Title:
Paintball game rules and scoring system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and playing field for a competitive paintball game that increases the amount of action occurring during the game period, and the enjoyment of the spectators. The playing surface for the paintball competition includes a pair of opposite end lines of the playing surface, each of which is defended by an opposing team. The playing surface includes a series of field bunkers positioned along the playing surface. The paintball competition is played for a predetermined match time divided into separate periods. During each period, each of the opposing teams attempts to obtain the flag located in the center of the playing surfaces and carry the flag past the opposing team's end line before being shot by a paintball. When one of the paintball teams scores, a point is awarded to the scoring team and a new game begins, a match consisting of a plurality of games. The flag may be passed between members of each team during the game play. A series of different penalties are assessed to each of the teams during game play based upon violations of the rules under which the paintball competition is run. Upon receiving a penalty, the penalized player must leave the playing surface and remain within a penalty box for the penalty period.



Inventors:
Italia, Richmond (Quebec, CA)
Application Number:
10/164391
Publication Date:
12/11/2003
Filing Date:
06/10/2002
Assignee:
ITALIA RICHMOND
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B67/00; (IPC1-7): A63B67/00
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHMOND ITALIA (ILE BIZARD, QC, CA)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A method of playing a paintball game between a first team of players and a second team of players, wherein each player has a paintball gun for discharging paintballs, the method comprising the steps of: providing a playing surface having a first end line and a second, opposing end line, with a flag placed in the exact center of the playing surface; positioning the first team of players near the first end line, the first team having the objective to score points by obtaining the flag and carrying said flag past the second end line before being shot by one of the second team players; positioning the second team of players near the second end line, the second team having the objective to score points by obtaining the flag and carrying said flag past the first end line before being shot by one of the first team players; awarding a point to the first team to carry the flag past the other teams end line, whereupon a new game begins with the same objective, a match consisting of a plurality of games contained in the time period of the match; and determining a winning team based on which of the first team and the second team accumulates the largest point total over a predetermined match time.

2. The method of claim 1 further comprising the step of distributing a plurality of bunkers on the playing surface, the bunkers being placed on the playing surface.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein the bunkers are generally equally distributed throughout the plurality of zones.

4. The method of claim 1 further comprising the steps of: dividing the game time into a plurality of individual periods, each period having a predetermined time limit; and repositioning each of the first and second teams near the end lines at the completion of each period.

5. The method of claim 1 further comprising the step of repositioning both the first team and the second team near the respective end lines each time a player from one of the teams scores by crossing the goal carrying the team flag.

6. The method of claim 1 further comprising the step of removing a player from the playing surface when the player is shot by a paintball.

7. The method of claim 6 further comprising the step of repositioning the players from the first team and the second team near the respective end lines after a player from one of the teams scores by crossing the goal carrying the team flag, including repositioning the players previously eliminated by being shot.

8. The method of claim 1 further comprising the steps of: removing a player from the playing field for a penalty period when the player commits a penalty infraction, the penalty period being less than the game time; and returning the penalized player to the playing field only upon expiration of the penalty period.

9. A method of playing a paintball game between a first team of players and a second team of players, wherein each player has a paintball gun for discharging paintballs, the method comprising the steps of: providing a playing surface having a first end line and a second, opposing end line, with a flag placed in the exact center of the playing surface; positioning the first team of players near the first end line, the first team having the objective to score points by obtaining the flag and carrying said flag past the second end line before being shot by one of the second team players; positioning the second team of players near the second end line, the second team having the objective to score points by obtaining the flag and carrying said flag past the first end line before being shot by one of the first team players; removing the players from the playing surface when the player is hit by a paintball; removing the players from the playing field for a penalty period when the player commits a penalty infraction; repositioning the players from both the first team and the second team near the respective end lines after a player from either the first team or the second team scores by crossing the goal carrying the respective team flag; resuming the paintball game after the players have been repositioned near the respective end lines; awarding a point to the first team to carry the flag past the other teams end line, whereupon a new game begins with the same objective, a match consisting of a plurality of games contained in the time period of the match; and determining a winning team based on which of the first team and the second team accumulates the largest point total over a predetermined match time.

