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Paintball is a sport whose participants use markers to shoot paintballs (roughly marble-sized, .68 caliber, gelatin capsules filled with colored polyethylene glycol) at other players. Once marked by a paintball, a player is eliminated from the game.
Basic Paintball Games
Capture the Flag
The classic schoolyard game, with a paintball twist. Teams start on opposing sides and attempt to acquire the opponents' flag while protecting their own. Victory is achieved by being the first team to hang the opponents' flag on the designated location at or near their own starting location. Also, victory can be achieved by eliminating(shooting) all the players on the other team.
Neutral Flag or Center Flag
Similar to Capture the Flag, the game starts with a single flag at the center of the field instead of one at each end. The winner is the team that brings the flag to the opponent's end of the field.
The team that eliminates all of the players on the oposing team wins.
Styles of Play
Woodsball, paintball's original format, is generally played in a wooded area large enough to hold dozens of players. Woodsball games generally take more time than speedball games. Players will often take their time and stalk their opponents in this format. Also, as a generalization, woodsball markers are not designed to fire (cycle) as fast as their speedball counterparts as suppression by fire is not as important in woodsball as speedball. Marker choice is all based on individual preferences, from stock class to electro-pneumatic.
Many different games may be played in woodsball. Center flag, capture the flag, total emimination, protect the president, hopperball, 21, civil war and many other games limited only by the players' imagination.
Speedball is a faster, closer-quarters game than woodsball and is played on a field about the size of a basketball court or two. Artificial barriers (bunkers), often inflatable rafting material, plastic tubing, wood palets or tires, are placed throughout the field for players to move between and hide behind. Any material may be used and is usually placed in an open field in a symetrical pattern, relative to the other side, in such a way as to give no advantage to one side or the other.
The close quarters foster a lot of movement and "bunkering", or running up to an opposing player's bunker and eliminating them from close range. Attributes concerning marker preference usually include high rate of fire or cycle rate, reduced weight and compact. Most national and local tournaments and leagues are built around speedball and incorporate different skill levels.
Scenario paintball games are often large scale games with a theme, usually Historical, Fantasy or Science Fiction involving hundreds of people, such as the Battle of Normandy, or modern scenarios such as storming a building and rescuing hostages. Scenario games can last hours or even days, and bigger games often have player re-insertions at set intervals. Skirmish Paintball in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania holds several every year, including The Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Normandy, which drew more than 3,000 attendees in 2005. The largest is probably "" which drew more than 3,500 in 2005, plays across 700 acres of land and includes some 15 "paintball tanks" and pontoon-built landing craft.
Modern tournament paintball has developed in earnest since roughly 1990. Woodsball tournaments, the original and once the most popular format, have largely given way to speedball fields, whose inflatable bunkers can be moved between matches or tournament stages. The most common tournament formats pit two teams of three, five, or seven players against each other. Teams play several other teams, accumulating points in each game for acts such as being the first to get the flag, bringing the flag to the goal, eliminating opposing players, and having uneliminated players left at the end of the game.
Safety is paramount while playing paintball and is strictly enforced. This means players must wear only paintball-specific goggles and facemasks at all times while playing, even if they are out. Under no circumstances should eye protection ever be removed on a live field.
If you find your mask is covered with paint, sweat, or dirt, and you cannot see well enough to safely get off the field, stand with both hands in the air and yell (usually "Fogged!") for assistance. A ref or another player will lead you to a safe area.
If your mask falls off during a game, drop to your knees and cover your eyes with your arm or hands while yelling for assistance and/or a ceasefire repeatedly. Players or refs will come running to help. Do not be surprised if you are pushed down or otherwise covered by players and/or refs.
Besides mandatory use of masks, fields require that markers don't fire above a certain velocity. This reduces the possibility of mask failure, and will leave less of an injury when you are hit. The allowed speeds usually range from around 250 Feet Per Second to the highest allowed velocity of 300 FPS(just because the guns velocity is higher doesn't mean it will shoot better). Velocities exceeding 300ft/sec will break uncovered skin and cause bleeding.
Many players involved in outlaw games will tend to have their guns firing "hot" or above this velocity. It is recommended that everyone playing outlaw games, get their guns "chronoed" or speed check before playing. Chronographs or "Chronos" can be found relatively cheap and can greatly help the safety of everyone playing.
Changes in temperature/ atmospheric pressure, and paint will affect marker velocity; it is therefore strongly advised markers are "chronoed" several times throughout the day. Players involved in outlaw games are strongly recommended to purchase a chronograph to ensure safe play at all times. Chronographing is also highly recommended when changing anything on your marker such as disassembly, different barrel etc.
Paintball has proved to be an extremely safe sport and its good record comes from the uncompromising emphasis on safety.
"Ball Hauler" - The harness used to transport pods on the feild. While they do come in a staggering array of capacities and sizes, ultimately they all function in about the same way.
"bonus ball" (v)- Hits a player receives after being eliminated, usually while leaving the field of play. A player may receive bonus balls due to the increasingly fast rate of fire of markers in tournament play, walking through a spot another player is shooting, or occasionally by being intentionally shot by an opponent. Sometimes referred to as "Extra Love". These usually happen in tourney setting and also result in penalties. Players that are skittish and have a low tolerance for pain need lots of love.
