this implementation, the SPS is taking a leap into standardizing the way paintball should be played across the world where participants have legal ownership to their paintball equipment. Rental of electronic paintball markers can be pre-arranged with additional rental charges from SPS.

f) Participants of the SPS Corporate Division can now have the option to use an additional 2 pods of paintballs on top of the 100 paintballs which will be allocated for each game.

g) To allow the SPS to better facilitate the smooth running of the event and to provide adequate game participation for teams, the following team participation ratio will be adopted as a guide in participation numbers, Open Division:Division 3:Division 4:Corporate Division – 8:8:16:8. However, this ratio might be subjected to change depending on the number of participating teams and number of allocated fields during the event.

h) In the event where a player’s ID tag is confiscated from a player by the head referee due to game infringement, the affected player will not be able to participate in the remaining games of the tournament. At this juncture, the affected player will not be allowed in/near the tournament area not limiting to the paintball fields, the players’ area and the technical area until his charges are cleared by the tournament director and the head referee.

i) A disciplinary panel will be set up for each event to oversee the management of errant players. We hope that with these changes and implementation, we will be able to bring Singapore paintball to greater heights and to allow teams to prepare for a very exciting year ahead. As we approach year 2012, we would like to thank you for your contribution to the progress of Singapore paintball, for without your display of passion and dedication to the game, we will not be able to reach higher achievement for this sport.

Thank you.

Jane Koh
SPS Tournament Director

Monday, October 31, 2011

"Don" of Asia paintball: Paul Lam


Photo is shamelessly ripped from Paul Lam's facebook
If Al Pacino is the Don of the Italian mafia in the movie "Godfather". Paul Lam would be the "Godfather" of Asia paintball... With Asia's biggest paintball event approaching on 11th November 2011 in Langkawi, I thought it might be good to introduce the good people behind PALS WCA 2011. Paul and his group of ardent committee has placed Asia paintball on the world map for everyone in the world to only envy and praise! In my recent trip to the PSP, I have heard of so many good words and positive comments about the promotional leadup to this world class event. I have people approaching me to find out more about the PALS World Cup and as an Asian participating in the US World Cup, it is indeed an honour to answer their queries pertaining to the Asia paintball scene. Not many people knew about the people behind PALS and indeed all of these would not have happend if not for this man, Paul Lam or commonly known as Gungho Paul. With his continuous vision and goal oriented mindset, Paul has not only allow paintball in Asia to flourish but also to allow most countties in Asia to formulate a common goal towards the development of paintball in this part of the world. While a commercial event like most paintball tournaments in the world, we cannot deny the fact that through these events, more people are getting to know more about paintball and recognize the sporting side of paintball besides the recreational side of the game where most of the people are familiar with. To garner the support of a commercial airline, AirAsia and the Malaysia government towards a paintball event is by no means an easy feat. To have the world paintball community talking about the biggest paintball event in the Asia is just as tough and things do not happen just overnight. While good participation is just as important in managing a good event, to venture into the unknown is a bigger risk. On behalf of everyone in Singapore, I wish you and your committee all the best in organizing the WCA and may you bring Asia paintball to greater heights. Well done!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Full Results of Singapore Paintball Series 2011 Leg 2 - My Buona Vista Cup

Singapore Paintball Series 2011 Full Results

Open Division Overall Series Champion - Red Sevens
Novice Division Overall Series Champion - Heartbreakers

SPS 2011 Leg 2 My Buona Vista Cup

Invitational International Division

Champion - Team Xtioneers
2nd - Team Demonz Red

Force 21 Open Division

Champion - Red Sevens
2nd - Ballistics Aftermath
3rd - Contract Killer - SG
4th - Team Enraged

Most Improved Team - Ballistics Aftermath

Force 21 Novice Division

Champion - Heartbreakers
2nd - Blitzkrieg
3rd - Rampage Onslaught
4th - A.C.E.S

Most Improved Team - Blitzkrieg

Force 21 Corporate Division

Champion - SAESL Sharks (SAESL)
2nd - Nocturnal (Singapore Night Safari)
3rd - Aurasevenz (Singapore Prison Service)
4th - Pumperz (Singapore Civil Defence Force)

Tertiary Division

Champion - ReaPers (Republic Polytechnic)
2nd - Team Generation Kill (Singapore Polytechnic)
3rd - Ghost Kids (Singapore Polytechnic)
4th - Team Pyro-X (Singapore Polytechnic)

For more information about Singapore Paintball Series, please visit www.singaporepaintballseries.com or join our facebook page

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Red Sevens and Heartbreakers - Singapore Champion in 2011!




Red Sevens has clinched the title of Singapore Champion when the team won the Singapore Paintball Series Open Division Overall Champion for 2011. Red Sevens, Singapore's oldest paintball team was established in 2006/2007 and has been an ambassador for the sport of paintball in Singapore since formation. Proudly sponsored by Dye Asia, Furious, Pro Paintball, Red Dynasty Paintball Park, PaintballersWorld, SEED.


