Friday, 21 July 2017

Why MSSA is so able to adapt to new circumstances.

The member club is central to how MSSA is administrated.
Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA)'s system of affiliation is almost unique in South Africa.

Instead of having clubs affiliated to Regional Associations which are then having the Regional associations affiliated to Provincial associations, and then having the Provincial associations affiliated to the National Federation, MSSA has a far more direct structure.

MSSA's structure has the member  club directly affiliated to the National Federation.

The advantages in doing it this way are obvious, and are:

  1. It allows the member  clubs greater say, and
  2. It allows a greater degree of upward mobility to those who want to  take up a position as an office-bearer, and
  3. It allows the continual introduction of fresh and new ideas.
Thus instead of spending years in the trenches, as one would in another sporting code, Registered Players can quickly move up the ranks to make their voices heard.

However, it should be borne in mind that just because you have a voice that everything that you propose will become the rule.

All decisions are voted upon, and all decisions are made by majority vote.

There is not a single committee member that has his/her own way. Every office-bearer has had ideas shot down in flames.

However, at the end of the day the committee is unified, and speaks with one voice.

Growth is dependent on introspection.

The growth of esports, like any other sport, requires the sport to  adapt from year-to-year in order to accommodate changes.

This we have seen in traditional sports like cricket where the faster paced T20 series  has become more popular than the 5-day test matches. It does not mean that the 5-day test matches have been replaced, all it means that there are now other alternatives.

So it is with rugby. 'Currie Cup' was once hailed as the highest standard of play for the South African provincial franchises. However, the dominance of 'Currie Cup' has, in my opinion, largely been replaced by 'Super Rugby'. In my mind, the thrill  of seeing South African franchises take on the Australians and New Zealanders eclipses the 'Currie Cup'.

And so it is with esports.

There are various ways of promoting esports, some very different to each other.

The problem is that when a group of gamers fail to understand that various techniques should be used, growth and development is nigh on impossible amongst such group.

The largest problem that South  African esports has, just  like any other sporting code, is that it is easy to develop a 'bif-fish-in-a-small-pond' mentality. As such a team that does well in South African  events may continually fail to do well in international events as on  an international level it will be a 'minnow'.

So how is this trend reversed?

For a start the players who wish to compete on an international level have to shelve  there personal likes and  dislikes and adopt a professional attitude on all levels.

By playing  in every possible local competition, the team would thus ready itself by qualifying for more international events. By only playing in some, and excluding others, the team does no justice to itself and its gamers.

The key is to play in as many international events as possible.

However, once players in South Africa improve sufficiently, South African gaming will have a new problem - as like all other sports - in that the top players will leave South Africa to play in more lucrative markets.

The fact that so few South Africans get placed in foreign professional teams is the true acid test of the current standard of South African gaming.

It is one of Mind Sports South Africa's (MSSA) development programmes to nurture gamers to become good enough so that they can follow a career in esports overseas.

And is that  not what every esports athlete wants?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

I-Village Schools Digital Skills Workshop.

I-Village will be hosting a digital skills workshop, at Emadwaneli Secondary School, on the 26th of July 2017.

The objective of the workshop is raise awareness on the digital career opportunities , understanding that more jobs today requires a level of adequate understanding of digital skills and further to ensure that our youth participate in the digital economy. The workshop will be conducted in collaboration with Emadwaneli Secondary School, The National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (Nemisa), Mind Sport South Africa (MSSA) and Acer South Africa..
At I-Village we are committed to bring about digital opportunities to the youth, most importantly in the townships and rural areas and with the key objective that our youth not only become consumers, but active participants to the 4th Industrial Revolution, says. Mr Mpho Tladi - Business Development Manager at I-Village.
The workshop will be showcasing digital career opportunities in Creative New Media Industries, Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC): Robotics, Coding and Electronic Sports (Esports).
About Us:
Innovation Village herein known as “I-Village” is a non-profit organisation that provides digital skills
training to the students, entrepreneurs and unemployed youth in townships and rural areas. The IVillage is based in Soweto, Dube, Kronen Centre.

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) never takes selection for a national team lightly.

I have written much on players receiving Protea Colours over the years.

