Paintball is a sport that is growing in popularity every year. With tournaments, professional leagues and courses spread across the country, paintball combines the strategy of paramilitary operations with the competitive spirit of sports. Woodsball is a variation of paintball popular with amateur players. Unlike speedball which is played on a small, regulation court with blow-up obstacles, woodsball is played in the heart of nature, against both the opponent and the elements. However, the time-consuming, intensely-tactical essence of woodsball is the very thing that makes it so appealing and rewarding.
1. Ensure that your equipment is working properly. While the paintball marker is the typical weapon of choice, there are other paint devices that can be used in woodsball, including paint grenades and tripods. Before playing, you should always check your weapons and your equipment, making sure everything is clean, unbroken and safe.
2. Follow all safety procedures. Woodsball can be a dangerous sport if it is not played correctly. All players are required to wear certain pieces of equipment, including helmets and goggles. Before any matches, both teams must also meet with the referee to go over safety rules, course specifications and any special circumstances.
3. Decide on the game. Woodsball is paintball played in the woods. However, there are numerous variations popular with players, including elimination, king of the hill and capture the flag. Before play commences, both teams must decide on the style of game, otherwise the ensuing free-for-all will not very fun.
4. Adopt a team strategy. Once you know the name of the game, you must plan a strategy. Woodsball especially is a sport of tactics and cooperation. Within the team, certain players will take on certain roles, all working toward a specific goal: to win, but to win a certain way.
5. Communicate. Meeting at the beginning to form a strategy is not enough. You must communicate with your team during the entire match. As players get eliminated, or as the terrain gets the best of your team, things will change, and plans may need to be updated. Communication, whether through signals or code words, is essential to winning in woodsball. Otherwise, a game can quickly become every man for himself.
6. Learn the terrain. As you play, memorize the terrain. If you find a good hiding spot, stake it out and tell your team about it. Hills, ditches, fallen trees and piles of leaves can all mean the difference between winning and losing. The environment can be extra teammate, but it can also quickly become the enemy.
7. Remain patient. Speedball is simply that: fast. The course is small, the goal is evident, and players are eliminated quickly. Woodsball, on the other hand, is strictly a game of strategy, teamwork and, above all, patience. Some plans are complicated and take awhile to unfold, and some goals can take hours to complete. The team is only as strong as its weakest players and as such, it takes a lot of patience and a lot of self-restraint to continue following the plan.