As children, most of us have enjoyed the thrill of playing cops and robbers. We created strategies to outdo the “enemy”. As an adult, the thrill of playing games that get your adrenalin pumping is a source of great joy and satisfaction. Paintball is played for recreation and professionally too. Teenagers and adults alike enjoy the excitement of playing a team game that involves guns and shooting in a safe environment.
How the game began
- If you thought that Paintball is a recent invention then you will be surprised to know that the history of paintball can be traced back to the early 70s. Paint guns were then used to mark animals and trees. The early guns shot streams of paint, and later on, pellets containing oil based paints were designed and used. The pellets offered several advantages including better accuracy and the fact that you could shoot a longer distance than you could with a stream of paint. Paintball markers were produced by Daisy and Crossman and marketed by the Nelson Paint Company.
- Hayes Noel and Charles Gaines came up with the idea of a stalking game that could be played with paintball guns. Soon Noel, Gaines and their friend Bob Gumsey created the basic rules and guidelines for the game they named “National Survival Game” (NSG). The first Paintball game was played in the June of 1981, in a forest in New Hampshire. The players included the three creators of the game and nine other players. The sport had an “each-man-for-himself” format, and ultimately the winner would have to capture the flag. It was an experience of a lifetime and one of players published an article in the Sports Illustrated about his adrenalin pumping experience. And the rest, as they say, is history.
- The article in the Sports Illustrated received a lot of attention. This encouraged the creators of the game to create and sell NSG starter kits. The kit included a Nelson paintball pistol, paintballs, compass, goggles, and a rulebook. It was in 1982 that the first commercial paintball field was created by Gumsey in New Hampshire.
The game today
- In the decades to follow, the game has become increasingly popular amongst recreational as well as professional players. Amateurs often like to play in the woods. They also have a choice of playing in a commercial recreational area. Paintball has developed into an extreme sport and is a million dollar industry today. The quality of guns and paint pellets has improved drastically. Some guns can shoot as many as 15 balls per second. The balls are no longer filled with oil based paint but water based ones, and they are biodegradable. Top quality paintball markers start at $500 and can go up to $1500. Players may also be interested in buying body amour.
The first professional paintball league was established in 1992. Currently several leagues, including the National Professional Paintball League, Paintball Sports Promotions and United States Paintball League offer players the opportunity to compete and win thousands of dollars in prize money. You can enjoy playing the game with friends and let off some steam. Or, if you want to play at a higher level, you could also become a part of a local team. The game usually includes five or seven-man teams.