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) never takes selection for a national team lightly.

Since being selected to officially represent South Africa for esports is the same as being represented by any other South African National Federation for any other sport, team selection must have great meaning to the esports players. The award of National Team status for esports also leads to comparisons from other sports as it is the highest level in esports, just as much as the Springboks are the highest level in rugby.

The selection process always has a dilemma as it is known that when choosing a team for international duty, concepts such as 'potential' does not have any meaning. Also, with South Africa being so far away from mainstream events, it is always difficult to relate how players who have performed well  at regional, provincial, and national championships will perform at a international level.

One only has  to remember the 2017 WESG earlier this year where South Africa's self-proclaimed 'best' team was slaughtered in both CS: GO and DotA 2.

That is why, with MSSA there is no automatic selection to the team.

Every player standing for selection has to reprove him/herself.

International competition is tough. Much tougher than  anything that you will encounter in South Africa, and that is part of the problem.

In my opinion a number of events, with their large cash prizes, do nothing to develop strength or depth. Such events seem to only promote the same old favoured few with no real eye to developing real gaming strength for the future. Without a long-term view, South African gaming will never improve and South African teams shall, in my opinion, remain the whipping boys of the international community.

I am too reminded of when MSSA brought out SK Gaming's CS:GO and DotA 2 teams in 2008.

MSSA arranged, as a courtesy, a 'friendly' between SK Gaming's CounterStrike: GO team against a South African club team. The match  was so one-sided, it was horrible. Since it was BO3, SK Gaming rather than thrash the local team again, just gave them the third game.

Such act lead to the local team claiming how they held off SK Gaming instead of taking a long hard look at themselves. People always tend to believe their own propaganda.

But I ramble.

In conclusion, for South Africa to  do well overseas, all teams must buy-in to a  long-term development programme and  not look to quick gratification. The average standard of play must be improved upon if players expect to improve the highest level of play.

While there are the exceptional cases of individuals who may achieve greatness in spite  of their surroundings, generally speaking, successful athletes are produced in successful environments which  have successful coaches, expert administrators, and efficient administration.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Match fixing.


A while back I heard of a case where a team stated that they lost because they were just having fun. On pushing the point, because no one really thinks that losing is fun, one player stated that the team lost on purpose in order to allow that team to advance and to keep another team in a lower league.


Boy, do I have a problem with such. Thank heavens that it did not happen at a Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) championship as the MSSA Swiss System is quite unforgiving,  and any such type of 'shenanigans' would compromise the team doing it more than advantage the weaker team receiving the benefit.

Also MSSA would not tolerate any such 'match-fixing'.

But is it really match-fixing?

Match fixing is defined as: "(in sport) the action or practice of dishonestly determining the outcome of a match before it is played."

In my opinion there is no doubt that the team that played badly on purpose dishonestly determined the outcome.

The team that unfairly won, progressed to a higher league - which would have skewed results of the higher league. The team that was denied the elevation to a higher league, through no fault of their own, was compromised, and had to stay in the lower league for yet another season.

Thus the team that 'was just having fun' materially affected the outcome.

In terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act,  No. 12 of 2004 (2003) I believe that such actions actually are of a criminal nature as the deed seems to be of a corrupt nature.

Section 15 (b) of such Act states:

"gives  or  agrees  or offers to give to any other person any gratification whether for the benefit of that other person or  for  the benefit of another person- 
      (i)    in return for- 
                     (aa)    engaging in any act which constitutes a threat to or undermines the integrity of                                      any sporting event, including, in any way. influencing the run of play or the                                          outcome of a sporting event;  or"

The main question arises, was there any gratification. 

