Paintball is a sport in which participants eliminate opponents from play by hitting them with paintballs (spherical gelatin capsules containing primarily polyethylene glycol, other non-toxic and water-soluble substances, and dye) shot from a compressed-gas-powered “marker”.
Insurance statistics show that paintball is one of the safest sports in existence, even more so than tennis.
A game of paintball usually involves two opposing teams seeking to eliminate all of the other team’s players or to complete an objective, such as retrieving a flag, eliminating a specific player, or other paintball variations. An average, non-professional game of paintball usually lasts around five minutes to half an hour. Since its inception, paintball has drawn a crowd of both casual and serious players.
Paintball is currently illegal in Brunei, as the markers are considered firearms under Brunei law. There are paintball games, though, affairs held on private land with markers carefully brought into the country. Team Southern Cobra is working to change the laws. Comprised of players in Brunei and their teammates abroad at medical school in Cardiff, UK, the team lobbies the Brunei government while building a hardcore following of student players in Cardiff.
Last Sunday, in the midst of a paintball tournament held on private premises (of which quite a few had already been conducted), the authorities raided the place, and confiscated more than B$60,000.00 worth of gear. This came as a complete shock to everyone as thus far, the authorities had been silent. Speaking to Brunei’s paintball heavyweight, Panglima Manggis, I learnt that there is so far no word from the authorities on when and if all the expensive equipment would be returned.
I’ve never tried paintball, but it looks like a bonza sport, and its very fast and intense physically. It should give the old ticker a good workout! I really do hope the authorities will consider legalizing this harmless sport so that I can give it a go!