I spent part of my Sunday running through the woods shooting at friends and strangers.  The place: Outdoor Adventures Paintball.  The occasion was a friend’s 29th birthday.  Paintball has changed quite a bit since I first tried it as a sophomore in college.  There are college and professional leagues now (my alma mater apparently has quite a good team).  There are corporate sponsors.  They even have TV coverage on ESPN2 and the Versus network.

For novices like us, it was a great time.  We teamed up against a group of what looked like undergrads from the University of Maryland.  In three rounds of matches (3 games per match),  we won each 2 games to 1.  Usually it was by killing all of them off, but at least a couple of times we captured their flag and moved it all the way down the field.  The “center flag” variant of the game (one flag midfield that a team must capture and move forward through their opponents) was our least favorite.  We had a really long field for it in the second match, and our strategy didn’t work that well at first.  The one thing I would differently the next time is buy more ammunition.  Even though you have to pull the trigger for each shot, I ran out of ammunition before our third match was over.

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