Gratification is defined in the Act as:

gratification”, includes-

(a) money, whether in cash  or  otherwise;
(b) any donation, gift, any fee, reward,  valuables, security,  property or interest  in  property of any           description,  whether  movable or immovable, or any other similar advantage;
(c) the avoidance of a loss, liability,  penalty,  forfeiture.  punishment or other disadvantage;
(d) any office, status, honour, employment, contract of employment or services, any agreement to            give  employment or render  services in any capacity  and  residential or holiday  accommodation: (e) any  payment.  release,  discharge or liquidation of any loan,  obligation or other liability. whether      in whole or in part;
(f) any forbearance to demand any money or money‘s worth or valuable thing:
(g) any other service or favour or advantage of any description.  including protection from any                  penalty or disability  incurred or apprehended  or from any action or proceedings of a disciplinary.      civil or criminal nature. whether or not already  instituted, and includes the exercise or the                    forbearance  from the exercise of any right or any official power or duty:
(h) any right or privilege;
(i) any real or pretended  aid, vote, consent. influence or abstention from voting: or
(j) any valuable consideration or benefit of any kind, including any discount. commission, rebate,           bonus. deduction or percentage;

If there was any gratification, then the act of purposefully losing was of a corrupt nature, and the team, the organisers, and the sponsors would have a very real course of remedial action.


Both the South African Underwater Hockey Ladies’ Teams have booked themselves favourable games in the playoff stages of the World Championships in Hobart Australia.  The round robin stages concluded today and both the U/19 and U/23 Ladies just lost against New Zealand an lie 2nd in their divisions.

The U/18 and U23 Men are still with a chance, both lying 5th, They face tough playoffs against the teams above them, but with some luck and a lot of guts they can still make it to the podium.

For the U/19 Ladies this means an automatic semi final with a rest day tomorrow as teams 3 to 7 battle it out for places in the semi finals. The U/23 Ladies play 7th placed Argentina in the playoffs. 

They have beat Argentina comfortably and should be able to do so again to proceed to the semis against either Australia (whom they beat 3-0 today) and Columbia. Columbia’s U/23 Ladies are the current World Champions from Spain in 2015. Either team will make for a tough semi final for the SA Ladies.

Both these teams are likely to face New Zealand in their respective finals. New Zealand has a very strong schools / junior underwater league and they have been consistently strong since the inception of the junior categories at the world championships. The numbers of players involved and resources and time allocated to underwater hockey make them a powerhouse in junior underwater hockey.

The SA U/19 Ladies are the current World Champions after beating the New Zealand ladies in Spain in 2015. This was the first time the New Zealand U/19 ladies lost any game (SA beat them in the round robin and the finals). The current SA team contain 7 members of this gold medal team including Captain Calista Pake and Helen Van Rhyn both who are both at their 3rd World Championships.

The U/23 Ladies’ team contain the remaining 5 members from the 2015 U/19 Gold Medal Team. This includes the captain Eleanor De Kock and Moya Moorcroft, both playing in their 4th junior world championship. Eleanor and Zandrѐ Coetzee where also members of the SA Elite Ladies Team that won the senior World Championships in Stellenbosch in 2016. They have worked very hard to make it a unique triple with gold in 3 divisions.

Zandrѐ was the top goal scorer in the U/23 ladies division in all the round robin games (9 goals), but unfortunately she was passed by an New Zealand lady when New Zealand put up a 10 – 0 score against Argentina in the final round robin game, She now lies second. Her team mates Eleanor and Jordynne follow closely in 3rd and 4th with 7 goals each.

The SA U/23 Ladies came 5th in 2011, last in 2013 (with only 6 players) and did not have a team in 2015, so the U/23 ladies have worked hard for at least a fist podium position for them in 2017 in Hobart.

As mentioned, the men have had a tougher competition, but they are still in high spirits and are going to give it their all to upset the very strong teams above them in the log so that they can proceed to the semi finals and even finals.

The playoffs start tomorrow (Thursday) with the semi finals on Friday and Finals on Saturday. We wish ALL our teams all the best – may your hard work pay off!

The games are live streamed at (as well as available afterwards)

De Wet Coetzee (Parent)


Roel Boomstra (Netherlands), 2016 World Champion (Men) 100.
The organization of the World Championship 2015 has been allotted by FMJD to the Estonian Draughts Federation (EDF) and will take place from October 1st , till October 15th in Tallinn.