Heartbreakers took the Overall Series Champion of the Novice Division!

More news.... updating.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Champion in everyone!


Ahmad winning the TPOC 2011

First of all, I would like to congratulate Ahmad Sophian commonly known as "Vandal" for winning the 2nd placing in Division 1 category of the final leg of Thailand Paintball Official Circuit 2011. Ahmad has come a long way in paintball... locally, Ahmad is also known for his leadership in Team Ballistics which also claimed the 2nd position in Open Division of the Singapore Paintball Series 2011 Leg 2. I have been thinking of writing this topic for the longest time and finally set some time aside. I am now in the US awaiting for the start of the Paintball Sports Promotion (PSP) event - World Cup. I would have never imagine coming to a PSP event a few years ago, let alone say becoming the first Singaporeans to play in a PSP World Cup event. In this event, 3 players from the Red Sevens team will be participating in Division 2 category with Team Tyranny (sorry guys, another paintball history...)

Me in the PSP World Cup 2011

2011 has been an amazing year to my paintball journey, I have been to places that I would have never imagine going if not for this crazy sport. Just this year alone, I have been to no lesser than 6 countries for paintball events and India being one of them... who would have think that I will go to India for paintball? sometimes, it amazes me too... Which brings about the point that I am going to raise: "How far are you willing to go for paintball?"

Ahmad Sophian is the most classic example... and to be really honest, I do see some resemblance in him as well (okay I am not talking about our complexion). As a pilot by profession, Ahmad started his interest with paintball while part timing in Red Dynasty Paintball Park and since then, his paintball journey has took him to countries such as Thailand, Philippines and Australia. In Singapore, Ahmad captained Team Ballistics but outside of Singapore, Ahmad has played with some of the most amazing paintball teams such as Rage City from Gold Coast, Australia, Team Hellborne from Thailand and even a fling with Red Sevens from Singapore in PALS Philippines. This guy is never afraid to play anyone or any team. All the talk about being divisional class players simply do not mean anything to him and does not exist in his dictionary at all. Ahmad has stepped out of his comfort zone to perfect his own paintball knowledge and take on anything that is being thrown to him and he has definitely done that! The more games that he has played and the more teams that he is being associated with, Ahmad brings these knowledge back to his team, Ballistics. You will be blind to have not observe that transformation in him. His willingness to take on whatever that is being thrown at him is nothing but admirable. Playing out of one's comfort zone can only make you a better player and thus allowing you to broaden all you need to know about the sport of paintball. Paintball is just like fencing... the more you fence, the better you will become. So, how far do you want to go? Ask yourself that question and ponder hard...

So here's to Ahmad, our local Singaporean boy, you have took the courage to play and you have seen the results you truly deserved. Well done!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Singapore's biggest paintball tournament - Singapore Paintball Series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PAINTBALL BONDS THE COMMUNITY
Changing the perspectives of a war game into a sport

28th September 2011 - The Finale of the Singapore Paintball Series 2011 – My Buona Vista Cup will be held on 8th and 9th October 2011 at East Coast Park. Established in 2008, the Singapore Paintball Series has now more than 400 registered players with the youngest participant – a student at the age of 16 years old and the eldest participant being a Union leader at the age of 50 years old. All participants compete on equal grounds within their divisions regardless of age and gender.

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, MG(NS) Chan Chun Sing will be gracing the event as the Guest of Honour. In support of Minister Chan’s initiative for Vision 2030, a platform to gather feedback and suggestions to formulate a master plan for the sporting scene in Singapore, local paintball enthusiasts voiced their concerns about the development of paintball in Singapore in a Strait Times report in July. While at the event, Minister Chan will witness an exhibition game between the SPS All-Stars, comprising of local players, and an International All-Stars side with overseas players from Malaysia paintball teams, Xtioneers and Demonz, who are both ranked as Division 1 teams in the paintball scene. The exhibition game will be organized in the Race-to format which is a popular format in the US and many European countries. Ben Seow who is the series Tournament Promoter exclaimed: “This sport is gaining popularity amongst Singaporeans and in Asia. Teams work together to strategize game plans to counter opposing teams and in the process help the team to bond and foster camaraderie.

The Singapore Paintball Series has grown from a league of 7 teams in 2008 to a league of 36 teams in 2011. The unwavering passion of the sports has brought many players from 2008 to 2011, still competing in paintball and promoting the sports of paintball. In the few years of the development by Singapore Paintball Series, an official refereeing body has been formed to provide an international standard of paintball refereeing in Singapore similar to regional countries. The Singapore Paintball Series is also affiliated to and a promoting partner with the Paintball Asia League Series (PALS) which is Asia’s most recognized paintball series. PALS has a network of promoting partners across more than 10 Asia Pacific countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Japan and Taiwan. PALS will be organizing Asia’s biggest paintball tournament on 10-13 November this year – the World Cup Asia – which will be attended by more than 140 paintball teams from across 30 nations. The Paintball World Cup Asia is a strongly endorsed sport event by the Malaysia government and Forbes Billionaire, CEO of Air Asia, Tony Fernandez who will be participating in the event. Singapore will be represented by 14 Singaporean paintball teams across 3 divisions out of the 4 in World Cup Asia 2011 in Langkawi, Malaysia.

