Paintball is an exciting and challenging recreational activity, and a lot of the fun comes from playing on a properly built paintball field. The way the course is laid out can drastically affect the tactics players use. To ensure that the fun will last, you want to build a paintball field that is versatile while still remaining easy to learn. Nothing will turn a novice paintballer into a regular player more quickly than a thrilling field of play.
1. Determine whether the paintball field will be be an outdoor or indoor field. Indoor fields’ biggest advantage is that they offer protection from bad weather. They’re limited in size, however. Outdoor fields can be as large as you want.
2. Place obstacles so that they add to the quality of the game, rather than detract from it. Some barriers provide real tactical challenges that will enhance paintball strategy, but a course glutted with insurmountable objects can make players feel like they’re lost in a fun house. Create barriers that influence and channel players’ movement but do not totally restrict it.
3. Allow for a long-range field of fire. Paintball works best when it rewards various types of playing styles. The top-notch sniper has a valid technique, too, so you want to make sure that not every score must be made at point-blank range.
4. Make the course adaptable to different rules. Not everyone will want to play traditional “capture the flag” scenarios; construct the course so that it is interesting even in free-play environments.
5. Involve experienced paintballers in building the field. There is no substitute for experience. Get feedback from players so your course is based on educated opinions about the proper layout and features.
6. Run through the field with some close friends a couple of times before you open it up to others. Afterward, sit down with them and get honest feedback on what they liked and disliked about the way the field worked in game play. This dry run will reveal problems that need to be corrected.
7. Keep an open mind about revisions. The needs of the paintballers using your field may change over time; you need to be responsive to those changes to provide a first-rate experience and keep them coming back.