What is paintball?
Paintball is a sport that involves firing gelatin capsules filled with a water-based paint pneumatically from a sort of air-rifle called a marker. These capsules are used to mark players during a short round of a game. Once a player is “hit”, he alerts everyone to the fact that he is now “out” verbally and physically and leaves the field.
Is paintball safe?
Actually, paintball is one of the safest sports in the world! It’s injury rate is lower than that of even bowling (based on yearly averages). However, in order for paintball to be safe, protective devices need to be used and properly. Two such items are the barrel plug and the mask. The barrel plug is placed (more like jammed) into the end of the barrel before any mask is removed to ensure that any paintballs fired with the barrel plug in place will not exit the marker. The mask is to be worn anytime the barrels are unplugged, protecting the eyes, face, ears, and neck. The lenses on the masks WILL NOT break under normal conditions, although they need to be inspected if they are hit. Finally, there is a speed limit to how fast a paintball can travel. The US limit is 300 feet per second (fps), but most fields keep it below that.
Does it hurt?
It really depends on how susceptible to pain you may be. Take a rubber band and snap yourself with it, that is about what getting hit with a paintball will feel like. Sometimes close shots will leave welts or bruises, but they will clear up within 2 days.
What should I wear?
Most professional players, or just experienced players wear jerseys because they wick away sweat and keep you cool, while protecting your skin. However, you don’t need these if you are just starting in the sport. If its summer, throw on some dark-colored pants and a long sleeve t-shirt. Stick to natural colors (green, brown, black, grey), and try to not wear anything of the same color. If it’s cold outside, wear a sweatshirt with a t-shirt underneath, long pants (perhaps long johns) and thin gloves.