10. The method of claim 9 further comprising the step of distributing a plurality of bunkers on the playing surface, the bunkers being placed in each of the zones on the playing surface.

11. The method of claim 9 further comprising the steps of: dividing the game time into a plurality of individual periods, each period having a predetermined time limit; repositioning each of the first and second teams near their respective end lines at the completion of each period; and resuming the paintball game after the players have been repositioned near their respective end lines.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising the step of returning the players hit by a paintball to the paintball game upon the resumption of the paintball game after a score and after the completion of each period.

13. The method of claim 11 further comprising the placement of a command tower on the side line of the playing surface, said command tower having an attached scoreboard to display the game scores, time remaining in the game, time remaining in a play stoppage, penalty times, and speed of paintballs when measured by judges by use of a chronograph which transmits its recorded speed to a display on the scoreboard.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a method of playing competitive paintball, and a scoring system for such matches.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Paintball games have been played in various forms for many years, and generally include two opposing teams of players of varying numbers, each with a paintball marker. The paintball markers use compressed gas to propel paint-filled gelatin capsules at players on the opposing team. A player hit by such a missile is marked by the paint and immediately eliminated.

[0003] Currently, paintball competitions are played using one of two basic formats—“center flag” or “dual flag”. In a center flag competition, a single flag is hung at the middle of the playing field. Two competing teams start from different ends of the playing field and attempt to capture the flag and carry it to their opponent's flag station on the opposite end of the field. In the dual flag system, each of the opposing teams begins the game at opposite ends of the field with their team's flag hanging at their own flag station. The object of the game for each team is to capture the opposing team's flag and return it to their team's station while at the same time protecting their team's flag from capture from the opposing team. In each of these games, a team player is eliminated by being shot by a paintball.

[0004] In the conventional paintball games described above, points are typically awarded for the number of opponents eliminated during the game and for the first team to grab the opponent's flag, with additional points being given to the first team to hang their opponent's flag in the proper station. Each paintball match is played until one of the teams captures their opponent's flag and returns it to the proper flag station, or until the game time expires. Since points are awarded to both teams based on the number of opponents eliminated, a premium is placed on avoiding elimination. One disadvantage of this method of play is that it encourages conservative play, since if a player gets eliminated, the player is giving points to the opposing team, regardless of which team is successful in capturing the flag. Therefore, paintball games typically evolve into a series of long-range shooting duels, frequently with little or no action for long periods of time, making the game of little interest to spectators.

[0005] However, the main disadvantage of this method of play is that the scoring system is often difficult for spectators to follow, and such parties often have little or no idea what is going on in the game while it is proceeding. These disadvantages have kept the sport of paintball from attracting large numbers of spectators or television broadcasts of competitive tournaments.

[0006] There exists one recently developed game system that addresses the first disadvantage listed above, but which fails to adequately address the second. It provides for various penalties for improper game play and removes a player from the game for committing one of specified penalties. It places a time limit on the paintball game that is divided into several individual timed periods. Further, it provides for a paintball game that returns each team to full strength after each score and upon completion of each period, and provides for a set time limit as opposed to prior games having a varying time limit. These are all improvements over the prior art, but fail to go far enough to resolve many of the other disadvantages present in competitive paintball to date. Two main disadvantages remain in this system.

[0007] Firstly, it provides for a complex scoring system that rewards the scoring team for scoring a goal, while determining the number of points awarded based upon the position of the opponent's flag when the scoring team scores. Secondly, it also fails to make the details of game play, such as scoring, time remaining and penalties, easily accessible to spectators.

