Whether you have played paintball before or not, you likely at least know someone who enjoys playing it. No matter your exposure to paintball, here are three things about it which you may not already know.
Perhaps one of the most surprising things about the origin of paintball is that it easily could have never come to be even. The original paintball gun, the Nel-Spot 007, was not created for paintball at all. Instead, it was created for foresters to mark trees and for ranchers to mark their cattle from a distance. Two friends, Hayes Noel and Charles Gaines, got in an argument about whether an urban savvy business man or an outdoorsman had better survival instincts. Ultimately, the argument led the men to the Nel-Spot 007. After a duel between the two men to test the practicality of using the gun on humans, paintball was born.
The first paintball game was played on June 27, 1981 in a large wooded lot in Henniker, New Hampshire. Twelve guys, dressed in camouflage and wearing shop goggles were each armed with a Nel-Spot 007, a gun created specifically to be used with oil-based paint as the ammunition. The goal of the game was to get a flag from each of the four widely spread out stations without being hit with paint by another player. Although players were hit during the game, the winner, Ritchie White, never even had to fire his paintball gun. One of the other participants, Lionel Atwil later said:
No one ever saw Ritchie, and he never fired a shot. He crept through the woods from station to station, gathering flags as easily as a schoolgirl gathers flowers.
Those twelve men playing paintball in a wooded area in New Hampshire has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with thousands of participants in many different countries.
Perhaps because it is a sport where people shoot at each other, paintball often gets a reputation as a violent sport. Because of that, some people assume it is also a sport with a lot of injuries. The opposite is actually true. Tackle football accounts for 3.8 injuries per 1,000 participants, soccer has 2.4 injuries per 1,000 participants, and even 0.6 runners out of every 1,000 participants are injured, but only 0.2 paintball participants are hurt per 1,000 participants.
These injuries even take into account all paintball-related injuries, including an ankle sprain, cuts, heat exhaustion, and other injuries not caused by the actual paint hitting the person. The low number of injuries is due in part to the precautions taken by paintball participants, including the use of goggles for everyone within the paintball area, and the use of a barrel plug to prevent the gun from misfiring when not in use. Participants, both new and previous players, also often get briefed in safety precautions when participating in paintball at a paintball facility. Major paintball injuries generally happen in an unsupervised environment where players are not using proper precautions.
According to the Guinness World Records, the world record for the most paintballs caught whole in two minutes while blindfolded is eleven. This record, set on May 30 2003 in Hellensburgh, New South Wales, Australia, is held by Anthony Kelly of Australia. The .68 caliber paintballs were shot from just over 65 feet at a speed of 240 feet per second.
While catching paintballs while blindfolded might not sound like fun, perhaps chasing your friends around trying to hit them is more your style. Whether you are a beginner to the sport or you have years of experience, contact us to make reservations for your friends and you to enjoy a few hours of paintball fun. We even offer group discounts for things such as birthday parties, bachelor parties, and team building events.