Red, white and/or blue, maybe yellow, green and orange, Mr. Paintball USA is shooting up Lake Wohlford Road, but in the fun, non-lethal way.
“When we’re reffing,” Raul Anda said, “We get shot all the time. The kids like playing the Airsoft games. They’re more like video games. We have several fields here, very fast action games; close quarter contact fields, special low impact games.”
That’s the good word from Anda, Paintball USA manager as he checked the facility’s ample stockade filled with paintball guns and related equipment this week. Summer weekdays are somewhat slow with just a few gamers lingering nearby, but summer weekends light up with mock combatants.
Come next week, summer campers of the youth variety are bussed in for a fine day on the colorful fields littered with the colors of paintball glory.
It’s 300 acres of shoot-em-up fun subtly hidden behind an unassuming entranceway that opens up to the 18, or so, combat staging areas featuring a not so subtle mix of Speedball, Hyper Ball, Air Ball and, look out, they may be sneaking up behind you, kersplat, Concept Fields.
“We got 30 kids doing Airsoft later, maybe 40 to 60 kids coming in on busses,” Anda said. “We get all sorts of organizations like the YMCA and the summer camps. They like Airsoft because it’s low impact. Those games are completely on the honor system.”
Shooting from the hip
For more experienced paintballers, and there are more than a few, combat can get up close and personal, not to mention somewhat painful considering the velocity of paintballs. However, the sting of combat is preferable to the alternatives offered by NRA approved weapons and it’s all good, clean fun in the end with the exception of some paint on fighting clothes.
Mr. Paintball USA rents out equipment for the day, including 500 rounds of paint, for just under $50. However, “A lot of the serious players have their own equipment,” Anda said. “They can shoot 12-15-16 paintballs per second they go about 290 feet per second. The low velocity guns shoot 250 feet per second.”
Self-equipped players pay $10 to $15 depending on the day for the privilege of painting each other in the military way with one case of 2,000 field paintballs $40 and up.Other packages including entry and unlimited air start at $25. Players are required to obtain field paint only from the rental shop and may be ejected if they bring in outside paint.
They compete at fields named for the playing scenario including Fox Holes, Maria Villa, Congo, Survivor, Normandy, Attack & Defend, The Village, Pittsburg — don’t ask — Trenches, The Peak, Strategy, and more.
The participation model is kind of reminiscent of bowling, a sport that couldn’t be more different. A lot of players participate on teams with names like Airsoft Medic, Fallen Kings and Armadon. Every second Sunday of the month, Team Therapist goes well beyond Lucy’s fabled nickel psychiatrist’s booth as it hosts the Airsoft crowd.
The Black Lions hosts the first and third Sunday of the month while Team Lunch Box Bandits takes care of every fourth Sunday. Airsoft Medic plays every Saturday and Sunday. Other special events like the April 4 card included Zombie vs. FluffyBunny, Big Game and Egg Hunt.
Mr. Paintball USA, 25320 Lake Wohlford Road, is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It’s open seven days a week during school spring break season and open on Memorial Day Monday.
The venue features special group rates for company outings, special holiday events, private paintball tournaments. For more information call (877) 472-4682 or visit http://mrpaintballusa.com/.