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Melbourne Paintball League

Melbourne Paintball League : Round 1 update

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Melbourne Paintball League – Round 1 update


On the 11/9/16 Snipers Den launched the first round of the Melbourne Paintball League for the first time in Victoria.
The idea was to provide a launchpad for new players getting into the sport and to that end it was more successful than we could have hoped. We ended up with 5 pretty new players joining the day’s activities and a few more fairly new to the sport. On top of that we had 3 people successfully sit their catagory “p” safety course allowing them to begin the process of applying for their paintball licence. If anyone wants more information on how to get a paintball license in Victoria get in contact with Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne on 1800SNIPER.

The day began with drills run by Craig “Flash” McIver and the Hard2Overcome team from about 9.30. Hard2Overcome are a Victorian Paintball team that remain one of the more active teams in Melbourne paintball scene. In November the are off to the USA to compete against some of the best teams in the world. They regularly train at Snipers Den and are incredibly disciplined in the way they go about their training. They always start their training with a fitness component with a strong drills methodology as well.

We were really grateful to all the experienced players who helped the new players get into it all. We tried to create an environment that allowed players of all skill levels to be able to grow and train to their own ability. In the end however, the day became more about building up the newer players thanks to all the teams and players that were so generous with their time. We were extremely proud of all the players who contributed their time and equipment to allow the newer players to get a start in the sport.

After the drills we conducted the Safety course for those wanting to get their licence. The course including the multiple choice test takes a little over an hour including the actual test. We like to go through a few extra elements as well such as compressed air safety.

After the safety course there was time for a quick lunch. Only one person took advantage of the free BBQ facilities. We would like to encourage more paintball teams and players to make use of the BBQ for lunches to bring back the social side of paintball.

After lunch we kicked straight into the first round of the Melbourne Paintball League. We started by separating all the players into 2 teams. We have arranged 2 captains for the 2 teams but they were both unavailable for the first round. The 2 captains will be Oz from the Highrollaz paintball team and Joon from Hustle paintball team.

With the Captains unavailable it fell to the vice captains to look after the teams for the first round. Troy from Highrollaz and Sean from HK Reapers took control of the teams. The players present were split into the 2 teams. At stake was the ability to choose from the 2 team names we have chosen to start with. The 2 teams we are starting with are the Knights and Samaurai. We are going to get some jerseys made with the option of purchasing personalised ones coming down the track.

With the teams split, we got into the league games. We played 8 points in total and allowed coaching from the edge of the field for the newer players. This added a different element to the games and assisted in the rapid improvement of the skill level of the newer players in particular. In the end the games fell 5-3 to Troy’s favour and they chose to take the Samaurai mantle.

The games were refereed by Jill from refs inc with help from some of the other players who were willing to help out. This included Goldy and Flash who are both Ref’s inc referees. This is always very much appreciated and makes a big difference to the day.

The day finished with players getting a few games in playing in their normal teams. This is important as the Melbourne Paintball League is not designed to replace the regular team model. Instead we want to keep pushing forward with this alternative training model to compliment the teams that are in the scene already.

Thanks again to everyone for the support so far. It was a great turnout for the first round of the league. Remember that the next round is coming up this weekend on Sunday 2nd Oct. Kicking off at 9.30 and the opportunity to sit a safety course as well. Get in touch with Snipers Den if you want to get involved in paintball as a sport.

Melbourne Paintball League

Melbourne Paintball League training

Melbourne Paintball Win

Melbourne Paintball League – Opening Round – 11/9/16

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Melbourne Paintball League

The first round of the Melbourne Paintball League is rapidly approaching on the 11/9/2016. We would like to see as many teams and players take advantage of the League to add a new element and focus to their paintball training.

There are a few things that we are aiming to achieve with the Melbourne Paintball League.

1. Have a focal point for new players to enter the sport.

We really want to fill the gap between new players and the current paintball competitions.
The league is designed to be a pathway from rental player to finding a team and a method for identifying and recruiting fill in and replacement players.
There needs to be a focal point for new players and a road map for them to join teams and enter higher level tournaments.

