In the 1980s some residents of Henniker, New Hampshire, were looking for some exciting sport that can break the monotony of everyday sports and give them something fun-filled. The result was a sport that we enjoy today in different forms – Paintball. The name of the game makes it clear what is going to happen in it, you have a paintball marker which shoots dye-filled gelatin or oil paintballs which break when they hit something.
The game is enjoyed indoors as well as outdoors in areas of varying sizes. The game fields have a natural or artificial terrain that is used by the players for tactical cover. There are major tournaments and professional teams who have popularized the sport even more. The technology of paintball is also used by the military forces and law-enforcement and security organizations to train the people.
The equipment needed for paintball usually depends on which variation of the game you will be playing like woodsball, speedball or milsim. Additionally, the amount of money you will be spending on the game is also an important factor. There are three basic pieces of equipment which all players will need to play the game.
- Paintball marker – It is often referred to as the paintball gun because of its design. This is the main equipment used in the game. With the help of paintball markers, players can mark the players of the opposing team. The guns have a loader also known as a hopper attached to ensure that the marker has enough paint available.
- Paintballs – The paintballs that mark the opposing team are the next important equipment in every game. These are spherical gelatin capsules which include dye along with other substances that leave a mark that cannot be easily removed. When the paintballs are shot, the capsules break and splatter to create the mark.
- Mask or Goggles – To ensure the safety of the eyes of the players from the dye reaching the eyes, masks or goggles are used. When the sport began, players usually used safety goggles that were used in labs and wood shops. As the game evolved, better equipment started replacing the original ones. Today, the masks and goggles used by the players are similar to those worn by snowboarders.
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These three items are what you primarily need to begin the game, however, there are other equipment that are also used.
- Pods and Pod packs are often used by players to store ready-to-use paintballs.
- Squeegee are used to clear the barrels of the markers if a paintball accidentally breaks inside it.
- Jerseys and Pants that resemble the BMX and motocross attire is used by players so that they do not get bruised from close hits.
- Elbow and knee pads are used to help protect the players from bruising their knees and elbows.
- Gloves are worn to protect painful impact of the paintballs on the hands and knuckles.
- Vehicles are used in scenario play which can help players move around in the field. They are often fitted with weapons that discharge paintballs.
Types of Paintball games
- Woodsball – Played in a natural environment where the playing field is generally in the woods, woodsball is a recent iteration of the game. Woodsball is played by large teams and is often termed as Big Games. Large scale woodsball is also known as Scenario games. Popular places for woodsball are:
- Cousin’s Big Game in Coram, New York
- Hell Survivor’s Game outside Pinckney, Michigan
- Invasion of Normandy at Skirmish U.S.A, Pennsylvania
- Milsim – Short of Military Simulation, this game intends to create an experience which is similar to military reality.
- Speedball – This variation of paintball requires an open field. This playing area is usually flat and turf-based. The area is dotted with inflatable bunkers which can be utilized by the players to protect themselves. It is comparatively faster than woodsball and requires more paintballs.
The strategy of the players largely depends on the type of game they are playing. In an open field, the first thing players do is look for the bunkers to conceal themselves, while in the woods, teams try to look for a hill or a trench where they can hide and attack the opposing teams.
The strategy changes depending on whether the game is playing indoors or outdoors. In an average game the players end up beginning as a team but often end up sticking with known friends to attack the other team.
Paintball is a thrilling game that is enjoyed in many parts of the world. It is popular because of the elements of fun and the adrenaline rush it creates in the players.