“Since I started playing paintball in 2008, I have become more socially engaged with people who are older than me. The demographic of participants is wide and comes from all walks of life. In the team that I am playing for, we have a graphic designer, a professional golfer, a veterinarian’s assistant, a university student and dance instructor, said Mr. Gerald Lee, 21 who is working as surveyor for an oil company.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Paintball marker is not a plate of char siew rice...


From our last entry about paintball possession in Singapore, we managed to raise some eyebrows... Any we are pretty sure that: All that glitter is not gold. So what's the catch? For a start, a paintball marker is not a plate of Char Siew rice (for non-locals reading this entry, Char Siew rice is BBQ pork rice, one of Singaporean's favourite dish). It is not as simple as going to a Char Siew stall and order from the stall owner. Secondly, there are certain things that you will need to know about buying a paintball marker in Singapore (notice I say the word buy and not rent or tag but BUY, cos we made it happen!) Unlike in overseas (we are still dealing with that), there is no stock loads of paintball arsenal tuck in an armoury somewhere in Singapore and so all paintball marker purchase will have to be flown in and for that to take place, there are something that as a consumer that you will have to take note: You can only place and order and await its arrival... don't get it? Think about buying a car from an authorized dealer... no new car will be waiting for you to pick it up at the showroom. So if you are thinking about getting a paintball marker in Singapore, you will have to.... yes, wait. This ain't rock science, it is the same when you are buying a car, a BTO flat, a furniture... think of it that way for paintball in Singapore.

I was taken aback by some of the most common reaction. "Wait a minute... are you telling me that a Dye NT11 will cost me more than USD1550.00!!!" Yeah... do your math. Might not be the most tempting brand to get but yeah a paintball marker is not a plate of Char Siew rice. Let's not forget that you will have to pay for the shipping of the marker into Singapore and licences that you will need to apply before you can land your hand on the grip. But hey... that's the best you have got.

So if getting a marker is not going to be cheap (as some might put it)... how then can you still be a rightful owner of a paintball marker in Singapore? Here's a few advice:

1) Do your research. If you have some dough in the wallet, you might want to go for a good reliable marker with the intention of using the marker for at least 1 - 2 years and when the life span of the marker is due, you can still squeeze some "mola" for its afterlife. Alternatively, you can choose to purchase a marker of a lower value but be aware of this phrase: "what you pay, is what you get". Don't set your expectations too high.

2) Frequency of participation. Buying a marker is an investment thus you want the marker to work the best for you on the field. Think about how often do you play in a month, then if you are a competitive paintballer, think about how many tournaments you are going to attend in a year. Think of the number of practices that you are going to. Does your marker allow you to play in a higher division which most probably would require the marker to be shooting in ramping mode with lesser maintenance?

3) Set an objective for yourself. I was once told by a senior paintball player and he said:"Everyone enjoys playing paintball for many different reasons, we all love the game but it is how far you want to bring the game to" I thought this all makes sense since everyone comes from different background and have different life commitment. Not everyone can play paintball as often as everyone does. So how is this even link to getting your own marker? Simple. If you want to go far in paintball, you will need the equipment to allow you to go far... so set an ultimate goal for yourself and ask yourself: Where do you see yourself in the paintball scene and do you need a personal marker to reach that goal?

4) Stick to the rules. Living in Singapore, I do not think that there is a need to even explain the existing restrictions for firearm. So if you are able to possess your own personal marker now, don't ask question like: Are we able to bring it home? And before you answer this question, let me remind you that paintball marker is considered as a firearm. So do you think that you can bring a firearm home? Common sense just died here... Yes, yes, yes, I am very well aware that in the US, in Malaysia or matter of fact most of the other countries in the world... you can bring your marker home but this is Singapore. So will this deter you from playing the sport?

In summary, I am pretty skeptical that even with the ease of regulation to allow us to possess our very own markers will we see an influx of players wanting to have their own personal equipment. This is because with our ever strong "wait and see" attitude of the local community, it will surely be a while before everyone gets acceptance to this change.

Now that individual paintball marker possession is no longer a restriction, I wonder what will be the next deterring factor... stay tuned.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Paintball Marker Ownership in Singapore



Have you felt frustrated about the firearms restrictions in Singapore?


Have you been playing paintball outside of Singapore due to strict firearms in Singapore?


Have you been finding it a hassle travelling in and out of Singapore competing in paintball tournaments?


