Special Ops Paintball: A Parent's Guide To Paintball - Special Ops Paintball

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A Parent's Guide To Paintball Why Paintball isn't nearly as scary as you think.

#1 User is offline   Marauder_Pilot 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:50 PM

This is a debate that goes on every day, and one I've had myself. You child/children want to go play paintball, but you, as their parent, are worried, because of what you've heard about paintball. Isn't it dangerous? Don't they go into the woods and shoot each other? That sounds really dangerous!

Well, fear not, paintball is a much safer, friendly sport then a lot of people think. And I'll explain why.

A Parent's Guide To Paintball
This is a guide intended to show nervous parents that paintball is perfectly safe and very fun sport for their kids to get involved with, as well as dispel some of the negative myths out there about the sport. Obviously, the final choice is still yours, but hopefully this will help dissuade your fears about the sport.

Safety
At first, paintball does sound like a dangerous sport. They give people airguns firing gel-filled pellets at almost 300 FPS and send them out to shoot each other. Sounds kinda dangerous, doesn't it? Yes. Is is as dangerous as it sounds? Not even close. Paintball is one of the most statistically safest sports out there today, with 0.31 injuries per 1000 people. For some perspective, this makes paintball safer then football (27.5 injuries/1000 people), basketball (22.04), baseball (27.67) and soccer (10.54). Paintball is even safer then bowling (0.5).
So, why is paintball so safe? Two reasons. One, a paintball is physically incapable of causing any serious harm to someone. A single paintball weighs a few grams and, even travelling at 300 FPS, will only leave welts and tiny bruises that are gone in a day or two. As someone who's been playing paintball for 8 years, 5 of them seriously, I've been hit by hundreds, perhaps thousands of paintballs, and I have exactly zero marks. I've hurt myself more writing Statistics exams then I have playing paintball! (Got a nasty papercut)
The second thing that makes paintball so safe is our masks. There is one spot where a paintball can cause serious harm, and that's your eyes. While a hit on your arm may sting a little bit, a shot to the eye can easily blind someone. This is why masks are essential. I can't stress that enough. There are no ifs, ands or buts. IF YOU PLAY PAINTBALL, YOU MUST BE WEARING A MASK. Fortunately, no official field will let any player leave the designated 'safe zones' without one. A safe zone is an area isolated, by either nets or walls, from any active fields. In these safe zones, all guns must have barrel bags and safeties that prevent anybody from actually shooting a paintball. If a player is caught on the field without their masks, even if they're 5 feet from the safe zone, they're penalized. Often, players caught breaking masks rules are first penalized for a game, then asked to leave the field if they repeat it. The referees also enforce mask rules very stringently-I've personally seen referees run out and cover un-masked players and pull them off the field.
The masks themselves must pass a series of very stringent tests as well. A paintball mask will never break from a paintball hit unless it's been seriously damaged. However, all mask makers recommend that you replace the lenses every year or so to make sure, and immediately if the mask ever develops a crack. The masks are rated well above field-legal velocities, certain masks have even been shown to stop bullets.

In short, paintball is safe since we insist on safety gear. As long as someone plays with a mask, they're just fine. But, then the next question always comes up: 'Well, doesn't it hurt?' Well, yes. It does. But not very much. Turn your arm over and flick the soft underside of your arm as hard as you can. That's about how much it hurts. If you're still worried, there's a multitude of safety padding out there-elbow pads, shin pads, knee pads, gloves, chest protectors, padded vests, padded pants, helmets, padded hats, neck guards and, of course, safety cups. For your average first-timer, I'd recommend going out in an old pair of jeans and a sweater, maybe a cup and some old gloves if you're concerned-something you're not concerned about damaging, and will provide good coverage for hits. However, it's not nearly as bad as it looks-it'll sting for a second, but by the time you've walked back to the safety zone, you'll have forgotten the hit.

