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History of Paintball

Where Paintball Started & How It Grew?

You are here because you want to learn more about the History of Paintball, our favorite sport (it's definitely mine, and I'm guessing yours too).

Throughout this article we will take a view of where paintballing started and how it became the great sport it is today.

Paintballing started in the early 1970's as a way to mark livestock and trees.

It was not intended at that time to become a sport, nor a game people play.

Later on, however, three people by the names of Charles Gaines, Hayes Noel, and Bob Gurnsey thought up a new way to use the paintball guns (as a sport to shoot each other).

The 1980's (1981, to be exact) marks what could be considered as the most important year in the History of Paintball, in which the first recreational paintball game was played by a group of twelve friends.

To do so, they used industrial paintball guns from the Nelson Paint Company and they played on a field that measured over 100 acres. At this point, there was also no safety equipment (such as masks).

History of Paintball

This new growing sport was originally named “The National Survival Game” because it reflects how it was first played. There were only two different game types at the time – free-for-all and group vs. group “annihilation.” This also helped spark yet another growth spurt in the game of paintball, which is continuing on today. There are now many different paintball games to choose from, as well as different ways of playing them.

In 1982 the first of the Paintball Playing Fields opened, which was outdoors. Afterward, in 1984 the first of the Indoor Paintball Fields opened up. In between these, in 1983, was the first of the Paintball Tournaments. The total prizes at this point were worth $14,000, which was not bad for a still newly-developed sport. Today these prizes can get up to the hundreds of thousands of dollar mark!
Another important year in the History of Paintball is 1992, when the National Paintball Professional League (known as NPPL) was founded. Paintball is now viewed as a full-fledged sport and is still continuing to grow with new additions in terms of Paintball Gear and new rules.
Hopefully this has helped you learn a little more about the sport of paintball and how fast it has grown. It is amazing to look at how advanced it is, yet it did not even really start until the early 1980's.

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