2. Bring back social paintball to Melbourne.

Historically paintball has been built around “club days” with teams springing up out of the casual game play for more serious competition. Alternatively teams have focused on individual success often leading to solo team training. We will have the BBQ hot on the day, so bring some meat and bread for lunch.

3. More structured training.

We will have drills run by a different team or player every week. We want to add some variation to the skills that teams practice to help lift the skill set for all Victorian paintball teams. We will announce who is running the drills in the lead up to each League day.

4. Ongoing casual competition.

We want to make sure that there is a casual competition for new and existing players. We want to be splitting all the players into 2 teams. These are not going to be your normal team. We want teams to split themselves across the 2 teams to play the league for a bit of fun at the end of the day. We want the Melbourne Paintball League to be the first taste of competition for new players entering the sport. We will looking at organising jerseys for players that need them. If you have spare markers
or gear, please bring them along.

The current game plan is as follows.
9am – Field open
10am – 12.00 – Drills – More to come…
12.00 – 1 Lunch
1 – 2.30 scrims / open play
2.30 – League games. 10 points shared among the players there on the day.

Price is $20 Field fee as normal. Paint at field pricing – No BYO though please.
Includes refereeing for the league.

We will split the league teams up on the day and add to it as new players come along from week to week.

Lets make paintball great again….

Melbourne Paintball Win

Let’s make Paintball great again

Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne – Paintball league

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Melbourne Paintball League

We have finalised the details of the new Paintball League that we are launching from September.

Our main goal with the league is to have a regular training and competition to allow new players to enter the sport. We also want to make sure that existing players get something out of the competition and are exposed to the newer players that are entering the sport. We aim to link the event to a full day of drills and scrims to help further develop teams and players. Here is what we have in mind…

paintball melbourne

The Melbourne Paintball League is a new option for paintball in Victoria

1 day a month, dedicated field access

As most people now know, we at Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne have worked very hard to build what we think is the best tournament paintball field in Australia. We have now decided to open it up to competition players for the full day as part of the new league.

This means that the full day, all players participating will not need to stop playing for the birthday party and bucks party style bookings. This is a first for Snipers Den Paintball and a reinforcement of our commitment to tournament paintball in Victoria.

Structured Scrims and Drills

Prior to the paintball league itself we will be maximising the access to the field to make sure that paintball teams and players are training with the best drills and exercises led by the best paintball players in Victoria and where possible Australia. We are also hoping to include some international players where possible to grow the experience of players competing in Melbourne. The drills and scrims will be going from 9am and throughout the day. The Melbourne Paintball League itself will start from 3pm and continue for an hour or 2.

The League Itself

The idea of the Melbourne Paintball League is to start a different type of competition in Victoria.
There will be 2 teams at the start and if the idea grows we will expand it. We hope that the teams that support it will split their existing players between teams. We want this to be a separate type of competition to the team based ones. This will go a long way to allow new players to find a place in teams as they develop.

To begin with we will split the existing pool of tournament players which will form a base for us to direct new players coming into the sport. We will establish Captains which will help foster the new recruits and run the the team. You don’t need to attend every event but when you do you will play for the same league side each time.

For the league we will play 10 points, one day per month. Single point rather than race or mercy and teams will rotate players through to make sure that all players play an even number of points. The idea here is to make sure that newer players have an equal game time to the better, more experienced paintball players.

New players will be drafted to one of the teams depending on the players in the current roster. We will be providing jerseys free to borrow for players although players can wear existing jerseys to assist with sponsorship clashes if needed.

We have small prizes that we are looking at from a number of businesses to make it interesting but it will be far from sheep stations. The cost will be included in the standard field fee and paint will be charged at the normal field price.

The refereeing will be looked after by Jill Henty of Refs inc and will be supplemented by Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne staff as well. People who don’t wish to play can also volunteer to help referee if they would like to help. We will talk about the team side of things in more details but wanted to go over the broader strokes first.


We will be running the Melbourne Paintball League on the first Sunday of the month starting September. We are planning on starting one week late to avoid Fathers Day. So we are looking at (for the rest of 2016) the following.

