It’s no secret that being outdoors is good for your health. Time to stop playing those video games, but keep the same thrill with paintball! But how old do you have to be to play paintball?
Most paintball fields require all players to be at least 10 years old. This perfectly lines up with the age where children want to sit in front of a screen playing video games, and they need group activities.
Check Before You Go
Most insurance policies for paintball fields require players to be 10-12 years old. If you are under the age of 18, you will also need to be accompanied by an adult, or have a parent sign your consent form.
This policy can vary depending on the insurance company, county laws, or state laws. Even children in their teenage years might not be able to play in certain fields.
You must call the paintball field before going to make sure everyone can enjoy their time.
Some fields can be reserved for private events. Some of these fields will allow children under 10 to play with experienced adults. This is because the experienced adults will be required to supervise the kids, and teach them how to be safe.
Make sure you speak to an owner so you get the most reliable answer! You wouldn’t want to gather your gear, head to the field, and then find out your 16-year old can’t play with everyone else.
Should Children Play Paintball?
Absolutely. Paintball is so good for a developing child. It gets the kids active and outdoors which are huge bonuses by themselves. Paintball is also good for social development by having to work in teams with other people.
There are also problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, coordination, listening skills, and confidence that come with joining a sport.
Like any sport, there are risks if rules aren’t followed. This is why young children aren’t allowed to participate in most paintball fields. When kids start to understand the rules and how to follow them, the accident rate while playing paintball drops significantly.
A child who uses adult scissors is more of a hazard to themselves and others than an educated child playing paintball.
Are You Ready for Paintball?
There’s a big difference between being old enough to play paintball, and being ready to play it.
Paintball requires a lot of rule-following and keeping your safety equipment on at all times on the field. This is for the safety of everyone. Not to mention the kids who are sore losers and have a tantrum when they start losing. This ruins the experience for everyone.
If you’re not used to roughhousing, and you don’t think you can handle being shot with a paintball gun, there’s no shame in that- it hurts!
If the idea of being shot by paintballs makes you want to rage quit, maybe it’s best to stay off the field for a little while longer so the other players don’t need to stop their game for your meltdown.
If you get out on the field and realize paintballing might not be your thing, don’t take it out on the other players. There’s no refund for crying!
If this sounds like it might be too much for you, there are alternatives.
Many fields will offer Paintball Lite, which uses a slightly different paintball gun. These fire paintballs at half the speed of usual ones. They also fire a smaller paintball so there is less force upon impact.
Paintball Lite is typically offered for kids aged 7-12. This is a great program for kids to get used to the rules of paintball without the welts.
Another alternative is Barney Stinson’s all-time favorite; laser tag. While keeping a similar playstyle, laser tag is only as rough as the player makes it. If players want to crash onto the floor or do some Matrix-level maneuvers to avoid being hit, that’s up to them.
The minimum age requirement for laser tag is 6. Starting in laser tag, then moving to Paintball Lite, and eventually into paintball is the best progression in terms of the number of rules, safety precautions, and maturity needed to play.
Wrapping It Up
It’s hard enough getting kids away from their video games to go outside, let alone getting them to play sports. The easiest way to do this is by letting them experience their videogames first-hand by introducing them to paintball.
Depending on the state, children can start playing paintball at 10 or 12 years old, and is the perfect way to interest kids in team sports.