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Why Paintball Is Dying

Why Paintball Is Dying

Before I delve into this issue, I would like to introduce myself. I have been playing paintball on and off since 2003, taking breaks for school and military deployments. Even in my absence from the sport, I have always been passionate about helping new players, as well as learning all I can about the ins and outs of paintball. In all my travels since I started playing, as far away as Afghanistan and Kuwait/Iraq, I have always met paint ballers passionate about the sport. When I was offered a trial to write for this blog, I thought this would be a great topic to start off the discussions with, so here goes.

Since I really got back into the sport in 2008 I have heard this argument over and over again; “paintball is dying because of _____”. Is paintball really dying? No, I don’t think it is. I do however see a shift in the dynamic of the sport. To give a little background, paintball started in NH between Vermont and New Hampshire farmers, using Nelson paint markers used to mark cattle for slaughter, and trees for cutting. The sport was born out of pure fun. It was born in the woods, and as of recently, that’s where it seems to be returning to. Woodsball transitioned into speedball, which transitioned into hyperball, which had transformed into today’s tournament air ball. But, with the general playing populace not having as much expendable income to support tournament play, it would appear that the masses are turning back towards the roots of paintball and venturing back into the woods to shoot each other.

Now, does this shift mean tourney ball is dying? Not at all. There will always be some kind of national event circuit as there will always be a need for it. Every sport/hobby has its high level athletes, even it it’s not a physical activity like paintball. There is one thing that is detracting from paintball. An attitude of “if you don’t wear/shoot this gear, you must be a sh*t player” or “if you don’t look like this then you must not be a good player”.

I see this attitude all the time with the younger “tourney inspired” players. Most of us know them as “agglettes”. The “agg” movement within paintball isn’t a good or bad thing, it’s just a natural progression of the sport, but when you have some players taking it too far, then it becomes a bad thing. This “agglette” attitude is chasing away prospective life long players. Who knows maybe the next Nicky Cuba is at a field this weekend, and some agglette treats them like dirt, and they never return to the sport. But, I digress, back to the topic at hand.

Paintball dying…. Not a concept I like to hear, and it is one that I see crop up more often on a few forums. The responses I see are pretty typical, “no paintball isn’t dying, its just your area”, “paintball is just shifting towards woodsball/rec ball/scenario ball”. What are my thoughts on all of this? I see a strong speedball/airball following in my area. Yet, we have an even stronger following for woodsball and scenario play, as evidenced by the 350+ numbers which Outdoor Strategic Games (OSG) Paintball saw this season at BYOP (bring your own paint) and scenario games. Bunch Of Lost People (BOLP) pant ball field also saw record numbers of 60+ people for Monday Night Under the Lights speedball, with an average of 30 people a night. That to me doesn’t scream “OMG!!!111!!1! PAINTBALL IS DYING!!!11!1!1!”. What it says to me is that more and more people are going back to the woods to play versus heading out onto the air ball pitch to ball it up. What’s the cause of this? Could it just be the natural shift in the sport or could it be that the economy is forcing diehard players to revert back to pump and mech play to save money as well as out into the woods for lower cost vs. fun?

I personally still play both. I love getting out on the air ball field and having a blast and I have also gone back to the roots of the sport, picked up a pump, and plan on hitting up the woods as much as I can next season. With events like Living Legends, Invasion of Normandy, Supergame; all pulling in 3 and 4 digit participation. Also, look at the number of vendors, industry and non industry, that show up to sell merchandise at non tournament events.

