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Paintball 101
by: Jeffrey Jones
Paintball is a game played up of many players or teams. It can be played indoors or out, with as few as two people or as many as 500. Paintball is played at designated fields, back yards or even in the woods. A game can last as little as 5 minutes or hours with all depending on one to take something, find something, or to just be the last person not marked. Depending on the location of where you play, the strategy of your game will vary from being quiet and sneaky and choosing your shots carefully, to being loud, fast, and shooting constantly. Paintball is a competitive sport played like any other competitive sport, to win. It is challenging game of tag, hide-and-seek or even capture-the-flag. Being you shoot at other people and they shoot at you, paintball requires safety equipment to be worn such as goggles, special clothing and etc.
An essential part of paintball is the paintball itself. As in tennis, the ball is the main element of a paintball game. But unlike a tennis game, paintball has dozens, often hundreds, of "balls" in play at any one time. As the name implies, these balls are actually tiny containers of paint.
Paintballs have a really simple construction. They're actually a lot like bath-oil beads. They are made of colored liquid enclosed in a gelatin shell and are available in a variety of colors. Paintball are also non-toxic, biodegradable and are water soluble.
Basically, a paintball is like a small water balloon, weighing only a few grams. The shell holds up if you handle it or drop it from a short distance. When you shoot a paintball from a gun, however, it bursts on impact and leaves large splatter of paint.
The job of the paintball gun, or as many call a marker, is to shoot the paintball at a high rate of speed. In a standard gun, the propulsion system is compressed gas such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen or ordinary air and is stored in small or large tanks that can be attached to the gun. The paintball gun is also attached to a hopper, which holds the paintballs.
Maintaining safety in paintball is important to make the game safe. The power of paintball guns is strictly regulated. Guns in play are adjusted so that the maximum speed of the paintball is 300 feet per second. A paintball traveling at this speed is not likely to cause serious injury if it hits you, though it will sting and can leave a bruise. Also, since wind resistance starts slowing the paintball down as soon as it leaves the gun, it has a reduced impact when fired from a greater distance. Speeding paintballs can cause serious injury to the eyes and paintball players always wear protection.
In addition to playing paintball for recreational use, paintball is also part of military and police training. In terms of feel and handling, a paintball gun has little in common with an actual firearm, but paintball is still good training for combat situations. Mainly, it lets soldiers and police practice strategy and the fine art of not getting shot.
There are many paintball leagues around with American Paintball League being one of the largest in the paintball industry. Another paintball league is the National Professional Paintball League. There are the two main paintball leagues. Though they both pertain to paintball, each has their own set of rules for playing the sport.

Jeffrey Jones writes about paintball guns at Paintball Emporium.


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