Playing paintball is an exciting experience that everyone deserves to have. It can be an excellent game for your kids, especially when you’re looking for an adventurous but safe activity for them over the holidays. Paintballing is also a great opportunity for children to learn about teamwork, strategy, leadership, and critical thinking.
Like anything else that you do, paintball has its own risks. However, there’s a low accident rate for playing the game. In fact, it is less risky as compared to games like rugby, football, and bowling. The most common injury in paintballing is usually a trip-and-fall that may be relatively harmless. Therefore, it’s a sport that’s worth trying out.
Unfortunately, your kid might not be able to enjoy your favorite sport depending on several factors. Most of the reasons for not playing center around safety because it is a very crucial matter in paintballing. This has been a major source of contention in many countries when it comes to age limits.
Measures are in Place for Children’s Safety
Although there are many safety concerns, children and teenagers from countries around the globe have been having marvelous times paintballing over the years. For instance, the UK children’s birthday paintball parties continue to increase in popularity even as parents see the happy faces of their kids after a whole day of play.
In many other countries, fields have made provision for kids’ paintball equipment. Some have adjustable facemasks that fit children comfortably, securely, and safely. Many field owners claim that they have tested the masks many times and found them to be safe and that they can withstand strikes without having any problem.
Better still, fields that allow juniors to play usually offer an in-depth safety talk through experienced marshals before any game begins. They also supervise children all the time the match is on. This way, the marshals watch out for any child who wants to remove their masks so they can take them off the paintball playing area for safety.
Additionally, most parks and fields for paintball in the past had set the standard introduction age to the game at 10. At that time, they didn’t have safety equipment that could properly fit little children and the guns’ impact levels were high. Only the .68 caliber markers were available.
Those days are over. Low impact games are now available. They utilize .50 caliber paintball guns that fire at a lower velocity. This ensures a less noticeable impact. There are also spring-powered pump action markers ideal for introducing young players to the game.
In some countries and fields, these developments have made it possible for children as low as 6 to participate in the traditional sport. Also, any person, regardless of age, can fall in love with paintball now that low impact options have made it easier to start learning it. People as old as 60 are now paintballing regularly around the globe.
However, paintball is a game that requires everyone to ensure their safety, in spite of their age. Apart from wearing a protective mask, you shouldn’t remove your goggles while on the field even if you’re no longer playing. All your clothing should be paintball-specific or approved to ensure they protect you properly.
Other Factors Affecting Age Limit of Paintballing
Aside from safety, there are many other factors that affect the age at which you may have the freedom of enjoying the experience of paintballing. They include the following:
- Your Location. The age at which you can begin playing paintball varies considerably across the nations of the world and the specific state you live in. Some countries require you to be an adult of at least 18 years before trying your hand at the marker. Others like Canada and the UK may have no rules at all when it comes to age limits for paintballing. For a country like Australia, the minimum age varies from 10 to 18 years depending on the state.
Paintball associations across the globe are currently working on decreasing these limits and standardizing them so that even younger kids can enjoy playing the game.
- Field. Depending on the country, some field owners may allow people of any age to go paintballing. However, other fields may have an insurance policy that restricts this. For most of the US, the policies do not allow children under the age of 10 or 12 to participate. It is always good to ask the facility manager whether your kid might be able to play there.
Some fields are very strict about age limits. They prohibit children below 10 to be present during a game as per their insurance policy. They may require proof of age or even a birth certificate in some cases. They require you to accompany your kids who are below a certain age.
Insurance regulations can even be tougher. They can include height limits, restricting those who are shorter to either play or be present at the field. As you know, most kids can’t meet such standards. You may, therefore, consider not taking your child there.
In some cases, playing regularly at a particular field can earn you a favor of getting your kids to enjoy the game there. The owner would have observed that you’re a responsible parent before allowing your child to have that precious birthday gift or just a moment of fun during holidays. However, you have to be present for the kid to play.
Some paintball centers are even more interesting. They separate players into groups with adults being by themselves. The center managers also divide people according to their experience levels. This is for safety purposes. They may allow children to play with their parents if only the adults are responsible and more careful. This can be an opportunity for you to train your child by yourself.
- Maturity Level. While some countries might not have age limits when it comes to paintball, the maturity level of your child is an issue to consider. Often, kids who are under 10 perform better than teenagers on the field. However, the general recommendation is that children between12-14 are the most capable.
Most kids at this age can understand safety rules quickly and abide by them while still enjoying the game instead of overreacting when someone hits them. However, you need to sign a document for any child who is under 18 for them to play to show that you’ll be responsible in the event that anything goes wrong.
- Disabilities. You should understand that paintball is a physically demanding game. It requires certain capabilities. When it comes to disabilities, age does not matter. There’s a line you can’t cross when you’re disabled. You should weigh if you’re able to play the game with your limitations or not.
- Renting or Purchasing Requirements. If you’re below 18 in certain countries, you can buy or purchase paintball equipment without restrictions at many stores and fields. However, larger holdings such as Walmart may require you to be older in order to purchase any item from them. This may limit your probability of being able to play the game.
What to Consider
While you might be confident about all the requirements for both you and your kids playing paintball, there are some things that might cause a change of mind. Paintballing brings joy and fulfillment as well as risks. Here are some things to put in mind before engaging in the game:
There’s no standard age for beginning to play paintball across the globe and even the states of some countries. What you need to do is find out whether your area regulations allow you and your child to go paintballing. However, you should ensure that your kids are mature enough to play the game and that the field observes strict safety measures.