Justin Tardiff | Thursday, April 12, 2007
At Notre Dame, being the Catholic institution that it is, we are taught to seek non-violent ways to solve our problems. But every once in awhile you are confronted with a person that all you want to do is be violent towards. Maybe it’s the person who gave you a dirty look in class, maybe they spilled their drink on you at the Backer, or maybe it’s the person on their cell phone in the bathroom.
So what can you do to unleash all of that pent up aggression caused by stupid people?
You might not be able to shoot them, but you can shoot someone else down at the local paintball field.
For those that have never before experienced this wonderful sport, paintball is a thrilling, tension-relieving experience. You don’t have to have a particular athletic ability to play – and anyone from a ten-year old to a forty-year old can excel at it.
If you’re looking to play around South Bend, Action Park is located 25 minutes away from campus in Osceola, IN and always welcomes Notre Dame students. You don’t have to have any of your own equipment – they can rent you everything that you need to play. All you need to bring with you is enthusiasm, some Red Bull and some long, preferably dark, clothing. Gloves are also highly recommended as getting shot in the hand can hurt like nothing else.
The main piece of equipment in paintball is the gun, or marker, which is powered by a small tank of compressed gas. The paintballs themselves are exactly as they sound – they are marble-sized balls with a gelatinous shell and filled with water-soluble paint. Although it sometimes hurt getting shot, it’s no worse than getting punched by a younger brother. Although if you get hit in your face-mask, you quickly learn that the paint tastes horribly.
The basic premise of the game is simple: shoot others, and don’t get shot yourself. If you end up with paint on you, you’re out of the game. There are a variety of different games to play, including elimination and capture the flag. Action Park also boasts a castle field where one team defends and the other attacks a fortress. They have both woods and speedball fields, which also allow for variations on the same games.
During each game, there are referees who monitor the action to make sure that all players are following the rules, as well as to provide “paint checks,” to determine if a player is still in the game.
Although it might seem like an unusual sport, it is a great experience that is hard to replicate through any other activity. So if you’re bored on the weekend or just looking to release some anger, grab some friends and head down to Action Park. After all, nothing brings people together quite like taking shots at each other.