How Safe is Paintball?

by michael on February 11, 2011

in Paintball Information,Paintball Tactics

How safe is paintball?

I’m sure everyone here knows the answer to this. I was pretty sure I did until I looked into it in more detail. As soon as you experience paintball for the first time though (proper paintball I mean, ran by a professional and respected venue) then you’ll know straight away that paintball is just as safe as any other hobby or pastime.

However, obviously paintball gets a slightly bad rep as the markers look like guns and you are essentially shooting at your mates. But obviously every element of danger is taken out of it, so players can enjoy all of the dynamics and excitement, but with none of the risk. There are hundreds of statistics flying around the web on the matter, with most of them saying variations of the same thing:

“…there are only about 20 injuries per 100,000 players each year.“

“You are 5 times more likely to be injured playing golf than paintball…”

“1 person out of every 4,000 who play paintball will end up having to go to the doctor for a paintball-related injury (ankle sprains, scratches from falling in the woods etc). On the other hand, 1 in 33 people who play football will end up visiting the hospital each year.”

Etc etc.

The golf stat is interesting though, as if it was explained in more detail it would probably talk about the ‘peripheral factors’ which are included in the sport’s safety. For example, there’s probably a tiny chance of anyone getting hit by a golf ball when it’s landing, but probably a slightly bigger chance of a person pulling a muscle in their back lifting up their bag of golf clubs. Everyone knows golf isn’t dangerous, but there will always be ways for people to occasionally hurt themselves taking part in it. What has this got to do with paintball? Well it should be treated in a similar fashion. As paintball is inherently a potentially dangerous game, all elements of danger have been scrutinised over and eliminated through the addition of masks, goggles, helmets, safety marshals, managed playing zones, training, marker regulations and many, many more precautions. How many other games or sports have gone to this much trouble to ensure player safety? Exactly. Paintball is a safe game.

If you look at the statistics of how players injure themselves, or ask the question to any venue marshal, you’ll see that it’s almost always through simple, unavoidable accidents like tripping over a tree root or landing awkwardly after a dive.

We’ve chatted before about does paintball hurt and, given all of the evidence, there’s really no reason to doubt paintball’s safety. As we always say here at Bedlam, do your research and find the best venue to play in. Listen to the marshals and follow the rules. Do all that and you can’t go wrong!

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