I had the chance to play paintball this week. It was my first time. We had 3 adults and 7 boys from the neighborhood. We went to Boston Paintball. I really had a good time. One of the other dads organized the event. We took off early from work and drove towards the city. One of my favorite parts was that we had the place to ourselves.
I was impressed by the safety measures they implemented and that they allowed children 10 and up to play. The indoor field was slick (from non stop painting and cleaning) but fun to slide around on. They use a special indoor paint that marks less than what is used outdoors. They said it was easier to clean up. We all rented equipment and purchased lots of paintball rounds. We played for 2-3 hours and everyone had a smile on their face as we would come off the field after each round.
I had my share of success (marking other players) and losses (being hit by others). I wore a couple of layers to help cushion the blow as well as a good pair of gloves. We had a wide range of ages and skill levels so we kept mixing up the teams to make it fun. Some of the kids seemed a little scared to get hit. It did sting quite a bit if you took a solid shot. I've got a handful of bruises to show for my efforts. One of the guys got hit in the hand and it did draw blood. But most of the hits just leave a small bruise (badge of honor) for a few days.
I'd like to take some of my guys from work and set up a match against another squadron. It was quite an adrenaline rush. The men all talked about how different it would be in combat. We all knew we could survive a hit so you get very brave. In a real combat scenario I don't think we would have been as eager to rush the enemy.
I know I'll go back and do that again someday.