While the game or sport of paintball is familiar to most people, many have never played the game and don't know what it really is, other than people running around shooting each other with globs of paint. But paintball is so much more than that, and is great fun as well. The object of playing a game of paintball is to eliminate your opponents in a 'field of battle' by hitting them with a paintball.
A paintball is made of a round capsule that's filled with non-toxic and wash-out substances, more scientifically known as polyethylene glycol, or what is officially described in the American Heritage dictionary as, 'any of a family of colorless liquids with high molecular weight that are soluble in water and in many organic solvents and are used in detergents and as emulsifiers and plasticizers.' Let's just call it paint for simplicity's sake, shall we? A game of paintball is played in a special location with plenty of landscape to provide a pretend battlefield for participants that includes trees, obstacles, bunkers and trenches, among many other landscape features. A game of paintball is generally played between teams, though participants can play individually if they want, and if the paintball facility allows for that.
Paintball facilities are scattered throughout the United States and around the world, providing hours of fun for those wanting a little more excitement than other more traditional sports. Over ten million people play paintball in the United States alone, and proponents claim that it's safe, fun and a great way for kids and adults to gain the benefits of exercise while enjoying the action and strategy of the sport. Believe it or not, there are rules to playing a game of paintball and breaking them is frowned upon. Sportsmanship is valued in this game, and sore losers generally don't fare well. The object of a game of paintball is to 'shoot' all the members of the opposing team. Paintball fields are available with both indoor and outdoor settings and cost only about $10-$80 a day if equipment is rented.
For those who choose to purchase their own paintball gear, including paintball 'gun', tanks, and protective headgear and clothing, prices range from about $100-$1,000 depending on what you want. However, depending on your skill level, a game of paintball can last minutes or hours, so you may opt for renting the equipment until you get better at the game. Paintball equipment can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, or online through a paintball supply outfit. The game of paintball was first introduced to the American market in the mid 1970's. The game was first called 'Survival' and the first article about the game appeared in a 1980 issue of Sports Illustrated. Since then, the popularity of the game has steadily increased until it's reached the worldwide popularity it enjoys today.
Whether you participate in the game or sport of paintball as a player or as an observer, one thing is certain. Paintball is a blast, and is here to stay!.
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