On the third and final day of the trip, we went to UCZ Paintball. I must admit that before this experience I was quite afraid of what pain might occur in going paintballing. Nonetheless, I was excited to go out there and try something new!
The journey was about 20/30 minutes, as it was on the outskirts of the next town over. I sat with Mollie on the coach (because Maddie and Sanjana didn’t come) and I pointed out my house as we passed it, on the journey to and from.
Once we arrived, we were briefly introduced to the activity, and then were given numbers on our right hands. My number was ’22’ (my lucky number, coincidently!). I then went to go and get my protective vest, camouflage overalls, my utility belt, snood, and mask.
The first item I put on was my protective vest (only the girls had these, for reasons you might imagine); followed by my overalls, which buttoned up; then I put on my utility belt, which held my second container of 100 paintballs (the first hundred were preloaded in the guns). We were all given 400 paintballs in total as part of the deals, but many of the boys purchased more later on in the day (don’t ask me why!).
We were then given a safety talk about all the rules of paintballing, such as:
- Do not aim for the face or hands.
- Wear masks at all time unless you are told to take them off by a marshal.
- Turn on the safety button on the guns until just before gameplay.
- Do not shoot within 15ft – shout ‘Surrender!’ to your enemy instead and let them walk free.
- Don’t shoot people as they leave the game with their guns above their heads. And if you do, don’t be surprised if you get shot in return.
- It is okay to get the paint in your mouth if it splashes on the mask as the paintballs are made of vegetable oil, and are non-toxic, although they supposedly taste gross (the head marshal there then proceeded to eat a paintball to prove its food safety and bio-degradable features).
- If you get shot directly, you are out of the game.
We found out that even numbers were to be put into the ‘Green’ team, and that odd numbers were to be put into the ‘Black’ team. This put Jaz and me on the Green team, as we were ’12’ and ’22’ respectively, and this put Chloe, Mollie and Ruby on the Black Team. However, there was another twist. They then split the group in half down the middle (20 players in both of the two groups, from 1 -20 and 21 -40) and had Group 1’s Team Green again Group 1’s Team Black and the same for Group 2. This meant that Jaz and I were now apart 😦 and I was playing against Mollie!
After that, we filled out the necessary form, signed by ourselves and countersigned by our trip supervisors. Group 1 was then taken to start their first game. Group 2 were delayed by about 10 minutes before we went to get our guns, which were numbered to match our own numbers and colour coded according to our teams.
We had a brief target practice, just to get a feel for our guns.
I’ll just briefly describe each game we played:
- Games 1 and 2 were in the ‘woodland’. The games were ten minutes long, and the main aim was to have your team’s flag in the centre of the table at the end of the game. You can take your enemies flag out of the centre, but you have to keep it within a certain ‘zone’. Green team won both games, giving us 6 points! I was not shot once during either of these games.
- Game 3 was ‘Capture the Flag.’ The aim is to get your enemies flag and return it to your team’s base. We managed to shot every player on the black team, so it was easy to get the flag, and even more worthwhile. I was not shot during this game either – luckily!
- In Game 4, the aim was to get your (plastic) ‘TNT’ into the enemy base. I was shot in this game, in the leg! Luckily, it wasn’t too painful, and I enjoyed this game the most, in spite of my injury. At the time of writing (22nd July), there is still a faint bruise on my left leg, near my knee, but the pain was fairly temporary and the bruise has faded significantly. We won this one too, which left our running total at 12 points.
We had lunch, and then the two green teams and the two black teams joined forces for the ultimate head to head paintball battle.
- By Game 5, I had very little ammunition left. The aim was to get your briefcase into the base of the enemy. This game seemed to last an age, but somehow, I survived it. In fact, the game lasted so long that the marshals had to end it as a draw. That only gave Group 2 Green Team 1 more point and set the Group 2 Black Team at 1 point in total.
- In Game 6, it was 5 minutes long, and you could only be part of it if you had any ammo left. I had just run out before the end of the previous game, so I sat out – along with Jaz, Ruby and Mollie. The Green Team won yet again, bringing my team (Group 2 Green) to a total of 19 out of a possible 21 points.
All in all, it was a pretty fun day. In spite of my initial fears, paintballing turned out to be a fun experiencce, that didn’t involve too much pain.
Thank you for reading, and I’ll be posting soon!