Sunday 30 March 2014

What makes a national federation?

It seems as though, as much as I try to explain what makes a national federation, there are still a few people who remain blissfully unable to understand what I am indeed writing!

Maybe looking at the law would help!

All sport and recreation in South Africa is governed by the Sports and Recreation Act of 1998 (as amended). Yes this is an Act of Parliament passed by the highest authority in the land – parliament! As such it really does not matter as to whether the reader agrees with it or not, it is the law!

But, what does the Act say in this regard?

It reads as follows:

National Federation: means a national governing body of a code of sport or recreational activity in the Republic recognised by the relevant international controlling body as the only authority for the administration and control of the relative code of sport or recreational activity in the Republic;”

So, what does that mean?

Simply put it means that first the international body recognises the national federation and then the government recognises such body.

This means that some people have really misunderstood the entire process.

While such persons are claiming that some international events were not official, it seems now that they indeed are as recognition begins with the international federation.

So, again, a national federation is a national federation when the international body recognises it to be so, and an international event is official when the international federation says it is.

Have fun!

Saturday 29 March 2014

Free shirts!

No doubt the organisers of the MSSA's 31st Gauteng Provincial LAN (as sponsored by MWEB) are hard at work getting all the last minute 'stuff' done.

Besides checking the names of entrants, making sure there are enough medals, certificates and the like, they are no doubt making sure that they have enough shirts for those who earn provincial colours at the event.

Just as the MSSA colour codes the ribbons on the medals, the MSSA also colour codes the shirts that they give – yes, give – to those that earn them.

Unlike some who sell cheap screen-printed 'T-shirts' for R300.00 each, the MSSA gives away high quality 195gsm embroidered golf shirts to those that earn Regional, Provincial, and National colours.


The shirts are easily the same standard of the high-end rugby supporters shirts, so, if you wanted to buy it, you would expect to pay at least R400.00.

However, the shirts are not for sale!

Only those who earn colours get one, and then, as I have written above, they get it for free!

That's not bad for the paltry R80.00 annual registration fee.

So, when you look at the photograph albums on the MSSA's facebook page ( you will be able to automatically tell who has which colours just from the shirts that they are wearing.

The shirt colours are:

Regional Colours – Black and red.

Primary, High School, and Student Provincial Colours – Black and white

Senior Provincial Colours – Black and yellow

Junior National Colours – Green and white

Senior National Colours – Green and Yellow

Protea Colours – Approved shirt with Protea badge.

Not shabby at all – in fact quite impressive!

Thursday 27 March 2014

And that's just one reason why gamers need the MSSA....

There seems to be a great deal of controversy around the (console) Call of Duty team named “RiZe” that will be playing in the MLG Championships in the USA this weekend.

It seems as though the team manipulated the rules of the MLG to ensure they would qualify by including two players from the UK. Apparently one of the two South African players then had an issue participating in the USA, and his place was taken by yet another gamer from the UK.

Of course there is outrage from the community who (justifiably – in my opinion, but maybe for other reasons) feel that this whole 'selection' of this team is just ever so wrong.

Certainly the team in no way can call itself South African.

South Africa long ago (1961) cast off its shackles of being a colony in which people of other nations could represent South Africa.

Hmm, let me think about that a minute!

Actually no-one who was not a citizen of South Africa was ever allowed to represent South Africa at the Olympics – and that goes back to the 1920's.

So why now?

Simply put, the MLG seems to be a privately owned company from the USA. Such types of companies are primarily only interested in its own profit margin.

As such, any benefit for gamers is merely an unexpected outcome it is not necessarily the intention.

This too is the worst type of representation that anyone could think of . Not only does the team not even reflect the demographics of the country in any way, but it also makes no attempt at even being South African.

It is in short a mockery!

This is why the MSSA is so important for the long term growth of gaming.

The rules, as agreed to by the membership, ensure that there is proper procedure and that there is a fair chance for all members.

A team like 'RiZe' would never be allowed by the MSSA to represent South Africa.

Think about it!

Tuesday 25 March 2014

What makes an official international test match?

With great dismay I see that some people still do not understand the concept of international test matches.

There still seem to be people who seem to be battling with the concept, in that they presume that national federations have to be part of a government department,

It is like hitting your head against a brick wall.

International sporting bodies do not allow governments to control national sports bodies. Certainly the IOC takes a very dim view of government involvement and have been known to act against National Olympic Committees and National Federations alike when government involves itself in the affairs of the body in question.

Thus the national bodies for athletics, swimming, rugby, cricket, jukskei, golf, are almost all identical in structure and type.

