Paintballers hope to unite Luzerne County
First Posted: 5/28/2013
The mulch crunches under your feet.
All you can hear is your own breathing, resonating inside your face mask.
You hold the gun steady, finger ready on the trigger, as the silence fills in – before it’s shattered by a bevy of popping sounds, all of which produce enormous splatters of paint on the structure in front of you or, if you aren’t lucky, your own clothing.
Paintball has popped up in Wyoming, and those running the establishment can’t wait to share the experience with veteran players and newbies alike.
Luzerne County Paintball is a 10,000 square foot facility with a paintball field that measures 80 by 65 feet.
“It’s a lot more fast-paced than if you were outside,” Chuck Malin, who is in charge of promotions at LCP, said. “Here, it’s speedball, particularly when you have a bunch of semi or really experienced paintballers. However, if you’re a newbie to the sport, it’s also the perfect place to play.”
The field is adorned with 20 air-filled structures that provide coverage for players. Construction is currently being finished on the upper level to the field, where those not playing can observe the games.
“We are also constructing a party room,” Malin said. “If you want to have a birthday party, bachelor party, bring some snacks, you can certainly do that up here.”
10 years old is the minimum age for players, and there can be up to 20 players on the field at a time.
Game styles can vary, from capture the flag to simply shooting until there’s one man standing. It’s all up to those playing.
And what of the one topic that always comes up when paintball is on the table: how much does it hurt?
“Like a rubber band snap,” Malin said.
“It all depends on how close you are,” added J.J. Williams, the son of LCP owner Jay Williams, “and we try not to let people get too close.”
Paintball guns can shoot balls at up to 300 feet per second, but Williams said the rental guns are set at lower than 240 feet per second.
There’s also another way to avoid the sting.
“Wear baggy clothes,” Malin suggested. “If you wear something skin tight, when you get hit, it’s going to sting. The baggy clothes will absorb some of the shock.”
The number one priority at LCP is safety. Malin said in the time he’s worked in the industry, he’s only ever had a banged-up knee happen to a player.
“We will definitely yell at you if you pull your mask off,” Malin said of the rules at LCP. “It’s nothing personal, but it’s the fact that your eyes, well, you cannot replace them.”
LCP is looking to work with local charities to hold events, would like to start a paintball league in August, and has even entertained the thought of converting to laser tag if possible.
“We want to get out there and be a part of the community,” Malin said. “Paintball players are great, they have big hearts, and we’d love to be able to show that through helping others out in doing what we love.”
All in all, paintball is just fun.
“I really just fell into it,” Malin said, with Williams nodding in agreement. “A bunch of friends just asked me to play one day, I did, and I haven’t stopped since.”