What do you do when your paintball ball shoots off the back of a gun?
You go home.
How do you paintball with the wrong helmet?
The answer: you go to war.
The National Paintball Association (NPAA) says its members are up against a “mosaic” of problems that make paintball a “poor choice for people with hearing loss, people with disabilities, people who have difficulty communicating, and anyone else who wants to use a paintball gun for sports or target practice.”
The NPAA has called for paintball guns to be made from “clean” materials, and that paintball helmets be made with “lightweight” materials.
It also said that paintballs should be “more easily accessible” and that “all paintball-related safety devices should be readily available.”
Paintball has become a lucrative hobby for some, with a wide range of leagues offering it to players across the US.
“We have a huge community of people who want to participate in paintball,” NPAA chairman Jason O’Brien told Al Jazeera.
“There are people who enjoy the sport and the thrill of it.
But for the majority of people, the sport is not what they want to do with their life.”
He said he believed the industry was in a “death spiral”, with the number of players in the US falling by 20% in 2016 alone, and the number at risk of hearing loss rising by 300%.
“There’s a lot of things that are preventing the sport from growing,” he said.
What paintball is not In his speech, O’Connor laid out a series of recommendations to tackle the “mixed bag” of issues he said are preventing paintball players from using paintballs safely.
For instance, he said that the US needs to ban paintball from stadiums, and put a moratorium on the use of helmets that come with paintballs.
He said that there was also a need for paintballs to be more widely available.
But O’Brian told Aljazeera that this was unlikely to happen any time soon, with paintball still being played in only 2% of US stadiums.
And he said the NPAA did not want to see paintball banned completely.
“We’re not looking to get rid of paintball completely,” he told Alja.
“We’re looking for better solutions, we’re looking to bring it back to what it was a long time ago.
Paintball is part of our culture.
It’s a part of what we do, we love it.
It would be wonderful to have more paintball.
We’re very supportive of it.”
For now, though, the US is not likely to see any change.
“The reality is, this is not going to happen anytime soon,” O’Reilly told AlJazeera.
“The paintball industry is here, it’s here for a reason, and it needs to continue to thrive.”
He added that the NPAC is “hopeful that the industry can do better” in other areas of the industry.