Paintball originally did not start out as a sport. The first paintball gun (also commonly called a "marker") was made in 1970 by James C Hale of Daisy Manufacturing. It was a way of marking livestock and trees for property lines. This invention was eventually incorporated into a game.
History Of Paintball
Paintball as a sport was officially born in May 1981, through the ideas of Bob Gurnsey, who retailed sporting goods, and Hayes Noel, a stockbroker. Records indicate the first game was played on June 27, 1981, with 12 players playing capture the flag. The game was won without either team firing a shot. 1982 marked the first company to widely distribute paintball materials, Pursuit Marketing Inc (PMI). In 1983, the first official Paintball tournament was held by the National Survival Game started by Charles Gaines. There was a $14000 cash prize.
In 1985, the first commercial game gun, the Splatmaster, was made. After it's patent, Nelson Paint Company began mass producing it for game play. The Splatmaster was all plastic and had to be cocked back before every shot.
Dennis Tippmann designed the first semi-auto paintball gun called the SMG60. The gun eventually evolved into the .68 Special that featured the first hopper-like feeding device. The year 1995 and the Smart Parts company released the "Shocker", the first electronic paintball gun.
Paintball is played many different ways but two major styles have emerged through the years. There is the game of Speedball that is, as the name implies, fast and within rather close quarters. Most paintball tournaments featured in the mainstream and commercial world are speedball.
On the other half is Recreational or Woods Ball. Recball, as it is called, is almost the exact opposite of speedball. Most games are outdoors and have a higher objective than team elimination such as capture the flag or defend the base. Some Recball games are scenario oriented and are played by massive groups. One example is D-Day in Oklahoma.