Thursday, September 29, 2011

Singapore's biggest paintball tournament - Singapore Paintball Series


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?


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) ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 (, Singapore’s first paintball proshop launched its online store becoming Asia’s first online web store. Paintballersbuyme ( 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 ( 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.