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Paintball Safety

Get out and enjoy some Paintball

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There are hundreds of paintball playing fields scattered throughout the United States as well as across the globe. Some are simply a combination of open fields and woods on private land where the paintball players pay an admission fee for the day. Other venues are much more elaborate and commercialized. The high end commercial paintball playing fields might include restrooms, equipment rentals, paintball sales and food service. Most of these commercial paintball gaming fields have paid staff and paintball referees to ensure that the players adhere to the rules.

Because some states have enacted specific laws with regards to paintball games, many fields require that players complete a safety guidelines seminar before play can begin. This ensures safety standards are met to comply with insurance regulations. It also helps keep paintball injuries to a minimum.

Most commercial paintball fields are Field Paint Only (FPO), requiring all players to purchase and use paintballs from field-owned retail establishments. By forcing the paintball players to buy FPO, it makes it easier for the safety standards to be closely monitored. Rented paintball guns are kept in better shape because the quality of the paint in the paintballs is assured. Cheap paintballs can negatively affect the overall operation of paintball guns, causing either gun failures or injury.

Paintball leagues are most often formed at the commercial playing fields, much like bowling leagues are affiliated with alleys. These leagues provide organized competition among the paintball teams, providing a safe and consistent quality playing field for the players. Paintball has grown to accommodate professional, semi-professional and amateur leagues. These leagues exist not only in the United States, but across Europe, Canada and Australia as well.

Most paintball leagues will run the tournaments and control the associated rules of each paintball game. For instance, the paintball league may run a tournament that limits the number of paintballs each player is given at the beginning of every game. They will also delineate the number of players that can play on each team and the purpose of every game, such as Capture the Flag. The League will also determine the number of matches and usually provide referees to oversee the paintball players.

Another version of paintball is known as speedball, which is played on smaller fields and where the matches are of shorter duration. What makes speedball unique and different from paintball is the use of identical bunkers and other artificial props to guarantee each opposing side enjoys the same overall terrain conditions.

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Photos copyright by Jay Graham Photographer
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