Capture the Flag

How to play capture the flag in paintball.

Capture the flag is one of the most basic variations of paintball, but it is also one of the most fun to play. While the premise is simple, you can invent countless strategies and techniques to keep you constantly coming back for more.


A field, two flags and some players. Flags can be as elaborate as a 3×5 foot flag on a pole or a simple as a plastic bag hanging on a tree. You should have at least four players but you can play with as many as you want – just make sure that your field is large enough to handle your numbers and not too big for a small group.


Establish two bases at opposing ends of your field and position a flag at each of these bases (hanging from a tree, on a flagpole, etc). Divide your group into two teams and position each team at a base. Make sure that both teams know where both flags are positioned and that the field boundaries are clearly defined. Before you begin, also establish a time limit for the game – twenty minutes usually is about right, but depending on the number of players it could be longer or shorter.


All general rules of paintball apply, and remember to be safe. When both teams are ready, the game begins when someone shouts, “Game on!” The goal of each team is to capture the opposing flag and return it to their own base without getting hit. A player is out and must leave the field if a paintball breaks on him or he calls himself out for any reason. If a player is carrying the flag when he is hit, he must immediately drop it. A team may not move their own flag unless an opposing player has first moved their flag and is eliminated, then the team may return the flag to its starting position if they desire.


A team wins by eliminating all the players of the opposing team or capturing the opposing team’s flag and returning it to their own base.

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