Paintball Is A Bang Up Sport For Anyone

Paintball Is A Bang Up Sport For Anyone

Ron Fowler said it​ feels like being hit with a​ wet towel. Bryan Vasaris said it's like being snapped with a​ rubber band or​ stung by a​ bee. Being shot by a​ paintball gun doesn't sound very fun. So why is​ paintball one of​ the​ fastest growing sports in​ America,​ according to​ the​ National Sporting Goods Association? "It's a​ stress relief,​ because you can go out and shoot at​ people and not dangerously hit them,​" Vasaris said. "But it's also being with a​ group of​ guys that you like to​ hang around with."

The most commonly played paintball game is​ "capture the​ flag." There are rules variations,​ but the​ object is​ for a​ team to​ capture the​ opposing team's flag while protecting its own. Players eliminate opponents by shooting them with their paintball guns.
The games can be played outside in​ an​ open field or​ forest,​ or​ inside at​ a​ specially designed facility with inflatable bunkers and other obstacles. "It's not the​ hide-and-seek game everyone thinks,​" Vasaris said. "It's really action-packed and fast-paced." Players use carbon dioxide- or​ nitrogen-powered guns that fire thin,​ gelatin capsules filled with non-toxic paint - the​ "paintballs."

Vasaris,​ 22,​ who has been playing paintball since he was in​ high school,​ will be a​ senior at​ the​ University of​ Cincinnati this year and is​ the​ president of​ the​ school's paintball team. He said getting shot isn't as​ bad as​ it​ seems. "After the​ first time,​ I didn't even think about getting hit,​" Vasaris said. "There is​ such an​ adrenaline rush that you don't even feel it."

For those who want to​ experience that rush,​ there are plenty of​ paintball facilities around Cincinnati. a​ good place to​ start for beginners is​ the​ Hueston Woods Paintball Club at​ Hueston Woods State Park.

Tom Arvan,​ who has been the​ paintball club's general manager for 12 years,​ likes to​ promote the​ game to​ new players. "My personal enjoyment is​ seeing the​ kids play and seeing first-time players come off the​ field with a​ grin on​ their face,​" Arvan said.
Hueston Woods is​ open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and offers two fields,​ including one that is​ wooded with some constructed obstacles. the​ cost to​ play is​ $27,​ which includes a​ gun,​ a​ carbon dioxide tank,​ 200 paintballs and protective gear. Players who have their own equipment pay $12. the​ fields are open Monday through Friday by reservation for groups of​ 15 or​ more. Arvan said Hueston Woods has catered to​ birthday parties,​ bachelor parties,​ fraternity and sorority parties and corporate outings. "We have had high praises from corporate groups for team-building,​" Arvan said. "It's a​ game that really fosters some friendship and sportsmanship."

Arvan said his paintball field is​ open to​ players of​ all skill levels. "Paintball is​ a​ sport that isn't dominated by youth and physical size,​" Arvan said. "We've had mom,​ dad,​ grandma and grandpa out here."

For more information on​ the​ sport of​ paintball please go to​

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