Paintball has everything a child could ask for. It’s fun, it’s messy, and it gives them a reason to go outside!
But is playing paintball safe?
Yes, paintball is one of the safest sports in the world. In fact, it’s less likely for your kid to be injured playing paintball than it is playing an outdoor sport such as football, soccer, or baseball.
Here’s a table below showing you how safe paintball is compared to other outdoor sports.
Yes, you read that right, Out of every 100,000 people that play paintball, only 0.2 persons get injured. That’s only 20% of a person!
All jokes aside… When you consider that only one person out of every half a million people get seriously hurt playing paintball, it’s probably one of the safest sports that exist.
Continue reading if you want to learn more about paintball safety.
Is Paintball Safe for Children?
Not only is paintball safe for children, but there’s a version of paintball known as low-impact paintball that’s specifically designed for younger children. While regular paintball guns use 68-caliber sized paintballs, low-impact paintball guns use a much smaller 50-caliber sized paintball.
The advantage of using a much smaller-sized paintball is that you can expect around 68% less force than you would with a regular 68 caliber-sized paintball. This reduced amount of force allows kids as young as 9 years old (age limit depends on the paintball field) the play paintball. Whereas the regular age limit is typically 10-12 years old.
Now, this doesn’t mean that regular 68 caliber paintballs are dangerous or anything. Low-impact paintball is simply meant for young players who want to try paintball for the first time. Many children even decide to switch over to regular paintball once they realize there is nothing to be afraid of.
Paintball Safety Rules
- Mask Always On – Never remove (or lift up) your paintball mask during a game. This is the most important paintball safety rule as it prevents eye damage or blindness.
- Never Remove Barrel Cover Off The Field – Barrel cover must be worn at all times when off the field. This is to prevent accidental firing.
- Raise Hand and Yell “HIT” When Eliminated – Raise your hand and yell “HIT” to let everyone know you’re eliminated from the game. Failure to do either could result in you being bonus balled (when a player is fired upon multiple times after being eliminated).
- No Climbing or Jumping – Players must avoid jumping or climbing over objects on the field. Doing so could lead to injury.
- Maximum velocity of 280-300 FPS – Paintball guns cannot exceed 280-300 FPS (Feet Per Second).
- No Bling Firing – Players must always look where they shoot.
- Always Listen to the Referee – This is the second most important rule in paintball.
- Never shoot anyone within a 15-feet radius – Most paintball fields have a rule where you can’t shoot anyone within a 15-foot radius of you. Instead, the first person to yell surrender is the one who eliminates the other player.
Listed below are some of the most important safety rules for playing paintball. As long as your children follow these rules you should have no safety concerns to worry about.
It’s important that you make sure your kids take these rules seriously. Failure to properly follow these rules could lead to serious injury.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Play Paintball?
The minimum age requirement to play paintball is 10 years old. However, some paintball fields don’t allow anyone under 12 years old to play paintball. If your local paintball venue has low-impact paintball then it’s possible that players as young as 8-9 years old will be allowed to play.
It’s important that you always make sure to check your local paintball venue before bringing your child to play. The minimum age requirement can vary from field to field.
Is Paintball Painful For Kids?
Being hit by a paintball, no matter whether it’s a 50 or 68 caliber, is going to cause some amount of pain. It’s said that 50 caliber paintballs used for low-impact paintball have 68% less force than regular 68 caliber-sized paintballs.
Now, I’,m not sure how true that statement is, but 50 caliber paintballs do have far less impact than 68 caliber paintballs. 43 caliber paintballs have even less force than 50 caliber paintballs, but these are typically only used for backyard plinking.
So how painful are regular 68 caliber paintballs exactly?
If you’ve ever been popped by a rubber band before then you can probably imagine what being hit by a paintball feels like. While it may hurt for a second, the pain will quickly subside and a small bruise or welt will typically be left behind.
Now, if the bruise or welt left behind is fairly large, then you were probably shot by someone who had their paintball marker’s velocity turned up too high. The maximum velocity allowed at most paintball fields is 280-300 FPS (Feet Per Second). However, there are some players who don’t adhere to the rules and have their paintball gun set to 300+ FPS.
Fortunately, most paintball venues will ban players who continue to “shoot hot” after being told to reduce the velocity of their paintball gun. Some paintball fields may give you a second warning if they’re feeling nice, but that’s it. Three strikes and you’re gone!
And to make sure players don’t shoot at each other from close range, most paintball fields will prohibit anyone from shooting other players within a 15-foot radius of themselves. The person who yells “SURRENDER” first is the player who gets to continue playing. The other player is eliminated and has to walk off the field (unless the rules of the game say otherwise).