The UK Paintball Sports Federation (UKPSF) is a voluntary body that exists to promote and support the sport of paintball in all its various forms.
Members include players, companies operating and promoting paintball venues & events, as well are suppliers of paintball equipment and goods.
Code of Practice for Players
The UKPSF has developed a Code of Conduct for Players, focusing on players with their own equipment who take part in tournaments and other events.
(The safety and behaviour of members of the public playing the sports as an occasional recreational activity are covered within the site operators’ Code of Practice).
Code of Practice for Site Operators
Paintball is a high energy, high adrenalin sport and the UKPSF’s main focus is on promoting the enjoyment of the sport in a safe environment.
Accordingly, UKPSF member venues subscribe to a Code of Practice for Site Operators, which was developed by the UKPSF and which is regarded by those venues, insurers, and local and national government bodies alike as the industry standard for paintball venues.
Liaising with Government
Paintball is subject to a range of legislation and one of the UKPSF’s key roles is to draw the requirements of such legislation to the attention of its members. The UKPSF also liaises with Government as developments in the sport throw up questions regarding legal issues. In this role, the UKPSF is the ‘go to’ organisation for both national bodies (such as the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers) and local authorities when seeking advice and guidance.
The UKPSF is also leading efforts to secure formal recognition of paintball as a sport in the UK and the opportunity that provides to raise public awareness of paintball as a sporting discipline. Such increased public awareness and understanding has the potential to lead to greater participation, mainstream media coverage, access to development funding and, in the long-term, even inclusion in multi-sport events (such as the Olympics).
Having a broadly based and substantial membership is important to the UKPSF’s ability to represent the interests of paintball. Consequently another of the UKPSF’s objectives is constantly to increase the number of members. To that end, the UKPSF has developed schemes in conjunction with insurers and others to provide membership benefits for both players and companies involved in the sport. This is an on-going process that will see member benefits expanding and improving. Membership is open to all with an interest in paintball and can now be obtained via the UKPSF’s membership system.
WHAT IS PAINTBALL?
Paintball is played worldwide and is one of the fastest growing sports in Europe.
There are various styles of play including tournament, scenario, woodsball, magfed and recreational play at paintball centres open to the public at large.
is played in an arena laid out with inflatable barricades. The size of the arena and the number, shape and lay-out of the barricades is set down in the tournament rules. Two teams of three to five players then compete in fast and furious games to achieve a range of objectives.
sees teams also trying to achieve a range of objectives but within the setting of a particular ‘scenario’, which might, for example, be a re-enactment of an historical event or an imaginary circumstance. These events take place in settings ranging from disused military bases, through ancient castles to large woodlands.
is similar to tournament paintball but played in a woodland setting, whilst devotees of magfed paintball take part using paintball guns (properly known as markers) that have a limited number of rounds of ammunition.
Most first time players are attending a corporate event day, stag party, birthday party or are a group of friends getting together to have a day of fun. They will play as one of the UK’s 200 or so commercial paintball venues.
Whatever the style of play, the basics are the same: opposing teams shoot small balls of paint at each other, with the aim of marking their opponents with a splat of paint and knocking them out of the game, as each team strives to achieve the game’s objective. Depending on the style of play, games can last anything from a few minutes to several hours!
Isn’t it just about playing war?
A common mistake is that paintball is aimed at would-be soldiers. Whilst it’s true that many younger players – boys and girls alike – try paintball for the first time because they’ve grown up with “shoot ‘em up” video games, the reality is they soon learn paintball is high-energy, high adrenalin that requires great skill and fitness to reach the top levels of the sport.
Paintball can be played by pretty much anyone, young and old (venues have different minimum ages), fat, thin, fit, unfit, men and woman can all be equals on the Paintball battle field.
Does paintball hurt and is it dangerous?
Safety is paramount in paintball and a properly equipped player who uses the equipment in the right way need have no fear of an injury caused by a paintball. Like other sports, such as hockey, protective equipment is used to avert recognised risks.
By far the MOST IMPORTANT pieces of safety equipment are specially designed masks to protect the face and eyes from injury. Players receive safety briefings that emphasize the importance of ALWAYS wearing a mask, as well as following other rules, such as not firing at close range. The key role of the marshals who control the games is to enforce the rules regarding wearing masks and playing in a safe manner, such as observing minimum firing distances.
In addition to masks, players wear a one or two-piece playing suits to cover exposed skin (specialist clothing incorporates padded areas for further protection) and may also use gloves and other protective equipment.
Paintball venues have equipment that enables trained staff to check and regulate paintball markers to ensure the velocity of the round is within the permitted range (which is set down in law). Paintball technology has improved so the paintballs themselves are more fragile and burst on impact.
Many Paintball venues now use a smaller sized (50cal) Paintball and goes by the name Low Impact Paintball. Due to the reduced size, the energy and impact of these smaller Paintballs is much lower. The rush is just the same but if you’re scared of getting hurt then check out Low Impact Paintball. .
Players wearing the right equipment and playing in a safe manner as covered in the safety briefing run no greater risk – probably much less – of bruises or injury than someone playing a field sport like football.
How much does Paintballing cost?
For a recreational player going paintballing, a good average of cost is around £10 per playing hour.
Most venues catering for such players will offer either an entry fee (covering equipment hire) and paintballs at anything between £5 and £8 per 100, or will offer packages that include equipment, a specific number of paintballs and sometimes refreshments. A typical package that includes 500 paintballs (good for several hours of play if you are not too trigger-happy) will cost around £35 per person.
How Long does Paintball last?
The length of time you will play varies from venue to venue and depends very much on how many paintballs you buy. Typically you’ll be able to play for anything from a couple of hours to a full day. Some venues only open at weekends but many are open for bookings on weekdays. Many sites will continue to play into the evening during the lighter summer months.
What do I need to take with me?
Sites will recommend you wear clothing suitable for the weather – ideally clothing you’re not too concerned about – and sensible footwear, such as old trainers, sports or work boots or wellingtons. Players often wear hoodies and bring gloves with them. A change of clothing may also be needed if the day is wet or the ground muddy as the dirt and wet can penetrate the suits you’ll be issued with.
The most important thing to bring with you is sense of humour and a willingness to get stuck in and possibly make a fool of yourself.
How do I arrange a Paintball game?
Click the ‘Find a Venue’ button below
Give the venue a call – they’ll be happy to advise you on all aspects of the event you are planning, can tailor the day to your needs and will tell you how much it will cost, what to bring, when to arrive and so on.
You will be asked to pay a deposit for the number of players to plan to bring and then it’s just a case of turning up on the specified day to experience the ultimate adrenalin rush!