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New battleground for paintballers

6 Nov 2009 | Lance Cpl. Andrew Thorburn

Dirt and paint flew while sweat rolled off faces and fogged up protective masks as paintballers ran for cover at The Paintball Park at 29 Palms aboard the Combat Center  Nov. 3.

Paintballers have been coming here every weekend for an adrenaline rush since the park opened July 1 behind the Outdoor Adventures building.

“We started out [this year] with few customers because of the heat, but since the weather has been cooling down, the number of players per week has increased to 60 to 80 depending on payday,” said Travis Runyan, the general manager of the paintball park. “We also have about 15-20 regulars who are cold-hearted paintballers.”

The park is not very big. It only has one field with wooden buildings and a small tower in the middle for the referee, but park officials plan to construct eight other fields if approved.

“It took about two weeks for us to build the park and set it up,” Runyan said. “We also found Chris [Moore] who just showed up and started to help out, when we started to build the field.”

Every weekend the park has Alexis Wilson and Moore working in the shop, who have all the necessary knowledge about the park and make sure the paintballers have all the equipment they need.

On weekends, the park is open to walk-ins as well as private parties. The private parties may call to make reservations during the week, if they give at least a full week’s notice.

The park only has two rules: participants must wear full face protection while in the field area, and they must have the barrel plug in the gun when in the preparation area.To keep the games fair, the park classifies players into three different levels based on their individual skills: beginner, intermediate and expert.

“If we can’t keep the levels in different games, then we try our best to even out the teams so everyone can have a good time,” Moore said.

Private groups can alter 20 different types of games. If the general manager happens to like the rules of a new game, it may be added to the gaming list.

The gear and rental shop has plenty of equipment for players who do not own their own including clothes, paintball guns, face masks, body protection and attachable pouches for more advanced equipment. If the shop does not have the gear, a catalog is available at the front desk so players can order straight from the suppliers.

The park has worked with military units, community organizations and private parties for training, special activities and team building exercises.

“We have been at every event on base with a small tent and paintball gun filled with rubber paintballs,” Runyan said. “We do this to promote the new park on base so kids can have the opportunity to hold a paintball gun.”

For more information about “The Paintball Park at 29 Palms” visit the Web site or call at (866) 985-4932.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms