Dome Sport Spotlight: Paintball in a Dome
If you are a fun or adrenaline junky, you know the thrill of playing paintball. While there are some long periods of hiding or sitting, it is also a very active sport, with plenty of running and jumping involved. Paintball represents one of the best ways to get some exercise and excitement for players of any age.
When you mention the sport of paintball, most think of playing outdoors, which is often known as bush ball. While this is where the sport is most popular, indoor paintball (or speed ball) also requires consideration. Speed ball has benefits over bush ball and moving indoors requires a lot of room. It’s almost as if air-supported structures we’re designed for the sport with wide open space and room for anything the sport needs!
Outdoor fields vary in size based on the course design. When you play outdoors, the extra space makes for wide-open games that are often still fast paced in nature. Outdoor fields consist of natural or artificial variations to the existing playing surface, often using existing rocks, trees, or ditches alongside artificial cover such as skids or stacked tires, for instance.
The construction of indoor paintball fields typically takes place on artificial surfaces, and the barriers are usually entirely artificial. Most indoor fields, especially in inflated paintball domes, also use inflatable bunkers. This helps keep the course fresh and exciting for players: unlike outdoor courses which often stay roughly the same, moving inflatable bunkers at indoor courses helps create a fresh new course.
Playing indoors allows paintball players to enjoy the sport at any time of the day, all year round. It is generally recommended that new players try an indoor paintball arena before they play outdoors, as there is less terrain to navigate indoors, and the game is also played at a faster and more exciting pace.
Most indoor rounds last for only a few minutes, as everyone can usually see the other team from the start. Because of the close proximity to other players, there is usually only time to dive or slide behind the closest bunker and work forwards from there. If you are worried for your personal safety, you might want to wear elbow pads or kneepads to help protect
Check with your local paintball dome to see what their playing surface is made of, and ask them if you can wear cleats. If the surface is AstroTurf or artificial sod, it is highly likely there will be a very slick surface because of all the paint on the ground.
Slippery floors are the least of your concerns, however, and this is a worthy trade off from an outdoor field. Getting hit by a paintball in the cold often hurts more than usual because the balls are slightly frozen. Simply being outside makes getting hit hurt a little more! Cold weather also affects the CO2 tanks used to power the guns (or markers), so playing in a climate controlled arena is the best way to avoid this problem.
The equipment is generally the same between outdoor and indoor paintball, including the marker, hopper, and mask. For indoor games, players typically shoot more paintballs so some players carry ‘pods’ of additional paintballs to reload their hoppers midgame. The faster paced game usually makes for faster semi-automatic markers as well, rather than guns designed for long-range play.
Looking for a paintball dome? (Check out the Barrie Sports Centre Dome) where they host regular paintball nights!
Whatever your paintball venue is, you can almost guarantee having a fun time. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, or if you prefer a strategic outdoor game or a fast-paced speed ball game in an indoor paintball dome, paintball has an exciting appeal for players of any background!