Oct 30, 2008

Paintball, Hobby or Sport

Is paintball a hobby, or is it a sport? Sounds like a funny question coming from an avid paintballers, but the more people I talk to, who don’t play paintball, the more this question comes up.

To the people who play, there is no doubt that paintball is a sport. When you consider that there are more than 11 million players worldwide who also consider paintball a sport, how can the general public think of the game as a hobby?

Part of the confusion may arise from the definitions of each term from dictionary.com. A hobby is defined as an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation. Sport is defined as an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. According to the definitions, paintball is both.

Most people have their first experience with paintball at a birthday or bachelor party or corporate outing. The purpose of these paintball games would clearly fall within the definition of hobby - go out, shoot some paint, have some fun.

After playing a few times most people start getting a little more competitive, moving into speedball or competitive woodsball. Or, they just play walk on days at their local field.

Both types of game require quire skill and both are played for pleasure. Since the world champion Los Angles Ironmen and SPPL champion Smart Corp have full time jobs to pay the bills, including paying for paintball, the players must be doing it for pleasure. By the same token no one can argue that the members of either of these teams aren’t athletes.

Is paintball a hobby or a sport? Those of us, who play, at any level, know it is a sport. If others think paintball is a hobby that’s fine, as long as they come out and play, at least once, and see for themselves that paintball, unlike many other sports, can be whatever you want it to be.

When people realize that paintball is customizable to any participate at any skill level. That the game can be as competitive or relaxed as you want it to be, they to will see paintball like we do. A great sport, or hobby, or pastime that can be enjoyed by anyone.


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