I’m pretty sure paintball is now officially the fastest growing sport in the world (though whether paintball is a sport or an activity is an entirely different blog post), so that means more and more young players will be hitting the GameZones on a regular basis. So this post is for any parents out there who want the scoop on what to expect from their kids playing paintball and I’ll hopefully try and answer some FAQs too.
Despite the fact that paintball is statistically safer than golf, the image the sport has comes with its own assumptions on safety – which is understandable I guess. The idea of your child running through woodland firing quite powerful markers and getting hit by high-speed paintballs can be worrying if you’ve not taken your time to fully understand how few risks are actually involved. For starters, safety should always be the priority on any paintball site.
If your children or teenagers are wanting to go and play paintball, first of all get in touch with your local site to check and see what age limits they work to. Then get online and research what sort of reviews they’ve been getting from actual players; a good paintball site should have hundreds of glowing reviews and no doubt the odd local tourism board endorsement or something similar too. Once you’ve found a site you’re happy to let your children go and learn to play at, you then need to reassure yourself that they will be entering a very safe environment. Before we even consider the benefits children gain from playing paintball, let’s first look at a few extra factors you might want to check out before booking a session.
Does the site have fully trained safety marshals on-hand throughout the day and particularly in the Game Zones during game play? Bedlam Game Zones do. Have they passed all required health and safety certificates? If so, they should be more than happy to tell you all about it. Next double check what times they expect players to arrive and finish at and, importantly, what facilities they have on-site in terms of food and drink. Whoever you contact should of course be able to talk you through each safety measure in place on the site; from reinforced goggles that are mandatory in the Game Zones to safety mechanisms on the markers and what training is given before players are given their equipment for the day. In short, if you’re not happy with the information you’re getting, find another paintball site.
Now if your teenager asks you if they can go play paintball at the weekend and you’re not quite sure if it’s a good idea, ask yourself why. Assuming all of the above is up to the required standard, then paintball is a very safe pastime. Not only this, but it has been proven to really help develop a few vital skills, which are particularly useful for children and young adults. Not only is a great way to experience the outdoors and get some exercise, but paintball also gets players thinking strategically about problem solving and how to work as part of a team with a shared goal. On top of this, good sportsmanship is key to the experience and, of course, nothing beats a fun day out with friends.