Professional Airsoft Rules

It is important to know the rules of a tournament before play begins

Airsoft is a growing mock-combat sport in which players use gas- electric- or spring-powered replicas of real military weapons to shoot BB-size plastic pellets at opponents. Some basic rules serve as guidelines, but rules vary considerably, depending on the type of tournament and the region. It is best to check on the rules with a tournament or group before playing. This is important for your own safety and the safety of all other players involved.

The Safe Zone

The safe zone is a designated area where players cannot shoot or be shot at. “Killed” players generally go to the safe zone after they are hit. Spectators also watch from this area. Any player who shoots into the safe zone or at someone who is in the safe zone is disqualified from play.

Eye Protection

Eye protection always is required. Most professional tournaments require a full face mask. Players who constantly violate this rule should be removed from your group, because ignoring the rule can result in injury and is a liability issue. If your goggles or mask need to be cleaned during play, lie on the ground with your face as close to the ground as possible, and clean them quickly.

Getting “Killed”

Generally if you are hit on any part of your body, you are considered “killed” for the remainder of the game. Airsoft is played on an honor system, since there is no paint splatter or residue from the hit. It is considered poor etiquette and a disqualifying offense not to admit a hit. A player should loudly call out “hit,” then he should raise his weapon over his head and walk to the safe zone.

There are variations on this rule. Some tournaments allow more than one “life”; some allow players to be considered “wounded” if they are shot in a non-vital area such as an arm or leg. If a player is “wounded,” he may continue play, but with limitations. These special rules will be outlined before play begins.

Minimum Engagement Distance

If a person is within 10 feet of another player, she must call out “surrender” before shooting, and that player must answer immediately. If a player shoots from close range without shouting “surrender,” she is disqualified, and the hit does not count. If she calls out but the other player refuses to surrender, both players then have the opportunity to fire. Since sniper weapons are much more powerful and shoot farther, snipers should carry a sidearm for distances closer than 40 feet.

Types of Games

Numerous scenarios are played out in Airsoft games. One of the most common games is Capture the Flag. The players divide into two groups, each with a base and a flag. Each team tries to capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to their base; the team to do so wins. Another common game is Last Player Standing. This is a game were it is every man for himself; the last player ‘alive’ wins. Officials oversee games to ensure players observe the rules.