So, how do the fields work? All fields provide a rental marker, hopper, tank and mask. Many will also provide coveralls, vests and other assorted soft goods. New players are given a quick briefing on how the game works, as well as how their gear works, and how important it is to keep your mask on once on the field. All markers are checked to ensure that they're shooting at 300 FPS or less (All fields are required to be at 300 FPS or lower. Most fields use 280 FPS, however many indoor fields will go down to 260 or 240 since the game is played in closer quarters). Once in the game, referees are constantly patrolling the fields, making sure that people aren't overshooting, cheating or taking their masks off. It's their job to ensure that the game is safe and fun for all parties involved.

Hopefully, this helps to allay some of the fears many parents have about their children playing. If there are any other questions, don't hesitate to ask me.
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#2 User is offline   Tu_Padre 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:56 PM

awesome, nice post.

If I may make a suggestion though change gun to marker where it appears. No biggie but something in the back of people's mines make them go gun=bad paintball=bad

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#3 User is offline   ProX 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:00 PM

Marauder you are on a roll with some very good topics! Good job on another.

Of all the posts out there, this one certainly needs to be stickied, or moved to another area for future use!!!!!!! Any parent who has any apprehension needs to read this! Again, great job!

This post has been edited by ProX: 24 April 2008 - 01:01 PM

I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

"Never play AGAINST your wife on her first day paintballing. Wife gets beat = no more nookie"
Mark that quote down... very important.

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#4 User is offline   TyTy 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 01:59 PM

STICKY! STICKY I SAY! I know a kid who's parents won't let him play, this is what they need, thanks!
-Ty :P
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#5 User is offline   Thorax 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:02 PM

View PostMarauder_Pilot, on Apr 24 2008, 03:50 PM, said:

Paintball is one of the statistically safest sports out there today, with 0.31 injuries per 1000 people.

The "most" made the sentence awkward.

Good stuff tho.

And I agree this should be stickied...

This post has been edited by Thorax: 24 April 2008 - 02:03 PM

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#6 User is offline   Sp.Ed 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:45 PM

Nice job! good stuff ya got here.
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#7 User is offline   outlaw-master 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 02:55 PM

They should just let there kids play i'm pretty sure they did stuff that was sort of dangerous when they were kids don't make your kid a sissy let him or her play if they really want to.
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#8 User is offline   Bobbjoe 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 07:30 PM

Well popeye the merc did a nice job of scaring off a bunch of parents. REading this might reverse some of the damage. i too vote for a sticky.

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#9 User is offline   dougdeb 

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:28 PM

Wonderful job. As one of the few parents that play locally, I'm always asked to speak to parents about letting their kids play. With your permission M_P, I'd like to print this and bring it to the field with me. :huh:
Thanks for the well-done, well-thought out post. (One of the few recently around here :P)
:)
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#10 User is offline   jag06 

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:54 AM

Very nice post, Marauder.
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#11 User is offline   Marauder_Pilot 

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 09:45 AM

View Postdougdeb, on Apr 24 2008, 10:28 PM, said:

Wonderful job. As one of the few parents that play locally, I'm always asked to speak to parents about letting their kids play. With your permission M_P, I'd like to print this and bring it to the field with me. :dodgy:
Thanks for the well-done, well-thought out post. (One of the few recently around here :laugh:)
;)
Aloha, Doug

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#12 User is offline   Goldenhand 

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:58 PM

STICKY! STICKY! STICKY! MUST STICKY NOW!!! I gotta show this to my friend's mom...

Thanks,
Evan

This post has been edited by Goldenhand: 25 April 2008 - 01:59 PM


Fox urine nothing! I would rent an elephant from the local circus and give it a massive dose of ex-lax. I would then proceed to "cork it" with an attached string so when the kids show up KABLOOEE!!!!!! See if their parents can sue an elephant for defacating! -ZZaque
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#13 User is offline   Blufiredragoon 

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 01:22 AM

Very well thought out and stated. I wish i had this when i did my speech in communications applications on paintball.
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#14 User is offline   klayshen 

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 06:04 PM

this is a very good post because my mom was a nervous wreck befor i sent her this post and now she dont worry as much thanks for the good post
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#15 User is offline   LoopyDood 

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 07:13 PM

This is an excellent post. Good job MP!
Now I must also show this to my friend's mom.
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