84 players are to be nominated according to the following:

  • [3] World Champion, Challenger and next in order of WC 2015. 
  • [1] World Champion Juniors 2016 
  • [6] World Cup 2016 
  • [1] Intercontinental Cup 2016 
  • [4] Africa 
  • [3] America 
  • [3] Asia 
  • [6] Europe
  • [1] Sponsor place 
  • [1] Organiser place 
  • [1] FMJD President’s Nomination 
  • [20] Direct place for top 20 (in order of rating) countries with regular NC 
  • [4] Nomination by Organising Federation 
  • [30] 1 place for each FMJD member not represented by a country holding a regular NC, then in order of World Cup 2016. 
The Tournament venue and venue for the Technical meeting is Hotel Euroopa, Paadi, Tallinn.

The national federations presenting players (or the players themselves) must pay the competitions fee before end of August 2017. If the fee is not recorded on FMJD bank account, player will be replaced by reserve player without additional reminder.

The tournament will be supervised by main referee fr Andriy Shcherbatyuk (Ukraine).

Best 4 players from each group are promoted to the final. FMJD – WC 2017 and the FMJD Swiss system on Solkoff will be used with 9 rounds with the use of Solkoff truncated instead of Solkoff
median for players with equal scores.

Use of clocks and recording games is compulsory during the whole game. The games will be played in the official FMJD time rate of the Fischer system with 1 hour and 20 minutes for the game plus 1 minute per move. Conforming to the FMJD regulations players are not allowed to agree on a draw before they both made 40 moves. If they do so nevertheless, the referee is obliged to decide on a 0-0 result.

it should be noted that competition fee is 200€ per player which the national federations have to pay.

Prize money – total amount is € 20,000 and will be divided as follows:

  • 1st place 5,500 € 
  • 2nd place 3,500 € 
  • 3rd place 2,500 € 
  • 4th place 1,700 € 
  • 5th place 1,200 € 
  • 6th place 1,000 € 
  • 7th place 900 € 
  • 8th place 900 € 
  • 9th place 800 € 
  • 10th place 800 € 
  • 11th place 600 € 
  • 12th place 600 € (net of any tax) 
For additional information players must please contact their National Federation.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Gauteng Sport Awards

The Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko has started the 2017 nominations process for the Gauteng Sport Awards.

For a nomination to be considered the following needs to be considered:
  • A nominee must be a Gauteng resident/citizen, including a migrant
  • The period to be considered is from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017
  • Nominees (athletes, coaches and technical officials) must be a registered member of a Gauteng sporting organization for the specified time of consideration
  • Nominations will only be accepted on the official nomination forms.
  • Nominations forms to be accompanied by supporting documentation (Profiles, Testimonial, Photos, etc.)
  • Closing date for nominations submissions is 8th August 2017 @ 16h00, no late nominations will be accepted.

The following categories will be considered for the 2017 awards: 
  1. Sportsman of the Year 
  2. Sportswoman of the Year 
  3. Sport Team of the Year 
  4. Disabled Sportswoman of the Year 
  5. Disabled Sportsman of the Year 
  6. Disabled Sports Team of the Year 
  7. Most promising athlete of the year 
  8. School sport athlete of the year : New Category 
  9. Most promising team of the year 
  10. Community based sport and recreation programme of the year: New Category 
  11. Coach of the Year 
  12. Technical Official of Year 
  13. Administrator of the Year 
  14. Sport Fan of the year 
  15. Sport Journalist of the year (This includes print media, radio and television) 
  16. Sport Programme of the year 
  17. Community Media of the year (print, radio and television) New Category 
  18. Lifetime Achievement award 
  19. Sport Personality of the Year

All these activities will culminate into the awards ceremony on Sunday 01 October 2017, and will showcase the best names in sport, past and present joined by celebrities and personalities from entertainment, fashion, business and politics. This promises to be an evening to be remembered. 
The event will broadcast on TV.

It's that time of the year - already!

Every year in the month of August, Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) releases its draft Calendar of Events for the next year.

The draft Calendar of Events takes into account the events, and changes thereto, as requested by the member clubs.

The draft calendar is then worked  upon by the Management Board and the member  clubs in order to have a final document that is presented to the membership att the Annual General Meeting in December of each year.

It is at such Annual General Meeting that the Calendar of Events is finally approved.

Thus, it is that time off the year when all member clubs are invited to have their say.