11 Sep
2 Oct
6 Nov
4 Dec

Same will go for 2017.

We are hoping to launch a separate website for the event – coming soon….
Please fbook or email any thoughts. If you want to read about the thought process that led us to this model click here Building Paintball Melbourne

Mathew – Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne

Rebuilding Paintball in Victoria – Paintball Melbourne

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Competition Paintball is a great sport. Once people enter the Australian Paintball and get established onto a team they tend to be around the sport for a relatively long time. With that said – the sport has some problems that are blocking new players from getting involved, playing a team and developing into a player that can actively compete at a high level.

I actually started this blog post as a lead in to the paintball league that we were looking to run but the more I looked at the structure of the sport of paintball overall in Victoria, the more holes in the current structure became a little more evident. I want to say early that this is not a reflection on any individual, paintball business or paintball event in Victoria but an assessment of how I see the sport at moment – in particular the transition into the sport of paintball in Melbourne. There are many people working hard to build the sport and the industry in general but I think we need to look at the lifecycle of a player in the sport from introduction to the sport to exit. We need to look at the roadblocks to entering the sport and look at some of the factors that push players out of the sport.

Here are a few of the things I have come up with….

1. No Starting point

I think in Victoria we have put a lot of the onus onto the players to handle new paintball players coming into the sport, but this can be a lot to ask – especially without a structure to back it up. Many people that have been playing paintball for 7+ years got their start at Extreme Indoor Paintball in Geelong. Although they have been closed for a while now the structured competition fostered new players much better than we are doing now. Since then focus for a long time in Victorian paintball is on the delivery of the higher level competition and as a result there have been less avenues to get in at a lower level.

While Vic5s (formally the Paintball Association of Victoria) did develop into the current WPBO rules, it did fill that function better in the early stages. Within a few years of the first round in 2010 at Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne, the original round robin series had 28 teams register for the event and many were new players and new teams. The round robin format was a lot easier for newer players to get involved with compared to the “Race to” or “Mercy” model. While it is important to have the more elite formats there needs to be something in between the casual birthday or bucks party paintball session and high level competition.

2. The current team focus

If you commit the time and money it takes to be good at a sport like paintball you want to be competing at the highest level you can. But this is slowly cannibalizing the Melbourne paintball scene. This might seem like an over emphasis but I see this as a massive contributing factor to the reduction in active players and active paintball teams. The current recruiting, is in most cases, coming from a shrinking pool of active players with new players struggling to find a start somewhere.

As often happens in paintball teams, a 5man team will have 7-8 on a roster and be rotating through for different tournaments to make sure that they are competitive. This works well when the roster is maintained but when you lose a player or 2 from the team for lifestyle or other reasons the team has a dilemma… They can either recruit from the new players that they have seen start training or try to attract another experienced player.

There are problems with both options. If they recruit a newer player they are limiting their ability to compete at a high level and play at the level that they are capable of. If they recruit from the pool of existing players they take experienced paintball players from Melbourne paintball teams and negatively affect the competitive level, often leaving bad blood.

The paintball teams that don’t take either of these 2 paths tend to fold which can cause players to become free agents or leave the sport as well. This means that there is no good option when it comes to topping up a paintball team, particularly one with any ambition. We need to make sure that the players have the opportunity to develop in such a way that that they can fill this gap.

They need to be able to train, compete at a lower level and be exposed to teams. This will help plug the cycle of poaching players and the downward spiral of participating paintball teams across Melbourne and Victoria. Support at this level will go a long long way to prop up the upper level of competition paintball in Melbourne.

We recognise our role and responsibility in helping Melbourne paintball players move into the sport. We have thought about and discussed at length how to provide an environment that helps this process and think we have an idea that will help a lot in building the paintball scene back up to the heights of 5 years ago. We hope that existing paintball players support us in this, as it will be an important part of the process.

