After reading countless discussions in the ProPaintball Smackbox, it dawned on us that there might be another way to run the Race-To format. As it stands, the Race-To format is a ton of fun to play. Could it be better?

Our goal here is to open the discussion as to how as a community can remove the barrier to entry, keep or improve the skill level, and ultimately play more paintball.

Its no secret that practicing and competing in tournaments has become a costly endeavor. In a day and age where the world stares at the financial markets, praying that the wheels in the machine don’t fall off, paintball and the costs associated in competing have a real impact. One could argue that the costs are similar to what they were a few years back during the boom times. Sure, that may be true. However, that argument holds no weight when we come to terms with the reality of our present situation. Fewer people are employed and significantly less “easy money” is flowing through the markets. Money is harder to come by and people are hard to part with it. Face it, playing competitive paintball is an expensive luxury. But does it need to be?

Earlier in the season, a new idea surfaced from the College Paintball world known as Tactical race-to where in teams would compete in a Race-To paintball match utilizing a limited amount of paint. The Tactical Race-To concept (first proposed by Chris Raehl) really jump started our collective brains and now we want to open it up to you, our community, to further develop, or pull apart the idea. Really, we are looking for your feedback.

Common complaints associated with current formats are high costs, unknown paint consumption, long games, and perceived “less skill” requirement (due to reliance on ramping guns/coaching).

Would you as a player be interested in competing in a format that;

  • Multiple Point Matches using the current PSP/Race-To schedule
  • 5 players on the field at a time
  • Current PSP field size
  • Ramping Guns @ 12.5bps
  • Each player enters the field with an empty hopper which is verified by ref. 15 total pods on the field per point, per team (to be divided up on the field however the team decides is necessary)

Its clear as day (at least to those of us at ProPaintball) that the Race-To format is the dominant format worldwide. The number of players on the field is arbitrary – you can have 5, 6, or 7 if you would like. However, it has been our experience that smaller teams are easier to build and manage. We elected to stay with the ramping guns because it has been an effective way to eliminate cheating boards, bouncing guns, etc.

The real change comes with the paint restriction. Players have complained of longer matches. Cut down the amount of paint and the game gets interesting. The combination of limited paint and ramping guns will lead to greater importance on accuracy, players learning how to choose their battles wisely, and making shots count. Our favorite part is that teams can predict the number of paintballs they will shoot in a best/worst case scenario. If we went all the way to the finals we would shoot “X” cases and it would cost “Y” amount.

Our example below is based around a division 2 team using Race-to 5 as d2 is a division played locally and nationally. We have built two models, one against a “best case”, meaning that a team plays every possible point (ex: final score is 5 to 4), shoot every paintball, and play for first and second place.
The second model is based on a “worst case”, where a team plays an average number of points, plays the 4 prelim matches. We provided a 20% bonus on this one to compensate for the faster paced games creating more points played.

“Best Case” Model:

10 pods @ 140 paintballs per pod = 1400 paintballs per point, per team + 5 hoppers @ 180 balls each = 900

2300 paintballs per team per point. Max.

10.5 cases per match.

Approximately 65 cases, if you played every possible point and shot every possible paintball your team brought with you. Impossible, yes, but its a model.

“Worst Case” Model:

Need to build a model for an average team that does not make finals/or makes it as far as semi’s

All of the sudden teams that practice would be able to run full match practices at their home fields using something like 12 cases a day.


Playing regularly since 1997. Competed in local, regional, national and international paintball series. Founded and lead Long Beach State to a National Collegiate Championship victory. Proudly banned from the NPPL after legitimately winning a 5 on 1. Have since made it a hobby to promote paintball and at the same time make a point to call out paintball industry shenanigans and those that intentionally impede the growth of paintball. Welcome to