In a field of weeds, dirt, and brush, players sprint between paint-splattered wooden barriers while colorful orbs whiz past. As combatants post up behind giant tractor tires and industrial tubing to settle on plans of attack, refs keep watch to ensure safety and fair play. When off the battlegrounds, teams can prep for future matches by gearing up at the pro shop, which stocks paintball markers, masks, and apparel.
Crouched behind a broken-down truck, the player hears incoming paintballs smack all over the automobile. Scanning the field, he plots his next move—possibly to the field’s upturned section of corrugated tubing, a large cable spool, or the makeshift plywood blockade. The outdoor fields at River Park Paintball challenge teams to work together through this dilapidated yet sneakily helpful terrain, which evokes the same kind of urban-warfare setting of popular video games. In other areas, stretches of field give players tall, speedball-style inflatable barricades that offer cover from incoming shots. Paintball enthusiasts make up the staff that oversees the fields at all times, ensuring players adhere to safe play and honor house rules, such as washing up before the traditional midday tea and scones. River Park's team requires that players make reservations, as the facility keeps limited hours Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.