Paintball is a sporting event that involves eliminating your opponents by hitting them with Paintballs that burst upon impact thereby leaving colourful marks on the victim. Paintballing days are fun days, as the game is mostly a team sport and there is this exhilaration that comes with running around on a big field trying to shoot your friends without getting them injured. This sport called paintball creates an opportunity for friends to work together as a team and win.
One of the frequently asked questions when it comes to paintball is if it hurts and how much it hurts. Getting hit by a paintball hurts, especially when it breaks on bare skin, however, the degree of the pain depends on the range between you and the shooter, that is, the farther you are from the shooter, the less it hurts. It is, therefore, advisable to cover up as much skin as possible to prevent direct impact on your skin. So if you’ve been invited for a game of paintball and are sceptical about it or have tried researching on how to play, as well as, stay safe during the sport but your study as yielded little or no results, this article is to help and provide you with the necessary information on paintballing.
The idea of paintball was conceived by Charles Nelson in the 1960s, though at the time the idea he had is different from how the sport is played now. He invented the paintball gun as an effective means of marking trees and livestock from a range. However, this invention was criticized by animal right’s activists who were of the opinion that the marking of animals via paintball guns was causing unnecessary pain to the animals and this brought an end to the original and archaic way of paintballing.
In 1977, three men by names Bob Gurnsey, Charles Gaines and Hayes Noel formulated and developed the sport. The idea was born out of the need to survive in the woods and escape from experienced huntsmen. Following their concept and their knowledge of the Nel-Spot 007 paintball marker, the decision to make a game out of it was formed and Bob Gurnsey created the rules for the first game of paintball which was played later in June 1981, in Hampshire with 12 participants, which included the original three.
The 12 players included 6 hunters, 2 writers, a forester, surgeon, farmer and a stockbroker. The game involved setting up four stations with 12 flags in each and the first to capture all four of his flags from the stations emerged the winner. At the end of the game, Ritchie White, the forester became the first winner of paintballing.
Thirty-eight years after the first game, paintball has become a means for entertainment where professionals or beginners play either for a prize or just to have fun. There are various tournaments and leagues for this purpose like the National Professional Paintball League (NPPL) and the UK Paintball Sports Federation (UKPSF). Paintball has also been used over the years to train soldiers on the necessary combat skills.
Its a lot of fun to play paintball, nevertheless, to play you need to know the fundamental equipment used, the rules of the game, as well as, the types of paintball there are. Below are the tips you need to know to play paintball.
Paintball requires certain equipment in order to play the game effectively. The basic equipment for paintballing are;
- Paint Gun or Marker; this is the most important tool needed for this activity and comes in various sizes and shapes. It is an air-powered device which is used to shoot paintballs at your opponents.
- Face Masks; as the name implies, it is for the protection of your face from paintballs. Paintballs leave bruises and direct impact to the eye could be disastrous.
- Hopper; this is a container attached to the gun that feeds paintballs into it.
- Air tank; it powers the marker and it is usually compressed air or compressed carbon dioxide.
- Paintballs; what is a paintball game without paintballs? The balls are loaded into the gun and shot by the expansion of compressed gas.
The above equipment might seem like so many things to purchase at once but the good news is that you can rent these gear especially if you are a beginner and as you continue to play and enjoy the game, you can invest in getting your own gear.
As stated above, getting hit by a paintball hurts but the pain is minimized when you cover up as much exposed skin as possible, you can simply do this by layering. Layering involves wearing one cloth ontop another and this dulls the impact when you get hit. Also, it’s advisable to wear gloves as getting hit on the palms or knuckles can be very painful. in addition to layering, it is wiser to camouflage yourself, that is wear colours that match your surroundings in order to stay hidden.
There are paintball rules for the different types but there are some basic rules that govern all types of this game.
- Your facemask should be on at all times while playing
- There is usually a minimum range, so only fire at your opponents from beyond that range. You should also avoid shooting at players who have already been marked
- Once the paintball hits you and burst, you are out of the game and have to leave the field. You are only out if it bursts, if the paintball bounces off without leaving colourful marks on you, you can continue with the game.
- It is more fun when everyone follows the rules, so once a paintball hits you and bursts do report it and leave the field. However, some fields practice the ‘reincarnation policy’ for beginners, that is once you get shot, you can clean the colours off and resume the game.
There are many types of paintball games and they come with specific rule and variations. Few of them would be highlighted below.
This particular type is literally capturing the flag. The aim is to cross to your competitor’s territory, take their flag and bring it back to your side of the field.
This involves eliminating everyone on your opponent’s team. The team with the last member wins. Elimination is mostly combined with Capture the Flag.
In this type of paintball game, every man is for himself. The goal is to take everyone out and not be taken out.
There is a specific theme or story attached to the scenario paintball game. Scenario is ‘dramatic’ as players are pretending to be anything other than paintball players. This type of game is objective-driven and teams must complete their assigned task to score points.
Summarily, your first paintball game might not be so good which is perfectly normal and this is where the saying “practice makes perfect” comes in. Nevertheless, in order to make it easier for you, this article has provided you with the basic information needed to play a paintball game. What is important is for you to have fun and do not let mistakes deter you from participating in future games.