A sport of teams, similar to dodgeball where members are the opposing team are eliminated from each round when they are hit by plastic bullets fired from guns. With Airsoft a “hit” is acknowledged via an honour system. If you are hit, you admit it and remove yourself voluntarily from that “round”, waiting on the sidelines to rejoin in the next round…or retreating to a starting point to “re-spawn” and get back into the fun. With paintball the bullets contain marker paint, similar to that used to mark cattle and livestock. It’s much harder to pretend you haven’t been hit in paintball because the bullet is actually a packet of paint that splits and splatters upon impact. The velocity of the “paint ball” is such that it often leaves a telltale raised welt on one’s skin.
In my own paintball adventures I’ve been lucky enough to be taken in by a veteran who lent me a full kit of what could be considered the equivalent to SWAT gear, complete with a semi-automatic gun that could practically spray bullets. I quickly realized how advanced some of the players were in skill when I took two sniper rifle shots to the middle of my forehead in the first ten minutes of a match. Humiliating injuries aside, it was the most adrenaline-filled physical exertion I had experienced in a long time and I remember leaving the field with a perma-smile. I’ll be looking for another tour of duty as soon as I can.