Saturday, 31 December 2016

Upward and onward!

Jessie Joubert  - Vice President in charge of Umpiring.
It was largely through the efforts, determination and perseverance of Jessie Joubert that Rondebosch Boys High entered MSSA's official schools' league and 2015 Western Cape Provincial Championships.

While playing for White Rabbit Gaming, Jessie won MSSA's 2015 SA National Championships. Jessie then moved to Anteria Gaming - for which  he  played during the Online Provincial Championships and National Team Trials,

Not surprisingly, Jessie's qualities shone through and Jessie quickly earned the following:   

Jessie Joubert and Simon Zandstra
at Cape Town TV
  • Western Cape Provincial Colours in 2015 and 2016, and
  • National Federation Colours in 2015 and 2016, and
  • Protea Colours in 2016.
While at IeSF's 8th World Championships (Jakarta), Jessie was introduced to the 'big picture'  and Jessie immediately resolved to do more for esports and for the gamer.

Andrew Reeves, Jessie, and  Jade Thomas
Without hesitation, Jessie stood for the position of Vice-President in the hope of being elected onto MSSA's Management Board.

To show his sincerity of 'doing more'. Jessie too served as an umpire at MSSA's 2016 SA Schools Championships, and then again as umpire at MSSA's 2016 SA National Championships.

Jessie's infectious enthusiasm proved enough to get elected on to MSSA's Management Board where Jessie  hopes to make a  real difference to deliver more to the gamer. 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

For the gamer!

Gamers at Fairmont High School in action.
When MSSA introduced Regional Championships into its line-up of types of championships, not only did MSSA improve its footprint in South Africa, but it also increased the opportunity for many gamers to:

  • Participate in a LAN,
  • To earn the awards associated with a LAN (that is medals and colours), and
  • To qualify for National Team Trials.
Any affiliated club may host a Regional Championship.

With all the profits of a Regional Championship going to the host club, it is very easy to see why so many clubs are willing to host a Regional Championship.

A Regional Championship also does not have to have all the events that you will find at a MSSA Provincial Championship. The host club can 'pick-and-choose' which events it wishes to host. Theoretically a host club could host a Regional Championship every single month by just doing one title per event.

The flexibility of a Regional Championship does not stop there either.

There are many titles that do not form part of MSSA's provincial and national championships. It is through the Regional Championships that MSSA can also help quantify the development of esports in South Africa as any title may be played at a Regional Championship.

Thus a member club, through the Regional Championships, is more than able to cater for all of its members by providing ongoing championships throughout the year.

The rules for hosting a Regional Championship are as follows:

a. Members within a region may offer to host, through a bid, any such championship at least 90 days prior to the event.
b. The decision to which club the hosting of such event is awarded shall be made by the Management Board.
c. The host club shall sign an SLA.
d. The Management Board may decide to host such championship itself. Should such decision be made and bids have been received, the Management Board shall advise all members of the reasons therefore.
e. Every effort shall be made by the host to hold such championship in a venue that is easily accessible to both Players and members of the public.
f. A Regional Championship may be played to any periods currently offered at a Provincial Championship or approved of by the Management Board.
g. The different periods may be held at separate times and venues from other periods.
h. Only Regional Championship for each period shall be held in any one season.
i. Only players who are fully-paid-up Registered Players may participate in such event.
j. The host club acknowledges that the event/s is/are wholly owned by the MSSA and all rules are complied with.
k. The host club shall set the entrance fee. Such fee shall be included in the bid.
l. The host club shall supply suitable and qualified umpires.
m. The host club shall purchase the medals from MSSA. MSSA shall price the medals at cost + 20% and postage.
n. The host club shall be responsible for the venue and all other costs relating thereto.
o. The club shall keep the net profit for the event.
p. The club must submit all results to MSSA within 48 hours.
q. The club must send a statement of account to MSSA within 30 days to the VP in charge of events.
r. No results may be posted on any site until MSSA has announced the results.
s. The MANCOM shall invite the player who finished in first place to attend the National Team Trials if the event has met with all the criteria.
t. The results may be vitiated by the VP in charge of umpiring if any of the above are not complied with.

