Here are a few of the most common questions people have about the sport of paintball. Please feel free to call the field if you have any questions (413-626-8212).
What is paintball?
It's a sport in which a bunch of kids to adults (loosely defined) go out in the woods or specially designed fields and relive our childhood by playing capture the flag. Only, in this game each player has a gun that fires gelatin capsules filled with a water-soluble marking dye. If you're shot and marked, you're out of the game and have to wait until the next one starts. The most common variation is two teams at opposite ends of a playing field, each with a flag hung at 'home base.' The object is to go get the other team's flag and bring it back to your base. When you encounter people on the other team, you try to tag them out before they get you. Pretty simple and lots of fun.
Is it safe?
Like all action sports (football, racquetball, basket-ball, hockey, etc.) paintball is potentially dangerous unless adequate protection is worn (most importantly: eye protection) and safety rules are understood and followed. Most paintball guns shoot a 68 caliber paintball. The ball is a thin plastic shell filled with a water soluble paint. Guns shoot the balls at a speed of 200 to 300 feet per second. Since the paintballs are fairly light (only weighing a few grams each), they have little momentum while in flight, and thus are not lethal like the heavy lead projectiles fired from conventional firearms. In addition to using a non-lethal projectile, paintball players ALWAYS wear protective masks covering their face and eyes. Safety is highly stressed at most fields. Xtreme Paintball REQUIRES goggles be worn at all times while on playing fields. While in the staging areas, we require that everyone have a BARREL BAG on their guns to prevent a ball from coming out of the barrel. Ignoring safety is a good way to get yourself ejected from a field.
Anyone 10 years old or older can play paintball.
Doesn't it hurt when you get shot?
The paintballs break open upon impact, and generally cause very little pain. What pain is experienced is more of a stinging sensation from the ball's impact against the skin or through clothing. In my experience, the stinging pain goes away after a few seconds. Of course, the closer you are to the gun, the higher the velocity of the ball when it hits you. Thus, more pain may be experienced when shot at close range rather than farther away. In general, one can count on coming off the field with a few welts from paintball impacts, but your most annoying injuries are more likely to be scrapes and bruises from the local terrain.
Do I have to be on a team?
You don't have to have an organized team. Xtreme encourages and organizes weekend walk-on games, where anybody can show up and play. We will put you on even teams and run games all day long, allowing everyone to get plenty of playing time.
What kind of Paintball Field should I look for?
For the first few games you should play on a well organized field. Size is not the best way to judge the field. The things to watch for are the number of referees on the field for each game and the explanation of the rules. The rules of safety and specific rules for the field/game should be clearly stated by a referee before anyone steps foot on the field to play.
What do I need to bring?
Bring old, sturdy, dark clothes and shoes or boots with some sort of ankle support. A towel to clean your mask and gun and perhaps to clean yourself off, just in case.
What safety equipment do I need?
The minimum safety equipment necessary are a protective PAINTBALL SPECIFIC mask and a barrel bag on the end of your gun. Players may choose to wear chest or groin protection.
How can I play safe?
Do not shoot animals or wildlife. Never shoot in the staging area. Do not fire your paint gun anywhere except on the field during the game or in the designated chronograph area/shooting range. Inspect the lens of your goggles for cracks or signs of weakness. Make sure your mask is well seated and will not come off during the game. Make sure the velocity of your paint gun is below 280 feet per second. Always assume the gun is loaded; even if you know otherwise. Upon receiving or retrieving a gun check if it's loaded. Anytime you are carrying a paintball gun in a 'safe zone' such as the parking lot or staging area where people are not wearing goggles, you MUST have a BARREL BAG on the barrel. If possible engage the safety or turn off the air supply, so the paintball gun will not fire accidentally. Know the rules of the game and abide by them. Never remove facemasks while on the field. Do not play when very tired or hungry. Bring food or money to buy food from field. Most injuries occur at the end of the day when players are exhausted. NEVER look down the barrel. Not even with protection. If the barrel needs checking, remove from the gun and check. If the barrel cannot be removed, disconnect all CO2/CA equipment, test fire the gun downrange until no more air is left in the gun, clear the breech or ball loading area, and then, carefully and while wearing goggles, glance down the barrel. Notify the field owner or manager of any medical conditions, allergies etc.
Do I need to be physically fit to play?
Not really, but it will help. As with all strenuous exercise participants should stretch and warm up before playing. Since typical games require quick sprints followed by a rest having good aerobic fitness is beneficial. Players should gauge their play to their level of fitness. All players in poor physical condition or with physically limiting conditions should consult a physician before playing. Proper footwear is very important. Some players find that lightweight canvas topped army boots or leather work boots protect feet and ankles in the woods. Other players prefer the support that sneakers give, as paintball does involve running. Personal preferences vary, but footwear should not be overlooked. Sports cleats are also excellent for playing in.
Can I get the paint out of my clothes?
Paint is water soluble and should wash out as normal. Make sure to wash it when you get home. Stains that set in for longer are harder to get out.