The object of the game is to go out and capture the other team's flag while protecting your own. While you are trying to capture a flag, you also try to eliminate opposing players by tagging them with a paintball expelled from a special airgun called a "marker." Games run a maximum of 10 minutes.
Between games, players take a break to check their equipment, get more paintballs and have a snack or soda while they share stories about the thrills of victory and the usually funny agonies of defeat. Win or lose, everyone has a good time and there's usually the next game waiting for you.
Paintballs come in a rainbow of bright colors: blue, pink, white, orange, yellow and more. When a paintball tags a player, the thin gelatin skin splits open, and the liquid inside leaves a bright "paint" mark. A player who is marked is eliminated from the game.
With pump-action paintguns (pumpguns), each time you want to shoot a paintball you first cock the paintgun by using a pump, then you squeeze the trigger to shoot the paintball; you must recock the paintgun before you can shoot again. Stockguns, using 12-grams, have the most basic pumpgun configuration (though they are becoming ever-more high-tech within the constraints of the configuration) and stock gun play is in a class of its own.
With semi-automatic markers, the first time you want to shoot you must cock the paintgun (usually by pulling back a cocking knob or handle), but after you shoot the first paintball the paintgun's action will recock the paintgun for you; you simply squeeze the trigger each time you want to shoot a paintball.
With a full-auto paintgun, when you squeeze the trigger for the first time, the 'gun will begin to shoot paintballs and will keep on shooting paintballs as long as you keep squeezing the trigger; when you release the trigger, the 'gun will stop shooting.
Markers range from simple to sophisticated, but what they all share in common is a limitation on their power and range. The international safety limit on the speed (measured in feet per second, "FPS") at which a marker shoots a paintball is 300 fps. A chronograph is used to test for speed limits, and all markers can be adjusted to shoot under the speed limit. A marker's range is limited, too; even shooting 300 fps, at maximum elevation with barrel pointed up into the air, a marker can lob a paintball only about 50 yards.
Referees on the field enforce safety and game rules. No physical contact is permitted in the game, and players are ejected from games or the playsite for breaking safety or playing rules. Fields have boundaries, and a player who steps outside a field's boundary is eliminated from that game.
Paintball is a character-building sport. Players learn about teamwork, gain self-confidence and develop leadership abilities while having fun and getting welcome stress-relief. Increasingly, corporations are finding the benefits of having their staff and management participate in paintball games.
Paintball is an exciting sport, and above all paintball is fun! It's a chance to shake off your day-to-day responsibilities and rekindle your spirit of adventure. When the adrenaline starts pumping, you can't help but love the thrill of the game!
This site was last updated 09/22/04