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If you are a parent of a teenager, or a teenager wanting to get into the sport, you may be wondering how old you must be to play paintball. The answer to that question, however, is not as simple. Several factors go into the appropriate age to play, including the legal age to purchase equipment, as well as certain facility rules that may limit age for insurance purposes.
Legal age to play
Most countries, like the United States, do not specify a certain age in which a child can participate in paintball. Rather, they leave it up to the individual paintball facilities to determine at what age they will allow a child to play. Here are the standard ages that are allowed:
- 9 or below – Generally speaking, children nine years old or younger will not be allowed to play paintball in an arena setting. This rule of thumb doesn’t mean they can’t play in a backyard somewhere, but it is strongly recommended to have parental supervision when doing so.
- 10 to 16 – Most facilities in the United States will allow children from 10 years old to 16 access to their premises if there is parental consent. However, some places require a child to be 14 years old before allowing access.
- 16 and above – In most arenas, a teenager that is 16 years of age or higher is not going to have a problem gaining access to a paintball facility.
If you have any questions as to what your local arena requires, don’t hesitate to call them. If you decide to go to a facility without calling, then make sure you have your parent with you.
Age to Purchase Equipment
The topic of the how old an adolescent must be to purchase paintball equipment creates a considerable amount of debate. Most of the time, it depends on store policies and how well the store knows the individual buying the supplies. Most stores, especially big-name retailers such as Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods will require the purchaser to be 18 years old. This requirement is for the purchase of paint alone. However, the smaller paintball shops may have a different policy.
For example, if a local shop has seen you in their store on many occasions with your parent, and knows your parent has consented to you participating in the sport, the owner may allow you to purchase most equipment. However, as will be the case no matter where you go, you must be 18 years old to buy any cO2 products. In fact, most retailers won’t even allow a minor to carry cO2 around the store, even with a parent present.
Remember, age requirements aren’t there to discriminate or make you have a bad day. As with any rule, it’s all about safety. A child under the age of ten usually isn’t mature enough to follow the rules, let alone handle a paintball gun. That’s why it is always good practice to have parental involvement in anything that involves a minor. Plus, it is considerably more enjoyable when the player can endure the sting of being hit with the paintball. Most children wouldn’t be able to tolerate the pain.