Qualifying for Protea Colours

Protea eSports Team that attended IeSF's 8th World Championships - Jakarta
It is that time of the year again when many gamers look towards MSSA's National Team Trials, and wonder what they have to do to qualify for such Trials.
Why does MSSA use National Team Trials to select Team eSports South Africa?
It is common knowledge that everybody's standard of play changes from year-to-year. Not only that there  is a natural growth in new gamers who enter the scene and a natural 'drop-off' of gamers who leave the competitive scene due to changing work and family commitments.
Thus annual trials are held to  accommodate the above changes. Through such system a highly competitive  system  is too maintained wherein gamers are able to fight for their positions as a position in the team is only held for one calendar year. 
May anyone enter National Team Trials?
It must be remembered that the team  selected by MSSA to officially represent South Africa is  an official sports team that officially represents South Africa  and is awarded Protea Colours.
As such MSSA is required to follow due care and follow proper procedure in awarding such colours to its teams.
As such there are qualifying criteria to qualifying for the National Team Trials (NTT), being:
  • Such player wishing to participate in NTT must be affiliated to an affiliated member club, and
  • Such player must have won a MSSA Regional Championship, or
  • Such player must have finished in the top three places, or in the top 20% (whichever  is greater), at a provincial and/or national championship, and
  • Such player is already a member of the  national team and has met the terms of the contract, and
  • Such player must have a signed copy of the contract, and
  • Such player must have a valid passport, and
  • If such player is  still a minor, such player must have a signed affidavit signed by both parents as well as an Unabridged Birth Certificate.
Does the winner of National Team Trials automatically get selected?
Gamers should remember that NTT is not a competition, it forms part of a selection process.
At such Trials drug  testing may be  held and gamers shall be tested to see how they deal with issues that may occur.
It must be remembered that those being selected are being selected to represent South Africa. 
Is the team selected immediately at Trials ?
The captains of the teams are immediately selected at Trials. The selected captains then sit with the Selectors and the Team Manager to select the team. Once the selection is completed and all the procedure has been followed, then the team is announced.
May Team eSports South Africa belong to an existing clan/team?
The short answer is yes. A player will only be selected to represent South Africa if he is a member of a club affiliated to the MSSA, so that is really not an issue! The membership that the the team member has does not just disappear when the player is selected for national duty.
Is the national team allowed to enter private tournaments like the DGC or EGE or even overseas events?
MSSA allows all of its National Team Members to enter any competition that they want to  as members of their clan. 
Gamers only play as the national team in international events upon request by the MSSA. 
However, the National Team Member must, and can, only represent a clan that is currently affiliated to the MSSA. Thus, for example,  a member of the National Team, who is affiliated to Clan A, which is a member of the MSSA, that means he cannot play for any clan that is not affiliated to MSSA. Should a clan that is not a member of MSSA indulge in ambush marketing by claiming that he is a member, MSSA will expect the player to publicly renounce any such claim.
Why do the members of Team eSports South Africa need to sign a contract?
All members who are selected to, and join, a national team are given a contract to sign. If the gamer has not yet reached the age of majority, the legal guardian signs the contract. 
Essentially, if the rules are broken, there may be a financial implication as well as a disciplinary implication. Depending on the severity of the breach, action may be taken by the International Federation concerned, SASCOC, or by the National Federation. 
Does the National Team have to abide by a Code of Conduct?
Indeed it does! 
The Code of Conduct that a team has to follow is an amalgamation of what the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the National Federation expects. Obviously the player representing South Africa has to hold him/herself to a higher standard than the average gamer as so much more is expected of the team member. This way all the parties concerned, the sponsors, the MSSA, the IeSF, and the gamer are protected. The Code of Conduct is not onerous, but largely common-sense. 
In short, it is how you would expect someone to behave if they were representing you!
Is there a difference between officially representing SA in eSports as opposed to any other sport?
There is no difference between officially representing South Africa in eSports to any other sport. eSports is an officially accredited sport, and the Protea Colours that are awarded are awarded by the same Protea Colours Board that awards Protea Colours for all other sports.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Playing in international competition

CounterStrike: GO - Team eSports Romania with Team eSports South Africa
There seems to be a great deal of confusion in certain quarters about who may, and who is eligible, to play in overseas competition.