"bunker" (n) - A non-natural obstacle on the field of play suitable for use as cover. In wooded play, a bunker may be a large fallen log, a collection of wood, a constructed obstacle of wood, barrels, or other material, or even a dug-out depression in the ground. In speed ball, virtually all objects placed on an otherwise empty grass or dirt field are "bunkers", and in most modern speed ball tournaments, bunkers are inflatable vinyl obstacles (like river rafts with more basic and varied shapes).
"bunker" (v) - When a player is behind a bunker, the bunker blocks that player's view of the field in front of him, forcing the player to occasionally look out from behind the bunker (and risk being hit) or rely on teammates to prevent opposing players from advancing through that area. If the teammates are looking the wrong way, or there are no teammates left, an opposing player can often run straight up to the player's bunker without the player seeing him and "bunker" the player by shooting directly over or around the side of the cover.
"chop" - Sometimes a marker may fire when a paintball has only fed partially into the breech. The force of the bolt of the marker moving forward will then cut the paintball in half inside the marker's chamber, creating a rather unpleasant mess that will prevent the marker from shooting accurately until cleaned. Chops are usually caused by a marker shooting too fast for the speed at which the loader can feed it, or sometimes by misshapen paint that does not feed properly or low pressure or mechanical failure that causes the bolt to actuate more than once in quick succession. Many markers have special technology to prevent them from firing before a paintball has fed completely or to reduce the speed of the bolt so that it can't break a partially fed paintball.
"chop a snake" - A process in which one player will fire over the head of an opponent located behind a snake, pinning him down, while another will advance along the length of the snake eliminating the opponent.
"eye/eyes/ACE" (n) - A laser detection system installed on electronic markers. There are two types; break beam and reflective. Break beam incorporates two eyes which send a laser across the breech to one another. When a ball enters the breech of the marker, it breaks the laser, telling the marker that a ball is ready to be fired. Reflective sends a laser across the breech from one eye. If a ball enters the breech, the laser will be reflected back into the eye, indicating that a ball is ready to be fired. These electronic laser systems help prevent chopping in markers and help markers reach higher rates of fire consistently.
"Fogged" - This term typically referrs to a player who's visor has fogged up so bad they cannot see
"Gogged" - An expression denoting that a player has been hit directly in the mask by another player.
"Guppy" - One of the many terms used when referring to the large tubes used to carry paintballs on the feild, the industry refers to them officially as pods.
"Hopper" - The hopper is simply the magazine for the paintball marker, sizes do vary but the average is about 200 rounds. While some designs utilize a hopper that feeds balls to the gun via gravity placing it directly above the bolt. Some other designs use a Hopper built off the side of the marker using a pneumatic system to feed them into the breech of the marker. Other hopper designs are offset to the right or left, or recently set foreward and below the barrel.
"Lit up" - An expression connotation overwhelming victory. It is often used to describe someone who has been marked several times. It can also be used to describe a situation in which an individual or team exercised a great advantage to defeat the other player or team. A dangerous practice prevalent in the tournament that results in penalties being issued to the team.
"Paint check" - When an official or another player inspects a player for hits. Necessary because hits on hard equipment may not be noticed by the player, and hits that do not leave a mark do not count, so a player may need another person to check to see if a hit broke when it is on an area of the body the player cannot readily see.
"Ramping" (v)- A feature enabled in many aftermarket electronic marker 'mod boards' that functions as de-facto full-auto; while in ramping mode, pulling the trigger faster than a preset lower limit (typically 5 or more times a second) causes the marker to "ramp" to its maximum preset rate of fire, which can exceed 20 balls per second, or to fire as quickly as the hopper can supply balls to the breech. Many "ramp boards" also incorporate elaborate schemes to conceal this feature from tournament referees, including a simple "panic button" trigger press sequence to turn ramping off before a marker can be confiscated and tested, and randomized rate of fire to mask the fact that the trigger activity doesn't match the actual firing of paintballs. In response to the popularity of ramping (and the difficulty of catching violators), some organizations have abandoned a strict semi-auto-only policy and adopted a 15 ball-per-second cap in its place. This allows referees with sound-activated timers to monitor rate of fire during games.
"Snake" (n)- In hyperball, speedball, x-ball, and airball a snake is a long, low structure (less then 1 meter/3 feet high) usually located either in the middle or to one or both sides of a field. The snake is a unique setup because it allows a player to advance a considerable distance while still being protected from being hit from most locations on the field.
"Surrender"- This is yelled by the shooter if s/he holds an upper hand on an opponent within a close range; this is done to give the enemy a chance to surrender without being shot.
"Tanks" - This revers to the C02, Air, nitro or propane cylinders or tanks used to power a paintball gun's ability to fire, in most cases the tank is screwed directly into the marker however, some players use a coiled hose that allows them to carry the tank in another location of their person removing extra weight from the marker.
"tricked out" - A term used to describe a gun that has numerous upgrades and enhancements, oftentimes providing dubious or non-existent performance benefits.
Every paintball field has its own lingo for various obstacles, bunkers, and landmarks that are unique to the site. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms used by other players beforehand.
Flags: Very Short (0-60 mins), Short (1-3 hours), Medium (3-6 hours), With a Group, Teens, Adults, Outdoors, Day, Sunny