Frequently Asked Questions

What is paintball?
Paintball is America's fastest growing extreme sport. Unlike other extreme sports paintball is the only extreme sport that gives you a high adrenaline rush without a risk of serious injury. It also does not require extensive training and has no barriers for gender, strength, or age. The sport encourages youths and adults, and men and women to play together on teams. It encourages social interaction between younger players and adults and promotes equality between men and women.

What should I wear?
Loose fitting, comfortable clothing is best. We recommend long sleeves and baggie pants or jeans. Since you are on your feet a lot of the time, wearing a good pair of shoes is important. You should wear shoes that provide ankle protection and also have decent cushioning. Please do not wear sandals and high heels for paintballing.

Is it safe?
Paintball is a very safe sport as long as safety rules are followed. Insurance statistics have shown that paintball is safer than golf, jogging, tennis, swimming and many other sports. Referees on the field enforce safety and game rules.

What is a paintball and does it hurt when you get shot?
A paintball is a round, thin-skinned gelatin capsule with colored liquid inside it. Paintballs are similar to large round vitamin capsules or bath oil beads. The fill inside paintballs is non-toxic, non-caustic, water-soluable and biodegradable. It rinses out of clothing and off skin with mild soap and water. How much a paintball hurts depends on how much padding you wear. Generally though, the thrill of the game will overshadow any pain that might be felt from a hit. A player can count on leaving the field with a few welts, but they make great visual aids when recounting paintball stories to your buddies.


Paintball Statistics*

  1. Paintball is the #1 extreme sport in the United States, with 9.97 million participants.
  2. Paintball is the fastest growing extreme sport in the United States, with a 44.0% growth from 2001 to 2006.
  3. Paintball participants are 81.1% male.
  4. 83.2% of Paintball participants are in the 12-34 demographic.
  5. The average age of Paintball participants is 22 years old.
  6. 61.2% of the Paintball participant household has annual income greater than $50,000 per year.

For safety, paintball players always must wear goggles specifically designed for paintball to protect their eyes. Goggles must be worn during a game and at all times when a person is in an area where shooting is permitted, such as the target range or chronograph area. A protective facemask is mandatory nearly everywhere, and should be worn regardless. A barrel plug is inserted into the barrel of the marker when not in use. Paintball is a very safe sport as long as safety rules are followed. Insurance statistics have shown that paintball is safer than golf, jogging, tennis, swimming and many other sports.

Referees on the field enforce safety and game rules. No physical contact is permitted in the game, and players are ejected from games or the play site for breaking safety or playing rules. Fields have boundaries, and a player who steps outside a field's boundary is eliminated from that game.

NEISS - The National Injury Information Clearinghouse ofthe U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington D. C.has provided injury estimates through use of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

Paintball 2Xtremes MagazineIn the number of estimated injuries per 1,000 participants, paintball had the LEAST NUMBER OF INJURIES of all the listed sports. The number of injuries for paintball is less by far than bowling, tennis, archery, basketball, and many other sports.

The government report warns: "CAUTION. NEISS data and estimates are based on injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms that patients say are related to products. Therefore it is incorrect, when using NEISS data, to say the injuries were caused by the product." That means that the paintball total injuries include all types of injuries, and would include sprained ankles, cuts, heat exhaustion, etc., on and off the playing field, at organized play sites or otherwise, as well as any eye injuries. The estimated figures are calculated using data from a sample of hospitals in the U. S. and its territories.

Sports Injuries Report
Yearly injuries per 1000 Participants

  1. Boxing 5.2
  2. Football-Tackle 3.8
  3. Snowboarding 3.8
  4. Ice Hockey 3.7
  5. Snow Skiing 3.0
  6. Soccer 2.4
  7. Softball 2.2
  8. Basketball 1.9
  9. Football-Touch 1.9
  10. Surfing 1.8
  11. Cheerleading 1.7
  12. Water Skiing 1.6
  13. Racquetball 1.5
  14. Martial Arts 1.5
  15. Wresting 1.4
  16. Baseball 1.4
  17. Volleyball 1.3
  18. Mountain Biking 1.2
  19. Tennis 1.1
  20. Ice Skating 1.1
  21. Horseback Riding 1.0
  22. Skateboarding 0.8
  23. Hunting 0.8
  24. Bicycling-BMX 0.8
  25. Running 0.6
  26. Paintball 0.2

Other injuries
LOCATION Yearly injuries per 1000 Persons

  1. Home 93
  2. Work Place 66
  3. Moving Vehicles 22
  4. Street 19

What is Paintball?
In 15 short years, the sport of paintball has become recognized as one of the world's most exciting outdoor participation sports. Paintball is played in over 40 countries by millions of men and women of all ages and lifestyles. Ebay reports more searches for paintball items than for any other sports listing, with spending on equipment and paraphernalia topping $225 Million annually. Whether homemakers or high-school students, professionals or Retirees; all paintball players share in common a love for adventure and a strong competitive spirit.

