Paintball has now been around internationally, in various forms, for nearly 30 years. It originated in the US, and there are differing theories on how exactly the sport came into play.
The most widely held belief on the origin of paintball is that it was a result of forestry workers developing a paint-splatting device which they used to mark trees for felling. Cowboys then took hold of the idea and used it for marking livestock, before taking things a step further and turning the markers on each other – resulting in a new extreme sport, which has since become internationally popular!
Paintball has long been an established recreational activity worldwide, immensely popular with people of all ages and for all occasions – including youth groups, school outings, birthday parties, bucks parties, corporate team building and tournament events.
It has taken longer for paintball to spread throughout Australia & New Zealand, mainly due to the differences in Australian law. In some Australian states, paintball has only been legalised in the last few years, and Tasmania remains the only Australian state in which the activity is still illegal. However, the particular laws differ between each state, and even the minimum legal age of players is not consistent across the nation.
As with all sports, paintball is a game of competition which is played to win and millions of people worldwide participate on a regular basis. Whilst there are some who play internationally at professional tournament level, the sport still largely remains a recreational activity for people who enjoy the occasional fun day out with friends once or twice a year.
Paintball exists in various forms, and can be played in either outdoor or indoor arenas, with any number of players from two to 200. As a general rule, a game of paintball involves two opposing teams with an objective – this objective may be to complete a set task (e.g. retrieve a flag, invade or protect a fort, assassinate a specific player) or simply to eliminate all members of the opposing team. Sometimes these games are played within time constraints, and sometimes they run until the set objective is achieved by one team; as such, games can take anywhere from seconds, minutes or even hours to play out.
The rules of the game can vary depending on the setting, whether played internationally, in a commercial or tournament setting. Regardless of the specific rules, any game of paintball is designed to ensure all participants have a positive and enjoyable experience, whilst playing within a safe environment. Accordingly, participation in the sport requires very specific equipment.
Paintball is a game that does not rely purely on physical prowess and such can be enjoyed by everyone (minimum age restrictions apply in each Australian state). If you are not physically fit or just don’t fancy being too gung-ho, then you can hang back, sneak around and use sniper shots to pick off each of your opponents one by one – the beauty of the game is that there is a way to play that suits everyone!