Paintball is an adrenaline-pumping, action-packed game and is enjoyed by friends and teams of all ages, lifestyles, and abilities. Whether you're a paintball pro or a beginner, do you know these 12 fun facts about paintball?
1. Paintball guns were invented in the 1970s by Daisy and Crosman. They were originally called paintball markers and were used by foresters to mark animals and trees due to their accuracy and long distance range.
2. Paintball was invented by Hayes Noel and Charles Gaines. It was developed by Bob Gumsey who created the rules. They played the first ever game in June 1981 in New Hampshire with 9 other friends. The first ever winner won without even firing a shot.
3. In 1982 the first commercial paintball field was created by Gumsey in New Hampshire and it has since developed into an extreme sport and million dollar industry.
4. Paintballs are not actually made from paint but from gelatin capsules filled with water-soluble, non-toxic, biodegradable material.
5. Paintball guns can shoot as many as 15 paintballs per second. Paintballs can travel up to speeds of 200mph and reach distances of over 50 yards. The first automatic paintball gun was made by Tippmann in 1989 and called the SMG-60.
6. In most official games, team size is up to 15 players, but nonofficial games can attract teams of 40-50. The largest paintball games ever were played by over 4,000 paintballers and took place at Oklahoma D-Day Wyandotte and Skirmish Invasion of Normandy.
7. Paintball is played in more than 100 countries across six continents. Paintball game formats and rules differ from capture the flag and eliminating players to defending specific areas. But one rule always remains the same – don't get hit!
8. Paintball is very safe and has one of the lowest injury rates of any sport. Paintball has 0.2 injuries per 1000 players, whereas football has 2.4 per 1000 and tennis 1.1 per 1000.
9. Paintball gear includes a gun, helmet, snood, mask, body armour, overalls, gloves, and most importantly, goggles. Read our post, What Do I Wear to Play Paintball? to find out more.
10. Games can last from just seconds to hours, to multiple days in scenario games. The longest non-stop paintball game lasted from November 5, 2015, to November 6, 2015.
11. The first professional paintball league was established in 1992. There are multiple leagues, including the National Professional Paintball League, Paintball Sports Promotions and United States Paintball League, in which players compete to win prize money.
12. Anthony Kelly holds a Guinness World Record of catching 11 unbroken paintballs while blindfolded in two minutes.