3.Paintball is expensive

Paintball has a significant cost hurdle in the early stages of entry into the sport. New players can part with a lot of cash by the time they buy a paintball marker (paintball gun), tank, mask, jersey, pants and any padding. While this is certainly comparable if not cheaper than some other activities like motocross, cycling, golf etc. The difference is that stacked on top of the initial entry cost is often a high cost of competition. When you try to make the leap in a short period of time the costs can be harder to manage.

We need to make sure that the initial training and early competition is at a price point that allows the players to gradually build up the equipment necessary to compete at a high level. We need to be able to engage new players and give them a good taste of the sport prior to the cost of a full blown paintball tournament. We are hoping what we will put together will accomplish this.

4. The need to have a team before you start

The teams that have entered the sport have come in as a unit. The issue though is that this is very rare occurrence and more common is for a hopeful player to look to enter the sport solo. The current team model does not make it easy for new players to enter the team bast competitions solo. When they do end up getting a spot on a paintball team at a Melbourne paintball event, it tends to be more of a guest appearance. These roadblocks to entering paintball are not the most conducive to growing the sport. In the last 2 months Snipers Den paintball has already had 12 people successfully complete the P class safety course. In most of these cases the person is not coming as part of a team already but flying solo or close to it to get into the sport.

The Game Plan….

We have come up with an idea that we think will make it much easier on players to transition from casual paintball with rental gear to someone who can be an active member of a team. This has been done well in the past and in a lot of cases, I think everyone connected to tournament paintball in Melbourne and Victoria in general assumed would continue. Before we spell out how the paintball league would look, I was hoping to let current Victorian paintball players have a think about the how the current process works before putting up a potential solution. Anything that addresses the holes in the current model will need to have have the support of the current core group of players and teams to be effective. Would welcome any feedback on the above and any ideas are welcome. I will put up the game plan for the league as a separate post and hope that players will see the game plan and support it.

Mathew – Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne

For the League details – Melbourne Paintball League

How do I get my paintball marker license in Victoria

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We are often asked if people can buy their own paintball gun in Victoria.
If you are looking to play more competition paintball in Melbourne you will ultimately need to get your Category P license. Prior to 1996 you could buy a paintball marker (gun) using a category A or A/B license.

Melbourne Paintball Tournament

From 1996 onward the legislation surrounding the legality of paintball in Victoria changed and this included the rules for obtaining a paintball marker. Part of the justification for the change was the negative effect caused by paintball markers being included on the same categories as many rifles and shotguns. The issue arose when people began to apply for a gun license because they wanted to buy a paintball gun. The concern was that once they acquired a paintball marker they had the appropriate license that could be used to purchase firearms that they had no legitimate need for.

It was also observed that the the safety course required to obtain a category A/B license would not address the differences related to the nature of paintballing. The obvious component of that is that with a “real” firearm being a rifle or shotgun, the golden rule is to never ever point it at anyone. A great rule, but not as relevant when it comes to paintball. In fact it is the actual point of paintball…

As a result in 1996, the licenses separated and a new firearm license category was created. The Category P license allowed people to own paintball markers without the complications that arise from a category A/B license. A safety course, unique to paintballing was created. The paintball safety course was more suited to the realities of the sport. Snipers Den are now running safety courses to help facilitate people getting into the sport of paintball in Melbourne more regularly. Keep in mind that to play paintball in Victoria you do not need to be licensed. Even to train and compete you don’t need to get a paintball license. Ultimately when you do play competition paintball however you will eventually want to buy a paintball marker of your own and that is where the license kicks in.

If you want to own a paintball marker in Victoria you need to get your paintball marker license. The application can be downloaded from the Victoria Police Website. To support the application you will also need to have 2 supporting pieces. You will need to have proof of the safety course as well as a genuine reason for holding the license.

Safety Course
As far as the safety course goes, Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne is well equipped to help with. Currently we are running the courses every couple of weeks and you can give us a call to express your interest. The Paintball safety course goes for about 1 – 1.5 hrs and we generally cater for 2-8 people at a time. The safety course involves a video, a discussion on the safety of paintball and a multiple choice test at the end. At Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne we also include a run down on compressed air safety, paintball gas bottles including refilling and velocity checking (chronographing) of paintball markers. We will also discuss factors such as the storage and transportation requirements.

