The object of Paintball is to capture your opponent’s flag and return it to your flag station (base). Players are “marked” by a paintball that is expelled from a special marker, signifying their elimination from that round of play. Paintball games usually run from 15 to 25 minutes in length. Referees start and stop the games as well as enforce the safety rules and game regulations.

A great and truly rewarding game of paintball can be more like a game of chess than just running around shooting anything that moves. Great paintball happens when the opponents think quickly, decisively and with an unusual amount of cunning that gives them the edge over their competition. Physical size and strength are not as important as intelligence and determination. There are plenty of strategies, but probably the most important skill you need to learn when you start paintballing is using cover properly. It’s the biggest advantage the advanced player possesses and the biggest mistake that a new player makes.

Have you ever noticed how immediately after the starting horn sounds, inexperienced players run to the first piece of cover and hide behind it. You might think, “What is wrong with that?” Well, to sum it up with one word, “Everything!”

Inexperienced players “hide” behind cover. Experienced players “use” cover. Now what does that mean?

Inexperienced players snuggle up and hide directly and immediately behind the cover. Being this close limits your vision. You can’t see anything unless you pop your head up or around your cover.

You need to realize that you have to be able to see what is going on. You have to maintain eye contact with the field of play and the other members of your team at all times.

If you ease off the cover – just back up a little and “use” the cover – you will be much better off. You will not only be just as covered as before, but you can actually see more of the field of play, which is crucial. Whether you need to see “over” or “around” objects, staying behind your cover, but not on top of it, gives you a major advantage. Next time you feel the urge to run up and hug a tree, don’t. Take about five steps back, get down on one knee and “use” the tree to cover you. You’ll see your opponent move. You’ll see your team members signal you to move. And you’ll see victory a lot more often than your competitors who are hiding behind their cover.

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