Do you prefer outdoor sports? if you answer is yes then speedball paintball is one you will want to try out.
You’ve already heard of it and all the fundamental skills you must cultivate to participate. That’s probably why you shied away from the game after only a few matches.
Most beginners in speedball have questions like; I’m I up to it? Will I ever get better at this? How can I improve?
Well, to questions like this, the coach’s answer is usually; train harder! Focus more! Pay for my training program!
The answers are rarely helpful.
If you’re looking for answers to these questions and others regarding speedball as a sport or recreational activity to improve your life or spice up family events then you are at the right place- in the article below, we’ll discuss what speedball paintball is, the objectives, and of course how you can get better at it.
Table of Contents
Speedball Paintball – Explained
We cannot talk about speedball without mentioning Charles Nelson-the man who invented the sport’s main equipment; paintball guns.
Approximately 60 years ago, Nelson came up with a unique way to mark trees and livestock from a distance- he developed paintball guns that could shoot marking paint as far as 50m.
Soon after, the ‘’tool’’ transformed into equipment for a sport enjoyed by over 4 million adrenaline seekers world wide.
The game was presented in different forms but we’ll only discuss one; woods ball from which speedball was born into the world. In woods ball, the players hid behind trees and large rocks to escape the markers and in speedball today, the players stand behind artificial bunkers– the model and gear are the same, the only difference is the state of the arena.
The bunkers are located on both sides of the arena or at each team’s base. Unlike other forms of paintball, speedball is played on an arena with a lot of artificial props to create a real forest scenario.
After set up, the players will then decide the games they want to play- it could be, protect the president, elimination, or the most common one, capture the flag.
In capture the flag, the players are tasked with acquiring their opponent’s flag without getting shot with paintballs.
Speedball – Common Game Rules
- Every player in the arena must wear speedball-specific safety gear; goggles and head gear.
- Physical contact between opposing players is prohibited
- Points are awarded by the referee only and the team with the highest score gets the win for that round
- All professional matches last a maximum of 16 minutes
- The referee can penalize either team for breaking the rules- there are major and minor penalties.
How Many Participants Are Allowed On A Speedball Team?
Speedball teams can have 3, 5, 7, or 10 players depending on the organizer’s requirements and maybe- if it’s on a recreation level- the number of friends you brought along.
How You Can Improve Your Speedball Game
The most recommended approaches to improving your game in speedball are focused on speed drills and snap shooting.
Since the game relies heavily on your ability to get up quickly and run fast, you will need to work on your physical strength and muscle resilience.
If you have access to experienced players, you can visit their training location or join their practice sessions to learn more- they are always willing to help.
While in the arena, relax and watch professional matches so you can explore the methods employed by the winning teams- there’s always something to learn from their teamwork and planning.
We’ll discuss these approaches and others in the subsequent sections.
Improve Your Speed And Acceleration Rate
Like all other forms of paintball, speedball involves fast runs and emergency stops- to achieve these, your acceleration rate must be better than normal.
You see, in a heated speedball match, you’ll sometimes have to run very fast, stop, then run again and if the situation calls for it, you might have to do all these while shooting and ducking for cover- the high octane experience comes at a price .
The best type of exercise for speed and acceleration is Tabata splints. These are short runs that last approximately 30 seconds and employ every amount of energy your body can avail in that short period- 30 seconds is all a skilled shooter needs to empty their gun- if they are doing their best.
Improve Your Shooting Skills
In speedball, nothing works for you better than a good aim. Shooting skills can be the most expensive skills you can acquire although that’ll depend on where you plan to employ them.
Practicing with actual paintballs will put a hole in your pocket in the long run so, you’d better find another around it.
Well, you won’t have to as we already have a solution; reballs. These are small projectiles that look, feel, and work like paintballs but do not burst upon impact so they can be used multiple times- you won’t need to mark anything in practice.
Some of the shooting skills you might want to acquire include;
These skills come in handy when you play heated professional tournaments. Snap shooting entails fast movements where you fire and immediately hide behind cover before the enemy returns fire.
In short, move so fast that you can shoot them without offering them a clear view to shoot you- its so much fun when they miss you every time.
The best way to improve your snap shooting skills is to work on your stance so you can fire at different angles without exposing yourself too much.
Most players at the beginner level enjoy firing their markers with one hand. This is very much fun and easy in the beginning but as you progress and start playing against pros, you’ll realize just how inconvenient this is for you and your performance.
The best approach is to practice shooting with both hands so you can return fire from any angle or side with accuracy. It’s not that easy though- training your other hand to fire accurate shots will take hours every day and might sometimes test your patience.
We recommend you take it slow and easy to avoid frustrations- if you can’t do it alone, get a dedicated coach.
Work On Your Physical Fitness
Some may disagree but out of experience, we can say; physically fit players stand a better chance in the arena compared to other less fit players. A physically fit body will not only help you run faster but also reduce the risk of injury while in the field.
The easiest physical fitness training routine for speed ballers is a basic 5×5 program that is less time-consuming and requires less equipment.
This workout routine may seem too basic for anyone looking to go far in speedball but trust us, if done right, the 5×5 program will yield impressive results.
Improve Cardio Fitness
This works best for players who play multiple roles in speedball teams; some roles are just simple while others require you to run very fast- these activities will test your ability to control your breathing and the circulation of fresh air in your system.
Since cardio fitness in a player is not visible, it can be quite hard to convince beginner speed ballers that they should work on their breathing. Be smart and train your lungs to hold it together every time.
Improve Your Diving And Sliding Skills
Sometimes when playing against seasoned speed ballers, running or walking to a bunker is just not enough, you need to slide or dive to get out of sight fast enough.
Diving and sliding skills can be very useful in the arena, especially where the bunkers are far apart and it’s hard to get from one to the next without getting marked.
Practicing diving and sliding is easy since you do not need to be at the speedball arena or have any form of gear or equipment– you just need yourself and a prop bunker to dive into.
Improve Your Communication Skills
Speedball is a team sport and for a team to accomplish anything worthwhile there needs to be a clear channel of communication through which the players can relay information fast and effectively.
We’ve seen strong teams lose victories to weaker teams simply because the latter’s players made communication a priority.
Study The Field Layout Early Enough
If you can commit the field layout to your mind and know where, what is, you’ll have earned yourself an advantage over everyone else in that field.
The best way to do this is to study the layouts immediately after they are availed and grasp the areas to attack from what stands behind certain obstacles and maybe the bunkers with the best cover.
Speedball is a sport for everyone- they have special arenas and equipment for kids.
At a professional level though, the game can be quite demanding in terms of physical fitness, cardio resilience, and mental control but as a recreational activity, you can expect this the most fantastic game you can play with your family.
The rules of the game are pretty direct and the number of players required on either side is also flexible- there’s nothing not to love about speedball.
The article above offers an in-depth look at speedball; its history, the rules, and how you can get better at it.