The format of the Calendar of Events is as follows:

2017 Calendar of events

CS:GO, DotA, FIFA, LOL, SC, TTT II, VainGlory
Ancients, Checkers, FIFA ‘17, Morabaraba
Old Edwardian Society, 11 Ninth Ave., Lower Houghton
25 & 26 FEBRUARY
Board games, Card games, eSports, wargames
Jeppe High for Boys, Cnr Roberts Avenue & Good Hope Street, Kensington, Johannesburg
25 & 26 MARCH
Board games, Card games, eSports, wargames
Curro Klerksdorp,
22 Elm St, Klerksdorp
Dota 2,
CounterStrike GO,
League of Legends,
Street Fighter V
29 & 30 APRIL
Free State Provincial School Championships
Board and Figure games
JCS Private Centre
2 Tafelberg Street Vaalpark
29 & 30 APRIL
Gauteng Provincial School Championships
Board and Figure games
Old Edwardian Society, 11 Ninth Avenue, Lower Houghton, Johannesburg
29 & 30 APRIL
Provincial School Championships for Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, Mpumulanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape
Board and Figure games
Mpumulanga - HTS Witbank
6 & 7 MAY
National Team Trials
Morabaraba and Wargames
HTS Witbank, Beyers Road, Witbank
19 & 20 MAY
CounterStrike: GO, DotA 2, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Overwatch
100 Jones Street,
Entrance in Betz Street,
27 & 28 MAY
Board games, Card games, eSports, wargames
HTS Witbank, Beyers Road, Witbank
27 MAY
HTS Witbank, Beyers Road, Witbank
3 & 4 JUNE
CounterStrike: GO, DotA 2, FIFA ‘17, HearthStone, League of Legends, PES 2017, StarCraft II, Tekken 7, 
Roedean School, Johannesburg
24 & 25 JUNE
Fakkel School, 20 Jan Smuts Ave., Sasolburg
Checkers, Morabaraba,
Street Fighter V, MortalKombat X, Tekken and FIFA’17
JCS Private Centre
2 Tafelberg Street Vaalpark
Week ending
CounterStrike: GO, DotA 2, FIFA ‘17, HearthStone, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Tekken Tag Tournament II, VainGlory
29 & 30 JULY
Board, Figure and eSports
Oakhill School, Uitsig Street, Heuwelkruin, Knysna 6571
5 & 6 AUGUST
23rd KWAZULU NATAL Championships
Maritzburg College
51 College Road, Pietermaritzburg
StarCraft II, Hearthstone
eSports (PC)
26 & 27 AUGUST
22nd WESTERN CAPE Championships
Oakhill School, Uitsig Street, Heuwelkruin, Knysna 6571
Indigenous Games
To be determined by SRSA
Week ending
CounterStrike: GO, DotA 2, FIFA ‘17, HearthStone, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Tekken Tag Tournament II, VainGlory
Sedibeng Regional Championships
FIFA ‘17, Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat X, TEKKEN TAG II, StarCraft II, Checkers, Morabaraba
NWU Mind Sports Club, Vaal Triangle Campus
City of Johannesburg Championships
Sat. Morabaraba & StarCraft II
Sun. Ancients & FIFA
Blue Room
Old Edwardian Society
11 Ninth Ave
Lower Houghton
16th EASTERN CAPE Championships
FMJD’s International Women's Checkers World Championship
Hotel Euroopa, Tallinn, Estonia
28 & 29 OCTOBER
6th LIMPOPO Championships
Submit nominations of office-bearers
IeSF’s 9th World Championships - Busan
CounterStrike: GO, League of Legends (others still to be announced)
Busan Port Authority Convention Center, Busan, South Korea
30th S A NATIONAL Championships
Fakkel School, 20 Jan Smuts Ave., Sasolburg
Annual General Meeting
Fakkel School, 20 Jan Smuts Ave., Sasolburg
SRSA's S A Schools Championships
To be determined by SRSA

  1. International events still need to be included.
  2. Inter-Provincial events need to be included
  3. Inter-Regional events need to be included
  4. Club events need to be included
  5. Regional Championships need to be included.
  6. Free State is moved to earlier in the year.
  7. National Team Trials still need to be included