Friday, November 7, 2008


Paintball started out as a recreational game in wooded areas, with capture the flag and elimination being the most common formats. Woods ball can involve any range of players with a variety of bunker types. The size and terrain of woods ball fields make it unlikely that a player can observe more than a small subsection of the field at any given time. This limited field awareness coupled with the usually larger number of players causes woods ball games to generally last for an extended period of time. Many playing locations often have their own custom variations.

Speedball is a fast, close-quarters game played on a field about the size of one or two basketball courts. As its name suggests, the defining feature of the game is speed; matches usually last no longer than 5 minutes. Rounds are played using either a capture the flag or center flag format combined with elimination. Bunkers are usually placed in a symmetrical pattern so that no team has an advantage over the other. The fast pace and ease by which spectators can view the action has made this format popular among national, local, and tournament leagues. The first commercial speedball field opened in 1982.

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. One of the largest annual scenario games is Oklahoma D-Day at The Bunker in Wyandotte, Oklahoma which in 2005 drew around 3,000 players.

Modern tournament paintball developed in the 1980's. Woods ball tournaments have given way to speedball fields, whose inflatable bunkers provide flexibility in bunker setup and the most efficient use of time. Teams consist from anywhere between three and seven players and compete against others to accumulate points towards winning overall in the tournament. Points are awarded for capturing the opposing flag, bringing the opposing flag to the starting point, eliminating opposing players, and having non-eliminated players left at the end of the game.

No comments: