Paintball comes in many varieties, starting with the different fields you can play on. Learn what your choices are and the advantages of each type of field.
Outlaw fields are non-professional fields that are created by the players themselves. Such fields are often found in back-yards, on farms, local woods and in some state parks. Outlaw fields have the advantage of not costing anything
to play on and often being close to home.
The lack of a professional referee and no field support, though, can lead to safety issues. Make sure you obtain and use a chronograph and make sure everyone plays at a safe shooting velocity. Also, make sure everyone goes through the rules and it's often a good idea to assign a referee for the game. In addition, make sure that you have the property owners permission before you play and to clean up after you are gone (the paint will wash away in the rain, but clean up your garbage).
One other thing that is both an advantage and a disadvantage is the lack of a professional maintaining the property. No professional support usually leads to a field that is less developed, but it also allows maximum flexibility in designing a field that you want to play on.
A woodsball field is a paintball field that is set outdoors in "natural" settings. While it doesn't have to be in the woods, it often is and players rely on natural cover in addition to some man-made obstacles such as bunkers, barrels and tires. Woodsball fields are rarely symmetrical and which allows for more variety while playing as different starting positions require different strategies. Woodsball fields are ideal for those that like to pretend they are in the military, wear camouflage and enjoy the varied terrain that a natural environment provides. This realistic environment, though, does come at a cost as the uneven ground, lack of defined bunkers and variability of the environment lead to inconsistent play. Woodsball fields are great for players that are just starting to play the sport and for those that like playing in natural conditions.
A speedball field is designed for consistency and ease of play. Typically speedball fields are found on level surfaces with level, well-managed ground (often grass or turf). While the types of bunkers that are found on speedball fields vary, most professional speedball fields rely on inflatable bunkers that are lightweight and moveable. Field layouts vary considerably, but most are symmetric so that teams on both sides play on equal footing and the focus is on strategy and movement, not the environment. Speedball fields are found outdoors as well as indoor
s and are often the only choice of field to use during cold winter months. Games on speedball fields typically are very fast and you are able to play many games in a day. The small size of the field does, though, lead to more paint being shot during a typical game which can raise the price of play.
Other FieldsIn addition to these three, core field types, there are countless variations, hybrids and alternatives. Other fields include inflatable speedball fields where you play in a giant inflatable building, reball fields where non-breaking rubbery balls are used instead of paintballs, police-training fields that are designed to mimic real buildings and others. If you have an idea for a field, all you have to do is build it and people will come to play. The flexibility of the sport of paintball lets you play just about anywhere it's safe to let paint fly.