PE to host regional paintball champs

Mthetho Ndoni

COMPETITORS will attempt to gun each other down in the annual SA Regional Paintball League championships (SARPL) at Planet Paintball in Pari Park, Port Elizabeth, on January 26.

The extreme sport league, which is active in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, was started in 2009 to promote paintball as a sport.

SARPL coordinator Paul Grobler said there were two types of speedball event in the country, one with three-man teams and the other with five-man sides.

He said Port Elizabeth had been chosen as the host city for the provincial three-man tournament because it had a bigger venue to accommodate the teams.

“The sport of paintball has developed into one of the fastest [growing] extreme sports in the country. Gauteng has the largest number of participants,” Grobler said.

“About 68 [league] members were active in the Eastern Cape [last year], but we expect that number to increase this year.”

He said 17 teams and about 100 members from as far afield as George, East London and the Karoo were expected to attend the event.

“The aim of the game is for one team to shoot out the opposing team within three minutes using paintball markers [guns] and touch the opposing team’s base to score a point against the opposition team.”

Grobler said paintball was one of the safest extreme sports, with a strict code and protective gear.

“It is important to wear a face mask and the paint is easy to clean,” he said.

“The games are fast and intense with a lot of communication and strategy on the field.”

He said the paintball markers shot at a rate of 12.5 balls a second.

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