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From Beyond the Netting: An Outsiders Perspective.

From Beyond

We all remember when we first started playing paintball. What Our first event was, who got us started, our first marker, it remains in our memories as the start of something great. but do you remember what life was like without paintball? I cant; because it has become so much of my life that I hardly believe that I was able to function without it.

Whenever I’m out walking around in my favorite paintball clothes I get looks from people that obviously haven’t played, only hearing about it here and there or have just been under a rock all these years, and when I do get stopped, I get all sorts of questions like: “Does it hurt?” “Why do you shoot people for fun?” and the most recent one that I’ve been asked “Why do you run around promoting gun violence?“. It’s those questions that are presented to me why I want this to be my first article.

I’ll answer the specific questions first just in case you are one of the people asking. One; it will only hurt in the beginning,
but you get used to it. Two; because tossing a ball and hitting it with a wooden stick got too boring. Three; we don’t promote gun violence, as a matter of fact, we do the exact opposite, we promote brotherhood, friendship, and we make the game of paintball the  safest thing possible when it comes to ‘guns’, just in case were were skeptical, paintball is the safest sport involving projectiles ever, due to our strict rules included into the game, if you don’t think so, go read the GSRP: (http://www.scenariopaintball.com/rules/GSRPv302.htm

or maybe the 35 page rule book for the NPPL Series:

(http://nppl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/NPPLRulebook2012.pdf).
Paintball even has the lowest injury rate per player than the NFL, which was at 215,000 people injured during 2011 for football related injuries, and baseball, which has had 110,000 injuries in 2011. My point is we keep it safer than “Men Without Hats“.

From the outsider perspective all you see is a bunch of guys yelling and pulling the trigger like a bunch of civil war rein-actors or Keanu Reeves from Point Break, but it is so much more than just a way for men to show their aggressive and manly side, even if we throwing paint grenades, or mod out our Tippman to look like a Chain guns:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0xOA4A2ESM).

Keep in mind that, yes, we run around yelling, we shoot people, but this isn’t a twisted game of hide and seek, this is a game where people can make bonds. Paintball to us isn’t about who can shoot who first, it’s a practice of life, it’s about learning, teaching, team work, and sportsmanship.

I started playing in late 2005 with my father, now I will admit, prior to paintball our relationship was rocky at best, but through the sport, we came together, not only as father and son, but we became friends, and we made friendships, most of those people I gladly call friends still to this day. Paintball got me out of my shell as a loner high school student making E’s, to a model student, and a class A citizen. The Sport teaches you that no one is different, we all have our strengths, our weaknesses, but above all else, you can always rely on someone to have your back. 

Some of you remember when you were younger your dad waking you up before the sun even came out, packed, and ready to go on that camping or fishing trip you had been planning for months, but for me that was paintball, it is something we (The Players) dedicate our lives to. not for the adrenaline rush, but as a vacation, a time to spend with friends and family, a time to get away from the daily 9-5 grind. we do not play “War Games” trying to “Kill” the other side as an outsider sees it, we play a friendly, more intense, game of tag among those we call friends, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, or even grandparents. Paintball builds character, it defines generations, and above all, it promotes growth in individuals.

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