When Did Paintball Start? – Amazing Paintball Facts You Never Knew

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When Did Paintball Start? Paintball is the fastest-growing team sport in the world with millions of players worldwide. At its core, it’s fun, exciting, and completely unique. But did you know that there are some pretty amazing facts about Paintball out there? From its origins to how it has grown into what it is today, here are amazing paintball facts that you probably didn’t know.


Paintball has a rich history – When Did Paintball Start?

Paintball is a relatively young sport with its origins in the late 1960s when in New Hampshire, USA, William ‘Bill’ Hinman came up with the game of Capture the Flag. The game involved two teams of five with each team trying to capture the other team’s flag while preventing the opposing team from capturing their own flag.

A few years later Bill Hinman received a $5,000 grant from the National Youth Sports Foundation in order to help fund the first-ever National Paintball Championship. The first national championship was played in 1979 and in 1981 the US government funded the first World Championship where games were played from Argentina to Zimbabwe. This venture was a huge success and by 1989 more than 250,000 people were playing regularly in 100 cities across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

Paintball is a fantastic test of character. The strict rules, the physicality of the sport, and rules changes from city to city make for a true test of character. You could be a skilled professional (like Bill Hinman/ Hinman Manufacturing) or you could be just an average person hoping to make it big by putting your skills in the big leagues (like me).

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Like a lot of sports that are considered physical and have clearly defined rules, it is important to have the right attitude. Take the championship series for example; in 2007 there were four tourney rounds and the overall winner was decided in the ‘finals’. A few years ago these games would now be played in the USA.

The finals were worth thousands (and yes, I did say ‘thousands’) of dollars to the players (see my blog post, The Ultimate Paintball Experience) and the final was, dare I say it, the ultimate wildcard game. Capturing your flag is truly difficult… (and fun!)  A lot of paintball is played indoors, but there are still plenty of tournaments that happen outside (and in some faraway land, like Hawaii).


What is paintball? – When Did Paintball Start

Paintball is a sport where teams of players try to eliminate each other by tagging opposing team members with capsules containing paint. Paintballs are spherical gelatin shells with around 40 to 45 milliliters (1.4 to 1.6 US fl oz) of paint. Paintballs are usually made of synthetic gelatin or biodegradable materials.

1. The game is competitive and occurs within the front of a TV or monitor where the two teams compete for the most balls under a specific set of rules.

2. Paintball has a host of potential health benefits. Paintball is a pure team sport and most participants do not participate with a particular injury. Paintball injuries tend to be soft tissue (e.g., muscle, ligament, tendons, and bone) sprains or strains.

3. Paintball is an inexpensive pastime. A typical game is for a team of two to nine players and typically costs between $50 and $300 to attend.

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4. It’s a great summertime bonding activity. Social gatherings involving friends and paintball newbies can occur at field sporting events as well as at private workouts in backyard areas.

5. The U.S. National Paintball Team has been professionalized and is known as the World Paintball Association (WPBA).



From the huge popularity of Paintball and the dedicated and supportive groups that exist in various online communities, Paintball is a virtual pastime with a lifetime of benefits. However, participation with a specific injury is a downside. So before you head on down the Paintball path, consult with a knowledgeable team of physical therapists who can help you hone in on the type of Paintball activity that best suits you.


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