Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Paintball:Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

by Aidil Syukri

Extreme sports seems to be gaining in popularity among today’s youth. Because of the growing trend there have been an burgeoning of extreme sports and outdoor adventure activities and facilities around the country such as mountain climbing, wall climbing, skateboarding, wakeboarding, white-water rafting and paintball.

Personally, I would say that the recent development of extreme sports in Malaysia is something that we can be proud of. Paintball is just one of the adventure activities that is getting popular rapidly.

Paintball is played with a potentially limitless variety of rules and variations, all of which are specified before the game begins. The most basic of all game rules is that players must attempt to accomplish a goal without being tagged with paintballs.

When a players is shot, they must raise their marker to indicate that they are out and leave the playing field / battlefield. Depending on the agreed upon game rules, the player may return to the field and continue playing or is eliminated from the game completely.

In Malaysia, the paintball become a phenomenon since 2006 when the Ministry of Youth and the Tourism took an interest in the sport and promoted it to the masses. Thereafter, paintball fields and teams escalated like nobody’s business and many tournaments were organized.

I still have yet to try it out but a friend of mine had shared his paintball experience recently.

According to him, paintball can cause serious injuries if the safety rules are not obeyed. He said that paintball rouses emotions to the extreme especially when he was totally freaked out of being shot by opponents.

An interesting fact about this game is that there are no barriers for those who intend to play it. Age or gender is not the issue. Everyone can join it as it is a healthy hobby. Besides that, it also can be a family activity.

For girls out there who have issues with guys, paintball is one game where girls are equal to guys. It is because paintball is not a sport that celebrates pure brawns and brutal strength. All you need is to have a team and good reflexes.

However, I admit that some people shy away from playing paintball because it is not that cheap of a hobby.. The paintball marker (the gun), masks, paint pellets, rental of playing field and other related gear are not cheap. But as far as I could see and hear from my friend’s experience, the benefits derived from the sport make it worth every sen you spend. Besides that, it provides much-needed exercise and is a great stress reliever to city slickers. And the most important thing is, it teaches discipline, teamwork and good sportsmanship.

I would say that paintball in Malaysia will continue to grow and progress as more people are becoming interested in the sport. Based on the development of paintball around the world, I believe that someday it may just grow to become a mainstream sport.

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