Where did it all start?
The game was initially developed in May 1981 in New Hampshire by Hayes Noel, a Wall Street stock trader, and Charles Gaines, an outdoorsman and writer. A debate arose between them about whether a city-dweller had the instinct to survive in the woods against a man who had spent his youth hunting, fishing, and building cabins. The two men chanced upon an advertisement for a paint gun in a farm catalogue and were inspired to use it to settle their argument with 10 other men in individual competition, eventually creating the sport of paintball.
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 adrenalin starts pumping, you can’t help but love the thrill of the game!
The sport is played for recreation and is also played at a formal sporting level with organized competition that involves major tournaments, professional teams, and players. Paintball technology is also used by military forces, law enforcement, paramilitary, and security organizations to supplement military or other training.
Games can be played on indoor or outdoor fields of varying sizes. A playing field may have natural or artificial terrain which players use for tactical cover. Game types and goals vary, but include capture the flag, elimination, defending or attacking a particular point or area, or capturing objects of interest hidden in the playing area. Depending on the variant played, games can last from minutes to hours, or even days in “scenario play”.
For safety, paintball players always must wear a Mask specifically designed for paintball to protect their eyes. Mask’s must be worn during a game and at all times when a person is in an area where shooting is permitted, such as the target range or chronograph area. A protective facemask is mandatory nearly everywhere, and should be worn regardless. A barrel plug is inserted into the barrel of the marker when not in use. Paintball is a very safe sport as long as safety rules are followed. Insurance statistics have shown that paintball is safer than golf, jogging, tennis, swimming and many other sports.
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.
Paintguns, also called “markers,” come in a variety of shapes and styles. They may be powered by carbon dioxide (CO2) or compressed air. Many have power systems that use large refillable cylinders called “tanks” or “bottles” that give hundreds of shots before needing to be refilled. Some use small 12 gram CO2 powerlets as their power source, each powerlet being good for 15 to 30 shots.
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.
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.
A paintball is a round, thin-skinned gelatin capsule with colored liquid inside it. Paintballs are similar to large round vitamin capsules or bath oil beads. The fill inside paintballs is non-toxic, non-caustic, water-soluble, Non Staining and biodegradable. It rinses out of clothing and off skin with mild soap and water and are even edible, although we don’t recommend it!
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.