So, in conclusion, is paintball dying? No. Has it hit a plateau in terms of sales and new players? Perhaps. I think it depends on the area you live in.  Most importantly, the sport is shifting away from tourney ball and going back to its roots. Is this a good thing? I think so. Look at the top of the line tourney companies now making equipment for woodsballers; PE, Dye, Mac Dev, Angel (RIP); they all have or had a line of equipment that was suited for woodsballers. What does that mean for the agglette attitude? Are agglettes taking over speedball? If so, how can we, as veteran players, stop them? Do we need to stop them? Is there room in the sport that kind of fashion baller attitude and look? Well, it may push some companies towards making gear that is functional and also looks good. So, in a way this seemingly negative attitude will push the manufactures to make functional and better looking gear, but at what cost? Do we really want to let an attitude like this prevail, and drive away the next potential all star? I sure don’t, do you? I am curious to hear what you readers all think about the direction paintball has taken? Where do you want to see it go? Why is it thriving? Why is the sport dying? This blog is a place where you can man up and post your honest opinion(s) and or analysis of topics that will span all of paintball. From in depth analysis of tournament games to general trends in the sport, I will get us started.  It’s up to you to tell us what you think and post it up for discussion… if you have the balls? ; )

Andrew Levick

I started playing back in 2003, and have been hooked ever since. 6 year veteran of the Army National Guard, Artillery and Combat Medic, with 2 deployments, to Afghanistan and Kuwait/Iraq. No matter where I am in the world I always end up meeting someone that's dedicated to the sport and shares my passion. Ever since returning home from Kuwait I have been dedicating my time to bringing in new players, and trying to further the sport in my local area.

  • James Church Kilburg
    January 3, 2012

    I have to agree on your article. 10 years ago was the first time I played and was hooked ever since. However the pricetag of a paintball gun back then were $200-$300, So I never really had the funds to afford such a luxury item. The last year I was able to afford to buy a gun, though my decision to buy the gun was because I found a group to play with. If it wasnt for those guys, I would have decided against buying it and the $400 for the gear after the fact.

    Paintball isn't dying. It is getting it's second wind.

    It comes down the geography of where everyone lives. I live in a town covered in woods and with little to do it is basically a dead heat between playing video games or going out in the woods. I love the sport and to even for a second to believe that it is "dying" is to depressing to listen to.

    I think the majority of the "paintball is dead" is comming from those who only think of their division (i.e. Sppedball, hyperball, air, ect) as the sole division, where it isn't the one division that make paintball what it is but all divisions. I think segregation is one of the problems. I have heard woodsballers say that speedball sucks and vice versa. Neither division sucks. People need to realize that paintball should be a sport for everyone no matter what your preference is.

  • Philip Manzon
    January 3, 2012

    I think maybe for people out int he country woodsball is bigger. But for me and a lot of other people who live in a city, speedball is definitely a lot more popular. I personally love both as well. I do enjoy speedball a little more though. I live in Canada though so maybe its just different here. I don't find anyone who isn't nice to renters here unless the renter puts up a fight or something but that would be the same if the renter was an owner. Idk I don't agree with everything this guy has to say but hey, can everyone?

  • Joseph Ramsey
    January 3, 2012

    I don't think paintball, as a whole, is dying. I think that people in general are starting to figure some things out, however. For instance; if a team without backing plays a national event and wins, each player is still in the hole about (+ -) $300. There isn't much return in participating in national events. Also I feel that people are figuring out that there isn't a whole lot of difference from one gun to the next and from year to year. I think we've gone about as far as we can in terms of technology. The only thing that seems to be changing now days is gear is getting smaller. Even the industry itself.
    I do disagree about the Agg movement not being good or bad. It is bad, but unavoidable. You run into this attitude everywhere from all walks of life. Just deal with it, ignore it, and don't take it personally.
    I think paintball is simply contracting from expanding.

  • Joseph Ramsey
    January 3, 2012

    I don’t think paintball, as a whole, is dying. I think that people in general are starting to figure some things out, however. For instance; if a team without backing plays a national event and wins, each player is still in the hole about (+ -) $300. There isn’t much return in participating in national events. Also I feel that people are figuring out that there isn’t a whole lot of difference from one gun to the next and from year to year. I think we’ve gone about as far as we can in terms of technology. The only thing that seems to be changing now days is gear is getting smaller. Even the industry itself.
    I do disagree about the Agg movement not being good or bad. It is bad, but unavoidable. You run into this attitude everywhere from all walks of life. Just deal with it, ignore it, and don’t take it personally.
    I think paintball is simply contracting from expanding.

