At Family Paintball Center, players armed with rented markers storm the fields during classic games: capture the flag, elimination, and elimination’s cousin, resurrection, in which tagged players can be reborn. Separated by sky-high screens, the sprawling fields are scattered with wooden fences and spools as well as inflatable shapes that players can use to dodge incoming pellets. To make a day of it, groups can bring along food and drink, and even set up their own barbecue grill. There is also a concessions stand on-site, and local pizzerias deliver to the field, rather than just throwing their pies there Frisbee-style.
Crouched behind a stack of tires, a player feels the incoming paintballs smack against the rubber as he plots his next move. Such a sight is common at Bigshot Paintball Field's outdoor field, a collage of upturned pallets, cable spools, and dirt mounds where combatants outmaneuver each other to find the best firing positions. Bigshot's staff acquaints every player, from beginners to those who have been living off field grass since 2005, with the rules of play and equipment operation before allowing them to enter the thick of battle. Between bouts, the staff also dispenses bottled water and soft drinks and can recommend nearby pizza joints that deliver. Barbecue grills are allowed as well, if there's room available. As a not-for-profit organization, Bigshot Paintball Fields donates a portion of its proceeds to the Police Officer Assistance Trust, a support organization for the law-enforcement community of Miami–Dade County.