Playing fields can range from outdoor woods or artificial turf to indoor arenas with barriers, music and black lights.
Indoor and outdoor paintball arenas can provide a challenging field to players as they attempt to "splat" each other with paint until only one team or one player is left standing.
Paintball can be a fun game, but weather plays an important role in outdoor competitions. Indoor venues are sometimes hard to find, depending on location, but make the sport of paintball an entertaining alternative during any season.
Indoor paintball venues make it possible to play the sport year-round. For hardcore competitors, it doesn't matter if it's 100 degrees outside or if it's snowing. Indoor arenas are usually climate controlled, so that participants can wear full paintball gear for protection without overheating.
As added entertainment, many facilities also have music piped in and a number of webcams situated throughout the arena. Spectators can watch from within the facility or even view online.
There are many variations to the game of paintball, and each venue has its own rules for competition. Indoor arenas are constructed so that players can run throughout the playing field, using barriers, walls and doorways as protection against getting hit. Obstructions can also be used to hide behind until it's just the right moment to fire, when an opponent is sneaking by or nonchalantly checking their ammunition. Some facilities have bunkers and towers, as well.
The indoor game is often played in the dark or with black lights illuminating the zone. The paint is luminescent; it glows in the dark. When a player has been hit by the paintball, that portion of clothing glows in the dark, as well. More elaborate indoor sites feature two or three levels, with steps and ramps that lead up and down. While players on the upper levels have the advantage of seeing opponents below with a bird's eye view, they can still be seen from below. Long distance shots rely on skill and practice, so that the more someone plays, the better they get.
Outdoor playing fields can be as simple as a designated area in the woods to an intricate laid-out course. In the woods, players use trees, bushes and natural barriers to protect themselves. With more flat terrain, gullies and ditches give extra protection for players to avoid getting hit. There may be ankle-high shrubs to waist-high bushes that can help or hinder strategy.
Where enclosed fields are the outdoor arena, grass or artificial turf are the surface. During extended days of inclement weather, grass field competitors either learn how to play in the mud, or take a break from the action. Artificial turf is an advantage in rainy climates, and prevents players from missing too many days of fun in the outdoors. Turf can be helpful in these conditions, but athletes must be careful how they step and wear the proper shoes and on fake turf arenas.
Most outdoor courses that are not in the woods have fiberglass, wooden, canvas or metal structures in the playing field to use for shelter or camouflage. Field size varies, and it affects playing strategy as well as the number of competitors that can play the game at once.
Both outdoor and indoor venues have staging areas that allow players to gather before going in, or rest after coming out. Food and drink are usually available, and most places will book private birthday parties, corporate field trips or group events with advanced notice.
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