  • Frank Bongrazio
    January 3, 2012

    I think woodsball is just more popular at the moment due to the gear available. Most new players cant afford high end tourney markers or gear, such its much easier and much more economical to play in the woods. And when you have to pay $50+ for a case of paint at a field, players will always go for the cheaper option.

  • Harlan Lahring
    January 4, 2012

    It is not dying, as with any sport you reach a high point then it levels out , for Instance NASCAR is not what it was back in the 90's but it still is moving along. Paintball will always be in me and my sons life.I enjoy woodsball more just because, hard for me to hide behind inflatables being 6'4" inches and 270 lbs, My butt is always getting hit. This was a great article, keep up the good work.

  • Brian
    January 3, 2012

    I have to agree with the article. I have been playing now for about 14 years now. I truly live the sport and integrate it into every aspect of my life. Even my children 8,11, and 15 play. I have seen a shift in paradigm from the beginning of the sport and the current climate. There is definitely a elitist attitude towards players. As a whole the sport as alienated some of it’s oldest, may not be in the worlds greatest shape. But they have a passion for the sport and have been cast aside. It is a shame that not all people and skill level are accepted into this sport. This sport is a true sport of teamwork and brotherhood. Teams succeed as a group not as individual talent. It is my wish that paintball will finally open it’s eyes and see the truth.

    • Andrew Levick
      January 3, 2012

      the whole point of me writing articles like tis is to not only get the discussion juices going, but to inspire some kind of change… the issues i see is that there is always some hate between the different communities within our sport… i view it much like the inter-branch rivalries in teh military… yes, the marines and the army may lock horns every now and then, but when it comes down to it, they kick ass and take names together… i woul dlove to see paintball somehow unite… even if its as simple as the NPPL or PSP and UWL all merging under on ruling body and bringing all aspects of the sport to the front lines, not just 7-man or x-ball…

  • Ryan Hedden
    January 4, 2012

    I don't think paintball is dying at all! Although we have seen the demise of a few companies, we are seeing more pop up as well. The dynamic is changing, as anything will with time but I believe paintball will keep on trucking.

  • Steven Sargent
    January 4, 2012

    paintball is deffinantly a very wide spread deversified sport I don't think there is any rite or wrong way and that there is most definantly diferent types of players just like there are different styles and most deffinantly there are different satusses I my self am a devout speedball player I played woods ball once for a friends birthday I was honestly hooked I went straight to the pawn shop and bought me and my lil brother our 1st guns I got a spider mr1 and he got a tipman 98 custom we thought that we were set then the new paintball shop/feild for the local pro team opened 2 blockes from my house we went in 1 day wearing our camo and sneakers thinking we were ready to play we failed horrably I fell and almost broke my gun when I tried to stop behind my bunker I didn't shoot 1 person thad day and watching the pro level players with there fancy guns and sweet gear I definently thought that what you had made the player but natruly being an athlete I got over that quickly I started to pick up the game and now I play for the local field (utah xtreme paintball) for team tombstone and I have all the good gear and the fancy gun but I know that now of it is what makes me a good player and at our feild we never turn amatures away or make them feel unwelcome we are always looking for the newest and youngest talent possible and try to promote good sportsmanship and help the sport grow we need new players in order to keep our sport that we all love growing every feild/team/player should try to thinkabout it in those terms.

  • steve davidson
    January 4, 2012

    Paintball did NOT start as a contest between New Hampshire and Vermont farmers.

    There’s more than enough historical information out there not to get this right. It is a minor fact, but getting such a foundational fact wrong brings everything else in the article into question. It was not even important to the article (could have, should have, been left out if not sure).

    Dying? Yes, paintball IS dying. One only need look at the number of manufacturers that have shut down, not to mention the fields and stores that have closed. The solution is sustainability in our approach to everything, but most are still concentrating on short-term profit. Change this, no more death. Leave it as is and one company will be trying to sell oodles of brand names to twenty people scattered around the country.