The short  answer is that any person may play in any private competition.

Thus any South African gamer may enter WESG, Dreamhack, ESWC, etc., as those competitions are privately owned and do not form part of the officially recognised circuit.

In fact it has always been part of MSSA's policy to encourage teams to enter such.

It should be noted that MSSA even helped Energy eSports attend the ESWC in 2014 by helping to obtain deferred exams for two members of the team so that they could attend such the event.

MSSA believes that until more teams experience international competition, the standard of gaming in South Africa will not improve.

Thus all clubs should take advantage of National Lottery Funding, as such funding allows for travel to such events.

However, it should be noted that a club team playing in an event in a foreign country does not mean that such team is representing South Africa.

Only a team officially selected by MSSA may claim to represent South Africa.

Only the team so selected may be awarded Protea Colours.

Any queries apropos the above may be directed to

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

eSports is an official sport since 2005.

Gamers at MSSA's 2016 S A National  Championships.
Through MSSA eSports is an officially accredited sport since 2005.

Thus, all gamers should start treating esports that way, meaning that gamers should not always resist the concept of a governing body.

It is through the governing body that gamers are able to shape the sport as we see best and we really should do so. By not participating in the affairs of MSSA gamers are not taking control of their own future and help steer esports towards the future that  they themselves want.
Many gamers want eSports to be as important and as big as other sports in the country. Few realise that it already is.

Thus there is no difference between officially representing South Africa in eSports as in any other sport.

eSports are now an officially accredited sport, and the Protea Colours that are awarded on an annual basis.

The criteria for choosing a team which will only be awarded National Federation Colours are less, and not as stringent, as those for a National Team that is awarded Protea Colours. A team without Protea Colours for example does not have to comply with the passport requirement. No player can be awarded the Protea emblem if he/she does not have a South African passport, although support staff do not need to meet such a requirement.

The MSSA allows all of its National Team Members to enter any competition that they want to.

However, the National team Member must, and can, only represent a clan that is currently affiliated to the MSSA. Thus, for example, Mary Bloggs is a member of the National Team, she is affiliated to Clan A which is a member of the MSSA, that means she cannot play for any clan that is not affiliated to the MSSA. Should a clan that is not a member of the MSSA indulge in ambush marketing by claiming that she is a member, the MSSA will expect the player to publicly renounce any such claim.

Getting ready for the 2017 World Championships

The 2016 Protea eSports Team - Jakarta.
IeSF has successfully run World Championships from 2009. From humble beginnings the founder members pursued the vision of  having a national federation for eSports that would both guide the sport to become fully accredited as well as protect the rights of the eSports athletes themselves.

Details of the  past World Championships is as follows:

Jakarta –   Indonesia
Seoul –   South Korea
Baku –   Azerbaijan
Bucharest –   Romania
Cheonan –   South Korea
Andong –   South Korea
Daegu –   South Korea
Taebaek –   South Korea

Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has ensured that South Africa has had a presence at each every one.

South Africa's participation is as follows:

South African players
# of players
Maryke Kennard, Johan Uys, Johan van Breda, Taylor Rose, Matthew Smith, Francois Mouton, Jessie Joubert, Lyle Jeacocks, Leandré Sparks, Dillon Justus, Simon Zandstra, Jason Batzofin (Manager)
Maryke Kennard, Johan Uys, Wynand Meiring, Nathan Anderson, Matthew Smith, Taylor Rose, Vasudev Stringer, Cameron Tilley, Ryan Boyes (Manager)
Morizane Boyes, Yolandi Williams, Ion Todd, Jason Bredberg, Dylan Henderson, Saleem Manjoo, Timothy van Reenen Mostert, Barry West, Nathan Anderson, Ryan Boyes (Manager)
Lyrene Kühn, Yolandi Williams, Conradie van Heerden, Myburg Brink, Willem Strȍfeldt, Kyle Rhoodie, Marco Botha
Lyrene Kühn, Gabriella Isaacs, Robert Botha, Vittorio Puissa
Robert Botha, Ian Pillay
Matthew Putter, Rolando de Alveira, Abu Bakar Ebrahiem, Magiel de Lange
Ruben de Freitas, Xola Magwana

The results of the SA eSports Team, when considered against South Africa's poor infrastructure is thus almost miraculous, being: 
2016Jakarta –  Indonesia14th
2015Seoul –  South Korea12th
2014Baku –  Azerbaijan13th
2013Bucharest –  Romania10th
2012Cheonan –  South Korea18th
2011Andong –  South Korea13th
Thus the MSSA is  in full gear getting ready for the 2017 IeSF World Championships.