Genuine Reason for holding a Paintball Marker License
There are 2 easy ways to justify your paintball marker license. One is a letter of support from a paintball field. While this one is technically accepted it is not preferred as it is too open ended. The preferred option is to be a member of a Club as this has an expiry date and needs to be renewed. Very important – If you are a member of a paintball club, it is your responsibility to maintain the membership. If your membership lapses, this forms grounds to have your license cancelled.

Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne is expecting to have a club up and running by late September and in the interim, we can provide a letter to confirm that you are an active player. We will convert this to be a membership once we are established.

If you are interested in getting into paintball in Victoria please contact Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne on 0395683969 to find out when the next safety course will be.

Paintball to move to 16 in Victoria!

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paintball age drop to 16

Celebration as paintball prepares to lower the min age to 16

This week there was a major movement in the age limit legislation relating to paintball in Victoria. We have seen an amendment added to the Justice Legislation Bill 2015 – proposing the age for paintball ion Victoria will drop from 18 to 16.

As the Bill had already passed the lower house the time frame for implementation will be significantly reduced. From here the bill needs to be approved again in the lower house and then formally announced.

The lower house sits again from 9/6/2015 and we would expect the lower house to stamp it during that week. The time from there to the bill going live is unknown and generally happens with very little warning. We are hoping that at some stage in June we will run the first session of 16year olds.

If you are interested in being among the first 16 year olds to play paintball in Victoria email and we will contact you as soon as we know the first date we can run games for people under the age of 18.

This age drop is the first reduction in the age of paintball participants since the industry was established decades ago. We are extremely excited about the movement in the minimum age for paintball and look forward to opening up the world of paintball to many more people!

How Snipers Den chose their Melbourne Paintball location

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Prior to establishing Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne at the current Moorabbin location we looked at a number of options.

We considered opening an indoor venue but quickly decided that outdoor paintball was the better option. I explored outdoor vs indoor paintball in this previous blog post.

We decided that we wanted to be as close to the actual geographic center of Melbourne as possible. In Melbourne like many cities, the CBD is not actually the centre of Greater Melbourne. In Melbourne the CBD is closer to the Western side of the city meaning that the majority of people live in the suburbs to the East of the Melbourne CBD.

Choosing a Melbourne paintball location

Melbourne Geographic spread






















This led us to start in the Eastern Suburbs – as close to the middle of the population as possible. We managed to refine it to an area shown in this map…

Melbourne paintball locations

Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne – potential Melbourne locations



















We essentially decided that we would go no further than Springvale road and no further North than Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway around Blackburn. We looked closely around Clayton, Oakleigh, Bentley and Murrumbeena but was unable to find any suitable space and widened the search to the open areas through the market garden areas. These encompassed Heatherton, Dingley, Moorabbin, Braeside, and Mordialloc. We did not want to push any further out than Mordialloc. We originally discussed building a paintball field slightly North of the current paintball site that we operate.

When we stumbled across the land for lease at the current site we operate in Moorabbin we knew we had discovered the best location for Melbourne Paintball. It Still took 6 months of council applications and a further 6 months of site works to complete the site but we opened in August 2009 – ahead of schedule by a month.

The location has proved successful being the closest outdoor paintball venue to Melbourne CBD from both a distance and travel time perspective. We are amazed to have found a 7 acre site suitable for a paintball facility this central and it has lead to more and more customers enjoying the fields year on year.



Feb update on paintball age limit in Vic

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Sadly not a great piece of news relating to to the legislation looking to lower the age of paintball in Victoria.

We were officially notified today that the Justice Legislation Amendment (Firearms and other matters) Bill 2014 has officially lapsed. This means that it will not proceed in its present form.

Hon Wade Noonan MP has stated that he will continue to work with stakeholders in relation to firearms matters. Prior to the election he confirmed support for the lowering of the age limit and hopefully this is reflected in future bills as they are introduced.

What this means –
1. There is likely to be a significant delay to any change to the age limit as this now requires completely fresh legislation to be introduced.

