Paintball, not All Fun and Splat

By: Nathan Young

It has come to our attention that there are a lot of people out there that don't really know that there are different types of paintball. Our mission is to help those poor lost souls and open their eyes to what awaits them in the world of paintball. Although there are many variations of the game of paintball we don't want to overwhelm you so we will stick to the main three. Now these may arguably be the main three but for the sake of this article we will say that they are the main three variations of paintball and they are Woodsball, Speedball, and Scenario Paintball.

Woodsball is oldschool paintball at its heart. Paintball started off for the most part being played in wooded areas which lent themselves to the "capture the flag" and "elimination" type paintball games to be played. Because woodsball can be played over several acres and there are usually not many areas where large portions of the field can be viewed at one time, woodsball games tend to run longer than other types of paintball play. Wooded areas also give players the ability to take part in some more realistic wartime situations such as ambushes, assualts on fortified positions and protecting VIP's etc..

Speedball differs from woodsball in a number of ways. One of the most obvious differences is the look and size of the field. As opposed to the large and natural landscape of woodsball, speedball is played usually on artifical turf with artificial bunkers on a field that is typically no larger than half of a football field in size. The artifical obstacles and bunkers have evolved over the years, in the old days of paintball they were made of anything that was laying around mainly larger wooden spools and crates, they then moved onto corrugated sewer piping and eventually evolved into the more costeffective and asthetically pleasing inflatable bunkers that are more popular today.

Scenario paintball games are based on a storyline or theme. Scenario games allow for a wide range of player skill levels and an even larger amount of participants. These games can span a period as short as 12 hours or last for days. Objectives vary based on the storyline but cooperation is a major theme in these games. The largest game to date was Skirmish's Invasion of Normandy, held annually in Jim Thorpe, PA, which drew 4,007 players in 2006. The summer of 2007 should be another record breaking season for paintball, it should be fun to see.

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