Paintball originally did not start out as a sport. The first paintball gun was made in 1970 by James hale of Daisy manufacturing. It was a way of marking livestock and trees for property lines. It eventually transpired into the game known today.
Paintball was officially born in May of 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 evoloved 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.