Is Paintball Dangerous to play? How to stay safe?

No doubt, Paintball is one of the most exciting games in the world of outdoor sports, but a very common question asked about Paintball appears to be, Is Paintball dangerous?. When we move forward towards the second question, it’s how difficult Paintball is? Besides all this fuss, Paintball is a safe game. Most of the injuries in Paintball don’t come from Paintball; people get injured by violating rules or falling or running into some on-field obstacles.

Is Paintball dangerous

Is Paintball Dangerous?

The most common injuries of Paintball are

  • Twisted ankles
  • Cuts
  • Ear and eye injuries
  • Tripping
  • Internal injury
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Cuts
  • Bruises
  • Temporary loss of vision.

But here the question is “Is Paintball safe” enough to be played?


Is Paintball Safe?

It’s surprising to look at different data collected about paintball injuries. Surveys show that in Paintball, the injury rate among players is lower than football, running and almost every other sport played by humans. Most of the injuries in Paintball don’t come from paintball shots; the bulk of them are caused by the environment or negligence in compliance with rules.

Carelessness is the main cause of injury in Paintball. The most terrible damage that happens in Paintball occurs when the eye gets hit. It happens if someone carelessly removes the thermal paintball mask. All this shows that Paintball is completely safe for those who comply with rules and follow safety procedures.


Physical Dangers related to Paintball

The areas of the body that are sensitive are most susceptible to damage by paintball shots. Paintball can impart serious damage to soft tissue organs like eyes, genitals, and ears if proper protection is not provided. The person who is not covering the full skin with suitable clothing will surely suffer from bruises and cuts on the hit of paintball shot.

Aside from hitting by a paintball shot, other hazards are also associated with Paintball, which are major causes of injury in Paintball such as tripping or falling while fleeing from an enemy shot. A twisted ankle is another danger. Collision with bunkers or trees also causes concussions and blown-out knees.


Can someone die from Paintball?

Yes, it can, but it doesn’t happen. A paintball shot can’t kill a person. But if a person’s fragile part is subjected to paintball shots for a time, it can be fatal. In some cases, paintball gun malfunctions and start firing balls at a rapid speed far higher than normal. Suppose these fastballs are fired at sensitive parts with no protection. Everything can happen.

If paintball shots from a distance take on somebody, injury can be serious. But if sensitive body parts are targeted repeatedly, the result can be lethal. Such damage to parts like the heart, windpipe, or head can result in the player’s death.

The compressed gas bottle, if dismounted improperly, will go off like a rocket and is the most dangerous thing about Paintball. Generally, Paintball is a safe game when played under the rules. Death in paintball games is a very rare or never happening phenomenon unless someone intends to do serious damage to someone.


Some Researched Data About Paintball Injuries

Below I have discussed research data about paintball injuries that will surely guide you about how dangerous Paintball is.


HCUP Report

US dept of healthcare cost and utilization project made 20300 visited emergency department to calculate the injuries due to airsoft and Paintball. Their findings proved that 97% of injuries were due to airsoft and only 3% were due to Paintball.


Injury Prevention Report

According to the injury protection report, 11988 paintball hit patients were reported between the year 1997 to 2001. 95.5% of the player had a minor injury and were recovered and released after first aid.


What we infer from this data

All this data suggest that Paintball is the safest game if you follow the rules. Research data provides strong proof that Paintball is a safe game. Here I want to clear some ambiguities about data.

  • Data doesn’t give us information about the type of injury,
  • It also doesn’t show us how and why the person got injured
  • Some players were injured while disassembling the CO2 tank at homes


Is Paintball safe for children?

Yes, it’s safe. Standard Paintball is not safe for children less than 12 years of age, but there are separate paintball fields. These special paintball fields use guns with little impact and low projectile velocity. During the match, one thing is ensured: the age of children matches each other or has a maximum difference of a couple of years.

No matter the player’s age, major injuries are bruises and cuts due to the paintball field.


To avoid injuries one must use protective paintball equipments. Here is what to wear while playing paintball game.


Paintball Regulations for player safety

Let’s discuss paintball regulations which are the bedrock for paintball safety and ensure player health.



If a person is hit or wants to get out of the field, he must shout “I am out” or “I am hit” loudly. It’s the best way to avoid the assault of paintball pallets. To check if he or she is out or not, the player must shout “paint check” so the referee will tell whether you are in-game or not.



  • If the enemy player is in a 12 to 15 feet circle of yours and shouts freeze, then you must surrender to avoid damage.
  • Here if you realize that you can easily escape, do that.
  • If your target is very close and is surrendering, then you are bound not to short him.
  • If a close distance target is not surrendering, shoot him at non-sensitive parts like arms and legs.


Age Restrictions

  • In professional paintball fields, only 16+ aging players are allowed to play.
  • There are specially designed paintball fields for children. Such fields have low impact guns to minimize the damage.


General Rules and Regulations

At the start, the safety inspector instructs all the players and check the compliance with safety rules.

He instructs you about wearing a mask and how to shoot the gun properly.

Some instructions will vary from field to field, and others will remain the same. Like climbing trees and building to set your gun at a safe point is not allowed.


Measures to Avoid Paintball Injuries 

If someone follows the following mentioned steps, he can avoid the paintball injuries and fully enjoy a secure playing experience.

  • Strictly follow the paintball rules.
  • Strictly follow the instructions of the instructor
  • Have a check on all of your paintball equipment
  • Play with players matching with your skill
  • Don’t play with professional players if you are a newbie
  • Wear an ASTM approved mask along with ANSI approved safety goggles
  • Use glasses friendly mask if you have a weak eyesight
  • Wear protective padding and armor
  • Follow the surrendering and elimination rules
  • Wear an anti-fog mask with at least 280-degree vision
  • Beginners must use full head protective mask
  • Never remove your mask in the paintball field



From all of the above discussion, we can say that Paintball is not a deadly game. It somehow looks violent, but the injury rate due to the paintball shot is very low. It is safe for the players and even children. If you are worried about getting hit seriously hard, I advise you to forget about it and enjoy this fantastic game. This unique game gives players a tremendous experience of head-to-head war.

But as discussed above, major injuries don’t come from paintball hits; they mostly occur when someone falls or collides with something in the paintball field. If you are also looking for an answer to the question such as is Paintball dangerous? The answer is no. certainly not at all.


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