Paintball - A History

The History of Paintball: A Journey from Casual Pastime to Competitive Sport

The history of Paintball, a dynamic and adrenaline fueled sport that has captured the hearts and minds of millions of players around the world. Paintball originated in the United States in the early 1980s, It combines elements of strategy, quick reflexes, and military style (ish) tactics to create a fast paced, competitive experience. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned player or a beginner, paintball offers a unique and thrilling challenge.

The history of paintball dates back to 1981 when a group of friends in New Hampshire were seeking a way to settle a disagreement over property lines. In an effort to find a peaceful and fun solution, they devised a game in which they would shoot each other with pellets filled with washable, water soluble paint and so, On June 27, 1981, the first paintball game was played, and the sport was born.

Interestingly, there were 12 players in the first ever paintball game which was a 2 flag game. The winning team won without even firing a shot.

The popularity of paintball grew rapidly and soon it was being played by millions of people around the world. The first commercial paintball park opened its doors in 1982, and by the end of the decade, paintball had become a major sport with hundreds of fields and millions of players. In 1988, paintball was introduced to the UK with the establishment of the Yorkshire Outdoor Activity Park (Then known as the Yorkshire Paintball Centre),one of the first paintball centres in the UK. Since then, paintball has grown to become the awesome game that it is now, with thousands of players and many centres located throughout the country.

Paintball has come a long way since its early days and today it is played in a variety of settings and formats, from casual games in local centres to semi professional tournaments where teams play around inflatable baracades. The sport is governed by international organisations such as the National Professional Paintball League (NPPL) and the Paintball Sports Promotions (PSP) and is played by people of all ages and skill levels.
In the UK, the main tournament event is called the CPPS.

Paintball is played with specially designed paintball guns, also known as markers, which fire paint filled gelatine capsules. (The paintballs). These markers come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours and are designed to be user friendly and easy to use as well as being much more accurate than they were all of those years ago.. Modern paintball markers are highly advanced, with features such as electronic trigger systems, adjustable firing modes, electronic hoppers, high pressure air systems and some are even controlled by mobile phone apps….. Where will this technology end.

Paintball is usually played with two teams and the basic game is to infiltrate the oppositions base and steel their closely guarded flag. It’s not as easy as you may first think though. . Whilst trying to achieve the objective you also eliminate your opponents by marking them with paint, while at the same time trying not to get yourself or your team mates shot. Everyone must work together as a team, using strategy, communication and quick reflexes to outwit your opposition to gain the glory back in the base camp.

In addition to its competitive aspect, paintball is also a great way to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. We don’t spend as much time in the countryside as we should and the internet has a lot to do with that. Paintball centres are usually set in beautiful, natural environments usually woodland. There is nothing like spending time in the woods.

Paintball continues to grow and is now enjoyed by millions of players all around the world. It doesn’t matter if you have played for 35 years, or this weekend is your first game. Get yourself out in the woods and shoot your mates. So that in a nutshell is the history of paintball.

More pages you may find interesting

Paintball and Airsoft Photography: Take better pictures
Paintball: A thrilling sport for adventure seekers
Worlds biggest paintball bridge

Discover the exciting world of laser tag

Scroll to Top