Not only are National Federations precluded from having government involvement, but all sporting bodies are private associations or non profit companies. These types of bodies through these legal forms, thus protect their independence from interference from all non members.

But what then makes an official international test match?

The answer is simply, affiliation to the international federation and compliance with the rules.

Yes, it is that simple!

With the MSSA affiliated to the IeSF, any match that meets the criteria of a test match as laid down by the IeSF is an official test match.

If the International Federation says it is so, then it is so!

Of course, all the participants in the test match have to comply with the rules. Those that do not, may after proper investigation be sanctioned. Such sanction may take various forms depending on the level of the infraction.

However, the test matches are a great way for a country to improve its average standard by getting its players to play against gamers who they could only otherwise dream of playing.

The benefits are huge, and the opportunities are only limited by one's own imagination.

Monday 24 March 2014

Female gaming on the upswing in South Africa

The MSSA has pushed the promotion of females in all gaming like no other. Over
the few years the MSSA has implemented programmes that promote female participation – even in the face of sometimes quite vociferous opposition.

As a result, over the past few years the MSSA has seen a consistent increase in female participation as well as standard of play. Even on an international level the female members of the South African Protea Team have done consistently well in that no female member of a South African team has ever finished lower than the quarter-finals.

Yet there are gamers that seem to begrudge the achievements of South Africa's female gamers.

While some mistakes make have been seen in the implementation of the policies, certainly the MSSA has taken great care to ensure that there are no mistakes in the greater vision and in the team selection.

With female participation in gaming still being in its embryonic phases, there is no doubt that there are great opportunities available for female gamers.

Already, the female members of the South African team have established themselves as being competitive and competent adversaries.

No female member of a South African Protea team has ever finished lower than the quarter finals, with Gabriella Isaacs having finished in second place in 2011 at the IeSF World Championships.

The programme is also gathering momentum as the 2014 MWEB MSSA North West Championships testify.

Omphile Tshabalala won the female section of Tekken Tag Tournament II and made history doing so.

Omphile not only won the championship in style by winning all her games, but she is the youngest female to have ever won a Provincial championship. By winning all her games, Omphile also automatically earned herself Provincial Colours and a place in the National Team Trials.

But, the competition was important for another reason. The North West Championships saw, for the first time ever in South Africa, more females than males entering and playing in a Provincial Championship in a particular game.

Without doubt, it is females that guide the future of gaming in South Africa!

Gulliver's Travels

To say that I was disappointed with the latest retelling of Gulliver's Tales (2010) is a clear understatement.

Instead of a satirical treat, I found the film to be laborious and quite unfulfilling. The original story by Jonathan Swift was a cleverly crafted masterpiece wherein he was able to make clear satirical jabs at the Whigs and the politics of the day.

Instead of the classic wit seen in the original source material, the humour abounds with juvenile humour.

But, I would be a fool to dismiss the film so quickly.

As Aeschylus and Euripides pointed out, the art of telling a story is not in telling it the same way, but in the way that the story is retold.

While I find the film to be juvenile, perhaps that is indeed the point.

The crassness of introducing a fa├žade of American culture onto the island, might be a clear indictment of basic American culture – all lights, and no substance!

Even the way that major stories were recreated by 'Lemuel Gulliver' shows just how vapid and insubstantial the great films really are. After all, who will remember the 'great' movies produced by Hollywood?

Of course when Jonathan Swift wrote 'Gulliver's Travels' he was almost forced to use the pseudonym (nick) of 'Lemeul Gulliver' for fear of reprisals. Of course, Swift was used to using a 'nick' as he wrote many letters criticising politics of the time under the name of 'Drapier'. His use of the name Drapier, though, soon no longer was a secret, and on the return of Swift to Ireland, Swift was met at the docks with banners proclaiming, “Welcome home Drapier”.

The use of 'nicks' is certainly not unsual by people who are trying to get a point across that they feel is more important than the messenger. Often a message would become lost when more emphasis is put on the writer than what has been written.

In fact a number of people have also used the 'nick' Lemuel Gulliver. Satirists from Russia and Brazil have also brought out their own versions of "Gulliver's Travels" in order to made telling points about the society in which they live.

Even Henry Fielding, the author of Joseph Andrews, wrote under a nick. When Fielding wrote “Shamela”, Fielding wrote under the name of Mr. Conny Keyber. Fielding, of course, admired Swift, and there is much in common in their satirical writings on the society of the day.

Even the great Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, the renowned mathematician, logician, and Anglican deacon used a pen name when writing some of his works. When Dodgson wrote his more 'academic' works, Dodgson used his given name. However, when he penned his works of fantasy, such as, “Alice in Wonderland”, and “Alice through the Looking Glass”, Dodgson used the pen name (nick) of Lewis Carroll.

