After traipsing deep into Fresno Regional Sports Complex, warriors breach the perimeter of Maximum Paintball, an expansive enclave spread throughout several obstacle-infested outdoor fields. Concrete blocks, wooden horses, and metal barrels populate Field1, and regulation barricades such as pyramids, cylinders, and Paul Bunyan's beanbags wait to be splattered with neon paint in other nooks. Maximum Paintball hosts traditional paintball games and some with slight variations, all overseen by referees unafraid to eject people for unsportsmanlike conduct. An observation area with awnings and picnic tables protects onlookers from stray pellets, and a supply store stays open seven days a week to equip sharpshooters with necessary accouterments.
Backed by a landscape of rolling green hills, paintballers navigate a maze of trenches, only peering above ground with their be-goggled eyes for a careful survey. With 14 battlefields to choose from, paintballing combatants test their mettle while fostering team-building and strategization skills. Players fire off rounds from Kingman air guns while ducking behind rusted, paint-splattered oil drums, stacks of large tires, or the big yellow dump truck left behind by Godzilla's toddler. Each battleground presents a different challenge?the turf airball course is populated by inflatable obstacles, and the woodsball field forces teams to traverse forested grounds made hazardous by wetlands and overgrowth. After a grueling match, players can take refuge in the shaded picnic areas to rest, refuel, or brush up on Sun Tzu's lesser-known text, The War of Art.
Every Saturday and Sunday, Air Warriors Paintball opens its four outdoor playing fields to the public for simulated combat. Three of the four battlegrounds play host to adrenaline-fueled matches that pit players against each other in scenario games. Obstacles include tire mounds, corrugated metal, and dugout trenches. The facility also features an inflatable-packed speedball arena that’s perfect for fast-paced games. Much like a college student who has trouble scrounging up quarters, Air Warrior’s speedball field changes once a week.
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.
Wooden walls, empty metal drums, and concrete pipes form barricades against spheres of gelatin and colored soap zooming through the air. This is Gladiator Paintball Park, a sprawling haven for paintball enthusiasts. Here, players hide behind various objects in the field, dodging multihued "bullets" as they engage in games such as Capture the Flag and Don't Ruin My New White Shirt. Guests can also bring in Airsoft toy guns for supervised battles against one another.
A car speeds along the track, as passengers inside fire paintball guns at the enemy outside?all in hopes of saving the world, or at least getting the high score. Those are the movie-like moments created by Car Chase Paintball.
Every ragtag group of action heroes has to start off with basic training, and Car Chase Paintball's affiliated motor speedways are where that happens. The mission starts with practice on the range so groups can hone their aim and get ready for the mission that follows. Then from behind tactical barriers, the heroes of the day zoom in on bad guys driving past and try their best to thwart them. Inevitably, some get away?and that's where the high-speed car chase finale comes in. At the end officials count up players' hits and give them scores, settling for good the question of which of your friends you most want by your side if you find yourself trapped in an action movie.