The Pittsburgh area is experiencing an explosive growth of recreational paintball events and tournaments this year.
The Pittsburgh area has over 1,100 registered players, according to the PAPA Paintball Association.
While the number is up from last year, they still account for less than one percent of the league’s players.
The number of events is up nearly 25 percent from last season, and the number of tournament sites are up a whopping 75 percent.
This is all part of the city’s growing appeal as an indoor/outdoor recreation destination.
The PAPA’s Paintball Area Coordinator, Rob DeMarco, says it is hard to explain how the community has gotten so much love for this sport in such a short amount of time.
The game itself has also gotten bigger and better, he says.
In 2015, there were fewer than 500 paintball fields in the area.
By the end of last year that number was over 5,000.
This year it’s expected to be at least 6,000 and the league is aiming to increase that to as many as 9,000 by the end in 2019.
Paintball fields are big, with an average size of more than 2,000 square feet, DeMarco says.
And that’s a lot of space to play a game like paintball.
There’s also a lot more equipment available than last year.
There are now paintball helmets and gear, including a variety of weapons to keep your players safe.
DeMarco also notes that a new league will start this fall in the city, which will be known as PAPA-PaintBALL, for Paintball Action.
The first season will be in October, but the league plans to expand to more events throughout the summer and fall.
The city is also expanding its outdoor recreation, including the annual Pittsburgh Paintball Festival, which kicks off the second week of July.
The event will be held at the Pittsburgh Sports Arena.
The PAPA has set up an online application to be used by participants in order to register and to receive discounted tickets to the festival.
“I think it’s a testament to the city and the state of Pennsylvania that they are willing to take that risk and allow people to participate in a sport that is so new to the state,” DeMarco said.
For all the activity in the paintball world, it’s still an underground game.
DeMario says the Pittsburgh area’s popularity is mostly due to the fact that it’s such a new sport.
“We know there’s a lack of resources, the lack of awareness, the low skill level of people playing it, and that’s going to continue,” he said.
DeMarco says the PAPS is also looking to expand its outdoor tournaments in the future, but he cautions that the city is still in its infancy.
He says it’s too early to tell if those events will be a success or not.
“It’s still a new thing and it’s not the kind of thing that we’re looking to grow.
We want to continue to be a destination, and there’s so many other events happening in the community that we want to keep that momentum going.
We don’t want to get into a frenzy or panic mode.”
He also said there are some issues with the PAPAP rules that will need to be worked out in the coming months.
The league is looking for a way to work out rules to prevent people from being disqualified or banned from events for being a player.
He also said it is imperative that all PAPA members are playing to a maximum of 20 players in the league.
“There are things that are going to need to change.
That’s why we’ve started a website called the PAPL, where we can track our progress and try to get things done,” DeLucas said.