Paintball

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A paintball player in action.

Paintball is an extreme sport in which players eliminate opponents from play by hitting them with paint-filled gelatin capsules called “paintballs”. The game usually involves two opposing teams seeking to eliminate all of the other team's players or to complete some other objective, such as retrieving a flag, eliminating a designated player, or other paintball variations. While players of a team try to achieve these objectives, they can eliminate opposing players by tagging them with paintballs shot air-powered markers. While the sports' gameplay vary form field to field, a usual paintball game lasts for about thirty minutes.

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History

The first paintballs were created by Charles Nelson of the Nelson Paint Company in the 1970s. These balls, then made from wax, were used by foresters to mark trees from a distance, and by cattlemen to mark their herd. In 1976, American Hayes Noel and his friends were walking home chatting about one of his friends' trip to Africa. Intrigued by the stories about hunting buffalo, and inspired by Richard Connell's short story The Most Dangerous Game, the group thought of recreating the game where they could stalk and hunt each other. A year and a half later, after seeing a paintball gun in an agricultural catalog, the friends gathered twelve players and competed against each other in the very first paintball game held on June 27, 1981.

An extreme sport

A game of paintball requires a significant amount of equipment. The early wax-made balls posed durability problems during early games, so after some research, paintballs were packaged using softgel encapsulation. With the new material, the paintball's projectile survived rapid firing, yet still breaks upon making contact. Aside from paintballs and markers (firing equipment), paintball players must also wear full-face goggles to guard their eyes and face. Body vests also provide additional safety from shots to the body. Many paintball courses install trained paintball referees during games to protect the players from unnecessary physical contact.

Paintball in the Philippines

Paintball is one of the fastest growing extreme sports in the Philippines. Enthusiasts see it as a sport fit for Filipinos because it does not require height as much as other sports do. Relying on stealth, speed, and targeting, smaller players usually have the upper hand in paintball games because they are quicker and harder to spot. In fact, the Philippine paintball team won top honors in the 2004 Asian Cup and the 2005 Asian Pacific Paintball Amateur Championship. Also, many of the top paintball players in the United States are Filipinos.

While more and more people are drawn to the sport because of the thrill that comes with chasing and shooting, paintball is also regarded—at least in the country—as a character and team-building sport. Games and circuits teach players about leadership, responsibility, and cooperation. Because of this, a number of companies the Philippines use paintball games as teambuilding activity.

Paintball venues

The most popular paintball venues in the country are Antipolo, Clark Field Pampanga, and Corregidor. The paintball facility in Boomcamp near Boom na Boom, Pasay City is said to be frequented by competing amateur teams like the Philippine paintball team.

Paintball communities in the Philippines

There are regulars who play every weekend and practice as teams. Some of the more established teams include Team Splat Masters of Marilao Bulacan, Team Real Pinoy and Team Global Pinoy. You can actually join the different communities via threads posted in the Southeast Asia forum in PBNation (currently the largest and most popular paintball forum).

There are other online sites with focus on Filipino paintball players like Pinoy Paintball (PinoyPB) which is an online social community for Filipino paintball players.

References

Citation

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