What Is Speedball Paintball: Rules, How To Play It & 3 Best Guns For It

The sport of paintball can be played in many different ways with several variations, making it much more appealing to a wider audience of players. 

So, what is speedball paintball? Speed paintball, or speedball for short, is one of three main game variants in the sport of paintball, the other two being woodsball and scenario paintball.

Of course, each of these variants has different rules and styles of play. For example, scenario paintball, as you may have guessed, is a much slower-paced game mode requiring players to act out specific stories. 

That being said, each of these three variants has different rules, and different ways to play, and as is the case with speedball paintball, specific paintball guns can help you perform better in a smaller, high-speed environment

Generally speaking, speed paintball was created to provide a more controlled format for competitive paintball

The smaller field consists of bunkers placed equally on each side for each team — imagine a symmetrical playing field in order to keep the competition as fair as possible. 

The unique speedball format also allowed for easier viewing for those who wish to watch the tournament unfold. 

Let’s get into how this game mode is played, the specific rules, and what gun you should use to increase your chances of success.

How Do You Play Speedball Paintball?

what is speedball paintball

Speed paintball has a very different style of play compared to other game modes. The smaller field and brightly-colored inflatable bunkers do not encourage a stealthy style of play.

Instead, your team’s success is largely dependent on aggressive strategies, quick movements, and continued team communication

With nothing to blend into as you would in woodsball, for instance, it makes sense that the most cohesive and aggressive squad will have a massive advantage. 

With team sizes of three, five, seven, or ten, there can be varying time limits and different ways to score points depending on the league

The two main formats for speedball are the opposing flag format commonly used in the NPPL (National Professional Paintball League) and the Race2 format used by PSP (Paintball Sports Promotions). 

In the opposing flag format, you score points by staying in the game for the entire round, tagging someone out, stealing the opposition’s flag, and hanging the flag up on your side of the field. 

In Race2 format, there is only one central flag that both teams are fighting to control. Points are scored when a team captures the flag and hangs it up on their opponents’ side of the field. 

Teams playing this format will either play to a set number of points or a time limit established before the game begins. 

Speedball Paintball Rules

As with playing formats, the NPPL and PSP both have their own set of rules. 

Many of the same paintball rules apply that you would come across just playing paintball at your local fields, such as keeping your face mask on at all times and having no physical contact. 

In professional leagues, they play 16-minute matches, and there are three main types of penalties that can be handed out at the discretion of the referee. These penalties are classified as minor, major, and gross major.

An example of a minor penalty would be if you got shot in your pods and continued to play/shoot your gun. Teams can also incur a minor penalty if they come into the pits without putting a barrel sock on their weapon. 

An example of a major penalty would be getting shot in an area you can easily know you got hit in and keep playing. Getting hit in the mask, leg, arm, or chest are good examples of this. 

You can also get a major penalty if your gun is shooting too fast. The specific rules differ between professional leagues and public fields, so check to ensure you are not violating the rules wherever you go to play.

An example of a gross major penalty would be when a player clearly does something illegal like wiping a hit off. In the case of a gross major penalty, the player has to sit out of the game for ten minutes. 

A minor penalty will pull you and another teammate, whereas a major will pull you and two other teammates, making it nearly impossible to win the match. 

What Is The Paintball Gun For Speedball Paintball?

best speedball paintball gun

Since speed paintball is such a fast-paced game mode, you will need to consider a few things when choosing the right gun. Your standard woodsball or scenario paintball gun may not cut it here. Instead, you will want to look for a paintball gun that is:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Efficient 
  • Reliable 

That being said, here are three examples of excellent speed paintball gun options. 

Dangerous Power G5 Spec-R With OLED Board


This gun is great for players looking for something lightweight and easily maneuverable. The frame is sleek with a 14-inch barrel attachment that will increase your accuracy.

In addition, the combined barrel and frame weigh in at only 1.7 pounds, making this a fantastic choice for speed paintball.

Empire Mini GS Paintball .68 Caliber Marker


This is an excellent fully automatic electronic gun. You can expect this gun to be extremely reliable and provide top-notch performance at all times. 

This paintball gun uses high-pressure air to fire, meaning you can lose the bulky tanks and increase your overall speed. 

Empire has worked hard to eliminate any unnecessary weight (including hoses), making this gun amazingly easy to handle and use. 

It also has one of the most funkiest designs in the market.

Dye M3+ Paintball Marker

This gun is definitely on the pricier side, but it has the performance to back it up. But again, the goal for this design was simplicity. Some of the most expensive paintball guns on the market today will struggle to outperform this weapon.

In addition, it is unbelievably user-friendly and incorporates some high-level ergonomics. Its lightweight, balance, and comfort make this gun an excellent choice for any speed paintball player with a bigger budget. 

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