Sunyjim's Paintball Club


Paintball Statistics

Who we are, and injuries in the game


Durty Dan's Article on Injuries Per 1000 Players
NOTE: These stats were collected in the late eighties, but my sources in the insurance industry assure me that they are still applicable today. These injury statistics were collected thru a collaboration of insurance companies and national medical associations. The injury was only tabulated if it required medical attention or caused the person inured to lose at least one day of work.

Archery 0.66 PAINTBALL GAMES 0.31 Baseball 27.67
Basketball 22.04 Bicycle Riding 11.30 Boating 0.92
Basketball 22.04 Bicycle Riding 11.30 Lacrosse 224.5
Bowling 0.50 Boxing 11.34 Fishing 1.37
Football 27.50 Golf 1.13 Gymnastics 7.13
Hockey 12.46 Ice Skating 2.79 Lacrosse 223.79
Rugby 23.14 Soccer 10.54 Snow Skiing 3.44
Snowmobiling 2.86 Swimming 1.30 Tennis 1.09
Volleyball 4.43 Water Skiing 1.90 Wrestling 27.37

As you can see, your chances of getting injured, playing other sports, is surprisingly high. The only sports that scored below 1 per 1000 injured were bowling and boating and paintball is still more safe that both!

Someone e-mailed me and informed me that lately (early 2000) there have been sporadic media reports that eye injuries in paintball have increased.

This increase is not indicative of paintball becoming more dangerous -- as alarmists would have you believe. The PERCENTAGE of injuries has not changed, but if more people play the NUMBER of injuries would logically increase. Your odds of getting an eye injury in paintball are still as low as it has been since 1988.


Paintball Participation Trends Are Up

Paintball Facts 2005

Paintball now up to 10.4 million players according to the SGMA, now with more players than: baseball (10.3 million), water skiing (7.3 million), tackle football (5.8 million), racquetball (4.9 million), fast-pitch softball (3.5 million), and surfing (2.7 million).
  And still behind Bowling (53.5 million), Freshwater Fishing (42.1 million), Running/Jogging (37.8 million), Basketball (32.0 million) Golf ( 25.7 million), Tennis (18.3 million), Hunting  (18.0 million), Inline Skating (16.5 million), Outdoor Soccer (15.8 million), Ice skating (14.6 million), touch football (14.1 million), slow-pitch softball (12.9 million), skateboarding (11.4 million),

Paintball Facts  2004

According to reports released this year by SGMA International, paintball is one the most popular extreme sports in the country, with 9,640,000 people playing in 2004. Of the “extreme” sports, only inline skating and skateboarding had more participants.
Since 1998, overall paintball participation (age 6 and older) in the U.S. has risen 60%:
  • 1998 – 5.9 million
  • 1999 – 6.4 million
  • 2000 – 7.1 million
  • 2001 – 7.7 million
  • 2002 – 8.7 million
  • 2003 - 9.8 million
  • 2004 - 9.6 million

True, player participation was down a bit in 2004 from 2003, but paintball was still more popular than sports like snowboarding, mountain biking. Paintball is hot even for traditional sports -- it's played by more people than tackle football (5.4 million) and nearly as much as that All-American pastime, baseball (9.7 million)!
Players spend beaucoup bucks -- $390 million on paintball equipment in 2003. Three out of four players are online – which means a great opportunity for people to share their
opinions and experiences with other players.

What’s up with this?

  • Nearly half (49%) of frequent paintball players live in the South! Everyone else, wake up and get out on the field!
  • Female participation is basically unchanged since 1998. Guys, encourage the ladies to get out on the paintball field! Or are you too afraid of girls kicking your butt?
October 21, 2002
What was extreme' is now becoming mainstream. That appears to be the case if you check the latest stats from SGMA International, (conducted by American Sports Data, Inc.).

Since SGMA International started tracking paintball participation in 1998, there's been a steady upward climb - 5.923 million participants in 1998; 6.364 million participants in 1999; 7.121 million participants in 2000; and 7.678 participants in 2001. This equates to a 29.6% increase in overall participation from 1998 to 2001. The number of frequent (15+ days per year) participants also increased from 793,000 in 1998 to 1.414 million in 2001 - a 78% increase.

