About Paintball

A History

The exact beginnings of 'Paintball' are fuzzy, but what is known is that it began with pistol style 'markers' used for marking trees and cattle.  These CO2 cartridge powered pistols shot actual paint, and some people began using them to hunt each other.  Eventually versions were made with safer, reduced velocity settings.  These pistols would shoot one ball at a time, and then the user had to manually pump the gun again in order to cock it and shoot another.  As the 'sport' caught on, newer technology was developed and an Indiana man named Dennis Tippmann developed the first semi-automatic gun.  To this day, Tippmann, a Fort Wayne, Indiana based company is a big name in the industry.  A new trend now is for 'computerized' electronic guns which are more efficient and have reduced weight.  The first of these was developed in 1995.  Paintball started with people in camouflage running around in the woods, and a number of people still play this way.  Known as Rec-Ball (or Woodsball) it is a slower paced game, sometimes with a military theme, and games can last a long time.  People unknown to the sport often think of this type of player first when they hear the word 'paintball'.  However, over the last 10 years paintball has come out of the woods and evolved into a 'sport.' 

Where it Stands Today
Referred to as 'speedball,' paintball as it stands today has become the third most popular extreme sport in the nation.  As the sport has shifted towards legitimacy in the eyes of the mainstream over the last decade, it has come out of the woods and into regulation sized fields, gaining recognition as a the sport it is.  Played on rectangular fields, each side has a set of inflatable bunkers which is mirrored on the other side.  Teams of equal number of players start on opposing ends, which the object of capturing a flag and hanging it at your flag station.  The game is fast paced, and is score by points, given for eliminations, flag grabs and captures, and players left standing.  Teams wear brightly colored jerseys and uniforms, just as in other sports, as the key to winning lies in strategies and tactics rather than stealth.  Testament to the fact that it is growing, the sport has begun to broadcast on national television, and teams are beginning to get sponsorships from companies outside of the industry.  The National College event last year was actually sponsored by Microsoft's Xbox division. 

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For problems or questions regarding this web contact Eric Lucas.
Last updated: 07/01/05.