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Paintball Safety – The Goggles/Barrel Sock Rule

One overwhelming concern for parents and new players when it comes to paintball is the issue of safety. Since it is a game where you are shooting at opponents, people think it must be inherently dangerous. However, paintball is statistically safer than golf or bowling, and that is greatly due to the safety equipment used; namely goggles and barrel socks.

The only way to get permanently injured is by getting shot in the eye. That is why fields are so strict about keeping goggles on when on the playing field. The goggles also work in conjunction with barrel socks, which stop accidental firing of the marker/gun.

The general rule is that EITHER a goggle system OR barrel sock must be on at all times, and sometimes both. When going onto the playing field, all masks must be on before any barrel socks are removed. When coming off the field, all barrel socks must go on before masks come off and/or players step off the field. To keep accidents to a minimum, most fields direct players to keep their barrel socks on even after masks are on and players are on the field, and only direct players to remove barrel socks as the game is about to begin.

The barrel sock is also the universal way of showing other players you are out. In bigger games, if a player is simply walking around with his barrel sock off, other players may not know he is out because he can still potentially shoot back. Putting on your barrel socks actively removes you from the game, and when other players ee it on your marker/gun, they know you are out and not to shoot again.

Remember “all socks off until all masks go on, and no masks off until all socks go on” and you will have a fun and safe paintball outing. Plus, you will keep the refs happy and on your side.