    • Andrew Levick
      January 5, 2012

      The point of the article was to show a phase change in the sport that I noticed, not to go into the details of how or where the sport started… I have noticed that at both BOLP in Lee, NH and at OSG in Center Barnstead, NH that the numbers have been increasing… When I first started playing at BOLP in 2009, we averaged 15, maybe 20, people on a Monday night… Those numbers have more then tripled… Summer of 2010 Nate, the owner of BOLP, was lucky to get 3 teams to sign up for the 3 man tourny there… This past season… 8-10 teams for each event… From what I hear from other events from friends in Canada, and across the US, that scenario and woods ball games are seeing more numbers then in previous years… that to me does not say that the sport if dying, just changing… maybe downsizing a bit… but not dying…

      Companies come and go, some by their own doing, some by trends in the market, and an unwillingness to change will impact sales… That goes for shops and fields too.. A local NH indoor field, Crossfire, went under a couple years ago because people stopped going there… The owners didnt run a good field, and they lost business… As the economy takes it toll on the job market, expandable income becomes less and less for most families, and luxury sports like ours takes a hit, which is why I think a good number of players are going back to the woods.

      as for the start of the sport, I know that the first documented game was in Henniker, NH, and played between 12 men using a paintball marker George Buttler saw advertised in a forestry magazine… Unless both the state of NH and these 12 men have their accounts wrong… And if I am not mistaken, a couple of them were from Vermont…


      Thank you for your point of view, as the purpose of my articles will be to stir up discussions like this. All opinions will be welcome here.

  • Raul Fernandez
    January 4, 2012

    I actually go to OSG and I agree. Just a few years ago, on Bring Your Own Paint days there would be like 200-250 people max. Now it's usually up to 300-350. And that's not all people reverting back, it's a lot of new players.

  • Scott W
    January 4, 2012

    I don’t think paintball is dying. I do think that more people are playing in the woods and maybe less speedball. Ballers do need to stop with the whole speedball vs woodsball thing and just accept that they are different games. I’m sure if some woodsballers played some speedball they would enjoy it just as much and vise versa. I’ve also seen the numbers at OSG in Barnstead NH grow. see new players and new teams popping up and it’s a pretty good mix of old and new players. Paintball is not dying it’s just changing like everything else does.

  • Enrique Alexander Walker
    January 6, 2012

    I don't think paintball is dying at all. I do think the economy has had a big effect on it just like anything else that you might use your money on every month. Also, woodsball is a lot of fun and I think it's easier to play for someone who is new to the game. it gives them a better experience of what paintball really is. I've also found that in a woodsballs you will find a many old guys always looking to help out and make you better. Don't get me wrong the very first time I played speedball I was hooked and I rarely play woodsball now but different strokes for different folks. I think more exposure of the woodsballs side of paintball would help attract new people. and does any one else remember that ESPN aired paintball for the first time in a long time 2 years ago? and good article.

    • Andrew Levick
      January 6, 2012

      thanks for your input… i remember watching 7man NPPL on espen back in the day… was a shame they took it off the air… but, given today’s commentators, a non-paintballer wont understand what they are talking about… Matty Marshall does a great job, for those of us that understand the sport. but to those that don’t, they need someone like John Madden to dumb it down….

  • M Gray
    January 17, 2012

    It’s simple. Paintball died with the electric marker and high rate of fire.

  • Devon Page Lee
    February 10, 2012

    paint ball is far from dead its just become very spread out and with us in a 3rd world country can see that more then most and with bushball rec and scenario being our biggest field of play that u normally booking a spot to play 3 weeks in advance we have amazing players out here in south africa and the numbers are growing open your eyes and look at the different types of game! we had out first night game of bushball the other day and it was a turn out of 40 people per a side and now a 2 day non stop &2 hour game is being planned on a 300 acres farm. this would not be happening if the sport was dying

