Tips for Paintball Beginners-Zoning a paintball map

Skirmish Ipswich Paintball zoning a paintball map

I have said in the past that communication is vital on a paintball field if you want your team to win, and it is important that the information you give is accurate and useful to your team mates.

One of the most important pieces of information is the location of the opposing players. If you are in a village game with themed buildings that might be quiet easy “he’s behind the clock tower” or He’s in the church, this end”, but if you are playing on a woodland map, “He’s behind the tree” is not a lot of good to your team mates.  

When I use to play for the Saxon Raiders when woodland paintball competitions were very popular, we got over this issue by zoning the paintball field. Imagine you are standing one end of an Olympic swimming pool, you look down into the water and you can see the lanes marked on the floor of the pool that the competitors have to swim along. Now in your mind imagine that there are 5 lanes running up the paintball map you are going to play on, lane 1 is on the left flank, lane 3 runs up the centre of the map and lane 5 is on the right flank. Lane 2 runs between 1 and 3, and lane 4 runs between 3 and 5. Each lane is the same width.

So if I said, “the is a player zone 3, centre, 20 meters out”, you can already get a good idea where he is. We always used are own position to give distance out, or if talking directly to another member of our team we would use distances from both of us to help him locate there player. We could be more descriptive as well, “big oak tree” or “Fallen logs”

When describing some ones position on the flanks we would call his distance in from the tape (the boundary), so “zone 1, 15 meters out, 5 meters in from the tape”

“Right of zone 4, 10 meters, straight in front of you”, again you can picture were this paintball player is on the map.

The zones can be used to demoralise your opposition, to distract them, and at the same time pass valuable information to your own team mates that will affect the course of play.

“1 Down, 1 Down, Zone 5” would be called by our player, then the call would be repeated down the line by our whole team. We knew we had eliminated one player out of Zone 5, it was also obvious to them, and we made no secret of it. “2 down, 2 down” zone 4”, this meant that a second player had been shot in zone 4 and the call was repeated down the line.

Now as a team we knew we had eliminated two players off the right hand side of the field, and it would be time to load the right. If I was playing left tape, my buddy might bug out and move to the right flank if he knew I was safe.

“3 Down, 3 Down, Zone 5”, there team know as well as us that they have now lost 3 players off there right flank.

This is demoralising to them, and distracting, as they are trying to access the situation.

“Man Bugging out zone 1, moving to zone 2 and zone 3”, this is passed down the line, Someone further down the line goes “He’s moving into 4 zone and zone 5”. “4 Down, 4 Down, he’s gone zone 5”

“Gareth’s in back of Zone 5”

I know that we have pushed thru their lines, that Gareth has pushed into the back of the field and is cross firing them, any spare player at this point will bug to zone 5 and push up the field to cross fire the other team.

By this time the “man down” calls should be coming thick and fast. As our flankers work across the field we can zone them onto the opposing team’s players. “Zone4, centre 20 meters out, I’ll put a string of paint on him”, “5 Down, 5 Down, zone 4”

“zone 3, back tape” and so it goes on, I know what is happening the whole time the game is being played, and more importantly I know my players are moving into my fire zone, so have to be careful not to bring friendly fire on my team mates  


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