2. We will continue to engage with Hon Wade Noonan MP in conjunction with PAVs, other organisations and individuals to assist in the development of legislation that will benefit the industry.

I will of course update you all on any fresh changes as they occur.



Snipers Den


What USA paintball can learn from Australia….

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Before I start there is a lot that is not perfect about paintball in Australia. For example each state has their own age limit, In Victoria you need to be over the age of 18, SA and WA are 12 and 16 in NSW. In Tasmania – we cant even play at all at this point!

We are also very restricted as far as what the paintball guns are able to be and do. For example as a general rule around Australia, the following are illegal…
1. Paintball Pistols
2. Folding stocks (fixed stocks are ok)
3. Magazines on the paintball markers (real or fake)
4. Full auto modes
5. With the exception of NSW – ramping.
6. Airsoft

There are also 2 very important restrictions that can be used as a case study for other areas of the world.

1. To own a paintball marker in Australia you need to hold a paintball license
2. Paintball can only be played at a recognised, registered paintball facility.

This is where the US can learn a few things from Victorian paintball.

Relax!! Before you panic, I am not suggesting that paintball in the US should be restricted in any way but by looking at the impact on Victorian Paintball is interesting.

The first thing to look at is the impact of the paintball licensing on the industry. One of the biggest factors people talk about in relation to the future of the sport is the recruitment and retention of new players. The biggest issues that appear repeatedly in paintball forums and facebook threads is one of the biggest problems people have is that generally the difference in skill level between a casual, recreational paintball player and a regular, competition level player is extremely high.

Now – to be completely honest I have never played paintball in the US but are under the impression that it is considered normal for a div 1 player to play on the same field as a new first time player with rental gear. This creates a dilemma for the more skilled player. On one hand they want to practice a the highest level that they are capable of. This can include cases of close bunkering and in some cases overshooting. On the other hand they don’t want to smash the person so badly that they don’t come back. Sadly I suspect that too often the personal motivation to win the game can outweigh the thoughts of the long term industry when the blood starts pumping. I highly suspect that this has contributed to the long term decline of paintball in the USA and around the world. Below is the google trend data showing the reduction of searches relating to paintball in the USA

paintball searches in US

Google Trend data for US searches of paintball

Now just in case that doesn’t scare you enough – have a look at the searches for paintball vs the searches for airsoft over the same time period. Paintball has not outperformed airsoft in any real way since pre-2009.

paintball vs airsoft

Paintball vs Airsoft searches in the US since 2004

Now there is always going to be a lot of banter between airsoft and paintball players but it is impossible to argue with the data. While airsoft has not ever reached the popularity that paintball dis pre-2004 it has managed to hold ground over the last 10 years while paintball has dropped dramatically.

Searches for paintball Aus vs US

Searches for paintball in US compared to Australia

Australia has been able to hold its overall popularity during the same period. And we did go through tough times with the GFC the same as the US. In fact the US currently has a lower unemployment rate compared to Australia in Jan 2015. (5.7% compared to 6.4%)

The big difference as far as I can tell is the separation of the 2 types of paintballers in Australia has lead to a more sustainable industry. Because you need to be licensed to own a paintball marker, they tend to train away from the general customers coming in for a birthday or a bucks party. This means that casual players play casually, with rental gear on an even playing field.

This is by far the most popular way to play paintball in Australia.

If a customer becomes interested in paintball as a sport they can come to a training session and see what it is about. We also find that due to a clear distinction in the types of customers, competition players are more likely to be inclusive of new players. They lend equipment, give advice and generally don’t bunker new players until they get used to the pace of the game.

Without any distinction between casual paintball and competition level competitors paintball in the US may continue to waver as new players are not willing to start in a sport with such a variety of skill levels on the field. Essentially it just isn’t fun to be dominated in any sport and when it happens in paintball – it hurts more then most.

In Summary – Separating new and experienced players helps in the following areas.