Have you always been wanting to own your very own personal paintball marker?


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE WAIT IS FINALLY OVER!


For the first time in the history of Singapore paintball, we are honoured to be able to bring this news to you which will be a new milestone and development for the sport in Singapore. Red Dynasty Paintball Park, in partnership with the Singapore Paintball Series, has truly led Singapore paintball in its development and will continue to innovate the paintball scene in Singapore and in the Asia region. From 1st October onwards, Red Dynasty Paintball Parkis proud to launch marker ownership and storage for all its members under terms and conditions as advised by governing agencies. The following will be implemented:

1) Individual possession of paintball markers in Singapore – Individual ownership and licence

2) Able to compete in all overseas tournament subjected to approval from authorizing agencies

If you are serious about owning your personal paintball markers in Singapore and be able to bring the markers in and out of Singapore for paintball tournaments, please make an appointment with me so that I can elaborate further. Our office is located in Paintballers World, One Commonwealth Building, 1 Commonwealth Lane, #03-03, Singapore 149544. Prior appointment needed and for SERIOUS members only.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paintball in Singapore - Implement Change

A man once said "Change is at the very core of evolution and without it, all creatures would look alike and behave the same way"... wouldn't you agree? Where are we now for Singapore paintball? Are we already part of an evolution or are we at a standstill right now? Competitive paintball was first introduced to Singapore in 2008, 3 years of promotion and development; we now have a seasoned paintball series, the Singapore Paintball Series (SPS) (www.singaporepaintballseries.com) which caters to an active paintball community. There is an estimation of up to 400 regular paintball players in Singapore and about 30 active paintball teams. Progressively, we also have a group of dedicated referees who are passionate about developing paintball refereeing in Singapore. Many local teams and players have also taken on higher responsibilities by competing in overseas tournaments such as the Malaysia Paintball Official Circuit (MPOC), the Malaysia National Paintball League (MY-NPL) and Paintball Asia League Series (PALS) and delivered impressive results doing Singapore based teams proud in the regional circuit. These progressive changes to the local scene have been evident with overseas teams speaking well of Singapore’s increase participation and performance of local based teams in overseas tournaments. Unlike a few years ago where there were no paintball enthusiasts in Singapore, many things about the sport have changed and looks promising in years to come. While things may seem to have taken off, there are many areas that are still left untouched and under developed.

Paintball Association (Singapore), PBAS which was formed in 2007 has come a long way from formative days to the organization of Singapore’s first paintball tournament in 2008, the Singapore Paintball Novice Series (SPNS). The idea of forming an association was mooted with aims of creating awareness about competitive paintball in Singapore and to promote tournament paintball with a structural system complete with paintball refereeing and coaching. Meetings with the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) for SPNS looked promising with sponsorship reimbursement under the Sports Partnership Promotion Program in 2008 and 2009. Envisioning a progressive path to address the restriction on how paintball was being played in Singapore, the PBAS implemented the Basic Tournament Orientation (BTO) course for beginners to learn more about competitive paintball. The BTO was designed to allow beginner players to play without a center dividing line which was then a restriction under the Singapore Police Force. This regulation was abolished in late 2009 under the recommendations provided by EK Paintball which operates Red Dynasty Paintball Park and the support of PBAS to the Pro Enterprise Panel (PEP), a body set up by the Singapore government to facilitate unnecessary “red tapes” for businesses in Singapore. Alongside the BTO, the Basic Marshal Orientation (BMO) was also devised to promote and develop paintball refereeing in Singapore. A PBAS website was (www.singaporepaintball.org) also set up to allow the public to learn more about the history of Singapore paintball and the safety aspects of the game. On April 2010, the first non-elected group of committee which founded the PBAS stepped down from their roles and handed over to an interim committee to honour the association’s mission and goals of promoting and developing Singapore paintball. Due to several governance factors such as the declaration of annual returns and changing of members’ names, the handover process was delayed and was known to be officially handed over in July 2010. Actually a year since the handing over, a PBAS forum (www.singaporepaintball.org/forum) was established to gather likeminded people to discuss paintball. In March 2011, a meeting with the SSC was established and scopes of new directions were presented to the SSC by the interim committee. It was reported that the meeting was fruitful with immediate goals such as passing a newly edited PBAS constitution to be further approved by the Registry of Society. The calling for the formation of clubs and associations to support the PBAS structure were also discussed. In April 2011, an open discussion was convened by the PBAS to discuss further development. During the meeting, the newly drafted constitution was passed by the interim committee. Topics pertaining to the development of Singapore paintball were also discussed with modest representation from the local teams and representatives from the industry who were keen to find out more about Singapore’s paintball future. New faces were present during the meeting which signal good movement for changes. Discussions revolved around membership recruiting, formation of clubs and associations, coaching and refereeing, local event support and scenario paintball. The meeting ended with little conclusion on plans to change or modify existing paintball restrictions and developmental of the sport in years to come. While it may seem like a new wave of revolution is ready to take charge and change the way paintball is being played in Singapore and to create awareness for the game, actions remained unfold. Perhaps only time will tell if this committee will bring about changes to Singapore paintball.