Listed below are some other relevant facts on paintball's frequent participants.

  • It's a man's world. 85% of frequent paintball players are male.
  • Youth reigns. Nearly 90% of frequent paintball players are aged 12-24. The average age is 17.9.
  • Financial Factoid. The average household income is $48,200 for frequent paintball participants.
  • Where are they? The South and North Central parts of the country have the most frequent paintball players - 41% live in the South and nearly 35% live in the North Central part of the country.
  • Small Town U.S.A. Thirty-six percent of all frequent paintballers live areas with less than 100,000 population. The second largest concentration of paintballers live in metropolitan areas with more than two million people.

    SGMA is the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association

The Psychological Profile of a Paintballer -Durty Dan


Now, I am not a psychoanalyst. I have no formal training in how the human mind works. (Except for a Criminal Psychology course I took a few years ago.)

What I am is a person who has always been innately curious about why people do the things they do. It has been a lifetime hobby of mine.

In my Criminal Psych Course they taught us how the FBI complete psychological profiles on criminals they haven't even met. In all the cases, they have been ninety percent correct. They developed the system of profiling by interviewing convicted serial killers in order to establish the personality type that commits these types of crimes.

I've done the same thing. Although I didn't know it at the time. (Not with serial killers, silly -- with paintballers.) I feel I can now accurately profile a paintballer as I have literally talked to hundreds of them. So now I feel reasonably sure that my Paintballer Profile is accurate. (Besides, I know just enough of about psychology to be dangerous.)

Let me begin by describing what type of person DOES NOT play paintball. These people include, sociopaths, psychopaths and other pathologically effected individuals. Paintball is not 'real' enough for those who have severe behavioral defects. They go out and enact their fantasies in REAL LIFE, as frightening as that is. Paintball holds no thrill for them. (You have to realize that the rules in paintball are designed specifically so players DO NOT get hurt. This defeats the purpose for those with severe behavioral problems.) Therefore: the Game does not attract that segment of society. Neither does it cause, nor promote, that type of abhorrent behaviour in the rest of normally functioning members of society.

So what is the Paintball Profile? Well, we all realize that paintball is not for everybody. Some people have tried it, had fun, but simply stated, "It's not for me". This is because those particular people did not have the personality type, or the profile, that lent itself well to the Game.

Now, these are generalities and will not fit every individual player. For the most part, I feel that the following points apply to the vast majority.


Above all else, this profile is emotionally and mentally stable. They may not have the perfect life, but can handle adversity quite well. They are not devoid of the capacity to be effected by adversity, they are simply the type that will not allow this capacity to cripple them into inaction.


They are adaptable people who can react to any given situation. They may not chose the right way, but they are capable of making a decision. As I have learned in the military, being able to make a decision (even the wrong one) is better than not be able to make one at all.


This personality type is made up of aggressive people. Not in the negative manner, but in the positive application of aggression. (It does exist.) They will assert themselves in a manner that will achieve their goal, but not to the point where someone will get hurt. These are the people who are known for 'getting the job done'.


This profile will perform well under stressful situations. The proof of this is simple. Deep within your brain is the most primitive and ancient part of the human body. It controls what we know as the 'fight or flight' response. The really neat thing about this reaction is that it is automatic, and you have no control over it. It is a basic survival mechanism we required before our species developed the capability for abstract reasoning. This primitive core does not understand the difference between fantasy and reality. It access the 'threat' and reacts to it. You will either stand and fight, or curl up into a little ball. You can condition your responses to situations that the brain perceives as a threat. (However, those who do not have the natural tendency to fight will have to work harder at dealing with the stressor. They can master it, but it will take time and work.)


This profile also holds a great contradiction. They are fierce individualists who can easily group together and play as a cohesive unit. The military accomplishes this, but it takes a vast amount of training to accomplish it (I know, I've been there). This profile does everything they can to make themselves look unique. There is always at least one intentionally styled aspect of their overall appearance that sets them apart from the crowd. This same profile, however, readily becomes an intrinsic part of the team, willing to sacrifice some individual action and thought for the greater good of the group.

Paintball players don't seem so bad now, do they?


Paintball, we came we saw... and SPLAT!