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Paintball FactX (6)

Monday, 09 September 2013 20:48

Paintball FactX #6

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Bob Gurnsey saw the potential that this new found game had after that first time they played as a group in 1981. Gurnsey had just lost his ski shop business and was in financial straits, but knew this paintball thing could be big. So he went to his closest friends Charles Gaines and Hayes Noel and asked them for financial backing to start a new company called the National Survival Game. Noel put up $20,000, and in addition to the startup money, paid Gurnsey $139 a week to work on the project. Gaines went to work on the public relations side of things. In the meantime, articles about the first group game of paintball ran in Sports Illustrated and Sports Afield, creating a buzz that Gurnsey was sure would help things get started.

Tuesday, 03 September 2013 19:08

Painball FactX #5: The First Female to Play Paintball

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If you were asked to name a few female paintball players you’d probably come up with names like Keely Watson, Bea Youngs, and maybe Karen Barber if you’re old school. But if you’re REALLY old school you might know that the first female to play paintball was none other than Governor George Wallace’s wife, Cornelia Wallace. The setting was Wilcox County, Alabama—this was Ronnie Simpkins’ territory and along with Gurnsey and Gaines, Simpkins brought a bunch of friends to this game. This was not just a “game” however. The purpose of this one was to see how much interest there would be in a commercial version of the first game played. Gurnsey, Gaines and Noel had already begun what would soon after become the National Survival Game. On the way to Alabama Gurnsey presented Gaines and Noel with the idea to run this event in a team format. He thought this would be the best way to market the game. He was outvoted by Gaines and Noel at first, but eventually they did play five-man teams games which were a huge hit with the players.

Monday, 26 August 2013 11:47

FactX #4: First Multi Player Game

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You have to figure that in the eleven years between the time the paintgun was invented in 1970 and the first recorded game was played in 1981, there were probably other instances where people shot each other with those oil-based balls using Nelspots. It’s hard to imagine that in seven years of forestry work no one “accidentally” fired a shot at a coworker in the field. But like the first recorded basketball game 90 years earlier in 1891, the only one that really matters is the game that is documented.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 13:06

FactX #3: The REAL 1st Game

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“Before we ever played that first game, Hayes and I each wrapped towels around our waists and shot each other to see how badly it would hurt. Hayes shot first and missed. Then I shot him in the butt. Once we realized it was going to be fairly safe, we talked about playing our first one-on-one game. We wrote some simple rules, went into the woods and played a 45-minute game.

Monday, 12 August 2013 21:11

Paintball FactX #2 - The Dream

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Charles Gaines’ preface in “The Official Survival Game Manual” tells one story--years later he remembered the early days slightly differently. Bob Gurnsey confirmed most of Gaines’ story but will also give you a slightly different version. To piece this story together we spoke directly to Gaines and Gurnsey, as well as Debra Dion Krischke, who was there for much of the beginnings. We also interviewed several other people that were there in the beginning.

Monday, 12 August 2013 20:57

Paintbal FactX #1 - The First Paint Gun

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Paintbal FactX #1

Summer 1970-1974
(U.S. patent 3,788, 298 issued on January 29, 1974)
Long Before the First Game Was Played, the Nelspot Marker and the “Paint-Ball”* Were Invented

While the first game of paintball wasn’t played until 1981, 1970 was surely a year that was important in the history of the sport. That was the year the Nelspot, the first paintball marker was designed.

What was the first paintgun you ever played with? For many players it was a semiautomatic. For some it may have even been an electronic marker capable of firing 20-plus non-toxic, biodegradable balls per second. It wasn’t that easy for those that played in the early 1980s though.





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