The referee surveys the field, his eagle eyes scanning the masked figures who silently dart behind inflatable cones and crawl through the forest. The silence breaks as a player makes a break from the woods only to be struck by green pellets slamming against his chest. Satisfied that the shot was fair, the ref keeps the game moving in all its paint-splattered glory.
This is a typical scene at Wolverine Paintball Park, where seasoned staff members are dedicated to maintaining rigorous safety during adrenaline-fueled games on the facility’s sprawling, tree-dappled course. Wolverine’s field rules keep play in check, whereas eco-friendly paintballs keep players away from toxic materials with colorful pigments that contain no oil or tree tears.
Silence fills the forest as a masked paintball player creeps over logs and leaves, unable to find the opposing team he knows is there. Suddenly, a shower of colored paint spews from behind a nearby tree, and the battle begins. Such moments unfold daily at PBC Paintball Park's facilities during the regular season. Their staff, all of whom are paintball players themselves, have designed both wooded and concept fields at Greensboro, Charlotte, and Greenville. At Greensboro, wooded landscapes transform into a battlefield with bunkers, creeks, and large forts. Felled trees and dense foliage give players ample cover amid the undeveloped woods of Greenville's fields, while tournaments unfold across PBC Charlotte's level terrain. Additionally, PBC Paintball Parks are affiliated with Paintball Central, which runs two stores in North Carolina and one store in South Carolina where players can stock up on enough paintball gear to ready themselves for the inevitable cartoon-character rebellion.
Planet Paintball & Airsoft Adventures’ owner is an industry expert, his experience accrued over a 27-year career working with national paintball brands and competing at the sport’s highest professional level. Come on Saturdays for walk-on play from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A man runs through the forest, pausing briefly to take in his surroundings: rolling mountains and verdant trees as far as the eye can see. Suddenly, a twig cracks, breaking the silence, and the pristine view dissolves within a cloud of paint. The game is over.
At its outpost within the mountains, Smoky Mountain Paintball has converted the area's natural terrain into outdoor paintball fields. Here, players weave between trees and peak over walls in search of enemy combatants. The simulated battlefields are also a strategist’s dream; referees take requests, and will set up almost any type of game provided that players adhere to the rules and don't require a human-sized chessboard.
Away from the colorful warzone, a pro shop brims with camouflage and Tippmann markers, In addition to paint-fueled grudge matches, combatants can also settle scores with Smoky Mountain Paintball’s expanded arsenal of Airsoft and laser-tag battles.
One runner tucks his laser gun under his arm as he ducks behind an obstacle. Just before he's out of sight, his sister shoots at him from afar, settling the score with her sibling without having to deflate the tires on his bicycle. Within Battlefield Knoxville’s 36,000-square-foot arena, up to 40 players, armed with a selection of futuristic and realistic weaponry, go toe to toe at once. During play, groups embody fantasy action scenarios during games of Capture the Flag, Base Assault, and Rescue the Hostage. The facility also includes a gaming center where players give their limbs a rest at 13 flat-screen gaming stations that offer group bouts on Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 consoles.
Close-quarters combat, a woodland battle, or an urban-village scuffle. At Battlefield Airsoft, you might find yourself face-to-face with enemies on any of these inventive terrain options. During games, players fire soft plastic BBs to tag enemy opposition. It's similar to paintball, except it's less messy and doesn't require you to hold a BFA in abstract art to play. Players can engage scrimmages with their own gear or rent or buy airsoft equipment at the onsite shop.