History of paintball
The origins of paintball can be traced to the 1970s with the paintball marker used to mark trees and cattle. The first paintball game was played in New Hampshire in June, 1981 by Bob Gurnsey, Hayes Noel, Charles Gaines, and nine others. From there, the sport began to popularize quickly. The first recreational paintball field opened up in 1982. In 1983, the first tournament was held, with a grand prize of $14,000. The next year, 1984, saw the first indoor paintball field. In the late 80s, paintball fields began to appear in England and Canada. By 1991, fields were opening throughout Europe. In 1992, the National Professional Paintball League (NPPL) was founded and began hosting highly-publicized tournaments offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes. By 1996, paintball fields and tournaments were being established and hosted all around the world. Paintball today is played by over 9.8 million people worldwide, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association International, making it the number 3 Extreme Sport behind in-line skating and skateboarding.
At the most basic level, a paintball game consists of a group of players who attempt to achieve a particular objective without being eliminated. Players attempt to eliminate each other from the game by hitting and marking each other with paintballs shot from paintball markers. Like poker, paintball has many variations, and each location or group of players may have their own “house rules”. Variations may include the number of players on a team, the number of teams, differing objectives, length of the game, what kinds of hits count for an elimination, how long eliminated players are out of the game, and more.