In the midst of this growth is the rise of businesses and interest which seek opportunities in this growing industry in Singapore. Bunkerz Clothing (www.bunkerz.com.sg) a local set up which focuses on transforming paintball from a sport into a lifestyle product is taking shape and looked ever promising and set to launch their products in October. Paintballers World (www.paintballersworld.com), Singapore’s first paintball proshop launched its online store becoming Asia’s first online web store. Paintballersbuyme (www.paintballersbuyme.com) a local online entity seize the opportunity by providing another source of online retail service. Tour companies are starting to offer short day paintball trip to Malaysia with a scrumptious seafood dinner to end a day of fun. Evidently, more local teams are also taking on roles to organize paintball games and doing their part to create paintball awareness in Malaysia for Singaporeans. A group of Milsim paintball enthusiasts from Singapore even took on the role to organize a full scale milsim scenario game known as Project Milsim (www.facebook.com/groups/milsim) with a twist of difference from the usual shooting game with gaining popularity amongst the scenario paintball community in Singapore and in Malaysia. However, the real question remains: “Are we there yet?”

The developments of paintball as a sport in Singapore remain with many uncertainties and have not seen any significant or major progress in the last one year. This is apparent from the number of new paintball teams that are being formed in Singapore. There are many factors attributing to this dawdling growth such as cost of participation, opportunities of awareness, lack of interest, etc, the main reason behind this sluggish growth is the non-unified efforts to promote the sport in the way a new sports should be developed. Paintball is still and widely regarded as a recreational game by in Singapore, many people are unaware or have little knowledge about the competitive side of the sport. Numerous efforts to reach out to government organizations and schools remain status quo. Few were impressed with the growth and potential of the sport and often regard the sport as an expensive and meaningless shooting game. These misconceptions about the sport are often glorified by the same people who love the sport and affirm by their words to promote the game in Singapore. The popularity of Singapore mainstream sports such as soccer, table tennis and sailing often outweighs the attention that is much needed for new sports to grow and to develop in Singapore. The non-unification or existence of an international paintball governing body did not help in this “paper world” where support and sanction by a higher body or organization is deemed necessary for any proposal to the governing authorities. The fact remains that if nobody is stepping out to improve the current restriction and misconception, paintball could remain stagnant in years to come. Unlike most sports, paintball has only about 30 years of history when it was first played as a “survival game”. Tournament paintball using inflatables as obstacles was barely played a decade ago. With different governing laws in different countries, paintball can be developed in many different ways with different firearms restrictions. While millions of people from across the world has tried and played paintball at least once during a birthday party, a stag party, a company organized event or gathering amongst friends to allow individual possession of paintball markers seem too much to ask for with the local authorities. If marker possession is illegal in Singapore, how can this regulation be changed or reviewed so that the sport is not hinder by restrictions that are mean for the “real” firearms? This question continue to remain a mystery in the last few years even though it has been pondered by many but never really got down to the end of the road where changes are made or reviewed. The realistic truth is that this regulation might never change given the current status and rate of sports development in Singapore.

With these regulations that restrict individual possession of a paintball marker (gun), many local teams are pursuing their paintball interest out of Singapore by training and competing regularly in Malaysia. This does not come as a surprise as paintball markers are easily accessible in Malaysia with many paintball pro shops sprouting across the country making it convenient for anyone to pick up the sport. Hobbyist can visit a paintball proshop and purchase a paintball marker depending on his level of interest (scenario or speedball). Many fail to take note that while individual possession of paintball markers are considered as illegal in Malaysia, the authorities seem to comprehend the “Bigger Picture” behind the sport where community building and cohesion amongst the paintball community cannot be easily duplicated with mainstream sports. Paintball events in Malaysia are often very well supported by their local governing bodies and even the Royal Family! If only things were that simple in Singapore!

There is no refutation that strict regulations are important to regulate anything new and especially so in Singapore where any action must be justified with a purpose. However, the authorities and the sport council have failed to put their attention on the evolvement of the sport and adopting this sport with an open mind. By open mind, we refer to the general acceptance of the paintball as a mainstream sport. Surely with general misconceptions about paintball being a dangerous sport and the constant association with words such as “painful” and “bruises” does take a toll on anyone who wants to have a go at the game. Paintball as per any other sports in the world does have an element of risk during participation. Feeling painful and seeing bruises are just part and parcel of the sport. Being a non-contact sport, paintball does have a huge advantage over physical contact sports such as boxing, taekwondo and wrestling where cases of injuries amongst athletes are comparatively higher. While paintball might not qualify as a sport with elite status such as sailing, bowling, soccer where millions of funding are allocated to ensure sporting success, paintball as a teambuilding sport can exist in the area of mass participation where people can participate regardless of different ages, gender, religion, language and culture can co-exist and enjoy the sport in a common ground. Till today, paintball remains to be one of the very few sports where people of different skill sets can get together to compete and have fun. A family of 3 generations can enjoy a day of paintball together and foster relationship much to what the sports council are looking for. Paintball at its current state is unable to produce a world champion for the country but it does play a role in getting a community together. Peculiarly unique to the sport of paintball is the camaraderie and friendship out of the sport that you cannot duplicate in any other sports. As it is, recreational paintball still remain as a popular teambuilding game for corporate organizations looking for a little bit of fun out of their office.