Players are requested to consult MSSA's 2017 Calendar of Events in order to take the opportunity to qualify for the coveted National Team Trials


Monday, 26 December 2016

MSSA committee members

MSSA was founded in 1985 and since its inception has relied only upon volunteers to run the organisation.

Volunteers remain the back-bone of MSSA, and without the continued passion of such, MSSA would cease to be.

It is also most pleasing to see that the 2016 Annual general Meeting has delivered a committee in which 6 out of the 15 office-bearers are female.

With Morizane Boyes also holding the office of president, MSSA is confident that the needs and wants of Registered Players who are females will be addressed as never before.

It is sad that only MSSA has sent females to participate in every IeSF World Championships since 2012. 
MSSA has had the following committee members for the period 2005 to present:

Morabaraba rules!

The only accredited board for competition play

The following rules are to be used in all championships:


  1. The rules for the version, as depicted in the above image, are known as the Generally Accepted Rules (GAR).
  2. For competition play, the board may be made of any material as long as the board has the approved notation which is owned by the International Wargames Federation.
  3. Board sizes are:
  • For Provincial, National, and International Championships – 490mm x 490mm (Cows being 45mm in diameter and 5mm in depth), and
  • All other competitions – 300mm x 300mm (Cows being 30mm in diameter and 10mm in depth).
  1. All cows shall have MSSA's logo on the cow.
  2. There are 24 junctions on the board.
  3. Each player is issued with a set of 12 cows. One set being of a dark colour, and one set being of a light colour.
  4. The colour white may not be used for cows as the colour may confuse players as to whether a cow has been placed.
  5. Only players who have won MSSA's national championships, or who have received Protea Colours for the game of Morabaraba, may use cows which are green in colour. Such cows are awarded by MSSA in numbered sets. Such players have the right to use such cows instead of any such cows as supplied by any Tournament organiser in any event falling under the jurisdiction of MSSA.
  6. The outside ring is known as the “Exterior Ring” and the junctions are numbered clockwise from from the top left hand corner E1 to E8.
  7. The middle ring is known as the “Principle Ring” and the junctions are numbered clockwise from from the top left hand corner A1 to A8.
  8. The inner ring is known as the “Restricted Ring” and the junctions are numbered clockwise from from the top left hand corner R1 to R8.
  9. The notation was developed by Dr. Evgenii Rabiner.
  10. Notation shall be scored as follows:
  • When placing cows – just write the junction's address, that is “A1”, or “E5”, etc.
  • When moving cows – write down the initial junction's address with a hyphen and then the final function's address, for example: “A1 – A8”
  • When moving a cow to form a line and 'shooting' one of your opponent's cows, write down the initial junction's address with a hyphen an then the final function's address a multiplication sign and the address of the cow that has just been 'shot', for example: “A1 – A8 x E1”
  • Notation of a typical game may appear as follows:

  1. The notation for the board is owned by the International Wargames Federation, and boards are readily available from Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA).

How to play:

Play consists of three stages:
Stage 1:
  • Each player starts with 12 tokens called "cows".
  • The player who has been allocated the dark colour begins.
  • Starting with a clear board, each player alternatively places one cow at a time on a junction (circle). The aim is to create rows of three, either vertically, diagonally, or horizontally. Cows may only be placed on unoccupied junctions.
  • When three-in-a-row is achieved, the player may remove (shoot) one of the opponent's cows. A player can not shoot an opponent's "three-in-a-row" cows if there are other cows on the board left to shoot.
  • Only one of the opponent's cows may be shot at a time, even if two (or more) lines of three-in-a-row are achieved with one move.
  • Once a cow is shot, it shall not be used in play again. 
Stage 2
  • When all twelve cows of each player have been placed on the board as per Stage 1, cows may be moved from one junction to another. A move consists of moving a cow from one junction to an unoccupied junction immediately linked and adjacent to that junction.
  • Players may break their own lines of three-in-a-row in order to make new lines, or simply reposition their cows.
  • Cows may be moved back and forth to the same two junctions repeatedly. A three-in-a-row may be made, broken and remade repeatedly.
  • Notwithstanding the rule that lines may be broken and remade repeatedly, if a player breaks a line to immediately create a new line of three ‘cows’, such player may not move such cow back to the original junction in his/her next move, if it creates a new line.
For example:

Should a player have a ‘cow’ on the junction marked E6, such player may move it to the junction marked as A6 to immediately create a new line. However, in such player’s next move, he/she may not move the cow back to A6, instead, such player must do a different move before moving the cow back to E6 to immediately create a new line.
  • Each time a three-in-a-row is remade, an opponent's cow shall be shot.
 Stage 3
  • When a player has lost all but three cows, then a player may move a cow to any vacant junction on the board with each move.
Winning the game
  • The game is won when the opponent cannot move any cows: or when the opponent has lost all but two cows.
  • When a player is down to three cows, and neither player is able to shoot an opponent's cow within ten moves, the game is a draw.
  • For National Championships and National Team Trials, failure to hand in a correct Notation Sheet is an automatic loss.
Competition rules
  • Boards and counters shall be provided for the competitors.
  • A modified Swiss Chess system will operate throughout the competition. Players shall not play against any relatives in the first degree of consanguinity. Thus a player would not be allowed to play against his/her spouse, parent, brother, sister, and/or child. Additionally where possible a player will not be drawn against any fellow club or team member in the first two rounds of the competition.
  • The current IWF scoring system shall be used, that is 1 point for a victory, ½ a point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss per game.

  • Each player shall play six games against each opponent. Each player shall start three of such games.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Free coaching

For many years it has been recognised been recognised that the Old Edwardian Wargames Club is one of the top wargames clubs in South Africa.

The Old Edwardian Wargames Club has long been renown for producing more players that have earned a place in the Protea Team than any club in South Africa.

It is also known that a club game at the Old Edwardian Wargames Club is often a game that is harder and of a higher standard than what players will experience at most provincial championships.

To play at the Old Edwardian Wargames Club is thus not for the faint-hearted. The standard of play experienced by gamers at the club is thus what makes truly great gamers. The skill and camaraderie creates great players and solid friendships.

The club too gives free coaching to all members on a weekly basis at normal club days.

The club meets every Sunday (except Easter, Christmas and days on which there are Provincial or National Championships) from 14H00 to 18H00.

However, as a special, to get people ready for MSSA's championships, as well as for the 25th Old Edwardian Wargames Summer Championships, the Old Edwardian Wargames Club is offering free coaching to scholars on 5 & 6 January 2017 from 10H00 to 17H00. The coaching shall be done in the Blue Room at the Old Edwardian Society - 11 Ninth Avenue, Lower Houghton in Johannesburg.

The coaching shall be done for the Ancients wargames period.

For further details, please e-mail Colin Webster on

MSSA's Board Gaming Representative: Life is sport!

Joseph Matlhong: Board gaming representative.
At MSSA's elections held on 4 December 2016 Joseph Matlhong was elected in as MSSA's Board Gaming Representative. Thus Joseph takes the helm of games such as Morabaraba, SeSothoMorabaraba, Checkers, Draughts, and Backgammon.

Joseph is an 'old-hand' when it comes to sport even though this is the first time that he shall serve on MSSA's  Management Board.

Joseph is currently employed by North West University - Vaal (N
WU Vaal) in the sport department as Sport Officer.

