What is Paintball?

Paintball is an action packed sport, played in paintball arenas made up of natural or artificial terrain, which players use for tactical cover. Players use Paintball guns (also known as Paintball markers) to fire capsules containing water soluble dye in a gelatin shell (paintballs) to eliminate opponents.

Paintballs are composed of a non-toxic, biodegradable, water soluble polymer. The game is regularly played at a sporting level with organized competition involving major tournaments, professional teams, and players. 

Paintball venues have multiple playing fields, usually set in woodland areas for customers to battle against each other while trying to accomplish different tasks and objectives. A single Paintball game normally lasts 10 - 15 minutes, and players will usually play 5 -6 games on a half day, and 10 - 12 games on a full day.

Game types in paintball vary, but can include capture the flag, elimination, defending or attacking a particular point or area, or capturing objects of interest hidden in the playing area.

There are 3 pieces of equipment that all Paintball players will use. The Paintball Marker, Paintballs, and a Mask or Goggles.

Paintball Guns (Paintball Markers)

This is the primary piece of equipment, used to tag the opposing player with paintballs. The paintball marker must have a loader or "hopper" attached to keep the marker fed with paint, and will be either gravity-fed (where balls drop into the loading chamber), or electronically force-fed. Modern markers require a compressed air tank or Co2 tank.


The ammunition used in the marker, paintballs are spherical gelatin capsules containing coloured water-soluble dye. The quality of paintballs is dependent on the brittleness of the ball's shell, the roundness of the sphere, and the thickness of the fill; higher-quality balls are almost perfectly spherical, with a very thin shell to guarantee breaking upon impact, and a thick, brightly colored fill that is difficult to hide or wipe off during the game. Almost all Paintballs in use today are biodegradeable. All ingredients used in the making of a Paintball are food grade quality and are harmless to the participants and environment. Paintballs today are a standard size of 0.68" or 68 Calibre.

Mask or Goggles

Masks are safety devices players are required to wear at all times on the field, to protect them from paintballs. Goggles are derived from skiing/snowboarding goggles, with an attached hard shell that completely covers the eyes, mouth, ears and nostrils of the wearer.


Paintball in the UK

The United Kingdom Paintball Sport Federation "UKPSF" is the UK's independent, non profit, governing body for paintball. They are an independent organisation which ensure the safety and quality of paintball venues and events in the UK. UKPSF accreditation ensures the venue meets the basic health and safety criteria of the UKPSF and has full public liability insurance.