  • Ben Chierici
    February 18, 2012

    I think paintball is dying because people are jerks to the new players

  • dead pb
    March 7, 2012

    I do think PB is dying, i realize this after starting 2006(fairly new) went on it aggresively and bought all kinds of gear,went from woods and then speedball field,then both,buy and sold gear like crazy(I was really into it). I used to even go PBling every weekend,sometimes even twice a week(even 3 times a week and visited different fields all the time)indoor and outdoor to a point on going to different states just to PB…Now 2012 what I’ve got to show for it NOTHING just some marks all over my body and an empty deep deep pocket(all kinds of crazy gear that i mark the trees in my backyard). I could have bought that motorcycle i’ve always wanted,i could have had that steak and lobster instead eveytime I played,i could have went on a date watch some movies and maybe even got lucky cause of it instead,etc.etc….It’s not even a real sport(did you win the game, did ppl. cheat,did the ball break,did it curve,did they just not felt it, what did you really win,did you loose/win b/c the ref did not see it, are you a hero at the end of the day)For some reason it’s never as clear cut as the real sports that ppl actually get out of the way to watch,,, there really are toooo many variables. PB is one of those games/recreation that you felt you got screwed 1 out of 3 times when you play it and that sometimes happen every game in any given whole day outing.I can go on and on…point is go take your wife,girl friend and kids out to the movies,fishing,basketball,dinner(heck go to the local bar even)all kinds of stuff to do out there,,, instead of going PBling all the time for $50 to $100upup an outing/day…. I personally think it’s a joke along the ways of airsoft, sure i’ve got a trophy or two but who really cares, i mean really… You don’t

  • Chris Lunn
    July 9, 2012

    I think that speedball or xball are the most popular right now but there are a lot of woodsball players coming back as ive seen.

  • Thomas Grawcock
    July 10, 2012

    I think ramping is assisting in the death of the sport Ramping is great against other people ramping, but when you get some wanna be tourny a**hole thats comepletly disrespectful of new players and bonus balls the living hell out of them, they dont wanna play anymore. My team is based out of Paintball Barn in Attica, IN. One of our favorite things to do is to trade guns with the rec players. We use rentals, and they use our Dye, PE, Bob Long, or what ever. Most of these people say its the most fun theyve ever had, and then we see them coming back, weekend, after weekend, after weekend. I believe this is one of the best way to get new players into the sport, which in theory will be what makes it grow. Just my 2 cents. Feel free to explain why you agree or why you disagree.

  • Julian Harry Christie
    July 24, 2012

    Great article! I found myself agreeing with most of it as I read. I have debated similar issues about my beloved hobby for many years and I came up with this. If you love chocolate ice cream it does not mean you have to hate vanilla ice cream…. cause ice cream is awesome! Paintball – same thing. Been playing for about 21 years and I hope to play for 21 more or till I drop dead. Best sport in the world in all forms.

    • Leon Guidry
      July 25, 2012

      Put ice cream in the balls instead of paint. WIN WIN!!! 😀

  • Zack Levert
    September 1, 2012

    Good article

  • Timothy Lee
    September 3, 2012

    well, this is my opinion and this is what I have seen… where I play, the youngest player is 12… and the oldest? I think he's 57… I know that agglettes are sort of bad(or good, depending on if you are one or not I guess lol) but its a group thing… over here, agglettes are mostly put in place by the more veteran players… there is a respect for the 57 year old, there is also respect for the 12 year old… there is no/not much for the agglette…
    if that culture can be instilled into players when they are new, then it will carry on and agg's will be rare…
    speedball vs woodsball:
    personally I play speedball, if I had to choose one over the other, I would say speedball… but that in no way say that woodsball is a crap version… I still play woodsball for fun and a change of pace…
    paintball is NOT dying… its just the economy… I'm possibly quitting tournament speedball next year because joining one tournament takes my whole month's salary where I am from(and yeah I ain't no millionaire either).
    it is kind of sad that after working my way up to D2, and most probably D1 next year, that all my hard work and training will go to waste(or take a break) but that's life, if you have to choose, I guess I have to choose what puts dinner on the plate…
    but at the same time, I am in no way quitting paintball, not ever… I'll guest when budget allows, and play woods…
    also, I believe the reason woods is bigger then airball is, airball needs alot more commitment in training weekly, spending money on paint for drills, snapshooting, run & gun and all that, when compared to woodsball at least… for the ones with a family to take care of, a business to run, or just the ones who want to play for the fun of it, woodsball is the way to go, and most areas have more people who fits woodsball more then airball… some woodsballers here are former tournament players, but I would say 90% were never tournament players…
    anyway, this is just my opinion and what I think is happening in my area… most probably not what everyone else experience or sees in their area…
    hope everyone takes care, have a nice day and PLAYBALL!
    *back to the rat race…*.