1. New players can play without fear of getting hurt or competing against vastly higher skilled players.

2. It helps identify players that wish to play a more competitive version of the sport

3. Players that wish to train at a higher level are playing against players that also want to participate as a sport rather than a hobby. This improves the skill level much more than if they were to practice against lower grade players


Another area that differs in Australian paintball is restriction on playing paintball away from a licensed venue. Every paintball field in Australia is registered and licensed and due to the fact that a paintball marker is considered a firearm, they are not allowed to be used outside these centers. This means that all training and competition as well as casual play occurs at these centers. At last count it is understood that there is approx 28 paintball fields servicing Melbourne.

There are legal supervision ratios – particularly for unlicensed players and this obviously increases the cost.

It also means that more money from training sessions as well as the casual sessions are funneled into established venues. Each venue competes and one of the most important ways is quality. The better the venue, the more customers and the better the venue gets.

In Summary on this point –

1. Always try to support an established venue with good fields and facilities.

2. Purchase your equipment there instead of online stores without an established paintball site

3. Expect to pay for the service. If fields are forced to compete on price alone, they wont be able to support paintball as a sport.


I would love some feedback on this but please help by sharing this post if you think that it is worth talking about.


Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne





Safety of Air and CO2 paintball tanks.

By | Paintball, Uncategorized | No Comments

An Unfortunate accident in the US is a timely reminder for all paintballers to respect air tanks and be very careful in how they are handled and repaired.

In the last week a Cherryville man died after an accident in his own home whilst trying to repair his CO2 Cylinder.
All paintballers in Australia should use this unfortunate incident to think about how they approach safety around compressed air and the potential risks involved.

According to the Charlotte observer, Neman Bated died whilst trying to apply tape to a leaking CO2 bottle in his kitchen. He suffered severe neck and chest injuries and was pronounced dead a short time later. Another person in the room also suffered minor injuries according to reports.

Whilst there are very few paintballers that still run CO2 this sort of issue could still occur if people fail to respect compressed air.

A warning went out to the scuba diving community a number of years ago when a wide range of scuba cylinders were found to be at risk of breaking and or exploding. This certainly has proven correct with several exploding since. There are many structural similarities between scuba and the air tanks used for paintball.

Exploding scuba tank

Example of exploding scuba tank

In most of these cases the flaw starts around the thread where the bottle meets the regulator. Once this area starts to fail the resulting explosion can occur at any time. Reading the articles on this unfortunate – it is quite possible that something similar happened to Neman Bates. If he was attempting to stop a leak with tape as reported the most likely place for this to occur is around the neck of the bottle.


There are some important rules when it comes to staying safe around Compressed air.


1. Respect it. It has been often said that a standard paintball tank has similar stored energy to a grenade. I am not sure if this is true or not but I certainly would not want to be around when somebody finds out. If something feels wrong – speak up and proceed with extreme caution. Repairing or maintaining compressed air equipment is not something to “have a crack at”.

2. If you are working on an air tank…. Depressurize it completely. I tend to assume that the gauge is also faulty and remove a burst disk to ensure that all is above board.

3. Do not modify any component of an air system outside the manufacturers instructions or guidelines. I am sure that people have been tempted to use a higher grade burst disk when it blows repeatedly but this could be the last line of defense against total failure of the bottle. When something goes wrong in a gas bottle the burst disk is designed to fail. If a burst disk continues o blow – chances are that there is something more serious going on.

4. Be careful what chemicals come into contact with your air tank. Most people are aware that you should not put oil near the air tank but this is only part of the problem. As a rule we refuse to have any petroleum based lubricants onsite – just in case. We only use innox on our rental markers as there is no petroleum base to the spray. WD40 – whilst great for home use should stay a long way from any compressed air device.

5. Check that your tanks are “in date”. As well as being a legal requirement in Victoria, it is also the best defense against unexpected failure. If you need a tank tested – give us a call and we will help arrange it. There have been several air tanks detected out of the required testing dates.

6. Watch our for your mates. Education is the absolute key here. If you see someone coming into the sport – make sure that they are aware of the danger posed by incorrect handling compressed air and CO2.


Please make sure that you take the time to pass this information on if you feel that it would be helpful.

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Mathew – Snipers Den Paintball Melbourne

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