Capture the Flag
Paintball is a combination of the childhood games "tag" and "hide & seek," but is much more challenging and sophisticated. Although there are many different game formats, typically a group of players will divide into two teams to play "capture the flag." The number of players on each team in the NPPL can vary, but there are only 7 players allowed on each side of the field.

The object of the game is to go out and capture the other team's flag while protecting your own. While you are trying to capture a flag, you also try to eliminate opposing players by tagging them with a paintball expelled from a special airgun called a "marker." Games run a maximum of 7 minutes.

Between games, players take a break to check their equipment, get more paintballs and have a snack or soda while they share stories about the thrills of victory and the usually funny agonies of defeat. Win or lose, everyone has a good time and there's usually the next game waiting for you.

A paintball is a round, thin-skinned gelatin capsule with colored Liquid inside it. Paintballs are similar to large round vitamin capsules or bath oil beads. The fill inside paintballs is non-toxic, non-caustic, water-soluable and biodegradable. It rinses out of clothing and off skin with mild soap and water and are even edible, although we don't recommend it!

Paintballs come in a rainbow of bright colors: blue, pink, white, orange, yellow and more. When a paintball tags a player, the thin gelatin skin splits open, and the liquid inside leaves a bright "paint" mark. A player who is marked is eliminated from the game.

Paintguns, also called "markers," come in a variety of shapes and styles. They may be powered by carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2) or compressed air. Many have power systems that use large refillable cylinders called "tanks" or "bottles" that give hundreds of shots before needing to be refilled. Some use small 12 gram CO2 powerlets as their power source, each powerlet being good for 15 to 30 shots.

With pump-action markers (pump guns), each time you want to shoot a paintball you first cock the marker by using a pump, then you squeeze the trigger to shoot the paintball; you must recock the marker before you can shoot again. Stockguns, using 12-grams, have the most basic pump gun configuration (though they are becoming ever-more high-tech within the constraints of the configuration) and stock gun play is in a class of its own.

With semi-automatic markers, the first time you want to shoot you must cock the marker (usually by pulling back a cocking knob or handle), but after you shoot the first paintball the marker's action will recock the marker for you; you simply squeeze the trigger each time you want to shoot a paintball.

With a full-auto marker, when you squeeze the trigger for the first time, the 'gun will begin to shoot paintballs and will keep on shooting paintballs as long as you keep squeezing the trigger; when you release the trigger, the 'gun will stop shooting.

Markers range from simple to sophisticated, but what they all share in common is a limitation on their power and range. The international safety limit on the speed (measured in feet per second, "FPS") at which a marker shoots a paintball is 300 fps. A chronograph is used to test for speed limits, and all markers can be adjusted to shoot under the speed limit. A marker's range is limited, too; even shooting 300 fps, at maximum elevation with barrel pointed up into the air, a marker can lob a paintball only about 50 yards.

The Game
Paintball is a sport played by people from all professions and Lifestyles. It is a sport where women and men compete equally, and where age is not dominated by youth. Like a game of chess, being able to think quickly and decisively is what makes you a star in paintball. Intelligence and determination, not merely strength, speed or agility, are key to success in the sport.

Paintball is a character-building sport. Players learn about teamwork, gain self-confidence and develop leadership abilities while having fun and getting welcome stress-relief. Increasingly, corporations are finding the benefits of having their staff and management participate in paintball games. Paintball is an exciting sport, and above all paintball is fun! It's a chance to shake off your day-to-day responsibilities and rekindle your spirit of adventure. When the adrenaline starts pumping, you can't help but love the thrill of the game!

NPPL Super 7 Scoring

A Game:

100 points Maximum - made up of

32 points for grabbing the opponent's flag first

40 points for hanging the opponent's flag first

21 points for shooting out all of the 7 opponents
( 3 points per player )

7 points for keeping all your players alive at the end of the game
( 1 point per player )


100 points Shot all the opposition, lost no players, 1st flag grab and hung the flag

99 points as above but lost one of your own players

98 points as above but lost two players

97 points as above but lost 3 players

96 points as above but lost 4 players etc

A Best of 3 Match:

2 teams play each other for a maximum of 3 games or until the loosing team cannot gain enough wins to equal or better the other team.

A win is awarded if one team has more points than the other at the end of any Game.

A draw is awarded if both teams have the same amount of points at the end of any Game.

In the case of a draw after the 3 games have been played both teams choose their best player to go into a one on one sudden death shoot out.

More Information
For questions, concerns or additional information, please contact the NPPL at (909) 230 4388.

*Source: National Sporting Goods Association "Sports Participation in 2006 Series II" report.