But, of course, the use of 'nicks' are not reserved only for the greats!

Today when you go onto a for a, there are many people who are quick to express their views under a 'nick'.

The use of 'nicks' has so escalated in modern society that the use of such has become quite mundane!

While some of the 'nicks' are quite clever, the concept has been overused to such a point that some people even use more than one 'nick'.

But the use of more than one nick is nothing new either. As we have seen from the above, Swift used more than one – and he will not be the last either!

Even south African history is dotted with people who used nicks. While casually reading Maj. Tylden's book, “The Armed Forces of South Africa” (1954), I came across a reference to a private army. On further research, I found that that the owner of the private army was referred to as “Yellow Horse”, and “Mosotho” by King Moshesh as long ago as the Third Basotho War.

You just have to see the 'nicks' given to South African schoolboys, some of which stick for their entire lives.

Thus the reader should note that the use of a 'nick' is nothing special, nor is it anything untoward in any way, and anybody who pretends that it is is just trying to make something out of, what I have written above to be quite mundane.

Thursday 20 March 2014

2014 MWEB Online Dota 2 Championship - 19 April 2014

We are proud to announce that the MSSA shall host the 2014 MWEB Online Dota 2  Championship, which will offer local Dota 2 players the opportunity to qualify for the National Team trials.

In case you haven’t been watching the local gaming press, Dota 2 players in South Africa had the opportunity to get full Protea Colours for the game and represent the country in an official Test Matches against Romania and Mexico.

The 2013 Protea Team was made up mainly of gamers from Bravado (bvd) with a number of gamers from Energy eSports.

As this missive is being written, negotiations are under way in securing test match opponents. Rumours abound that once again the team will have to face the mighty Romanians as well as the Russians. If that happens, we’re going to need the best players to answer the challenge!

The championship shall be held on 19 April 2014.

We’d also like to thank MWEB, in line with their continued support for gaming in South Africa, for extending their sponsorship to include all Mind Sports Online Championships. None of this would be possible without the continued support from MWEB.

Tournament Structure:
As per the MSSA's rules, being:
  • If less than six teams, the championship shall be a Round Robin Championship
  • If 6 to 10 teams the championship shall be four rounds as played to the Swiss System
  • If 11 to 30 teams the championship shall be five rounds as played to the Swiss System
  • Any player who is a Registered Player affiliated to a MSSA member club may enter.
Entry fee:
  • Entry is free to all full-paid-up Registered Players.
  • Only fully-paid-up Registered Players may participate in this event.
Entry date:
  • Entries need to be submitted by no later than Tuesday, 15 April 2014.

  • PREMIER: Medals shall be awarded to the first three teams.
  • UNIVERSITY:Medals shall be awarded to the first three teams that have not won a Premier medal and which are comprised entirely of students currently registered at any officially recognised University.
  • SCHOLARS: Medals shall be awarded to the first three teams of learners currently registered at any officially recognised school, provided they have not received any Premier medals.

  • PREMIER: Medals shall be awarded to the first three teams.
  • UNIVERSITY:Medals shall be awarded to the first three teams that have not won a Premier medal and which are comprised entirely of students currently registered at any officially recognised University.
  • SCHOLARS: Medals shall be awarded to the first three teams of learners currently registered at any officially recognised school, provided they have not received any Premier medals.

  • Protea Colours: Only Players that are selected to represent South Africa in International Championships may earn National Colours if the Protea Colours Board's criteria are met..
  • National Colours: All Players that win all of their Matches at a National Championship will earn National Colours.
  • Provincial Colours: All Players that win all of their Matches at a Provincial Championship will earn Provincial Colours. All Players who score within the top 50% in a specific Period at a Provincial Championship, and who also score within the top 50% at a National Championship in the same period and in the same year, will earn Provincial Colours..
When and Where:
  • 19April 2014
  • The first round will start at 14H00. Players shall be given 90 minutes to complete each round.
  • The tournament will run via the MWEB server
The championship is accredited as being of the same status as a provincial championship. This means that the championship shall be used for the following:
  • The awarding of provincial colours;
  • The awarding of medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in Premier, Under 24, and School categories;
  • The ability to qualify for National Team Trials.
All medals and shirts will be awarded to the recipients at a MSSA LAN championships.

Please note that the MSSA shall be selecting a team to officially represent South Africa in test matches against selected national teams. From such championships, invites shall be sent out to the Registered Players of the teams that finish in the top three or the top 20% (whichever is greater) as per the Regulations. As per the Regulations all such players who qualify from the genre as a whole shall be invited. The Registered Players that enter the Trials shall organise themselves into teams that:
1.    All come from the same area. In other words everybody in the team must reside within 50km's, as the crow flies, to each other, or
2.    Any team that does not comply with point 1 above, will have to undertake to get the players in their team who are not in the same area to the venue for the test matches at their own expense.
As usual Trials shall be done at a LAN venue, and the team that can best represent South Africa shall then be selected.