  • James Reyes
    September 8, 2012

    How come it isn't advertised as other sports. and also I feel their isn't as much help of newcomers trying to go pro in this sport. Paintball should be organized just like the major sports.

  • Jose Sore
    January 11, 2013

    I like your article and agree with most of your observations. However, all the things you mentioned has been happening from the beginning. The agg type attitude, looking down on newbies, etc.

    Also, I would say there seems to be more interest in SCENARIO ball, specifically, which I don’t lump in with general woodsball. There have always been more woodsball players as that’s paintball’s roots – therefore more in the general public.

    Finally, I quote “Could it just be the natural shift in the sport or could it be that the economy is forcing diehard players to revert back to pump and mech play to save money as well as out into the woods for lower cost vs. fun?”

    Someone could interpret that last part as “playing with a pump/mech and/or playing woodsball is not as fun (implying, I assume, speedball/airball is more fun”.

    I think many players would disagree with that. One is not more fun than the other, they are just different kinds of fun.

    Happy pballing and hope you write more articles.

  • Mike Robertson
    January 12, 2013

    I’ve been playing since the early 90’s more than 20 years and yes I am one of the old guys. Now 51 and still play on a d-4 team. I had a run of 4 PSP World Cups up to 2010. 2011 I had just had enough and lacked enthusiasm. Here is the problem I’ve seen at least from the airball side of it. You kind of hit on it but I would like to add. Vendors and suppliers

  • Mike Robertson
    January 12, 2013

    with terrible attitudes. Pro players acting holier than thow. Being a businessman and making enough money to play all the paintball I care to I don’t appreciate the worse than rotten attitude from a large number of people in the paintball businesses. It doesn’t work in most businesses except maybe the airlines where they are the only game in town. WC 2010 I had a VP of one of hte largest vendors in paintball just be plain rude and I overheard him do it with several other younger players. JUST BE NICE TO PEOPLE AT ALL LEVELS. This would encourage and stimulate growth. As for me, I still play. I was spending 10 to 15K a year playing ball now probably 7K. I still am able to spend the later but just don’t have desire. I just wonder how many dads are out there taking their check book somewhere where they feel appreciated and their kids are learning the value of a positive attitude. Your article well said and this my 2 cents worth.

  • Aric Quist
    January 13, 2013

    I don’t know if paintball is dying or not but I definitely have seen a drop in players since the early 2000’s. I started playing in 96 and fell madly in love with the game. I’ve continued to play off in on since then. I played both airball and woods evenly and the last couple of years i’ve mostly played airball because I have a field really close to my place. Some of the biggest turn offs to me in paintball is attitude of the industry. Look at dyes line for the last several years. Hell look at even some of the biggest advocates for paintball right now. Mike from TechPB is a big one. Look at what he’s been focusing on with markerbids. He’s flat out taking advantage of his subs from youtube. At LL’s i was paying 80 bucks a case. Really? How many times has nation been sold and how many people that bough it tryed to make a buck even if it ment damaging the game? I remember when smart parts sued everybody purely on the reason to make money and nothing about creative ideas stolen. Not that you don’t see this is any other sport but i’ve seen it enough to really not trust my industry and really don’t see a point in investing my time in money on it. I met some great people and had some fun but as far as continuing my time with paintball… HELL NO! There are so many other things I that I love doing to keep wasting it on paintball. Good luck to all those that stay and play and I hope the game doesn’t downsizing and we see a updraft!

