A Paintball Light Infantry Primer
A first game of paintball is usually like nothing a person has participated in before. The initial plan, complete confusion, and being under paintball fire for the first time combine to give a newbie an experience they will never forget.
As they gain experience, they will improve. They will learn that the sting of the paintball is a small penalty for victory. Their personal skill will improve dramatically as they learn the lessons that make better players. Inevitably most players will find themselves a team to play and compete with. After a few tournaments, some will realize that tournaments do not satisfy their desire for something more. The advent of the big game finally gives those of us dissatisfied with tournaments the opportunity to play paintball and enjoy fully the fantasy of it. If there are those that believe we are crazy, they should first speak to the two hundred thousand Civil War Reenactors in the United States today.
A players first big game is often accompanied by an epiphany that goes something like this is what I wanted! After the initial game, these players will want more. They will take their friends and form a rec-ball team. This improves their experience, but some still want more. Paintball big games are still tied down by the five or ten man tournament teams that have existed for years. Often these teams are well organized among themselves with codes and hand signals, but lack sufficient manpower, training, and organization to properly execute scenario objectives. The formation of the Paintball Light Infantry is a way to standardize the way these five and ten man teams communicate, think, and act to further the paintball experience for all.
There are those who have said that paintball is just for fun, some self styled general who tries to tell me what to do when I play just ticks me off! If you are one of these people, you have picked the wrong organization to join. While leaders in the unit are encouraged to use their mens personal skills, orders and` missions are issued for a reason not always apparent to the individual player. It is imperative to follow these orders. The PLI is not by design a military organization, but some principles of leadership and ideas used by the military can be adapted to work in paintball. Players who do not want to experience the fantasy of belonging to a larger organization or being held to a higher standard are encouraged not to join.
The PLI was formed to give everyone the opportunity to lead, not to allow a few to enjoy the privileges of command. As anyone who has lead at a large event will tell you, it is much more fun to be a grunt than to be in charge. As such the issue of leadership is addressed in the by-laws of the unit. Leaders must insure the safety of their men, and be sure the game stays fun for all.
The procedures, tactics and information used by the PLI come from the guides of many of the best paintball teams, military units, and years of rec ball experience. They have been analyzed and adapted specifically for paintball. In some cases they were simply adopted with few changes, in others they required a nearly complete rewrite. Our hand signals use American Sign Language and our radio codes and procedures are adopted from law enforcement. This adaptation of systems allows us to take the best of what has been used around the world and adapt it to the game. It will make you a better player, a better leader, and ultimately improve your and your teams' paintball experience.
Paintball is not and never will be combat, it is a game that everyone walks away from. It is not the intent of the PLI or ANY paintball player to minimize the sacrifices of those that have fought and died for our nation by playing war or lost their lives on the streets of our nation protecting our homes and lives from crime. The veterans of this country, both military and Llaw enforcement, who have fought and died so we could have the freedoms we do today will always deserve our upmost respect and love.
You have joined the PLI to be a part of the newest paintball trend, the next step in paintball evolution: The PAINTBALL MEGA-TEAM. Our organization and dedication willl set the standard for other megateams to folow. We encourage you to check out the PLI, but whatever your decision we welcome you to a larger world of paintball. See you on the field.