Is Paintball Safe?
Paintball is a fun and safe activity, and participation will not lead to major injuries, if simple safety precautions are followed. In fact, studies based on severe sport-related injuries that lead to emergency room visits show that paintball is safer than bowling. As long as players follow the safety rules and guidelines, paintball is a safe and fun experience for everyone.
In fact, studies based on severe sport-related injuries that lead to emergency room visits show that paintball is safer than bowling.
You are going to be surprised at how safe paintball is compared to other sports.
Many people regularly participate in sports that are considered less “safe” than paintball, like football, basketball, or even fishing. Adherence to industry safety standards like the use of protective paintball masks, barrel covers, and limits to paintball gun velocities help prevent injuries. The fact is that less than 1 person out of every 4,000 who play paintball will end up seeking medical assistance for a paintball-related injury. This includes such injuries as ankle sprains or scratches from falling in the woods, and not just injuries directly caused by paintball pellets. By way of comparison, statistically, 1 in 33 people who play football will end up visiting the hospital each year.
It is true that getting hit by a paintball can leave a welt, but typically these are no worse than the bumps, bruises, and scratches that people get participating in other activities.
What makes Paintball Safe?
Protective Paintball Mask – Covers and protects participants’ eyes, ears and face from direct paintball impacts.
Barrel Covers – Certified safety devices that block the end of the barrels to keep misfired paintballs from causing injury.
Velocity Limits – Referees regularly ensure that equipment operates within safe velocity limits.
Game Referees – Ensuring fair play and the following of all safety rules by all paintball participants.
Required Safety Equipment
Protective Paintball Mask
Covers and protects participants’ eyes, ears and face from direct paintball impacts.
The paintball mask is the most important piece of safety equipment. It has been designed to withstand the force of impact created by a paintball travelling up to 300 FPS (feet per second), and all paintball masks must adhere to strict ASTM safety standards. To ensure safe play, a paintball mask must provide protection of the eyes, ears and face. This rule is strictly enforced to assure safety for paintball participants.
Players must always wear paintballs masks when on the playing field. To ensure safety, your mask may not be removed on the playing field at any time, or under any circumstances. Your mask must remain in place until everybody has their barrels covers in place, and the referee signals a “safe field”, or you are in a safe zone.
Certified safety devices that block the end of the barrels to keep misfired paintballs from causing injury.
The end of every paintball gun barrel should always covered by a certified safety device, the barrel cover, when not in use. A barrel cover should be in place at all times when paintball goggles are not being worn – before and after paintball games, in the parking lot, and at any location away from a specified paintball playing field. This ensures that if the paintball gun is misfired it will not cause an eye injury.
Basic Safety Rules
Following these simple rules will keep you safe on the paintball playing field!
Wear a paintball approved mask at all times
Do not remove your mask after you have been shot, and NEVER REMOVE YOUR MASK WHILE A GAME IS STILL BEING PLAYED. There are no exceptions to this rule. Keep masks on until you are in a safe zone away from the paintball field, where barrel covers are in place on all paintball guns.
Use Barrel Covers
All paintball markers should be blocked with a barrel cover when not in use during a live game. The barrel cover should be on at all times when paintball goggles are not being worn, before and after paintball games, in the field parking lot, and in any location away from a specified paintball park.
Shoot less THAN 300 FPS (feet per second)
When adjusting the velocity of a paintball gun remember to set the velocity under 300 FPS. Velocity can be clocked using a paintball chronograph, available at most paintball fields and pro-shops. Adjust your paintball gun velocity to a safe level before playing, and never adjust your paintball gun above 300 FPS.
Bottom line, if the rules are followed, paintball is not only SAFE, but FUN.
A message to parents:
If your child plays paintball, be sure that he/she understands the above safety tips beforehand. Keep reminding him/her of these steps, and reiterate the fact that paintball is a social activity that promotes friendly competition and teamwork. If you’re present at the paintball area but not playing, then you can watch your child to make sure he/she follows the safety rules. The two most important ones are putting on the gun’s barrel cover before exiting the playing field, and wearing the protective paintball mask at all times, and under all circumstances, while on the playing field.
Be careful of “Renegade Paintball”
When people play paintball at renegade fields (for instance in their backyard, or in the forest, or at a paintball field that is operating without a business permit, zoning, or insurance), it is up to players to make sure they follow common sense procedures. Unfortunately, they often don’t. Even if you do follow the rules, others may not, and without a referee or anyone enforcing the standard safety rules, it could be unsafe. The majority of paintball-related eye injuries occur at renegade fields because safety rules are not being followed. The best option is to choose a quality paintball park that puts a focus on both player safety and providing a fun experience.