Paintball is a game in which players compete, in teams or individually, to eliminate opponents by tagging them with capsules containing water soluble dye and gelatin shell outside (referred to as paintballs) propelled from a device called a paintball market (commonly referred to as a paintball gun). Paintballs are composed of a non-toxic, biodegradable, water soluble polymer. The game is regularly played at a sporting level with organized competition involving worldwide leagues, tournaments, professional teams, and players. Paintball technology is also used by military forces, law enforcement, para-military and security organizations to supplement military training, as well as playing a role in riot response, and non-lethal suppression of dangerous suspects. Some players prefer paintball as it gives an experience no other sport features.
Games can be played on very hard floors in indoor fields, or outdoor fields of varying sizes. A game field is scattered with natural or artificial terrain, which players use for tactical cover. Rules for playing paintball vary, but can include capture the flag, elimination, ammunition limits, defending or attacking a particular point or area, or capturing objects of interest hidden in the playing area. Depending on the variant played, games can last from seconds to hours, or even days in scenario play
Paintball is played with a potentially limitless variety of rules and variations, which are specified before the game begins. The most basic game rule is that players must attempt to accomplish a goal without being shot and marked with a paintball. A variety of different rules govern the legality of a hit, ranging from “anything counts” (hits cause elimination whether the paintball broke and left a mark or not) to the most common variation: the paintball must break and leave a mark the size of a US quarter or larger. Eliminated players are expected to leave the field of play; eliminations may also earn the opposing team points. Depending on the agreed upon game rules, the player may return to the field and continue playing, or is eliminated from the game completely.
The particular goal of the game is determined before play begins; examples include or Elimination. Paintball has spawned popular variants, including, which is played in the natural environment and spans across a large area. Conversely, the variant of speedball is played on a smaller field and has a very fast pace (with games lasting up to five minutes). Another variant is scenario paintball, in which players attempt to recreate historical, or fictional settings; the largest being Oklahoma D-Day’s World II re-enactment.