Shout casting:

  • The MSSA shall decide who may shout-cast the games.
  • Anybody wishing to be appointed as a Shout-Caster must apply in writing to

Issued by:

Colin Webster
Mind Sports South Africa
P O Box 19275
Tel: 011 828 4994
Cell: 073 593 9451
Fax: 086 672 1911
Twitter: @mindsportssa

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) is an affiliate of the South African Confederation of Sport and Olympic Committee.

The MSSA is responsible for the good governance and promotion of Board games (such as Backgammon, Diplomacy, Checkers, Draughts, Morabaraba, etc.), eSports (whether they are played on 'cell 'phones, consoles, personal computers or similar), and historical figure games (also known as wargames).

Friday 14 March 2014

Results of the North West Championships

The following post was made on the MSSA's facebook page on 11March 2014:

The MSSA's MWEB 18th North West Championships were very ably hosted by St Conrad's College in Klerksdorp on 8 & 9 March 2014. 

The support given by MWEB over the 2013 year laid solid foundations for the growth that the MSSA is already beginning to experience in 2014.

The hosting of the official provincial championships in Klerksdorp forms part of the country-wide programme of bringing the various mind sports to every province as well as to all 52 Regions in South Africa.

Thus the organisers were not surprised to see an increase of participation on the 17th North West Championships.

However, the MSSA was pleasantly surprised to see the huge increase in the number of female participation. From having no female participation at the 17th North West Championships, the number of female gamers participating jumped to 25% of the total participation at the championships.

It is the priority of the IeSF, IWF, FMJD and SASCOC that more women are given the opportunity to participate.

Thus the MSSA has wrestled over the past few years to implement programmes that promote female participation. As a result, over the past few years the MSSA has seen a consistent increase in female participation as well as standard of play. Even on an international level the female members of the South African Protea Team have done consistently well in that no female member of a South African team has ever finished lower than the quarter-finals.

The championship too exhibited a high standard of play and attracted some of the best players from Gauteng, Mpumulanga and even KwaZulu Natal.

Certainly, with the MWEB North West Provincial Championships being the first championship in 2014 a few gamers seem to be the ones to beat as the competitive gamers gear up to fight for a place in the various teams that will represent the provinces and the country.

The results are:

Board gaming


Female - Premier...........................Male - Premier
1.....Nomfundo Gumede................1.....Lindokuhle Maphumulo
2.....Smanga Mngomezulu.............2.....Anton Khumalo
3.....Tshepang Motlogelwa.............3.....Paballo Ramashaza

Female – High Schools...................Male – High Schools
1.....Shatani Makhwaje...................1......Naledi Sekoto
.....................................................2......Ryan Gathita
.....................................................3......Wanga Chakwana


CounterStrike GO

1. ...Team: Delta 5*

FIFA '14

Male - Premiers
1......Katlego Ditlhego*
2......Bokomoso Tlhape
3......Kgosi Tshosa

Male - High School
Pos.. Name
1.......Irikidza Chijokwe
2.......Riatlegile Tlhape
3.......Likhaya Mattwane

League of legends


1.....St Conrad;s College Senior team *
2.....St Conrad's College Junior team


Female – Premier.....................Male – Premier
1......Lucille Brown....................1.....Tylor O'Shea*
................................................2.....Thomas Brown
................................................3.....Thyle Nortje

StarCraft 2

Female – Premier......................Male – Premier
1......Jessica Koekemoer............1.....Tylor O'Shea*
.................................................2.....Jarod van Biljon

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Female - Premier........................Male - Premier
1......Omphile Tshabalala*..........1......Tumelo Sesinyi*
2......Kepbetswe Dintwe.............2......Thabiso Pheto
3......Tjedza Kutzi.......................3......Victor Gathita

Female – High Schools...............Male – High Schools

1.....Shatani Makhwaje...............1......Ryan Gathita
2.....Gugu Msimando..................2......Likhaya Mattwane
3.....Sesame Mothoame.............3......Eric Chijokwe


Ancients (DBM 3.2)

Male - Premier
1......Carl Holliday*
2......Erasmus Burger
3......Adam Louw

Male – High Schools

1.....Simon Hervey

Male - Handicap

1.....Erasmus Burger
2.....Carl Holliday
3.....Adam Louw

Note: * dennotes all players who were awarded Provincial Colours