Safety is paramount in the game of paintball. Although the balls hitting the skin can sting and cause some marks there are parts of the body that must be protected. Players must also adhere to common sense items to make the game safe and fun for all.
Paintball injuries are mostly non-life threatening. Some people will get paintball marks where they hit the skin and they may bruise, but nothing more should come with it. Paintball related injuries include ankle sprains from running, scratches from falling in the woods and such. If hit in the eye with a paintball an injury could be severe, but statistics show that this rarely happens.
The first safety precaution is to ware a mask, also called goggles) at all times. It isnt a good idea to even take it off in the dead zone when the zone is within the range of a field. Someone may not be even aiming at you but can hit you anyway. Not wearing a mask can cause injuries to the eye and the face. Keep masks on until the barrel plugs have been placed on all loaded guns.
Never shoot anyone at close range. This can be painful. It is customary to offer a surrender to the opposition when within 20 feet so take that opportunity to give it. If you are playing in an organized field and are seen you could be thrown out.
Make sure you can see what you are firing at. Dont just put your head behind a tree and stick your gun out and start firing. This could hurt another player or a referee and if you are outside you could damage property or nature.
Whenever masks are off and games are not in session use the barrel plugs on your guns. This is an apparatus that goes over the opening at the top of the barrel of the gun. Safeties should also be used but sometimes they do go off and barrel plugs give you physical protection from flying paintballs. If someone in your group doesnt have their mask on, dont remove that barrel plug.
Dont shoot at things you shouldnt shoot at, like the side of your neighbors house, a bird in the tree, a stray dog or moving vehicle. Take responsibility for that gun. It doesnt shoot bullets but you have the same responsibility that you would if it did.
Make sure your gun's velocity is under 300 feet per second (FPS). Time guns at pro shops or if you are playing at an organized field, they will usually have a chronograph to be used. Paintballs going under 280 FPS usually do no harm.
Should you get sprayed with paint in the eyes, do not rub your eyes. This will just make things worse. Wash eyes with clean water or you can use saline solution. Make sure to go to the doctor to make sure everything is OK.
The most important rule is never load your gun when you are super angry or under the influence of alcohol and drugs. You are just asking for trouble if you do.
If you follow safety rules for paintball you will have a great game with just a few bruises from paintballs hitting you where they are supposed to hit.