Do you wanna play Paintball? All you need to know

Paintball is a famous and widely practiced activity around the world, but it does not always take place in a fun environment

Do you wanna play Paintball? All you need to know

Paintball is an activity in which two teams armed with balls of paint as ammunition, try to recreate a battlefield. The weapons, called "markers", are fired with compressed air and, according to the Camuflaje.org portal, are derived from paint guns used to mark cattle in the United States during the 70s.

Leer en español: ¿Quieres jugar Paintball? Esto es lo que tienes que saber

Although it is mistakenly believed that Paintball is simply an activity of mere entertainment and relief, this practice is actually a sport. In fact, paintball has rules, game modes and nascent federations around the world.


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Like all sports, Paintball has some basic rules in its game manual, as specified by the web portal Paintball España. These are:

  • Each of the players must have a protective mask in optimal conditions for their use
  • A player will be eliminated when he receives the impact of one of the balls of paint, either on his body or on his marker. Also, he can be eliminated either because a player surrenders, by self-elimination or disqualification for not complying with the rules of the game. An example of this is to hide the paint stain that left some impact
  • The winning team will be the one that captures a delimited objective before starting the game, defeats each one of the players of the opposite side or obtains more points, according to the modality that is developed

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There are two great ways to play paintball: Recball and Speedball. Recball, also known as Recreational Paintball, refers to a much more amateur and entertaining style. The Argentine Paintball Association (AAP) defines it as "much more ludic than competitive, since it allows recreating different historical events, warlike conflicts (...), or a confrontation between terrorists and special forces".

The Speedball is a much more professional format because of the speed and concentration, both physical and mental, that is required. It can be said that this modality is based on the typical strategy of capturing the flag, with variations of time according to the number of participants that the teams present.

Being of a professional level, the Speedball has an arbitration team that is in charge of controlling the elimination of the participants and punishing the offenders within the game. The AAP explains that, for example, "in case a player is spotted and cleaned, then the referee must remove that participant along with 3 other players from his team."


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Global impact

According to the AAP, this sport was born in the United States at the end of the 70s. However, it was not until the beginning of the 80s that the first specialized paintball field in New York was born. Since then its popularity does not stop growing.

The Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) ensures that since 2010, 20 million people have practiced Paintball in the US per year, of which 80% are men. In Europe there is also a great admiration for this sport discipline, represented by the European Paintball Federation (EPBF), which hosts about 15 national federations.

However, the highest level of Paintball worldwide is the World Paintball Organization (WPBO), which governs the regulations and international standards with which this sport should be practiced at a professional level. For its part, the Paintball Leagues International (PBL) is in charge of regulating the leagues that exist in the world.


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Paintball in Latin America

Latin America has also managed to consolidate federations and associations in the main countries of the region, such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. In fact, in 2016 these countries formed the Latin American Paintball Federation (FELAP).


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Currently, FELAP has the participation of Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Aruba and Costa Rica, each of these countries with their respective championships. Among the most important in the region are:

  • The Legend Paintball Series in Colombia,
  • The Argentine Paintball Tournament
  • The Brazilian Circuit of X-Ball
  • In the world, the National Xball League is one of the most relevant

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LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández

Translated from "¿Deporte o entretenimiento? Todo lo que tienes que saber sobre el Paintball"

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