Written by Karl Broadbent on April 11, 2017
Many first time paintballers may be worried about playing due to the risk of injury. With paintballs being fired at you at 200 mph and difficult terrain to manoeuvre, paintball doesn’t seem like the safest activity. However, paintball is, in fact, one of the lowest risk sports there is and is very safe as long as you follow the safety rules.
One study by the Minnesota Paintball League found that paintball has 0.2 injuries per 1000 players, whereas football has 2.4 per 1000 and tennis 1.1 per 1000. Paintball is thus safer than both football and tennis, a statistic that some may find surprising.
What’s more, a 2002 study by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents found that out of 923 paintball players admitted to A&E in the UK, 431 were for ankle, foot or leg injuries and hence most paintball injuries come not from being shot but from running around. Those who sustained eye injuries did so because they were not wearing goggles – they failed to follow the safety rules.
Paintball has one of the lowest injury rates of any sport. If the paintball hits you it may sting, but as long as the safety instructions are adhered to and the recommended safety gear is worn, you would have to be incredibly careless to do any real harm. You’re no more likely to get any more bruises or scrapes playing paintball than you are playing any other sport.
To stay safe when playing paintball, you should wear the correct safety gear. You can start by wearing appropriate clothing for protection. Wear multiple layers as a defensive layer for your skin. Keep as little skin exposed as possible and make sure your movement is not restricted as you will need to be agile to prevent falling over. Wear comfortable shoes that you can run in and support the ankle as ankle injuries are common in paintball.
You will also be provided with extra kit to provide extra safety and protection during the game. At BPF we invest in the latest paintball equipment for maximum safety. Full body armour and thick and padded camo overalls provide an extra layer to protect your body and absorb the impact of incoming fire.
Full head protection goggles are the most vital piece of safety equipment as they protect your eyes and head and must be worn at all times in the game zone. If they are removed you will be excluded from the game. Likewise, don’t fire at those who aren’t wearing a mask, and wear the high-quality anti-fog goggles provided by us, not your own.
There are a few general safety rules to be followed to ensure maximum safety:
- Our trained marshalls give a safety briefing before the game that should be followed.
- Players must be 11+ years old. Junior Paintball, an even safer version of paintball, is available at BPF for those aged 9+.
- No goggles should be lifted outside the safe zone of base camp.
- Keep your gun in safety mode and plug in the barrel when not in the game zone to reduce misfires or accidental firing.
- Don’t fire anything other than the paintballs we supply you with.
- Don’t fire blindly unless you have a target.
- Don’t overshoot if you’ve already hit someone.
- We enforce a 5-meter rule to ensure players are not shot from close range.
- Don’t fire at anything that’s not in the game zone.
- Don’t fire with intent to harm.
- Paintball is a non-contact sport.
BPF multi-activity centre has a 100% first class safety record and is the UK’s safest multi-activity centre. We are a 5 star fully accredited UK Paintball Sports Federation venue and meet the rigorous UKPSF standards in safety, equipment, staff training and facilities.
This is due to our quality safety equipment, robust safety procedures, and highly trained staff who are first aid qualified and instruct and supervise all activities. A HSE officer suggested our health and safety policies be used as a model for other multi-activity centres, so you’re in safe hands with us.
Paintball Is Safe!
It is clear that paintball is one of the least dangerous and risky sports, so there is no need to be worried about playing and having fun. As long as you play at a regulated centre, wear the correct equipment and follow the safety rules, you can enjoy paintball safely and without fear of injury.