Across the woodsball fields and speedball arena of Long Live Paintball, contenders dodge the colorful fire of their opponents as they leap over cable spools and post up behind a charred bus or towers of barrels. It's on these obstacle-ridden grounds that dye-slingers compete in elimination-style games or battle to complete a given mission, such as capturing the adversary's flag and using it to pick popcorn kernels out of their teeth. Admission rates range from simple entry fees for the fully equipped to all-day Gold packages that supply players with a marker, 500 paintballs, and all the other necessary provisions. Rentable chest protectors cushion trunks from crossfire, and disposable camo cuts down on the time players spend fusing their DNA with that of a tree. Although the field is generally first-come, first-serve, the staff can prepare for parties of 10 or more with an advanced reservation.
Scurrying through a field littered with barrels as paintballs whiz through the air. Trudging toward safety through a thick marsh. Rescuing fellow teammates stuck in a military transport vehicle. Players encounter these scenarios and more on Gear-Up Paintball's six outdoor fields, where games of capture the flag and team elimination unfold rain or shine. Participants can adjust their guns and practice their marksmanship at the target range before ducking into the woodsball field's bunkers or sneakily overtaking the castle by coating themselves in paint and posing as the court jester. Afterward, guests can prowl the pro shop for new gear from brand-name manufacturers such as Tippmann and Guerilla Air.
In 2003, QuickShot Paintball set up its base camp in the back of a food mart; since then, its headquarters has grown to feature six playing fields and a fully loaded pro shop. After choosing a game format such as capture the flag, elimination, or scenario play, you can deploy your team to any of five woodsball fields. Obstacles and hiding spots are scattered throughout the arenas; on the Pond field, for example, teams can dart past a number of water features. Meanwhile, inflatable bunkers are speckled throughout the regulation speedball field, which has brightly colored grass thanks to its special irrigation system and regular shower of green paintballs. After matches, players can retire to the pro shop to check out a full stock of markers, equipment, and tactical apparel.
At Mansion House Paintball, mature trees tower over wooded fields with boughs battered by kaleidoscopic shrapnel. Paintball soldiers dive behind these tree trunks or weave through barrels, wood panels, or cable rungs in all-season, outdoor battle played in rain or sunshine. Individuals can walk on for games during the weekend, and private groups or corporate teams can reserve the fields for parties or retreats to determine who cleans out the corner office’s adjoining stable.
On Target Paintball keeps 14 fields groomed for high-intensity paintball battles. This means that whether a player wants to engage in rec-ball, speedball, or a friendly game of catch, he or she will likely find the perfect setting for their colorful battle, complete with makeshift bunkers and other obstacles.
At North East Adventure Paintball, adventure is a family affair. Charles Narvel, his son Austin, and his nephew Shawn opened the 6.5-acre facility in May 2008 with the goal of providing a safe venue for exhilarating rounds of paintball. Before the grand opening, the trio parceled the acres into six themed fields and dotted each landscape with matching obstacles: Old Castle field has a stone fortress with multiple levels and a tower; Civil War field features simulated headquarters and trenches.
Today, players 9 or older sprint across the six fields in games of elimination, respawn, Alamo, sharpshooter, and capture the flag. Eco-friendly, oil-free paint splatters against protective gear as players duck behind shelters or leap over barriers. Lower-speed paintball guns are available for younger players whose reflexes have not evolved into cats just yet. After an adrenaline-fueled battle, players can eat food they've brought with them at shaded, sheltered picnic tables, or purchase food and drink at the concession stand. Party packages include a referee.