Operations and staff procedures

The number of staff needed to operate a paintball game varies on how many customers there are playing. What doesn’t differ are the procedures and jobs that have to be done in order to insure that the customers are safe and are having fun.

A field manager (FM) is a person that takes charge of the group that arrives, makes them feel comfortable and helps them through the check in procedure.

The FM should learn the group member’s names and call them by it (unless preferred otherwise) and should know what equipment they require and help them with the pricing.

It’s his job to make sure all arrangements are made and make sure they start correctly with the check in process.

Check in and operations procedures

Upon arrival players should fill out liability waivers that safeguard the business against any accidents. This is collected with the game fees at what point of time wrist bands (if you use them) are given out as well. During the queue up at the counter you can make announcement that inform players about upgrades. You should have a board up as well that has a rental equipment list and their prices and the various packages you offer. If the group has been offered any extra equipment as part of their game day fees, this is the time to issue it to them.

Participants who bring in their own equipment should fill out a ‘self equipped’ sheet and give it to a staff member who then checks the equipment to make sure it’s safe and stable and then signs the paper.

Once the check in is done, the FM gathers the group and gives a pre-game introduction, during which time staff should keep markers (barrel plugs/covers, hoper and CO2 tanks attached) and goggles kept ready to hand out.

At the orientation the FM should introduce the group to the game referees, the people who take over from the end of the orientation and take charge of the group till check out. As it is these staffs members that create the impression of your business make sure they are smart, efficient, have strong language skills and have good ‘people’ skills.

Once the orientations ends, the fm breaks up the group into teams and the referees hand out arm bands. They are then led to the equipment counter and use their equipment check out sheets to get their required gear.

When handing over the equipment you should take either their drivers license or their id cards as a security deposit, once they return the equipment you hand this back to them. Once equipment is handed out they can be taken to the target field where they test and get accustomed to their guns (optional) and the players with their own equipment chronograph their guns (necessary).

Refereeing a paintball game

Depending on the size of your field you many need a minimum of two referees, with one referee to one team. Referees should ensure that the player’s guns are in safety mode and have their covers/barrel plugs on. They should inform the players that once past the entry gate it is mandatory for the player’s goggles to be on and should remind players that there is to be no shooting until the start of the game. It’s optional but preferred to take the teams through a tour of the field so the team members can know where different obstacles are played and play accordingly.

In order to start the game, if your field has two referees, they should be in sync. Having an air horn or a two way radio can help, if however, their using whistles voice communication may be needed, there should be a 1 minute warning whistle before the start of the game.

All players should be at the team base/flag station before the game starts. They shouldn’t be looking around for places to hide. Referees should make sure barrel covers/plugs are off and the safety mode on their guns is switched of, players should be once again reminded to keep their goggles on at all times. Referees should give out incremental countdown warnings and countdown the last 10 seconds left for the game to start out loud.

During play, referees should make sure players are playing safely and within the rules. He should make sure a person that is eliminated covers his gun and exits the field after alerting other players to cease firing or not to shoot the eliminated player. They should assist the player of the field in a straightforward manner and try to make the exit through a place where the firing is little or nonexistent. The referee should be positioned in such an area as well. They should make sure not to stare at hiding players as it may give away the players position.

Paint checks should have been covered in the orientation. When a player is hit they should call themselves out only when they are certain about it. If not they can call for a paint check, which is when a referee comes over and checks the player. Once a referee hears ‘paint check’ he should make his way over to the player and announce that the player is under paint check and is not to be shot at.

Once the referee has announced so, he checks the player. He may ask the player to rise and do a 360 degree turn in order to make sure there wasn’t any paint splatter (the size of a coin). Once the outcome is determined the referee announced the player eliminated or if no paint was to be found he then announces the player ‘clean’ and resumes play. However if other players had advanced on this player during the paint check the referee is to return them to their original positions.

Shooters can ask for paint checks on someone they think they may have shot. The referee should confirm which player the shooter thinks he may have shot as some shooters may ask for a paint check to get the location of a player.

The referee should be positioned not only in an area that is out of the line of fire but where he/she can easily see the play on the field, being able to tell when a paint check is actually in need as many players can lie just to get out of a difficult situation.

Referees can often be faced with difficult situations, such as when a players say they were shot by the person they shot first or whether a person was shot a second before or after hanging their flag. You can either use your judgment (in extreme cases) or try to get the player to give in and confess (in the cases where the player may really know the answer) or you can call both players out. If a player is marked by a player that, it is determined is already marked you can bring the first player back in. positioning is crucial for the referee to really know who is out. (The referee can move into position to get a clear view when he sees a flag being taken to the base)

Once the flag is hung the referee blows his air horn and whistle and calls for all players to freeze and checks for paint on the flag carrier. If paint is found the player (or any player) should take the flag back to the opponent’s flag station and the game continues with the marked player eliminated. When the game ends depends on the game being played (time limit, flag retrieval and so on).