  • Jason Willis
    January 17, 2013

    Paintball is dying in my opinion for one reason and one reason only, cheating. Cheating is such an integral part of the sport. It’s an integral part of paintball video games as well. What is really sad however is that it is pretty much promoted and glorified at the national level. What do you see in every national level video, some guys pulling off some so call “SICK” or “AMAZING” wipes and getting praised because he gets away with it. I understand that cheating occurs in other sports as well, but it is usually looked down upon or the player in question is fined/removed from the league. Having played at the national level for many years it’s stupid overhearing guys talk about winning points/matches because they are “so amazing at wiping”. To bring national level paintball back into the spotlight all we need to do is punish/permanently ban players for cheating/wiping. But then again if we did that I wonder how many national level players would be left……my guess is not many.

  • Erin H
    February 26, 2013

    I agree with what dead pb said. It starts out as a fun and addicting hobby. But once you get into the gritty world of paintball, you see stupid crap like these kids acting like they’re better than everyone else because they got newer and more expensive gear.

    My boyfriend is a Muay Thai fighter and most if not all the fighters in his gym are nice and they all help each other out to become better. Same can be said about opponents in competition.. they’re all respectful of each other. Yet, they also beat the crap out of each other. Paintball? These little turds acting like they’re better than everyone else? It’s pathetic.

    Also, as dead pb pointed out, that money can be used for better things. I’m so glad my boyfriend got out of the “sport” early. He focuses his energy now on fighting (which isn’t expensive like paintball) and it really makes him a better person. The money he would’ve used on paintball, he now spends on cooler things like aftermarket parts for his car and motorcycle.

    When it comes down to it, paintball is dying because people realize it’s just not worth it. Sure, there are the hardcore players that claim it’s a brotherhood and there’s no better feeling in the world. But that’s complete BS and they need a better hobby.

    • Jacob Graffrath
      October 9, 2014

      (NECRO POST INBOUND) I think you should re-consider your opinion on the sport. Paintball family? Yes and no. You build your way into a strong bond through playing the sport, just because you come in doesn’t mean you get to call yourself family. The “agge” or “Turds” are their own breed and don’t represent the rest of us.
      Addressing respect, respect goes both ways. It goes both ways in MMA, Karate, and paintball. It’s a matter of yourself and the people around you. You earn your respect by showing respect and not crossing boundries. Generally we are all good about respecting everyone. My point here is that you’ll see disrespect no matter where you go. “Sure, there are the hardcore players that claim it’s a brotherhood and there’s no better feeling in the world. But that’s complete BS and they need a better hobby.” That’s a pretty respectful statement miss.
      To me currently it is a hobby. I go out and relax with friends at the field on the weekend, shooting each other up and working together, messing around, etc.. And to me it is an amazing feeling. I would much rather spend time with friends than gain material goods.
      I don’t believe the game, the hobby, the sport, is dying. I believe it’s a matter of experience and guidance within the community to make people want to come back.

  • Donnie D.
    March 16, 2013

    well..i started playing pb when i was 14 and got serious about it when i could afford it and starting playin airball in 03..i worked my way up and played 7man nppl’s for 3 season’s 04-06 with M.O.D out of my area new jersey..we played d2,d1, and semi pro thru the years..by the time i stopped playing we finally had a free ride..after spending alot of money over the years playing..but i didnt care at that point..it got to the point where it was like a job that i wasnt getting paid for…dont get me wrong i love paintball and i always wanted to play pro..i still do..but the fact is pb cost alot of money..and it true its a poor sport that few can afford to play to get to the pro level..the amount of time u need to put in is alot to go pro and stay there..i dont know how most of the pros r able to do it with having a real job to make a decent living..im 28 now and recently had knee surgery that im recovery from..some damaged came to it from pb for sure..this sport costs to much money to get the amount of people involved to really really grow the sport..

    plus when u win a torney its great,but then what??..nothing u barely make any money…playing in the psp or nppl cost alot of money..and even if u win u will barely break even..

    if u get hurt and can work how can u pay ur bills..

