We get that question often, so we’ve put a lot of thought into finding a good analogy.
First, it depends on which paintball size you are talking about:
My referees and I have come up with this analogy:
- Getting hit with a .68 caliber ball (normal paintball) is like getting slapped hard with a ping pong paddle
- Getting hit with a .50 caliber ball (low-impact paintball) is like getting snapped with a rubber band
The impact of a paintball depends upon the weight of the ball, the velocity, and how far the ball had to travel to hit you.
- Velocity – There are industry standards for velocity that your local field should follow when calibrating your paintball marker
- Distance – Your local paintball field should have safety rules in place that prevent another player from firing at close distance (for example: a 50-yard line rule or other alternative to bunkering)
- Weight – The weight difference between the .50 caliber ball and the .68 caliber ball is what makes the difference in the hit
Another illustration we use is that the weight difference between a .68 caliber ball vs a .50 caliber ball is a similar ratio to the weight difference between a softball vs a tennis ball. That is why playing low-impact paintball is so great, you can still have all the fun with less worry about getting hit.
Millions of people all over the world play paintball every week and return to play again and again. You can enjoy the game as much as they do if you follow these practices:
- Cover as much bare skin as possible with long sleeves and long pants
- Wear a full-face mask to protect your face
- Wear gloves to protect the bare skin on your hands
- Always follow the safety rules of your local field
So, get out there and start strategizing with your friends!