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Winning At Speedball: 4 Basic Rules

by Ryan Winslow [January 24, 2012]

Speedball is a fast-paced style of paintball played on smaller fields with very defined bunkers. Speedball bunkers are either inflatable bunkers (airball) or corrugated tubing (hyperball). The most popular format worldwide is 5-man, where two teams of five play elimination style. The major difference between speedball and other forms of paintball is that speedball demands teamwork, rewards technique, and swiftly punishes the weak.

Four basic rules are outlined below; they should help both novice players and hardened tournament players.

1: Walk the field.
Take the time to get on the field and get a feel for the layout prior to playing your first game. Doing this will greatly improve your field awareness. Check out open lanes, find out where you want your players to be shooting at the beginning of the game. Figure out which bunkers are vital; Some bunkers look appealing, but often are of little use and should be avoided.  If the field has a snake, get in it! The snake is consistently the most important bunker grouping, and players should know the strengths and weaknesses of a snake before getting in one. A few minutes on the field in between games can be a huge advantage, so make sure to walk the field.

2: Make a plan.
This one sounds simple, but is often overlooked, even by experienced players. Whether you are playing with walk-on players, or playing with your teammates, you need to have a plan! Make sure every player knows exactly what bunker he or she is going to off the break. It can be useful to determine secondary moves as well (like determining who is going to the snake if no one is off the break). Let the players in the back know what you would like them to do. Tell the snake player how aggressive he or she should be. Ask all the players how they would like to play the game, you may be surprised how a team comes together when they play together. So make sure you have a plan before you start the game.

3: Stay alive.
Speedball players should always avoid getting shot unless they simply cannot help it. There is a huge advantage to having more players than the other team, and it is rare for teams down more than one player to win a game of speedball. The main way to not get shot is to stay tight. Avoid the sloppy elbow, tilted hopper, or exposed foot. Players commonly get hit while shooting at someone who is already shooting at them. Although there are times when this is appropriate, generally it is best to try and find a fresh target when you come under fire. Play both the right and the left side of your bunker, too many players only play with their dominant hand. This is especially important for snake players; Stay alive, and remain a threat.

4: Keep your gun up.
If you put your gun down, you are missing opportunities to shoot other players. Players are extremely vulnerable when moving, without the protection of their bunkers. They only expose themselves like this for a moment, and players that have their guns up at all times have a much better chance of seizing such opportunities. Most experienced tournament players will only put their guns down if they have to sprint to a key corner bunker. You can run with your gun up as well, nothing feels as good as a well placed shot while running.

In conclusion, take some time to walk the field before you play. Take the initiative to make your team work as a coherent group. Play smart, and try to play defensively until you have the advantage. Lastly, keep your gun up while you play so you donít miss any chances to shoot someone.

About the Author:
Ryan Winslow works for a major paintball field in the USA.