What is Paintball?
How to get in your splatter-zone!
Many people have heard of paintball, but don't really know how to play the game. Paintball actually refers to a variety of games where two or more players shoot paintballs (or paint filled pellets) at each other from a compressed air paintball gun, which is also known as a marker. A player is ruled to be hit and eliminated from the game when a paintball strikes them, bursts and paints them or any of their equipment. If you get hit by a paintball and it doesn't break and release the paint, you can count yourself lucky. An unbroken pellet doesn't count as a hit, and neither does a paintball that explodes before reaching the player. If you thought that flying paint filled pellets were your only worry - beware! In more complex games you also have to watch out for paintball grenades and land mines.
You can play paintball indoors and outdoors as it's a game that can be enjoyed all year round. The games are overseen by referees, who are present to enforce the rules and make sure all safety procedures are being followed. In fact, paintball is one of the safest games around according to insurance statistics - even safer than golf! Because of its realistic action, paintball is especially popular among young male adults in quite a few countries around the world. It's estimated that several million people play paintball every year in the USA alone.
Paintball is a game that can be enjoyed by just about anybody, as there's no stereotypical player. The combatants can be young and old, and come from all walks of life. It's not unusual to see a young female executive battling it out or fighting side by side with a middle aged lumberjack. There are recreational paintball players, serious tournament players, and even professional players and teams. Since paintball is a popular activity for groups of friends and coworkers to play, it's often the highlight of birthday parties and other special occasions.
There are a lot of different variations of paintball as the rules vary quite a bit from game to game. Of course if you're just playing a friendly recreational game, you can always make up your own rules as long as all players are on board. The games can be played by any number of people and can last a mere10 minutes or make up an entire weekend. The strategy you use to survive and win will depend on the style and rules of the game. Most versions of paintball are similar to hide and seek or capture the flag, but with a huge adrenaline rush. Many types of commercial paintball parks feature strategically placed bunkers and other types of structures of protection and cover; while outdoor paintball in the woods calls on your creative ingenuity to use nature as your protection.
As for the equipment needed, recreational players can usually rent their gear for the day; while more serious tournament players usually own their equipment. The game can cost you some serious coin as you need paintballs and markers, a hopper to hold the paintballs and an air source to shoot them - such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, propane or high pressure air canisters. You also need to wear the appropriate clothing, goggles, helmet, and protection. And don't forget that you're going to need somewhere suitable to play.