Paintball has grown into an international pastime that is widely enjoyed by sports clubs, company employees and individuals with a taste for the "rough and tumble" extremes of outdoor life. Hiring a paintball venue and the equipment needed to play can be expensive, but it is entirely possible to build a small paintball field at home. Naturally, the focus needs to remain on safety, and space will often be limited. However, a few simple additions and a little planning can soon turn your spare outdoor space into a war zone for paintball enthusiasts.
Evaluate the space you have available before starting to develop your paintball field. Consider any other uses that the land is currently being used for and establish whether a paintball field will cause a major inconvenience for those living nearby. Consider your own property and the chances of it becoming damaged when games take place. Pay attention to any legal requirements that may have to be addressed before work begins. Operations permits, safety inspections and insurance will need to be considered on homemade paintball fields in some instances. Consider a computer software program if you are struggling to draw up any plans yourself.
Draw up your plans to include key features that will make games more realistic. Consider the strategic options that players will have available and think about any additions you'd like to make. Include any natural structures such as trees into your plans. Keep safety as a primary concern at all times and avoid the use of old or derelict barns or buildings on your property if the well-being of participants cannot be assured. Bunkers can be added to provide hiding spots for players.
Clear the paintball field of all dangerous obstructions before work begins. Set up a boundary fence that clearly marks the confines of the playing area so participants are not tempted to go beyond it. Add bunkers by digging out irregular pieces of land and adding a membrane to prevent weed growth. Fill with sand so that players can dive into the refuge safely with minimal impact to their bodies.
Incorporate small streams or rivers into the playing area wherever possible as this can make a paintball field more realistic and adds to the challenge. Field barriers can be integrated into the course to help provide additional boundaries. Allow a small area for first-aid treatment and ensure that a fully-stocked treatment kit is available at all times so any injuries can be treated. Think about accessibility to the area if an ambulance is actually needed and include this in your design.
Invite experienced players to test your paintball field and ask them if they have any opinions that might help to improve the playing arena. The input of experienced gamers may reveal some simple additions that can make the difference between a localized playing area and a truly successful home paintball field.
- paintball player splat image by NorthShoreSurfPhotos from Fotolia.com