Hits and Elimination are the Different Ways You Can Be Out In Paintball

Hits and Elimination are the Different Ways You Can Be Out In Paintball

(DL) — Let’s go beyond the question of what determines a hit in paintball. Let’s explore further because you don’t need to be shot out to be eliminated in paintball. There are various other ways to get out in paintball.  Before we get to the other forms of elimination in paintball, let’s first break down the primary interest of being shot out in paintball.

A Hit is the Primary Way You Get Out In Paintball

This seems simple of course. Get hit, you’re out. It’s not that simple actually. Different game types have different rules. “What?” You ask! How can there be different rules! There should be only one rule for being out in paintball. True, but like all exceptions to rules, this one will make sense to you.

When Is A Hit, A Hit?

Woodsball or Hyperball, are forms of Recreational Paintball, a.k.a. Rec Ball.  The rules designating a hit in paintball are the same everywhere for Rec Ball. It’s the game of Speedball some adjustments are made. We’ll get to them. First, let’s define a hit in Rec Ball.

Definition: Hit – Rec Ball

A hit is when the paintball shell breaks and marks the player with a nickel-size amount of paint from a single shot.

Wouldn’t it be great if that was all there was needed to define a hit? Unfortunately, this definition leaves a lot to be explained. That nickel hit is controversial.

Here is where a hit can be controversial to a new player. You expect that if the paintball hits you and bounces off of you – you are not out. Rules are rules. It didn’t break. There is no paint. Therefore you are not out.

Well, as they say – Live by the sword, die by the sword. That is, the rule applies mercilessly. If you are standing in cover, a paintball hits something nearby and a nickel amount of paint marks you from that indirect hit, you are out. You see, the sword cuts both ways. That’s right. Barrel cover on, get off the field, you’re done.

What about spray? Spray does not meet the definition of an out. Play on. Call for a paint check if you like, the ref will call you safe.

What if all that spray cakes up too much more than a nickel of coverage?  The spray still does not meet the definition because it accumulated over multiple shots.

Why doesn’t a bounce count? In theory, I was hit, shouldn’t I be called out? Not in woodsball. To keep the game without argument, a bounce is a bounce is a bounce. Receivers love them, shooters hate them. Best you shoot them in the facemask, bounces are less likely.  Always go for a hard part in paintball.

Definition: Hit – Speedball – Tournament Play

Speedball is the big brother to Rec Ball.  Both forms have their appeal. Speedball demands athleticism over tactics. BOTH are important but no one argues, Speedball is predicated on athletics. The nature of the game is rigid regulation and standards. One such standard is a hit. Paintball has no true governing organization. Speedball does, in fact, have powerful leagues which all follow similar tenants.  The current leader is the NXL.

When Is A Bounce A Hit?

When a bounce isn’t a bounce. If the paintball hits the player, breaks, but doesn’t leave a mark this can be an elimination hit. How? Well, to begin it seems this rule comes and goes. Currently, it’s obscure if it exists. The NXL does not outline it. In fact, the NXL rules negate an indirect hit. Woodsballers would love this rule but it’s not practical when referees are unable to view many players at once to ensure accuracy.  As for the bounce being a hit rule. The way it worked was if a referee witnessed a paintball round hitting a player, they can call that player out. Don’t believe it?

It’s always nice to have proof when you make a claim.

Here is the NXL’s rules of a hit as of February 2019:

NXL Rules Section 10
NXL Rules Section 10


Elimination Is The Secondary Way You Get Out In Paintball

Now the fun begins. The list is here is one won’t need to remember. They should all be obvious with a little common sense.

If you run out of propellant, you are done. Some fields will allow another player to exchange their marker to you so you may play on.

If you run out of paint, you are eliminated. Many Rec Ball fields are lenient on this rule because they make money selling paint! So they allow players to share their in-game paint with you so you don’t have to leave the field of play.

Leaving the field of play will result in immediate elimination.

Breaking rules of the game of which a referee catches you results in elimination. This includes bonus balling, unsportsmanlike conduct, intimidation, hiding game props, cheating of any form.

You quit! Walk-off. You’re done.

Paintball FAQ’s

What is rec ball?

Rec ball is short for recreational paintball. The term refers to casual style play of any paintball format where games include players of mixed levels. In general rec ball is played on a woodsball field at your local paintball park.

What do I wear to paintball?

Dress for the weather and ease of movement. Sneakers are better than boots. Dress for long-range. New players are placed in long-distance game situations to minimize a paintball impact making a hoodie unnecessary. If you intend to shoot at close range, then protect your pain points, fingers, flank, and neck.

How To Play Paintball For the First Time

The first time you play paintball the first time, play the edge of the field to cut half the field out from being able to shoot you. Shadow an advanced player. Keep your gun up at all times to cut reaction time. Stay on your feet to cut time to flee. Dress for the weather and wear sneakers over boots to stay fleet of foot. Repeatedly turn your head to make sure you don’t get needlessly flanked. Always check and confirm any move you want to make is not an unsafe move.

What is paintball?

Paintball uses 68 caliber gel-filled shells shot through a paintball marker. Teams play objective-based and-or elimination. A player leaves the game when a thumbnail size of paint has marked them. Paintball is a game of tempered aggression using tactics and athleticism. Paintball is a game of angles.


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