Why Paintball is Safer than Hockey

Paintball is Safer than Hockey

Why Paintball is Safer than Hockey

Paintball and to a lesser degree Airsoft is one of the few sports that people discuss whether it hurts all the time before deciding if they want to play. I hear from the general public: “I would never play paintball because it hurts” or “I would never let my son or daughter play paintball because it hurts”.  I have these conversations in hockey rinks. Folks Paintball is safer than Hockey.  So let’s get into the facts.

Emergency room visits as a result of playing a sport.

Emergency room visits as a result of playing a sport. Source: American Sports Data Inc.

All sports including Hockey and Paintball have an element of risk and pain

Anybody who attends or participates in professional or recreational sports knows that there is always an element of risk.  Twisted ankles, broken bones and concussions are actually regular occurrences in recreational sports and even just walking outdoors.  Even stubbed toes, skating or kicking a soccer ball “hurts”. We do not talk about whether hockey “hurts” when we decide whether our child is going to play.  We may assess the risks and decide whether our child will play but we often do not talk about whether it “hurts”.   Paintball is safer than golf and even bowling.  This is a chart of the chance of having an injury that requires a visit to the emergency room based on the sport you are playing.  You should stay clear of Water-skiing apparently! To put it into perspective our beloved national sport of Hockey is 91 times more dangerous than playing paintball.  Here is some more information from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

A Small Number of players make it seem to hurt more than it does

Players disobeying the no close shooting rules or stag parties blindly running up on a well-defended position Rambo style cause the painful paintball hits that everyone talks about.  Then those same players (usually men) spend the next few weeks showing off the resulting superficial welts.  New Low Impact Paintball features smaller, more fragile paintballs that travel at a slower speed and are shot out of smaller and lighter Paintball Markers.  This eliminates the bruises.  If you are still concerned about stinging hits and want to play regular paintball just layer up, put on a hat and a pair of gloves and enjoy the unforgettable and adrenaline filled sports of Paintball and Airsoft.


All activities have an element of risk and a pain factor.  Paintball and Airsoft are most likely the least painful and the safest sports played in the world.  So let’s stop talking about how much something hurts and just get out and play in 2019. You will not regret it.

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