Extreme paintball uses paintball guns to play, essentially, a game of capture the flag. While trying to capture the flag players will shoot paintballs, small capsules filled with water soluble dye, to mark other players. In nearly all cases when a player is marked he or she is considered out and can only return at the start of the next game. Sometimes the flags will be flown at a home base for each team. In other games of extreme paintball, the flag will be somewhere on the field of play. The field of play used in extreme paintball is almost always outdoors.
If you're new to extreme paintball, you will find that most fields will rent the equipment needed to walk in and play. In fact most organizers encourage new players to stop by for a game. If you've decided to check out a field be sure to call to make sure that you can rent safety equipment as well. Before you play be sure that you have a protective mask that is paintball specific. You should also have a barrel bag for your paintball gun. Other safety equipment includes groin protection, for men, and chest protection.
When you decide to play extreme paintball be sure to wear dark clothing and good outdoor shoes, like hiking boots or tennis shoes. Shoes with ankle support are strongly recommended. Many extreme paintball field owners don't recommend sweats since some people will over heat. Paintball dye should wash out with cold water, so it shouldn't stain. It can prevent you from seeing out of your mask, so be sure to bring a towel or some tissues to keep your mask clean. Don't forget to bring water and food.
Look for a field with plenty of referees. The rules of the game should be clearly outlined before the game begins. Size is a small consideration, more important are the number of referees. In general one or two referees will not be able to watch a game involving forty or more players. If the field is especially large, look for more referees.
Extreme paintball is about as safe as playing any other sport, some would argue that there are fewer injuries in extreme paintball than fishing. In general most injuries are related to falls on the field and not being hit by a paintball. There is a little pain involved in getting hit but a number of players say it's not as painful as you might expect. It is the sport's safety limits that reduce injury. Make sure you don't take off your goggles and you don't fire your gun in the staging area. But the guns themselves are regulated to reduce injury.
It's also not just for the guys; this sport is popular with women and girls as well. Most fields allow players as young as ten to play. Any underage player will be required to have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver. A number of people let the anticipation of pain keep them from playing extreme paintball, but players will tell you that the pain is nothing more than the pain from scrapes and bruises you might get from playing other games.