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 Paintball 101

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Justin@ECE
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Join date : 2010-03-29
Age : 29
Location : South Florida

PostSubject: Paintball 101   Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:48 pm

Paintball 101

Simply put, Paintball is a sport where players shoot paintballs at each other and when players are hit they are out of the game. The basic goal of paintball is to remove players from the game and capture the opponents flag and return it to the home base = Win.

There are three general types of paintball play: Speedball, Woodsball, and Recreation

–Speedball is a team game where teams compete against each other at a very fast pace (average games are 3-6 minutes). This tournament format is very youthful and typically is a best of 7, with points assigned to hits, returning the flag to home base, and also involves penalties (similar to Hockey and players being removed for time periods). Can be played recreationally or professionally and tournaments are usually set up for 3, 5, 7 or 10 player teams.

–Woodsball paintball is a game in which players participate in a scenario, or story and may include historical re-enactments, futuristic or video game simulations. The format here is all the players participate in a game at the same time, typically broken into two major groups. Some events have as many as 5,000 players all playing on the same field with various assignment and point structures. When players are hit, they have a waiting period after which they can reinsert into the game. These events typically last a full day and the players are older than speedball players.

–Recreation paintball is the game played by most participants. These games take place at specific paintball fields where the field will provide rentals, air, etc. for players that do not have their own equipment. The field will organize the players into teams, where players can play with others of similar experience and equipment. The usual game here is to eliminate players and capture the flag. Its typically very relaxed and casual and players usually play 4-6 games within a 4 hour time span, resting in between games.

Basic Equipment

The Paintball Marker
- Uses CO2 or compressed air to propel paintball at 280 feet per second
- Markers are mechanical (single trigger pull fires one ball), electronic (single trigger pull can send balls continuously)
- Barrel plugs/blockers are ALWAYS included and a safety requirement at ALL fields

The Loader (aka: Hopper)
- The loader feeds paintballs to the marker
- Loaders are gravity (gravity feeds the balls), agitator (a paddle “agitates” the balls so they fall faster), force-feed (the sound of the marker firing or “eye” seeing pushes another ball to the marker) or RF (radio waves between loader and marker – these are higher end)

The Goggle (aka: Mask)
- Provides complete protection to your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and sometimes the back of the head.
- Players are required to wear during play and when on the playing field.
- Masks have variations in flexibility, lens, and overall size and protection.

The Air Tank
- Air tanks store the CO2 or compressed gases that propel the paintballs out of the marker.
- Strict ASTM guidelines are adhered to for the production of tanks.
- Burst disks are built in to release the gas safely in the case of any failure.

Paintballs
- A non-toxic capsule filled with water-soluble dye used as the projectile in the sport.
- Balls have a shell that breaks on impact and leaves a visible paint splatter.
- In essence, a paintball is a sophisticated E Vitamin.

Protective Clothing
- Includes padded pants, jersey’s, gloves and under protective that are durable and lessons the impact of paintballs.
- For new participants, loose fitting clothes and sweatpants type material in a neutral or dark color is best to create a buffer from the impact

The Paintball POD
- These are rigid tubular plastic containers that hold paintballs.

The Harness
- These are worn around the waist and hold the pods of paintballs, with some holding also a player’s air tank.

How Paintballs Are Made

Softgels are made on special, very expensive, softgel encapsulating machines. In 1933, Robert Scherer designed and patented the first such machine. Here’s how a softgel encapsulation machine works:

1. Hot liquid gelatin is formed into two thin but wide gelatin ribbons. Each gelatin ribbon passes over a rotating die. The dies are designed to form a capsule of a particular size and shape, such as a paintball. Softgels can be round like paintballs, oblong, or unusually-shaped.
2. Each die with its gelatin ribbon presses against the other die as the dies rotate. Each die has half the gelatin shell. As the dies meet, the fill (whatever goes inside the softgel) is injected into the area between the two gelatin sheets. The dies continue to rotate, pressing the two warm gelatin ribbons against each other and forming a filled gelatin capsule. The seam on a paintball shows where the two gelatin sheets met.
3. Finally, the now-sealed gelatin capsule drops away from the rotating dies. It is not, however, ready to use when it drops form the machine. For example, when it drops down, what will become a paintball is rubbery and larger than it will be when it is ready to shoot. These bouncy, not-quite-ready softgels are gently tumbled, and then dried in trays in a climate-controlled environment. The gelatin and fill shrink as they dry.
4. At RPS, technicians constantly monitor the encapsulation machines as they run. Technicians will randomly check the encapsulations to see the product meets required specifications. Technicians also check the paintballs when they’re dry. Any that are not up to RPS’s specifications are removed and destroyed. When ready, the paintballs are packaged to move onward toward the end consumers.

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7710 Wiles Road
Coral Springs, Florida, 33067

East Coast Extreme Paintball and Airsoft Playing Fields
7495 Parklane Road
Lake Worth, Florida, 33449

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