Dangers in Paintballing
Paintballing is a competitive sport in which players eliminate each other by hitting them with paintballs. The paintball is a spherical dye-filled capsule that breaks upon impact when shot with a marker; a low-energy air weapon specially made for the sport. This sport is played mainly as a form of recreation though they are as well played at a formal sporting level to include tournaments, professional teams and players. A variety of rules govern this event and is clearly stated before the game commences but the main goal for a player is to accomplish it without being hit by a paintball. It is a fun and exciting exercise that can be played by children and adults of different ages.
Although paintballing is generally a safe event, there are dangers associated with participating in this event. Most hazards result from carelessness on the players’ part and can be deadly in some instances. Minor injuries common to all sports like bruise cuts are also associated with this sport, most of which can be avoided with the proper use of equipment and safety gear. Dangers in paintballing arise from the impact of pellets expelled via markers, especially on sensitive parts of the body, like direct contact with skin, eyes, ears or the scalp of players. A close hit from the paintball pellets that weigh about 3g can cause serious injuries if they hit sensitive parts of a player without adequate protective gear.
A hit by paintball pellets directly on a player’s eye could be a real nightmare for such a player as it may lead to permanent visual impairment or vision loss in the worst cases. For the ears, a hit by a paintball at close range may lead to a condition known as tinnitus, permanent or partial hearing loss, a hit on the side of the ear can as well lead to concussion. In 2001, a 39-year-old man Kenneth Cosin was said to have lost his life after being shot in the head during paintballing. Though it wasn’t confirmed if he died as a result of the paintball injury or from a medical condition, it was recorded that he died from a stroke. This in a way shows that being hit on the head or scalp in a paintball may just as well be dangerous.
Aside from injuries sustained from being hit, another huge danger is the compressed CO2 in the marker’s tank. An improper dissembling of the CO2 tank could expose the compressed gas which is capable of launching the marker as a lightened rocket and a hit could be very fatal leading to death. This is why it is always advised that the CO2 tank should only be changed by experienced hands to avoid dangers that may arise in the process when its being handled by someone with little or no experience. Leakages from the tank could as well pose a grave danger to players in paintballing.
Other dangers include tripping and falling during the sport from trying to hide, escape or shoot at an opponent. This may lead to injuries like twisted ankles which is not peculiar to paintball alone but other sports. Breathing difficulties can arise, especially for those who are not physically fit, exhausted or have one medical condition that affects breathing.
The game of paintballs is fun but there are few dangers and risks that should be considered most of which can be avoided by following safety rules as well as outing on the right safety equipment.