Despite the fact that several local paintball teams are beginning to make a mark in international paintball events, little has been done to ensure sustainability of the game in Singapore. Limited playing fields and strict possession laws continue to be a stumbling block for this sport to grow in Singapore. Presently, majority of awareness and educational initiatives are spearheaded by the Singapore Paintball Series, a paintball event company that has been a pillar of support in the development of the sport in Singapore. Initiatives such as refereeing and coaching certification are initiated to cater to the development of the sport amongst enthusiasts. The company’s continuous effort in creating diversity for the sport amongst youth participants was complimented with free coaching lessons to support the formation of paintball as a CCA in tertiary institutions. One such institution which took on this opportunity to introduce new sports into its long list of school activities is Singapore Polytechnic where its students won accolades for their recent performances in an overseas tournament. However, not all efforts are rewarded with success stories as many cited the lack of funding, non-recognition as a National Sports Association (NSA) sport and no participation opportunity as reasons to reject applications. The same reasons have since surfaced when new CCA applications are submitted yearly by students (mostly year 1 students) who are introduced to the sport. The chicken or the egg causality dilemma? You decide...

Similar to the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Singapore Paintball Series is a commercial sport event which leverage on the support of sponsorship and participation. A very big part of the league’s success is attributed to the ongoing development to encourage and introduce new paintball players into the sport with progressive development of skill sets. As a commercial company promoting a new sport in Singapore, the Singapore Paintball Series with its stakeholders such as athletes, paintball field operators, paintball pro shops, clubs and associations need to understand the commercial viability of these developments. Being commercially viable, companies involving in these developments will have a stake to play in order to witness the success of them taking the risks to grow the sport. With a trend of paintball enthusiasts bringing their presence overseas, it will be soon before local development become stagnant due to the lessen participation.

In a city with limited natural resources, land spaces in Singapore are scarce and highly valuable. The usage of state land under the land development blueprint is well envisioned with high commercial returns on property value. As a developed country with respectable Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and inflation growth, the economy of Singapore continues to remain strong as compared to many regional countries. Where paintball is concerned, the cost of participating regularly in this newly formed sport will unsurprisingly be higher as compared to playing the same sport in regional countries. Business operators with existing overheads and high rental cost will need to maintain a good balance between the developments of the sport versus the high cost of running organizing a tournament in Singapore. With proper governance and support from the governing authorities, more land spaces can be identified and be utilised to cater to the growing need of developing paintball as a sport in Singapore where rental are marginal to support the growth of the sport. But is this even possible?

Vision 2030, an initiative by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports encourages people from all sectors to provide their feedback and suggestions on how sports can be further developed for the future. This platform is open for anyone and everyone to suggest their views about Sporting Singapore. Many potential sports which often went unnoticed under the “Elite” status now have an opportunity to voice their opinion about how their respective sport can be developed and the obstacles they faced when promoting their favourite sport. Paintball sport is definitely one of the many sports which will be extensively mentioned in this movement and very well supported by the local paintball community. Surely, we can remind one another and highlight our grievances about our current horrific state of participation and the difficulties that we faced without the adequate infrastructure and playing equipment. But if we further examine this and walk another step to dwell on the possible recommendations that are much needed to improve the sport, wouldn’t we be asking ourselves what do we really need to make these changes and provide solutions for review instead of highlighting the obvious? Questions such as: “What do we really want?”, “What do we need from the governing agencies to help us promote this sport in Singapore?”, “What do we really need in order for us to compete like how it is done everywhere in the world?” What we want is to suggest recommendations for the current state of paintball sports in Singapore and move towards executing these suggestions. Annoyance and frustrations about the liberalism of the sport were voiced more than 12 years ago when the paintball game was first introduced. These are nothing new to local paintball enthusiasts. The question remains... what do we really want?

Many can mourn about cost, infrastructure and regulation for the longest time but do nothing... or they can start collating grievances into action and work around irregularities by recommending changes to authorizing agencies. If liberalisation in paintball ownership in Singapore can be approved overnight, if government state land available for paintball, if paintball is recognized as a mainstream sport in Singapore, if we are able to lower the age of participation, the question remains, are we ready to effect these changes? Do we have a common voice to bring us all together? A party which is free from biasness and the ability to envision the growth of paintball in Singapore perhaps... a body to unify all paintball operators in Singapore and to path the growth for Singapore paintball? If only things were that easy.

