History of Paintball

by admin on January 2, 2012

HIstory of Paintball


The history of paintball begins with Jame's Hale….

James Hale invented paintball in 1980. Yep, most young paintball players find it hard to believe that paintball has only been around a few decades.

James Hale did not invent paintball for playing purposes. Paintball was invented as a time saving way to mark trees and livestock on family farms.

That being said, it did not take long at all for people to realize that paintball offered the opportunity for a fun sport, game, pastime. In only one year after its invention, paintball was played as a sport in 1981.


The first game of paintball on record was capture the flag. Bob Gumsey set up the first playing field in New Hampshire, where twelve paintball players, each equipped with a paintball pistol, took part in the historic original game of paintball.

There was no price of admission to participate or spectate the event. Bob Gumsey was a sports retailer, and was able to market his primitive paintball pistols through the first game.

Bob Gumsey's first game was a major step, but it was an invitational tournament only. Which means that the players could only play if they were invited by Bob Gumsey himself.

The game of paintball took it to the next level when the second match was introduced to the public. This second match was also hosted by Bob Gumsey, and was a capture the flag match. But it distinguished itself as the first match open to the general public.


Just two years after the invention of paintball, in 1983 Bob Gumsey created and hosted the national championships of paintball. Sports almost never progress this quickly, usually there is a larger bridge between the creation of a sport and the creation of an official championship.

While 1983 was a big year for the history of paintball because of its growing popularity and its official championships, paintball still had a long way to go. These championships get credit because they were the first championships on the stage for paintball as a sport, but they were also somewhat illegitimate.

First of all, most of the participants were farmers who played at a recreational level. The championships had 7 teams of 12, and 5 of those teams consisted of farming groups. Quite simply, not enough people knew about the sport yet, so the championships were not a very accurate representation of the the best that paintball has to offer. I would love to see one of today's paintball professionals participate in the 1983 championships. There would be some serious ownage.

Secondly, the national championships were international. 1 of the 7 teams was a foreign group, from Europe, that were friends of Bob Gumsey. I am not suggesting that paintball should only be available to the United States. I support the inclusion of as many people as possible. But don't call a tournament national if its an international tournament. Not cool. Not legit. But no worries paintball was only getting started.


The history of paintball takes another advance by manufacturing the first mass produced paintball gun.

The "Splatmaster" was a paintball pistol that was significantly better than Bob Gumsey's homemade models.

Done with the history of paintball? Return to Paintball for beginners.

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  1. Beginner Paintball Guns
  2. Best Cheap Paintball Guns
  3. Co2 Paintball Tanks

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