[0008] It is desirable to have a paintball game including a set of rules that encourages a fast-paced, high-scoring competition that allows viewers to follow the action and be entertained by risky and daring playing strategies. It is also desirable to have a scoring system and game play system that is simple, easy to follow and allows spectators to become involved in the game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention consists of a set of rules for playing competitive paintball, with a unique associated playing surface and simple scoring system. The playing surface extending between two end lines and defined by a pair of spaced, parallel sidelines, and a flag is placed at the exact center of the field. The playing surface includes a plurality of obstructions known as field bunkers providing cover for the players. Each end of the playing surface includes a team staging area, which must be reached to score a point, an area which serves as the exit and entry point for players from each team, a penalty box, and an area for a coach and assistant coaches, players not currently on the field, and the pit crew. The pit crew consists of individuals who clean the player's equipment and prepare them for each game during the match. Seating is provided for spectators on one side of the field, while on the other side is placed the command tower. This is where the top judge oversees the action on the field and coordinates the field judges. The scoreboard is also mounted on the command tower, in plain view of the teams and all spectators.

[0010] The scoreboard digitally displays the current score, time remaining in any time outs (for example, between games), time remaining in the game, penalty times and muzzle velocities recorded by field judges on the playing field by use of their hand-held radar chronograph.

[0011] During game play, each of the opposing teams attempts to obtain the flag and to carry it across the playing surface to the other teams staging area while attempting to shoot opposing players and avoid being struck by a paintball. Any player stuck by a paintball is eliminated and must leave the playing surface.

[0012] The game play continues until each player from one of the two teams is eliminated or until a player from either team scores by carrying the flag through the plane formed by the opposing team's end line, scoring one point for that team. After either team scores, all players return to their start zone and the eliminated players re-enter the game. Thus, each time a goal is scored, both teams return to full strength before the game resumes. There is a short time out for cleaning and equipment servicing, strategy discussions, and possibly the choosing of new players from the pool in the staging area to play in the next game.

[0013] The paintball competition has a specified game time limit, which is divided into a plurality of equal time periods. In the embodiment of the invention disclosed, the game time is divided into four separate quarters. At the termination of each quarter, the teams switch sides and are returned to full strength.

[0014] During the game play, penalties are assessed to players from each team if the players violate the rules set out for running the paintball game. Upon incurring a penalty, the penalized player must leave the playing surface and remain within his team's penalty box until the penalty period has expired.

[0015] Various other features, objects and advantages of the invention will be made apparent from the following description taken together with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] The invention, as exemplified by a preferred embodiment, is described with reference to drawings in which:

[0017] FIG. 1 is a top view of a suggested playing surface in one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0018] Referring to the drawings, the embodiment of the invention shown, FIG. 1 illustrates a paintball game field 10 comprises a playing surface 12, generally defined by a pair of spaced, parallel end lines 14 and a pair of spaced, parallel sidelines 16 that connect the tow end lines.

[0019] A staging area 18 for each team is placed behind each of the end lines, which is used by players not currently on the field and pit crews. The staging area is also used to provide a location for game players to store equipment and rest when they have been eliminated from the game action or between breaks in play. Between the staging area and the playing surface is a penalty area 20 for members of that team that receive penalties from the judges, a gate area 22 by which players enter and exit the playing area, and a coaching area 24 from which the coaches can follow the game and plan strategy. The playing area contains a plurality of bunkers 26 to provide cover for the player during the match. These bunkers serve to shield the players from being shot by paintballs during the match.

[0020] A command tower 28 is placed on one sideline, to which is attached the scoreboard 30. The spectators sit in stands 32 placed on the opposite sideline, with full view of the playing surface and the scoreboard. The chief (or ultimate) judge sits in the command tower, from which he can oversee and organize the match and the field judges.

[0021] The scoreboard contains digital displays of the team names, the overall game timer, another timer which records time remaining in any time outs, a plurality of timers for penalties, the scores for each team, and a display for on-field chronograph readings. The displays allow the spectators, and the players, to follow closely the action on the playing field. The chronograph readings allow the judges to monitor the speed of paintballs fired from player markers, which for safety reasons are not allowed to exceed 300 feet per second by more than 10 feet per second. The spectators can use the display to keep track of these readings.

