Paintball is a fast and furious
sport. It is played on both a
social and serious level by over 16
million people around the world
(Cooke,11). It is one of the
fastest growing sports on the
planet. Paintball's history, games,
guns, and safety are all part of
In 1970, James Hale, an engineer,
invented and patented the first
commercially successful paintball
gun. Paintball guns were first used
by the National Forest Association
to mark trees that would be cut
down. Then, it was used to mark
cattle by cowboys. One night while
sitting around a campfire, one
cowboy shot another and that is how
the game of paintball got started.
This "splotchmaker" can rightfully
claim to be the grandfather of
modern paintball guns (Peters, 73).
Over the next two decades, Daisy
Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Airgun
Frames manufactured these guns
under contract for the Nelson Paint
Co. During this twenty year span,
paintball evolved from a
"survivalist" game into the
wholesome, exciting, family game it
In paintball, there are two teams
equipped with paintball markers.
These are basically low-powered
airguns that fire small capsules of
paint. It is not a dangerous sport.
The only real danger is getting hit
in the eye with a paintball.
Wearing specific goggles made for
paintball easily stops this danger.
This rule is strictly enforced at
all reputable playing fields
worldwide. Obviously if a player is
out of sight of the referee and
takes off his mask, then he is
looking for trouble. American
Insurance statistics show that it
is safer to play paintball than to
play golf or go fishing (Pierce,
17). Getting hit by a paintball
generally does not hurt. You may
get an occasional bruise, but on
the whole the game is not painful.
The excitement certainly outweighs
any momentary discomfort a player
may feel. To lesson the chance of
being bruised, long sleeved shirts
and pants are highly recommended.
To be on the safe side, more than
one layer should be worn. Bright
colors should be avoided, purely
because the more visible you are,
the more likely you are to be shot.
Most people like to wear camouflage
clothing. This helps them to blend
into the environment and not be
easily shot. Also, good quality
hiking or trail boots with ankle
support is a good idea to protect
both feet and ankles.
There are many different leagues
and tournaments you can participate
in as a player. In a league
setting, you usually play a round
robin. Each week you play a
different team in the league until
you have played all of the teams.
Then, whoever has the best record
wins the league. In a tournament,
it is usually single elimination.
If your team loses, then they are
done. If they win, then your team
gets to keep moving on. When it is
finally down to two teams, they
play for the championship. Whoever
wins is the champion and they get a
prize. Sometimes, it is money (up
to five thousand dollars), cases of
paintballs, or free entry into the
There is a...