  • Ian
    April 5, 2013

    Skirmish ION 2012 sets record attendance at 4500+ people. Michigan monster grows. Scenario is getting huge paintball is not dying.

  • Zort PBall
    March 17, 2014

    Paintball has definitely dwindled in many areas of the United States due primarily to the economy and introduction of airsoft.. Yes, Airsoft is the enemy ! While some paintball companies are jumping on the airsoft bandwagon and cashing in, these companies are also helping to destroy paintball. If there is a surge in woods ball lately, then naturally the patterns of history repeating itself should bring paintball back around full spectrum in popularity in ALL aspects of the sport..It’s up to us whom REALLY care to make this sport recognized with the rest of the sporting world! The paintball community should wake up and use the Call of Duty popularity and Gun Control discussions to their advantage and market paintball strategically to grow popularity ! The Nuke Town Paintball Map at Paintball Explosions is a model and prime example that ALL parks should follow ! SMART PAINTBALL MEANS DESIRED PAINTBALL !

  • Jd
    March 10, 2015

    I think Americans don’t have the time or money anymore to get into paintball, especially as a sport. 100 bucks in basic gear, 60 bucks for a tank, 30 bucks for balls, then factor in field costs if any. Now there’s drive time and fuel costs and the fact we’re tired from working 50+ hours a week. I think most Americans would rather put that money towards their credit card debt or mortgage principal and find a cheaper hobby.

  • Dominic
    April 5, 2015

    Lol guys welcome to 2015, where there is a new era, the era of people playing video games, making videos out of them, and lazy people in video games, paintball no more, VIDEO GAMES ave taken over

  • none
    January 30, 2016

    What killed paintball is the field operators. They decided they weren’t making enough money running these long games where people walk on the field with 80 paintballs and play for an hour, so they made the fields smaller and smaller with less and less cover until the only way to survive was to be shooting the whole time. Thus speedball, hyperball, whatever. Games measured in minutes instead of hours, paint measured in cases instead of tubes. Guess what? Now few people can afford it, and it’s no fun to walk onto a field and be off again in 60 seconds after dumping 15 bucks in paint. BTW, I started playing in 1988, well before the fields were redesigned with a bunch of blow up beach toys in a little circle. I remember playing my first speed ball game, walking off the field thinking it would be the death of the sport as I knew it. Guess I was right sorta.

  • Aaron Sheets
    May 19, 2017

    I’ve been playing paintball for a little over a year now. For the longest time I had rented, but I enjoyed paintball so much and fell in love with it. I used to casually play airsoft, but I ditched it entirely, preferring paintball. I had played about 5 times before deciding to buy my own gear. I had some BDU’s already and put time and research into getting a nice woods all setup, and bought a mech for a steal! I was super excited to play with my own gear! When I went out for the first time with it, I wasn’t used to how an air station works, always having a ref help. A player made fun of me for it, and I just went on my way. I bought a remote line too, and not being used to turning the air off I had forgotten to before disconnecting. The hose screeched as it bled out all my air, and I frantically tried to close the valve. The same player mocked me, imitating how I looked, as a wave of embarrassment shot through me, hidden behind my mask. He made a running joke of it for the rest of the day. For a while, I felt as if I made a mistake. That I was stupid for ever even trying to get into paintball, and putting my money into gear. I had ran into the elitist part of paintball that all of my diehard air soft friends had warned me about. And for a while, I didn’t feel welcome. I still haven’t played since, part being too busy with school, and part feeling pushed away. I’m planning on playing again in a few weeks, and am hoping things will go better. The fact that I still want to play isn’t important, because for a while I didn’t really feel up to it. But I had been playing for a while, and knew beforehand how fun and friendly the sport really is. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been, if it was my own or another new player’s first time ever playing. I really love paintball and hope to play more and more as this school year comes to an end, but it goes to show that negativity towards new players can have an effect, and that if anything is “killing” paintball, it’s an elitist attitude towards new, or newer, players.

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