08 June 2008
edit1: adjusted cost of equipment downwards
[the below refers to the paintball variant: speedball, where players fight in out in a restricted field with bunkers littered around]
1. Is it expensive?
House markers (think, guns) and house masks are available "free" for your use.
We typically spend $50 per session to purchase our pellets.
If you want to invest in protective clothing, it might cost you between $100-$500. If not, you can use the equipment provided by the management.
2. Is it painful?
Imagine someone "piak" you with their fingers as hard as they can. Now multiply that force by x5 for a long range shot. x10 for an average shot.
At competition levels, players are allowed to run past the safety line. This allows opponents the chance to get real close. The pain could be as high as x20 for a point-blank shot. Relax however, that the damage is only superficial, limited to broken skin and a "little volcano" bruise at its worst.
Protective clothing can limit these bruises by a huge factor; other than looking cool.
3. Safety (Center) line?
Under PBAS regulation, the center of the paintball fields must be separated by a safety line; No one is allowed to cross it, so opposing teams can only shoot at each other from their half of the field. The center line is waived for competitive paintball.
4. Is it dangerous?
Damage is limited to small, localised bruises. Nothing could be permanently damaged. However, the eye is more fragile and is vulnerable. Paintball games place a serious emphasis on mask protection. In the event that someone's mask falls off (or taken out), the game is stopped immediately and the person is driven off from the field.
Speedball is a non-contact sports; no physical contact is allowed. So serious injuries are usually the result of recklessness and stupidity - like diving, sliding, jumping.
If someone is very malicious, a shot at the back of the head, at point-blank range might cause unconsciousness. I doubt the marshals would take kindly to such an act.
5. How do I join the local paintball scene?
Please visit the forums at http://www.weplaypaintball.com/forum/
You can find me there as Joran.