Post game procedures

Once the game is over, equipment and jumpsuits are handed over to attendants to wipe off (jumpsuits can be wiped off while the player is wearing it if they are going to play another game immediately after).

There should be a maximum of a 10 minute break between games. Staff should gather the teams, give a 5 minute warning and take them back to the field.

While games are taking place staff should make sure the counters and area is clean before the players return.

Once players have finished playing you have to make sure all the equipment is returned, keep track of equipment that may need maintenance and that all ID cards and driving licenses are returned.

Clean up

This is a lengthy but crucial procedure that needs to take place either everyday or once every two days depending on business.

Paintball markers have to be disassembled, cleaned and lubricated during which you have to make sure parts aren’t mixed up. You should keep your guns velocities from about 15 to 25 ft/second lower than of your field’s maximum to allow for temperature fluctuations.

Goggles should be cleaned inside and out with a clean, soft, un-abrasive cloth. The sealing foam should be wiped with a disinfectant after every use.

Hoppers/ loader should be kept clean and dry, dirt being easy to wipe off; paintball residue is problematic to take off. Soaking it for a short amount of time in water should dissolve the paint and then should be hung to drip dry.

CAUTION: paint balls should never be put in a wet hopper as they dissolve in water. Jump suits are to be washed, dried and folded. Tables, counters, restrooms should be cleaned or restocked when required Trash is collected and gotten rid off.

Staff demeanor

Your staff’s first concern should be safety. They should encourage safety habits in customers at all times. They should be friendly and firm while doing this not harsh and disrespectful.

Orientation Speech contents

An introduction

To start of the orientation, you will introduce yourself and welcome them to *insert your businesses name*

Day plans

You will then tell them the plans for the day and about how you will be breaking them up into two teams (if required). You will tell them the games you will be playing and in what order. They should also be informed if they are going to wear arm bands (to differentiate between teams)

Paintball Rules

Depending on the game you are playing, you will explain the aim of the game and how it is played. You will them lead them through the various rules. If you are using a point based system and a score is being kept, you will need to explain how points are accumulated.

You will need to tell them how big a paintball mark after being hit counts as being eliminated and what counts as not being eliminated (like if your sprayed with paint from a paintball that hit near you but not on you)

Make sure they are informed on how to leave the field once hit. (They are to lift their gun above their head and shout ‘I’m Hit’. Once this is said or done they can’t take it back, they are out of the game.

If the player is hit with a paintball, and it doesn’t break, they are not out. Unless they lift their gun above their head or shout ‘I’m out’. Players should look and make sure there is a mark before declaring themselves out; if they aren’t sure they can ask for a paint check.

Notify them about the number of referees that will be on the field and tell them what various phrases are to be said when something happens (paint check or I’m hit, for example) If the player is close enough to the opponent to touch them, they can tap them and tell them they’re out.

House rules

If you have any personal rules that only apply to your field you should tell them at this point. Confirm that all the rules are understood and that there aren’t any questions.

Safety rules

Paintball Gun

At all times, handle your paintball gun as if it were loaded. Never shoot at another player when he or she is closer than 20ft. Always use a barrel sleeve or plug while not in play. The barrel cover is another important safety gear. This is supposed to be on the gun while of the field, going into the field and going off it. It should be removed during play.

Explain that it helps protect everyone from any accidental shots while not in play and that despite the guns having a safety lock, the covers or barrel plugs are easily visible from a distance. Never look down a barrel.


At all times wear your facemask or goggles when paintball guns are around. The goggle is one of the most important part of your gear. Make sure the players understand this. If their eyes are not protected and they are hit, they can receive permanent eye damage. If the goggles are accidently caught on something and come off, they should cover their eyes and call for a referee that will come running to help.

If the lens of the goggles fog up, a referee will call them off the field so he can de-fog it. Emphasize on them not removing their goggles while in play or on the field for any reason. Wear proper clothing that covers as much skin as possible. No modifying of any rental equipment.


Never verbally abuse another player. Anyone without a mask should not be shot at. If another player is within 15 feet, you should give a verbal command to surrender. No blind shooting.

Equipment demonstration

You should explain the various options on the paintball gun such as the safety lock, the trigger, how the paintballs are fed into the marker and so on. You can show them how to adjust the straps of their goggles if they need to tighten or loosen it. Once again confirm if everything is understood. Then split them into two groups – you can let them choose or you can split them up. Hand out their arm bands and lead them to the checkout counter where they can get their equipment from.

A Guide to Successful Business in Paintball

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