[0022] In the preferred embodiment of the invention, each match consists of four quarters lasting an equal length of time. Teams switch ends after each quarter. A flag is positioned at the exact center of the playing surface. Each game consists of each team with a plurality of players attempting to obtain the flag and carry it forward past the far end of the field. Once this occurs, a single point is scored and that game ends. The game does not end before a point is scored unless the quarter ends. The clock is stopped for a small period of time while players are cleaned up, have their equipment serviced, and perhaps allowing for new players to take the field. Then the next game begins. A game automatically ends once a quarter expires, whether a point has been scored or not. The period between games is three minutes in this embodiment of the invention.

[0023] In the preferred embodiment of the invention, although each team has ten players available, a maximum of five may be on the playing surface at any one time, less if penalties have been called. A different number of players could be used while still operating within the scope of the invention.

[0024] Each game begins once all the players from each team are positioned in their respective start zones 22, and a judge indicates the beginning of play in some fashion. Each of the players is required to wear appropriate protection, including eye protection. The game clock, which is used to determine the official time of the game, starts upon the beginning of play and continues to run until a penalty is called or until a team scores. After the start of the game, the players from each team begin to advance along the length of the playing surface while hiding behind the field bunkers to avoid being shot by a paintball from the opposing team, with the sole objective of seizing the flag. At the same time, each player is also attempting to eliminate players from the opposing team by shooting the opposing players with paintballs from their paintball guns. Once a player has obtained the flag, he must try to carry it past the plane of the other team's end line. As the game is being played, the players on each team may carry or throw the flag to any other player on the same team, but the flag cannot be hidden and must always be visible to the other team.

[0025] During a paintball game, if the player on either team carrying the flag is eliminated by being shot, the player carrying the flag must drop the flag in the location where the player was shot. The team flag remains on the playing surface 12 until another player can obtain it, or until a judge picks it up and carries it back to the center of the field. Any player may take the flag from the judge at any point during this process.

[0026] During a paintball match organized and run in accordance with the rules of the present invention, penalties are assessed to players from each team for violating the rules of the game. When a penalty has been incurred, the player committing the infraction is placed in his team's the penalty area for a variable length of time, depending on the infraction. A plurality of referees are positioned around the playing surface to monitor the game action and call penalties when a rule is violated. The referees are allowed to move around the playing surface to monitor for penalties and help determine when a player has been eliminated.

[0027] Listed below is a description of the type of penalties that can be incurred during a paintball competition organized within the scope of the present invention: 1

INFRACTIONPENALTY
Re-entering field after elimination10 minute misconduct
Wiping paint off10 minute misconduct
10 minute misconduct
(could result in match
Fighting or hostile contactmisconduct at judge's
discretion)
10 minute misconduct +
Illegal Markermatch misconduct
10 minute misconduct +
Marker tools on the fieldmatch misconduct
10 minute misconduct +
Playing on non-roster teamsuspension
Acting in a manner similar to being outElimination
Failure to obey judge's directionsElimination
Foot outside flag station at start of gameElimination
Missing armbandElimination
Moving on a neutral playerElimination
Out-of-boundsElimination
Separated from clothing or equipment by moreElimination
than 5 feet
Forfeited MatchLose Match
Marker velocity over field limit in excess of 10Major
feet per second
Playing-on: advancing (continuing to play moreMajor
than 3 seconds after elimination)
Playing-on: obvious hitMajor
Shooting at judgesMajor
Unauthorized clothingMajor
Deliberate avoidance of judgeMinor
Excessive shootingMinor
False paint checksMinor
Marker velocity over field limit by less than orMinor
equal to 10 feet per second
Playing-on: unobvious hitMinor
Playing-on: spinning (continuing to play lessMinor
than 3 seconds after elimination)
Verbal abuseMinor
Altering field before or during tournamentSuspension

[0028] The scoring system of the present invention encourages each of the teams to take risks to obtain the flag and advance it as down the playing surface, and yet is simple enough to avoid confusion in the spectators, unlike the prior art.

[0029] Although only a single embodiment of the present invention has been described and illustrated, the present invention is not limited to the features of this embodiment, but includes all variations and modifications with the scope of the claims. Various alternatives and embodiments are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter regarded as the invention.





 
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