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Paintball Hand Signals 101

Two paintball sport players in prootective uniform and mask aimi

If the enemy is close by and you don’t want to reveal your position by speaking aloud, paintball hand signals are an essential communication system for teams. Unless you’re employing walkie talkies or you’re three feet away from a teammate, a hand signal can go a long way in assisting coordination. Every team should issue their own paintball hand signal system that they’re familiar with. However, basic military signals are usually used as a rule of thumb if a private system has not been engaged. When going into a paintball match, remember to appoint one leader or a couple of squad leaders, depending on how many members are present. Check that everyone understands the numerous hand signals, and instruct teammates to consistently keep an eye out for them.

Regroup

A basic hand signal is the twirling of your pointer finger in a circle in the air. It sets you as the rallying point. Other team members should prepare to move to your position or to follow you from cover. This will make certain that your team remains close and cohesive in moving around the course.

Enemy Spotted

One of the most important paintball hand signals is to call out an enemy. To signify that you have spotted an opposing team member, point to your eyes with your pointer and middle fingers. Then, point specifically at or in the direction of the enemy. This signal will ensure where your team needs to fire or where to watch for movement.

Take Cover

Your team needs to know when to diverge from the established formation and to take cover. A fist in the air should tell your teammates to crouch and lay low. They should take cover wherever possible, whether by crawling or sprinting to the location. Make sure that your flanks and rear are protected.

Stop

A vital part of paintball hand signals is the “stop” motion. An open hand held up in the air indicates that everybody should stop what they’re doing, crouch, and aim in different positions. Also, once a team is stopped, it is easier to give out additional orders and signals.

Move Here, There

Be mindful where you place your teammates. If you want to change directions in where you’re going, hold your pointer and middle fingers together and point in a specific direction. The whole team can move to that area, or you can split members up to precise locations. Differentiate between a team and a person direction change by pointing to a single teammate before signaling. If no one was pointed to before the hand signal, then the entirety of the team should move.

I Do and Don’t Understand

Team members can sometimes have difficulty understanding your orders. Perhaps they’re not fully seeing what you’re motioning. If that’s the case, then it would be helpful to have one or two paintball hand signals that convey these feelings in such circumstances. Putting your pointer and thumb together to form a circle and raising your remaining fingers (the symbol for “okay”) is a common show of understanding. Conversely, an upraised hand tilting from side to side implies that you don’t understand.