Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Paintballing - Fun or Therapy?

Ever wanted to legally shoot your colleagues?

Team building has been one of the most talked about management concepts over recent years. The theory is that by taking a group of people who all work together out of their regular work environment, and putting them through some exercises or challenges, they bond as a team and work better when they get back to the office. One of the most popular activities for achieving this is by taking people to play paintball.

What exactly is paintball?

Paintball is the name given to a wide range of combat games. Using special paint guns, opposing teams try to complete a range of challenges such as capturing the other team’s base, or reaching a given rendezvous point first. Each team uses a different colour of paint, and when a player shoots an opponent, the coloured paint capsule explodes on them, marking them as out of the game. Paintball events usually take place in woodland, although other environments such as mock ups of villages and open ground are also used.


Most paintball companies will supply all of the equipment which players need, including the special guns. Sturdy footwear, such as military boots should be worn as the terrain for the game is uneven. A boot such as the AKU Navy Seal is the best choice for games played in dry, warm conditions, whereas the Hanwag Special Forces boot will keep feet dry when paintballing in marshy or muddy conditions. If investing in a pair of boots for paintballing or other outdoor activities, choose something like the Altberg Desert Microlite boot which can be used for paintballing in dry conditions, but also used for many other outdoor activities. Protective clothing will be supplied by the organisers of the event in most cases, but if players run out of the paint capsules used for shooting, they will have to buy more.

Fair play and keeping it safe

Paintball isn’t dangerous, as long as players remember that they are just playing a game and don’t think they are Rambo or Jack Bauer, battling single handedly against terrorists. Ground rules will be explained at the start, and a referee is usually on site, keeping an eye on both teams to make sure a good competitive spirit doesn’t get out of hand. Team work is essential to a successful attack on an enemy base, and it will be up to the players to organise themselves into roles and allocate responsibilities. Basic strategies will be explained then it will be up to the team to work out the best way to achieve their goals.

Corporate entertainment?

Although paintball is most often used for staff motivation and team building, it can also be a great way of getting to know your customers and suppliers better. A day outdoors playing paintball can be followed by a reception or dinner, giving the chance for management to mingle with contacts, sharing experiences and getting to know the key people in their suppliers or customers as individuals. There’s nothing quite like a day in the forest playing soldiers to relax people and improve friendships.