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Speedball is a team game usually involving 3, 5 or 7 players per team. Speedball is normally characterized by a smaller playing field, inflatable bunkers, and a short game time. Players also wear different attire. Speedballers do not need to wear camouflage, so they opt to wear brightly colored jerseys and pants. Tournament speedball usually entails a points system, but varies from league to league. In the NPPL, opposing flag format, points are awarded for staying in the game the whole round, shooting someone out, grabbing the flag, and hanging the flag. PSP is "center flag" format, meaning that there is a flag in the center of the field on the 50-yard line. A team is a awarded a point every time the flag is captured and hung on the opposing teams start box. Contrary to some beliefs, any type of marker is eligible for competition in this format, but the most common are markers with electronic trigger/firing systems. Such markers may be capable of rates of fire reaching or exceeding 20 paintballs per second using electronically assisted firing modes.


Speedball Paintball is a form of paintball where two teams face each other on a small, bunker-filled playing field. Because of the close quarters, action between teams is immediate and usually lasts the entire game. Speedball is a distinct form of paintball in which the playing field is comprised of bunkers in identical number and arrangement on both sides thereby creating an equal playing field for each competing team. Paintball, in the past, has been thought of as a recreational activity but speedball, with its organization, has turned it into a true sport. Professional speedball teams are characterized by athleticism, coaching, team practices, corporate endorsements, extensive media coverage, and a dedicated fan following. There are a variety of paintball leagues that employ speedball as their format for tournaments. Two of the main national leagues are the NPPL (National Professional Paintball League) and the PSP which owns the professional Xball league the NXL.


In the 1980s and 90s, tournament paintball was strictly played in the woods. Because of different terrains the playing field was different at every park. However, a popular playing field in Southern California called SC Village featured a field bereft of trees or natural cover and merely contained roofless plywood buildings. This was a favorite location of many players because of its fast paced action. This is what started a new format of paintball that became known as speedball. The field was tweaked and worked with to adjust to players liking until 1996 when the first fully inflatable field was unveiled by Brass Eagle. This type of field would eventually be phased into most tournament paintball leagues in the United States.