"For some being a weekend warrior is enough. Other play for the thrill of victory, and seek out higher levels of competition. Paintball serves up plenty of opportunities for everyone. How far you go in this sport is largely up to you." - Steve Davidson
Paintball marker parts
Whether you want to play recreationally with friends or compete in this very competitive sport, it is a really good way to let out your frustrations after a long week at work. Taking part as a team and playing live with 'real' ammunition will beat any video game experience. Feeling the adrenaline and satisfaction of achieving your objective and sometimes tasting defeat will make this sport something that will draw you back.
If you want to get started you are bound to find a friend who plays paintball or a paintball shop somewhere in your area. You could also find a field near you on the Go Paintball site (www.gopaintball.co.za).
Variations of paintball include Capture the Flag, Elimination, Woodsball, Speedball and Scenario paintball. Basically there are no limits to the variations that can be played. Keep in mind that different fields can have different rules for a variation, ensure that you familiarise yourself with the rules before starting a game.
No matter what the end goal of the specific variation is that is being played, each player has to do his best to not get shot and to shoot the opponents. A hit is counted when a mark from a paintball is clearly visible (bigger than a coin). This excludes splatter from paintballs that hit other objects. If the player is unsure if the hit is valid, a 'paint check' can be requested. Another player or referee can then determine if the hit is valid. When hit, the player has to leave the field with the marker held over his head and go to the dead zone. The dead zone should be away from the playing field so it is safe for eliminated players to clean their masks.
Because you are essentially inviting other players to pelt you with paintballs, a mask is required and protective clothing can negate most of the sting. Getting hit on the back might leave a bruise, getting shot in the face can be disastrous.
Don't let this put you off. Paintball is safe for all ages as long as safety precautions are taken and protective gear is used properly.
A variation of paintball is airsoft where replica firearms (airsoft guns) are used along with spherical non-metallic pellets to eliminate opponents. Skirmishes and scenarios are enacted and military tactics are often used to achieve the objectives of the game. Many variations in rules and scenarios are possible.
If you are a archer who wants to try paintball, why not do something different? Have a look at the Airow gun. This attachment converts your bow into a paintball gun.
Of course you can leave the gun at home and simply use a slingshot ("kettie").
Protective equipment needed:
Paintball forum is a discussion site where you can get information on paintball in SA. Second hand equipment is also available.
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