Paintball courses attract a wide range of participants.
If you long for the sight of shadowy figures, virtually unidentifiable behind their paintball vests and tactical paintball gear as they run from cover to cover with one goal in mind—to grab the other team’s flag–you may have paintball fever. With so few courses out there, making your own is a good idea if you have the correct location and adequate support. Does this Spark an idea?
1. Locate a suitable piece of property. You may not have to purchase acreage if you know a landowner who will allow you to erect a paintball course for private use. If you live in an urban area, scout the old warehouse district for an abandoned building that an owner may let you lease cheaply or free in exchange for cleaning and policing the building.
2. Consult your local zoning board for information on getting a permit. Private not-for-profit courses often need no permit as long as you don’t make money. You can still charge fees, but keep them in an account used only for expenses. Consider appointing a treasurer to oversee the account.
3. Plan your course around existing trees, bushes and terrain. The best courses are ones that simulate warfare in a natural environment. In paintball, the more challenging the course, the better. Put some thought and effort into this stage of development.
4. Establish bunkers for opposing teams and provide a place for the team flag, benches for resting, hooks to hang paintball vests and tactical paintball gear and a drawing board to plan the team’s strategy. In a warehouse, obstacles and course development should follow an “espionage” design with bunkers on opposite ends.
5. Recruit assistance from avid paintballers in establishing a course. The more ideas you have to choose from, the better your course will be. Consider forming a committee to oversee the design.
6. Get your federal tax ID number if you will be selling paintball markers, paintball vests or tactical paintball gear. A course that offers members and participants gear and equipment may be highly profitable, but you will need to register your name with the IRS and receive a number that identifies you as a business owner.
7. Hand out business cards or fliers advertising your new paintball course at paintball competitions, or ask sports retailers if you can pin up a flier on their bulletin board.
8. Make sure you have a signed liability waiver from every paintball participant to reduce your liability if an injury occurs. Consult an attorney if you need help making a waiver. Require that all participants use safety paintball vests and tactical paintball gear when competing.