In a world where sports are predominantly male, women are being forced to prove themselves capable competitors, and paintball is no exception as more and more women are flocking to the adrenaline-inducing pass time to blow off steam. As in other sports, females are often discredited as a serious threat and are generally perceived as easy targets. Common stereotypes that women are the weaker sex and “too emotional” for paintball only add fuel to this misconception.
Paintball is getting faster and more competitive every year as all players are pushed to run and dodge flying paintballs while packing anywhere from 15 to 30 lbs. of gear or more. Women are forced to train harder both on and off the field to keep up with the men, required to dash, jump, roll, crawl, and dive, all in a fast-paced environment to avoid being shot. Reaction speed is key, as well as hand and eye coordination, and women must embrace a very tomboy attitude in order to perform and earn the respect of their male counterparts.
-Women and Why-
More and more women are finding the enjoyment in the game of paintball, reveling in the rush of adrenaline and the hardcore competing amongst their peers. Paintballing is a great stress-reliever, as well as a significant source of exercise, and women are beginning to dominate where they were originally counted out. The women are wanting to eliminate stereotypes and prove they are just as tough physically and mentally as the men, and are quickly taking their places among the teams as “one of the guys”. Women are perfectly capable of playing for top level teams, and are more than willing to go above and beyond to prove it.
-Playing Like a Girl-
Women cannot be intimidated by male players. Intimidation only leads to looking vulnerable and getting shot. It’s important for a woman to keep her wits about her, and not to worry about a little dirt or breaking a nail. A cool head lets a person focus, and is doubly important when evading rapid attacks from the opposing team. Women are not only following these rules, they’re excelling at them, and it’s no longer unusual for a female teammate to be the last one standing.
While quickly altering the concept that they are inferior to men with their determination and ever-adapting skills, women are just flat-out enjoying breaking down the barriers society raises for them. They’re proving over and over again that they are more than just a girly label whether on or off the paintball field.