You may read in the Sun a report in the British Medical Journal that a player sustained a liver injury as a result of a paintball impact. The injury apparently self-healed and caused no long term damage. The UKPSF was asked for a statement by the Sun about managing the dangers of paintball.
We’re sharing this with you to raise awareness that such injuries are possible, if very rare, and that, as ever, you should always have your personal safety and that of those around you firmly in mind when playing paintball.
The link to the BMJ report is
Our statement is below.
Bob Schofield, chairman of paintball’s governing body, the UK Paintball Sports Federation, said yesterday (Thursday 5 April, 2016):
“Paintball is a high adrenalin sport and, whilst injuries are rare*, the safety of players is taken very seriously by the paintball industry in the UK.
“All our industry members issue players with approved goggles to protect the face and eyes, offer padded protection for the chest and issue coveralls to protect most exposed skin. In addition, paintball guns are routinely tested to ensure the velocity of the paintballs when they leave the barrel is within safe limits.
“The occasional bruise is a recognised aspect of playing paintball, but otherwise injuries are very rare and almost always a result of over-exertion or trips and falls. Safety briefings run before all paintball sessions stress how to ensure safe play and the principal role of paintball marshals is to ensure safety rules are followed.
“Whilst this is the first recorded liver injury to have arisen from a paintball impact in the sport’s 25 year history in the UK, we will be circulating our members with a copy of the report to raise awareness of the potential, if very unlikely, risk to players. It is reassuring that the report states the injury self-rectified and no long term damage was suffered by the player.”
Note to editors: *A large-scale study conducted in the USA found a one in 2222 chance (4.5 per 10,000 participants) of an injury needing hospital treatment arising from playing paintball, and that two fifths of those injuries arose from exertion or falls rather than a paintball impact. The remainder were eye injuries but it should be noted that in the USA players use goggles affording much less protection that those required to be used in the UK.
*Injuries from paintball game related activities in the United States, 1997–2001: J M Conn, J L Annest, J Gilchrist, G W Ryan