How old do you have to be to play paintball?

Paintball today is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and is gaining popularity every day. It is loved and can be played not only by males, but also by females and even children!

To begin with, it is worth understanding what paintball is. Paintball is an extreme game, where players from two teams shoot at each other with special pneumatic weapons (markers) loaded with balls that break when they hit an obstacle in front of them. The projectiles are safe as they consist of polyethylene glycol and non-toxic water-soluble substances. An exploding projectile leaves paint on a person’s clothing, which can be called a defeat in a certain area of the body.

Magazines of such weapons can hold about 200 projectiles due to the large size of the rounds. The balls have a relatively small kinetic energy compared to airsoft – while playing paintball, 12.5 joules of energy are released, and while playing with airsoft – 0.84 joules. What conclusion can we draw from this? Paintball pain will be felt quite vividly, especially when it hits sensitive areas.

Considering the above factors, at what age can you start playing paintball? Age limits depend on where you live and vary by country. For instance, in Canada you must be at least 13 years old, in Australia – 14 years old, in Japan – 14 years old. But in the United States of America – at least 12 years; the rules are spelled out in Titles 18 and 42 of the United States Code. The governing body for paintball in the United States is the National Paintball Association (NPA). California and New York currently have a minimum age to play paintball no matter where you live, while Texas requires you to be at least 14 years old to play. Most children aged 12-14 are already quite conscious of safety rules and can follow them without any complications. Usually, parents of children, who are under 18 years old, sign documents for their children.

There is also a low-impact paintball available from 8 years old. This game uses a simplified version of paintball with smaller balls, slower speed and less equipment. JT Splatmasters is also a simplified version of paintball; you can play it from 6 years old. The balls in this game are 100% biodegradable, their gelatin shell breaks easily on impact and does not cause much pain.

Like any game, paintball has certain rules and requirements. The first requirement is a age constraint; the second – outside the site, the marker must be on the fuse, with a plug on the barrel, and the barrel must be point down; the third – the balls that spilled out on the ground or did not break and that are lied on the platforms is strictly forbidden to lift and pour into the feeder.

General rules of the game:

• Safety goggles must be worn at all times as the eyes are the most vulnerable site.

• You cannot shoot in the head and neck

• You cannot shoot outside the playing field

• Always look at the target before shooting

• You can’t climb objects

• No physical contact

• No verbal or physical abuse

• You can’t argue with the judge

Not everyone comes as professionals to play paintball, all people are initially beginners, below are some tips for beginners:

• Do not be afraid of pain from a paintball, the expectation is often worse than reality is. This is just a game in which, knowing all safety rules, you can get no more than a bruise that does not cause harm to health. The game is so addictive that players often quickly overcome a moment of pain and completely forget about it, continuing to play. If you want to gain skills and experience in this kind of sport, you don’t need to be afraid and hide behind objects, you need to study and train.

• At the moment you see suitable to shoot the enemy, be sure that the target is clearly marked and you have every chance to hit it. But do not forget that when shooting that a specific sound will be made and it will be heard by other participants, which mean that you will give out your location; be careful and ready for that.

• The mask and goggles are not just an item of equipment, but your safety in the first place. A projectile that hitted the face can cause a lot of injuries, which can cause great harm to your health. This is one of the rules enforced by the owners and referees, and if you do not follow it, you can be kicked off the playing field.

• If you have a problem with the marker – contact the technicians; do not try to figure out the problem yourself.

• Since the paint will splatter when it hits, it is likely that it will get on the goggles and obstruct your vision; microfiber will perfectly cope with this problem.

As you may have noticed, paintball is a safe game only if the rules are followed; safety is the key to a good and non-traumatic game. Equipment, designed specifically for paintball, gives proper protection. It is important to remember that a mask and goggles can protect you from unwanted injuries during the game and even when you are no longer participating in it. Warm up well before the game, because paintball is not only shooting, hiding in a secluded place and waiting, but also running, moving and jumping. This is a tactical game, in which it is important to think about your moves and shoot clearly at the target, and not accidentally. The safe distance for shooting is 6 meters, if the enemy is at a shorter distance, just ask him to surrender.

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