Short Answer; I believe Paintball can be played by kids Ages nine and up once the right Paintball Gun and Paintball Gear are used. Keep reading to understand more.
One of the first questions that I wondered when I started doing research to get my two sons into paintball was whether their ages was appropriate for paintball.
I hope to give justice to this question in this article and also guide you on how to safely get kids at different ages into paintball.
Firstly I would like to state that I am no Paintball expert, if there is such a thing, this article is based on my research and experiences with getting my two sons into paintball.
Now that is out of the way let us Jump into it.
What is the Appropriate Age for Paintball?
I believe with the right paintball gun and paintball gear, Paintball can be played by kids ages 9 and up.
If you are planning to use a paintball field for your kids- which are facilities that allow you to rent out paintball equipment, please find out if they accommodate kids and what ages are permitted. This will vary at each Paintball Field.
If not you can do paintball at home you can check out my article on Paintball Activities and Parties at home on a budget.
The first and most important thing you need to understand is that Paintball can be played with basically two types of Paintball guns and each one is appropriate for different age groups.
I would like to add that every 12-year-old will be different and on this point, I would advise you to use your own judgment to know your child and their maturity levels.
Why do I think Nine is the Minimum Age to play paintball?
I think at age nine kids are at a stage where they can follow rules and more importantly have the reasoning skill to apply those rules and have a strong understanding the concept of danger.
Types of Paintball Guns and the Appropriate Age they Suited for.
The most important thing you need to do for kids when introducing them to paintball is choosing a good paintball gun.
Spring Powered Paintball Guns- For Kids Ages 9 and Up
Spring Powered paintball Guns allow kids ages 9 and up to play paintball before Spring Paintball guns paintball was more for kids 12 and up.
Most spring powered paintball guns are designed for kids. That is why most paintball fields that cater for kids use Spring powered paintball guns.
Spring Powered Paintball Guns are considered as low impact, due to them not firing paintballs as fast or as powerful as a Compressed Air Paintball gun which is usually used by teens and adults.
Getting hit by a Spring Powered paintball feels like getting hit by a fast snowball. I have never heard of one causing any injury other than non-paintball related injuries such falls and slips.
Spring Powered Paintball guns are considered the safest paintball gun and added to that they very affordable because they don’t require fancy electronics and compressed air.
Another great aspect of Spring Powered Paintball guns is the fact that they use smaller paintballs, the .50 cal, these smaller paintball don’t have that much force as the regular .68 cal paintballs
You can read more about Spring Powered Paintball Gun and my recommendations for a Good Spring Powered Paintball in my article on the Best Paintball Guns for kids
Even though Spring Powered Paintball guns are considered safe for kids I recommend you at least have your kids wear a Paintball mask to protect them.
Semi-Automatic Compressed Air Paintball Gun – Kids Ages 12 and Up
These guns are appropriate for kids ages 12 and up.
Compressed air Paintball guns are powered by compressed air (if you intend to buy your own gun you can fill up your compressed air canisters at a sporting store close to you or if you are using a paintball field they will sell you compressed air)
Compressed air paintball guns are the most common type of paintball guns, they are much more powerful than spring powered paintball guns.
And because of this, they should only be used by responsible kids preferably 12 and above, who would listen and understand the concept of danger.
If you can trust your 12 and above year old to be at home unsupervised for an extended period of time; a 12 hour period, I believe they can handle a compressed air paintball gun.
One of the most common question parents have is how does it feel to get hit by a Compressed powered paintball I would describe the feeling of getting stung by a big Rubberband.
Masks and protective gear should be used at all times since Compressed air paintball guns can cause serious injury.
You can learn more about Compressed Air Paintball Guns in my article about the Best Paintball Guns for kids.
Steps to Ensure Paintball is Safe for Your kids:
Great once you have reached this far in the article you should already understand the types of paintball guns and the ages that they are appropriate for.
Now I hope to give you some simple steps you need to do so that your kids can safely enjoy paintball.
1)Get the Right Protective Gear
These are some of the basic protective gear your kids will need;
- Paintball Mask the eyes and head are the most vulnerable parts of the body and they need to be protected. Paintball masks need to be worn at all times when playing paintball. At most paintball field you can get in trouble for taking off your masks during a game.
I recommend for Compressed Air Paintball The JT Premise. You can check out my article Best Paintball Mask for kids where I discuss the Premise more in-depth.
It is a full coverage Paintball Mask one that covers the entire head and is adjustable to suit various head sizes so as your child grows it can be adjusted to suit.
For Spring powered Paintball gun I recommend the Empire Paintball mask You can learn more about the Empire Mask and where to get it in My Article Best Paintball Masks for kids it is cheaper and offers sufficient protection needed for kids playing with Spring Powered Paintball guns.
- Padded Vests help to soften the sting of the paintball. I would recommend padded vests more for kids that are going to play with a compressed Paintball Gun because spring powered paintball guns don’t hurt so much to need a padded vest.
- Neck Protector A lot of newbies forget that getting hit by a paintball in the neck can hurt a lot and because of this, I recommend one.
Neck Protectors should only be used when your kids are playing with Compressed Air Paintball Guns.
- Gloves the hands and fingers have little to no fat to soften a paintball hit. And because of this, I would advocate Paintball gloves for your kids when playing Compressed Air Paintball.
You can check out my article on Does Paintball Hurt with Armor and Gear to understand more about these Paintball gear and where you can get them
2)Divide Kids Up Based on Age
This is common sense but I feel the need to reinforce it. Paintball is like any other sports and all sports divide their participants into groups based factors such as age, sex, and weight
And in most sports and competitions, kids are divided up based on their age to prevent older kids, who tend to be stronger and faster, taking advantage of the younger ones.
So the first step your gonna need to do is if you are using a paintball field is to ensure that the field divides kids up based on their age you don’t want teens to be playing with 9-year-olds.
And if you are playing paintball with your kids at home with varying age I advise that you keep an eye on them.
3)Set Up Rules
If you are allowing kids to play paintball at home please set up some basic rules such as having a Safe Word that allows your kids to pause the game.
You can read some more basic rules for paintball in my article where I answer the question Is Paintball Safe For kids?.
I hope this article has answered your question of What is the appropriate age for paintball? if you have more question you can check out my Question and Answer section where I tackle questions such as Does Paintball Hurt?