If you’ve ever thought about playing paintball, chances are you’ve seen some tournament videos. In the world of paintball you can play recreationally or competitively, and if you’ve ever wondered about the latter, we’ll break it down for you. The Basics: Five players each team First to 3 pts 5-minute matches Hit buzzer or eliminate other team Bracket play The Play: Teams of 5 gather together and play based on a bracket tournament. Each game lasts roughly 5 minutes but varies depending on the tournament. Check local tournaments for specific rules and play. The goal is to get to three points before your opponents do. To do this, you can either hit the opponents buzzer/target with a player who has not been hit (called being clean) OR the systematic approach which is to hit out each member of the other team until there is no one left. Win or Lose: Depending on the rules, there will be a losers bracket chance, or simply a loss. Winners may receive gear, money, or just bragging rights, and there is a possibility for wins and losses to be put in the national rankings (APPA.) If you’ve ever thought about playing competitively, find out when the next tournament is and watch one for yourself - nothing beats your first sideline experience. Happy paintballing!