There is no quick solution to this problem but progressive steps can be taken to resolve this chicken and egg story.

Build a Vision: Set a vision for paintball to grow in Singapore. The outlook for paintball at this stage has lots of potential for growth. Ask yourself, what do you hope to see for Singapore paintball in years to come? Do you hope to see a regular community participating in the sport? Do you hope to see the relief of marker ownership restriction in Singapore? Do you hope to see several divisional categories of competition? Devise a blue print for the sport and work towards progressive implementation.

Change in Perspective: For many years since intervention, paintball has been associated with words such as “dangerous”, “painful”, “bruises”, etc, while these words are factual to some extent, many other words such as “fun”, “stimulating” and “challenging” can be used to describe the sport. When people are educated and aware about the positive aspects of paintball, mindset and perspectives will changed with more becoming less fearful of the sport. When more people play the game, this sport will naturally be more receptive, economies of scale can then be fulfilled with a larger playing population thus creating opportunities for business potential. Only with an open mind that does not withhold to beliefs and assumptions then are we able to channel implementation for changes.

Progressive Learning: Providing a competitive platform for enthusiasts to learn and to compete. Introduce a variety of skill sets for enthusiasts to improve in their game thus maintaining the motivation to learn, to compete and to win. Avenue of coaching and guidance must be available for players to learn about competitive paintball. Tournaments must be organized to validate skills that have been learnt so as to accomplish sense of achievement from competing. Clinics and workshops will provide a bridge for introduction to rookies to learn and have some fun in a non-competitive environment.

Partnership and Collaboration: Establish a healthy network for collaboration with experience bodies through knowledge sharing and creation of new ideas. Institute shared vision and goals by way of observation from reputable associations. Formulate mutual benefits and support through representation, publicity and marketing. Unification of paintball bodies and association of industries, businesses and agencies can then be attained.

So instead of waiting for miracles to happen overnight and wait for perception to change, Singapore paintball can both take baby steps with hopes of a makeover and embrace the current limitation or we can procrastinate, grumble and grieve about our short comings.

The writer, Ben Seow is from Singapore and an ardent fan of competitive paintball. Ben is a founding member of Singapore’s first competitive paintball team, Red Sevens which was established in 2006. From 2007 to 2009, Ben was an office bearer of the Paintball Association (Singapore). During his stint with PBAS, Ben established the Singapore Paintball Novice Series (SPNS) which is Singapore’s first competitive paintball tournament. The SPNS is now renamed as the Singapore Paintball Series (SPS) which Ben is the currently appointed as the SPS Tournament Promoter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Red Sevens (Singapore) crowned MPOC Division 2 Overall Champion!

Red Sevens presenting the win to Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Major General (NS) Chan Chun Sing

Photo by www.residentevilchef.com

The ear to ear grins, the hugs, the cheers, the screams of joy. We had at last become champions! The year was 2010, and we had won the PALS Thailand for Division 2. It was an amazing feeling to have finally accomplished something that we had been dreaming of since 2007 when the Red Sevens paintball team was formed.

Not everyone was happy for us though, with some people saying that we were “lucky” to have overcome some of the strongest Division 2 teams from Malaysia and Thailand. Coincidentally, the 2nd leg of MPOC was only a week or two after Thailand and would be the perfect place to prove to our skeptics that our win wasn’t just a fluke. Needless to say, we replicated our performance and managed to win Leg 2 of the MPOC, but were unsuccessful at getting another first for the remaining three legs (although we did get podiums for all three). It was quite disconcerting in the least, and we were left at the end of the season wondering when we were going to be champions again.

Towards the end of 2010 it was suggested by the organizers of the MPOC that we should perhaps participate in Division 1 for the 2011 season. This may have even been the case (and I presume that I would not be writing this if it was), if we didn’t lose around half of our regular roster to work and university. With our line-up in disarray it wasn’t feasible for us to move up against seasoned Division 1 teams with any hopes of winning. And so the beginning of the MPOC 2011 season was the “gelling” period for the new and remaining members of the Red Sevens.

During the first three legs of the MPOC 2011, we earned three podiums and were extremely close to winning Leg 3, but were outplayed in the third and deciding point of the finals by Killer Beez.

We went home with the bitter taste of defeat, mulling over what could have been, vowing that we would redeem ourselves in the weeks to come and defend our PALS Thailand Division 2 title.

Three weeks later, we were back in Thailand after almost a year for the PALS. Being the PALS Thailand 2010 Division 2 winners, the pressure was on us to demonstrate that we were worthy champions. We didn’t disappoint, winning all but one of our preliminaries. It was clear that the team was resolute in defending the title and it looked good for us going into the top eight.

