Do Gun Hits Count in Paintball

Paintball is an exciting outdoor sport where players shoot at each other with paintball markers powered by compressed air. When you get hit by a paintball, it breaks and leaves a colored mark on your clothing or gear. But do these gun hits actually count in the game?

How Hits Are Scored in Paintball

  • In most recreational and tournament paintball games, any hit from a paintball shot by an opponent’s marker counts. As long as the paintball breaks and leaves a mark on you, it is considered a valid hit.
  • Hits count regardless of where you are struck – whether it’s your body, head, gun, or gear. As long as the paint mark is identifiable, it is scored as a hit.
  • You may continue playing if a paintball bounces off you without breaking. But if it leaves any mark, no matter how small, it counts as a hit. Splatter hits count.
  • In scenarios with multiple players on each team, hits count for eliminating individual players. Once marked, a player is out of that game.
  • In speedball matches with smaller teams, hits count towards eliminating the entire opposing team. The first team to fully eliminate their opponents wins the match.

When Hits Don’t Count in Paintball

  • If a paintball breaks on your marker or gear but does not leave a mark on your body or clothing, it does not count as a hit. This is known as a wipe.
  • Paintballs that break on the ground, obstacles, or scenery do not count as hits. The paintballs have to actually strike the opposing players.
  • In recreational games, it is common to disregard hits to the marker or hopper. This avoids penalizing players for equipment mistakes. However, markers and hoppers are valid targets in competitive tournaments.
  • If two opposing players hit each other simultaneously, the hits may be disregarded and the players allowed to continue, depending on the particular game’s rules.
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Methods for Preventing and Verifying Hits

  • Wearing thick clothing helps prevent splatter hits from breaking on your skin. But excessive padding is usually not allowed.
  • Keeping your marker pointed downfield helps prevent hits on your equipment from opponents’ bounce shots.
  • Carrying a towel allows you to immediately wipe paint off your clothing, preventing staining and verifying if it was a valid hit.
  • Having judges or referees on the field ensures impartial rulings on contested or borderline hits. Their decisions are final.


In paintball, the standard rule is that any hit from an opponent’s marker that leaves a paint mark counts for elimination or scoring. Understanding what constitutes a valid hit is key to playing the sport fairly and successfully. So unless the paintball clearly bounces or misses you, assume you’re hit!

FAQ About Hits in Paintball

Q: Can you wipe off hits in paintball?

A: You cannot wipe hits off your body or clothing. But you may be able to quickly wipe paint off your gear between points as long as it did not mark you.

Q: Do ricochet shots count as hits in paintball?

A: No, paintballs that bounce off objects and then hit opponents do not count as valid hits in most paintball rules. The ball must directly strike the player.

Q: Can you block hits with your paintball marker?

A: Hits on your marker or hopper do not count in recreational play but usually do in competitive tournaments. It’s best not to use your equipment to block hits.

Q: Do headshots count in paintball?

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A: Yes, hits anywhere on the head or mask count the same as hits on the body in paintball. Headshots do not cause increased damage or have any special effect on scoring.

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