You're in the woods playing hide-and-seek. Tucked behind a log, you hear, "Ready or not, here I come!" and then wait for the sound of footsteps to trod past. The steps fade, and you break for base. But then the seeker closes in, but he doesn't need to get close enough to touch you—he just needs a clear shot to tag you with a paintball pellet.
Cape Cod Paintball's founders—friends who spent nearly a decade designing the facility's 14 outdoor fields—love to blend childhood games such as hide-and-seek with the grown-up thrill of paintball. Each course integrates both natural and artificial terrain—picture freestanding timber and brush piles juxtaposed against industrial cable spools, upturned sections of corrugated tubing, and wooden fence panels. Through this mash-up of cover, players split into teams for standard paintball games such as Capture the Flag, or more updated childhood games such as Cops and Robbers. Cape Cod Paintball's team also caters to group play with private parties, and mans a pro shop stocked with gear from brands such as Tippmann and Dangerous Power.
Providence Indoor Paintball, LLC's indoor field gives it distinct advantages over traditional outdoor spots. For one, paintball matches can continue well into the evening, with most nights' events carrying on until 10 p.m. Paintballers face less variables and weather problems, making for straightforward skill-based matches in a large facility loaded with inflatable obstacles. Tournament-style and rec-ball games welcome newcomers and experienced players alike. Those who prefer outdoor competition can take advantage of the facility's new alfresco field, which is open for the spring season, weather permitting.
Tom and his son Matt started playing paintball with their friends on a 23-acre field in the woods. Now the location of Matt's Outback Paintball, that field is equipped with four multiple-story forts and supplemented by X-ball fields, a tire field, and a seven-man speedball field for paintball games.
Armed with safe BB guns, airsoft combatants storm Ultimate Battle Ground's two simulated combat zones, each fully stocked with war-ready bunkers, hideouts, and spacious battlegrounds. Similar to paintball, airsoft is a recreational sport that consists of overpowering opponents with team strategy, shooting, and secret signals using birdsong. At Ultimate Battle Ground's 90-acre outdoor facility, pellet punishers perch atop watchtowers or traverse rolling woodlands and war-ravaged sites including a firebase, medical center, fuel depot, and a downed airplane. The 12,000-square-foot indoor facility, on the other hand, allows adversaries to lay siege to a mock city named Urbanville. POW camp setups and a trench complex add realistic touches to plundered boroughs.
There might be no better way of bonding with your friends and family than paintball, other than tricking them all into taking a superglue bath together. At Balls to the Wall, paintball groups learn to work together to defeat the enemy during games that take place in an indoor arena. The same facility also hosts laser tag in a black-lit, fog-filled labyrinth, as well as an all-weather skatepark made possible thanks to temperature control.
As a conglomerate of paintball facilities, Paintball International offers many distinct destinations for chromatic outdoor combat. Some fields, such as Splat Zone Paintball in Louisiana, challenge players to find adequate cover in an arena littered with creative obstacles. In Massachusetts, PnL Paintball thrusts players into a realistic Ghost Town, comprised of churches, multilevel buildings, and stone walls. Meanwhile, trees, leaves, stacked wood, and foliage inside K.C. Crusaders offer players all-natural hiding places from which they can spring forth to surprise their rivals or remain undetected while they determine the color palette they will use to paint Water Lilies on the surrounding bunkers.