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Saint 2.0






Sunday, June 29, 2008
OUTWIT, outsprint, outshoot. | 1:08 PM

June 23, 2008
PAINTBALL
Paintball fast catching on
By Soh Kai Wee



PAINT WAR: A player running for cover while his teammates provide fire support duriing a contest in the Singapore Paintball Novice Series at Bottle Tree park in Yishun. -- ST PHOTO: LIM WUI LIANG

What is paintball?

Paintball is played between two teams, usually with three, five or seven players on each side.

It is an adversarial game, like a modern-day version of cowboys and Indians - complete with 'guns' that shoot balls filled with water-soluble paint.

The objective is to capture the opposing team's flag.

Players are eliminated if they, or any part of their equipment, are hit by paintballs.

The duration of a game depends on the number of players and can last from five minutes to over an hour.

OUTWIT, outsprint, outshoot.

That would probably be the motto for a triumphant Marcus Pitobabao and his teammates from PSG Warfreakz.

They captured the second segment of the three-leg Singapore Paintball Novice Series by beating Red Shadows yesterday.

Pitobabao is one of the growing number of paintball enthusiasts in the country.

'The number of people playing the sport has increased significantly in the past year,' said Jane Koh, president of the Paintball Association of Singapore, which was formed last June.

She estimates the number of recreational paintball players to be 'in the thousands', while the number of competitive teams has doubled in the past three months.

What is paintball?
Paintball is played between two teams, usually with three, five or seven players on each side.


It is an adversarial game, like a modern-day version of cowboys and Indians - complete with 'guns' that shoot balls filled with water-soluble paint.
... more
'We had seven teams in the first leg, held in March,' she added. 'This leg attracted 15 teams and more than 250 people attended this event.'

There is even a national team, the Red Sevens, formed in 2006.

The growth can be partly attributed to the rise in the number of facilities for the sport.

Previously, players had to travel to Bintan or Malaysia.

Now, they have three grounds to choose from - Crossfire Paintball at Singapore Discovery Centre, TAG Paintball at Orchid Country Club and Red Dynasty Paintball Field at Bottle Tree Park in Yishun.

It was the action at Yishun that led Raffles Junior College student Lum Hui to don 'battle fatigues' of jersey, pants and mask.

'I saw people playing on the field as I passed overhead on the MRT,' said the 16-year-old. 'It looked very exciting, so I looked them up on the Internet, and later set up a team with other members from the weplaypaintball.com forum.'

The tournament's Most Valuable Player, Thomas Lee, a 23-year-old tertiary student, said: 'The game's fast pace forces you to make quick decisions and I get a rush when I outwit my opponents.'

Paintball's growth as a recreational activity has been welcomed by the Singapore Sports Council, which sponsored yesterday's tournament.

'Paintball has grown in popularity among the youth and young working adults here,' Dr Bervyn Lee, the SSC's director, sports culture, sports marketing group, said.

'Based on its potential growth, the sport would add to the vibrancy of the sports scene in Singapore.

'This is in line with the Let's Play movement that was recently initiated to ... encourage everyone in Singapore to be involved in sports, in all ways, at all times, simply because they enjoy it.'

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