In such department Joseph manages Dance Sport, Mind Sport, Jogging club, residence sport, and is an acting football manager. His qualifications are no less impressive with Joseph having earned a diploma in sport science, B-tech sport and exercise, and is currently studying towards completing a B-Com in sport management. Joseph too understands the demands placed on sportspersons. As a person who represented NWU VAAL in various sports at USSASA level, Joseph is fully conversant with the time, dedication, and commitment demanded by high-performance sport. Joseph's love of sport is undeniable, and he is absolutely passionate about the positive role that sport can play in peoples' lives. Such is his passion, that even if he does not have the time tto commit to participating, Joseph is known to travel in excess of 200 kilometers just to 'pop -in' to ensure that the event is going well and is up to standard.
Joseph expects a lot from MSSA during his three-year term, and he has already expressed that he will deliver as best he can. MSSA welcomes Joseph onto the Management Board.

Friday, 23 December 2016

The bonds that bind.

MSSA like IeSF is a non profit association run by its members for its members.

Since 2008, IeSF has grown exponentially and the standard and size of its annual world championships has grown in stature and reputation from year-to-year.

MSSA has participated in IeSF's world championships since the first one held  in Taebaek in South Korea in 2009.

Since the 2009 World Championships, MSSA has been at each and every IeSF world championships.

However, MSSA's affiliation is much more than just attending the annual world championships.

It has everything to do with a common ideal, a common vision, and the desire to provide for esports gamers in a way that no other organisation can, or is prepared to do.

MSSA does not equate its gamers to mere rands and cents. If it did, MSSA would not run the many events that  it does in order to further promote the gamer. To MSSA, as to IeSF, the gamer is paramount.

The bond between IeSF and MSSA is exactly the same as between MSSA and its own member clubs.

As such an opinion expressed at club level may find itself being expressed at IeSF's Annual General Meeting. Likewise, the opportunities exist for  hardworking and dedicated individuals to represent their club, the national federation, and even IeSF itself.

MSSA's 2016 elections are proof of such. Eight people who had only before represented their clubs, were elected onto the Management Board. When you consider that there are 15 positions, you will realise that a  great deal of new energy will be infused into the committee to  make MSSA a better organisation.

Through MSSA's affiliation with IeSF, gamers are given the ability to advance to even greater heights.

The courses offered by IeSF's Academy for coaching and refereeing saw Thomas Brown sent off to China to complete such course, and  then saw Thomas Brown umpire at WCA's event in Beijing.

Then in July, Jason Batzofin was elected onto IeSF's fledgling Athletes' Commission. IeSF is the only body to have such a body where the gamers can  express their views to the highest authority in esports.

None of the above opportunities are offered by any other organisation in esports in the world!

MSSA's affiliation to IeSF thus offers gamers an upward ladder that you will find nowhere else.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Building for the future.

People who have served MSSA as umpires in the past: Glenn Andrew, Nick Holden, and Clint O'Shea.
MSSA as an association of members is best described as a vehicle where all  the participants have a voice in where it is headed.

Thus no member is ever left behind. However, it must be noted that while not every member's voice will be acted upon, ever voice will be heard, and dissenting voices are often taken into account to make policies better.

It is therefore important to note that the office-bearers are thus only there to enact the wishes of the members.

In fact any Registered Player is able to stand for any position.

As such MSSA has a longevity that no private company would ever have as MSSA is driven by people with passion and love of the game rather than just mercantile interests and a desire to make monetary profit.

Thus the following positions are available for any Registered Player who wishes to stand:
Eastern Cape Provincial Director
Free State Provincial Director 
Gauteng Provincial Director 
Limpopo Provincial Director
Northern Cape Provincial Director
North West Provincial Director
Western Cape Provincial Director 

Please note that only Registered Players may stand for the position in the province in which they live.

Closing dates for nominations is 15 January 2017.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Flourishing into the future...

Gamers in competition.
With MSSA's election having been concluded on 4 December 2016, there are a number of new faces on the committee.

While many gamers do not really care about who is on the committee, all gamers should be aware that it is these volunteers that make things happen.

Yes, they are all volunteers. The MSSA office-bearers are not rewarded financially, and do it out of a sense of dedication and passion to see others do well.

That is the strength of Mind Sport South Africa.

The fact that there are so many people willing to work for free, and to put others before themselves, shows  that not only is volunteerism in South Africa alive and well, but that MSSA will grow and flourish in the years to come.

Some volunteers are only around for a short time, while others are around for a little longer.

All are valued!