Sunday. The most important day to every tournament paintballer. One would think that on the momentum of the previous day that we would breeze through. This wasn’t the case and we were knocked out, finishing a miserable fifth. In twelve months, we had gone from a championship winning team to non-qualifiers. The feeling that PALS Thailand was OUR tournament had all but dissipated from my mind, if not all of ours. Dejection is the best word to describe the mood that lingered within the team and again we went back trophy-less.

If you thought that was rock bottom for the team, it wasn’t. We placed fifth a week later at Leg 4 of the MPOC. Now for those of you that don’t remember, it was just a year ago that we’d placed first twice in a row at the same tournaments. Now we’d replaced that feat a year later with two fifths.

With no tournaments until the final leg of the MPOC in Putrajaya, we had to suck it up and lick our wounds. Two weeks prior to Leg 5, we held mandatory trainings at the field. We scrimmaged as much as possible against ourselves (Red Sevens and Red Sevens 2) as well as against other teams that were there, trying to get as much practice in as possible.

Fast forward to Putrajaya, 23rd July. Saturday. We knew we had let ourselves down the previous couple of tournaments and it was vitally important for our sanity that we didn’t repeat Thailand or Leg 4. This tournament was especially important for us because we were contending with Urban X and CMX for the MPOC 2011Overall Champions (http://tinyurl.com/3quvlsq-results tabulated as of Leg 4). If we placed higher than Urban X by at least two places, and CMX by at least four, we would be the crowned overall champions for 2011 as our “Matches Won” and “Total Points” would outdo Urban X and CMX respectively.

We went into our preliminary games with the hunger and thirst for revenge. It was almost as if we held the other teams accountable for our poor performances the last couple of tournaments and decided now would be a better time than ever to make a final stand (see King Leonidas in action: http://tinyurl.com/23hcfb). By the end of our preliminary games, we were 6 – 0, and ranked first. This meant that we were to play the eighth team to qualify. This wasn’t necessarily good news for us as we had a string of tournaments where we’d been knocked out by teams ranked lower. And so we went into the quarter-finals against Rockeeters.

Our quarter-finals got off to a rocky start and we went down one point. I’m sure at the back of all our minds was the thought, “oh… not again”. However, sticking to our game plan that had worked for us the whole preliminaries, we composed ourselves and overcame the Rockeeteers 3 – 2 to make it into the semi-finals.

Note that even with the pressure of trying to win our games, there was the added pressure of how Urban X was doing. CMX were already knocked out, so the ”three-horse race”, became two. It was nerve wrecking watching Urban X play and make it into the semi-finals as if they beat KFK Halloween they would be crowned overall champions.

In our semi-finals we played against Ultimate Speed whom we had a lot of respect for as we had crewed in each other’s pits during the preliminaries. Before playing them, we had been throwing new game plans around as they probably knew how we were going to play. In the end, we decided that we would stick to our “traditional” game-style that had been working for us. This proved to be the case and we dispatched of Ultimate Speed 2 – 0.

However, the threat of Urban X still loomed. If they placed fourth, we would win the Overall Championship no matter what, but if they came third, we would be forced to win the leg in order to win the Overall Championship. Guess what? They came third.

Again the pressure was on us. The way we ended our MPOC season was dependent on how we performed in this final match. This time round we decided to mix things up a little and instead of our “traditional” game plan, we went for a more aggressive play-style by planning to send our snakes straight to the 50’s and 60’s when they managed to get in.

The first point got off to a shaky start after our right-side snake got shot out. However, the remaining players were unwavering in their desire for the gold and won the point. The second game we decided to revert to our “traditional” style, mixed with a bit of aggressive game plan. Initially the game went by pretty slow but after the snakes made it to the 60’s, the game was broken. Red Sevens win 2 – 0.

There was silence, literal silence. No one was cheering and no one clapped. We didn’t either until we all got back into our pits, hugging and hi-fiving before we had a final team speech and bellow “Reds!” Pure joy was on everyone’s face, with grins from ear to ear. This was compounded by the fact that not only had we won Leg 5 of the MPOC, we were also most likely going to be overall champions for the series, a first for a non-Malaysian team. After composing ourselves we then went over to thank KFK Halloween for the game, and the refs for their season’s efforts.

After the prize-giving for the winners of the final leg of the MPOC, it was now time for the overall winners of the series to be announced. Grammaton Clerics won Division 3. Now it was for Division 2. We held our breaths, even the non-religious folk prayed (I sure did), before “Red Sevens” was announced. We were ecstatic, it was truly an amazing moment for all of us to win the double.

To conclude this, the Red Sevens family would like to thank all friends, supporters, wives and girlfriends, sponsors and each other for the wonderful support since 2007. To all past and present Red Sevens, this victory is for you! We are still the first Singapore team to win a PALS Champions medal and a MPOC Overall Series Champion medal...

Words by Ivan Rickard Liow, LiquidSnake