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Paintball is a sport in which players compete, in teams or individually, to eliminate opponents by hitting them with capsules containing food coloring and gelatin (referred to as paintballs) propelled from a device called a paintball marker. Paintballs have a non-toxic, biodegradable, water soluble mineral-oil. The game is regularly played at a sporting level with organized competition involving worldwide leagues, tournaments, professional teams, and players. Paintball technology is also used by armies to supplement military training, riot response, and non-lethal suppression of dangerous suspects.
Games are played on outdoor or indoor fields of varying sizes. A game field is scattered with natural or artificial terrain, which players use for strategic play. Rules for playing paintball vary, but can include capture the flag, elimination, 20 balls, defending or attacking a particular point or area, or capturing objects of interest hidden in the playing area. Depending on the variant played, games can last from seconds to hours, or even days in scenario play.
The legality of paintball varies among countries and regions. In most areas where regulated play is offered, players are required to wear protective masks, and game rules are strictly enforced.