This is in regards to the Article on Paintball by Soh Kai Wee in the Straits Times on last Monday the 23rd.
Soh Kai Wee paints a rather childish image of the game. Many articles written by non players like him - just pump the cliches of references to war, the army and playing soldier boys etc. Kai Wee's reference to cowboys and Indians was new and rather naive.
Now - I have had my fair share of the press writing to me about articles on paintball. And sadly most dont get what speedball is all about- they just jump on the 'playing soldier boys and fight in the war'angle. Most of the articles totally miss the point of speedball as a sport.
I have rewritten an article on paintball for Crossroads or xcross roads magazine because the girl ripped off the TAG website and used it for her opening. She went off the deep end with references to the army, ambush and "the crack of paintballs flying overhead". All her facts were skewered towards the soldier boys / war angle.
Back to the ST article- So Kai Wee also mentions 2 other paintball venues in Singapore which one can play as a sport. Obviously he didn't do any research because if he did so - he would find out that speedball is not played at TAG Orchid nor at Crossfire. There are no teams and competition at these two places neither do they have air bunkers.
In the side bar he mentions that paintball is "an adversarial game, like a modern-day version of cowboys and Indians" - this is the first time ever I come across someone associating it with Cowboys and Indians. I haven't seen speedball played on horseback nor have it ever seen any wigwams on the field.
And his lack of research again shows up in the last point "The duration of a game depends on the number of players and can last from five minutes to over an hour."
If he was talking about speedball- an hour is a bit rich.
"Players are eliminated if they, or any part of their equipment, are hit by paintballs." - hit and have paint on them. I'm sure somebody told him that you're only out if you get paint on you. Otherwise a hit with no ball break is just a 'bounce' - anyone and every baller knows that.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that he know "nuts" about speedball- but he could have done a bit more research and not write the piece like a school essay and make speedball look like a kids game of cowboys and indians.
In true Singapore (only good things happen here- no bad things) press form- he threw in a (positive) quote of the President of the Paintball Association and some Director from the Sports Council.
I think its ironic that his approach to the article is 'cowboy and indian'.