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VietNamNews

Paintball takes off in Viet Nam

Update: September, 28/2014 - 12:00

People in Viet Nam are enjoying a new sport.

It involves pretending that they are soldiers fighting battles against one another.

Only, the guns have bullets made from wheat that do not harm people.

However, they leave a mark of paint, which is why the sport is called paintball.

Playing ball: Paintball games are the newest trend in entertainment for many young people and office workers.
Playing ball: Paintball games are the newest trend in entertainment for many young people and office workers.

by Trung Hieu

Paintball games have become an extremely popular pastime among the youth in big cities such as Ha Noi and HCM.

Nguyen Tien Cong, deputy director of the Tri Long Paintball Gun Club, said the game has become popular in more than 60 countries around the world.

The game was first introduced to Viet Nam in mid-2010, and the first paintball games were organised in HCM City, Da Nang and other cities and provinces before they were introduced to Ha Noi.

"We are associated with Air Defence Brigade 77 to establish the first paintball club in HCM City, in an effort to make the sport popular in Viet Nam," said Cong.

The Tri Long club has a three-hectare site where players engage in various levels of the game, from the simple to the complex.

"At first, you feel afraid to fire the first painful shot, but after completing the experience and going through the feeling of being shot, everyone is smiling and eager to play with guns. We can say that paintball has gradually become a new pastime that is extremely healthy and rewarding for young people."

At the Ha Noi Paintball Gun Club in Tu Liem District, the air reverberates with the boom of guns beginning around 10am on weekends. Built on a 1,200-square metre site along Thang Long Road, the club has set aside eight yards of land for mock battles.

Months after it opened, the club has attracted quite a following among the young, who troop to the club's battlegrounds to experience the feel of guns and the stress of battle.

Amid natural and artificial terrain consisting of obstacles, bunkers, depots and imitation aircraft, young Vietnamese in soldiers' uniforms, armour and helmets clash with each other in fierce but fun mock gunbattles.

Players pay for entrance tickets, buy paintballs and rent guns, armour and helmets before being grouped for battle. Before playing, they are trained on how to use a gun, move on the battlefield, hide among obstacles and take advantage of terrain to defend or attack.

Each battleground has mounds of sand, oil drums and bamboo fences to give players the feel of a real battleground.

The guns are made of aluminium alloy, weigh about three kilos each and are effective at a distance of up to 300 metres. Compressed air or carbon dioxide (CO2) tanks are attached to the rear to create recoil pressure for the bullets, which consist of wheat flour wrapped in thin plastic layers. When a bullet hits its target, it breaks easily without causing pain to players.

Before players enter the game, they have to get acquainted with the mock battlefield.

Players are equipped with camouflage uniforms, boots, armour and gloves. They are also made to wear protective masks made of resilient plastic, to ensure safety from possible shooting injuries.

Each team must have at least 10 members who are divided into two groups of five each. Each group designates a captain. Each team is assigned a referee who distributes tasks to each captain, gives the battlefield maps and provides guidance on the rules of the game.

The captain assigns tasks to each group member and plans the combat manouevres.

Attacks and manouevres and the resulting exchange of gunfire between soldiers in red and soldiers in blue end when the bullets hit their mark, splashing streaks of red paint on the losers' uniforms.

The losers stand up, raise their arms and walk out of the scene of battle as the referee orders a halt to hostilities. In this instance, it is the blue team that emerges victorious.

"The feelings we have when we roll, scramble and lie on the ground, hide behind obstacles and hear bullets flying overhead is so different. As we play this game, we experience the fierceness and stress of a real gunbattle," Nguyen Minh Hung said excitedly.

Hung expressed the belief that the game has helped players sharpen their senses, make smart moves and handle emergencies quickly.

Pham Kieu Oanh, a young female player, said paintball really helped to strengthen people physically and mentally and relieve them of stress.

"I have tried playing this game a few times and I was very pleased. The feeling of shooting down an ‘enemy' is quite strange and inspiring for me. Thanks to the full body movements that this game requires, I can reduce my weight significantly," Oanh remarked.

Cao Ngoc Huy, a marketing student of the University of Finance, said: "I took part in this game because I found it strange at first. This is also a way to achieve fitness because players must run and jump, and end up bathing in sweat."

Does the game promote violence among the young? "Actually, the paintball gun is not the gun used in real combat," said Huynh Tien Tan, manager of a paintball gun club.

"It is shaped like a real gun and uses compressed air to fire bullets made of coloured wheat. Ammunition is made of clean material which is non-polluting and causes no damage. When it sticks to clothing, colored wheat is easy to wash off. So shooting paintball guns is like the mock battles we used to play during our childhood."

According to Tan, the game is suitable for groups of friends and colleagues.

"In addition to the physical exercise that players have to engage in when they run and roll over rough terrains that resembles real battlefields, the game also helps players to improve teamwork and team building spirit because players must find ways to support and protect their teammates," he said.

These days, students and young office workers choose this game on weekends as a way to relieve stress after hours or days of hard work or study.

Thanh Tam, 26, an accountant at a construction material trading company in Ha Noi, said she had played the game for the first time with nine colleagues.

"At the end of the game, we were all quite sweaty but felt quite cheerful. We were really dead tired but also felt quite happy because during the fighting, we had to focus on fighting and forget all our worries," she recalled. — VNS

GLOSSARY

The game was first introduced to Viet Nam in mid-2010, and the first paintball games were organised in HCM City, Da Nang and other cities and provinces before they were introduced to Ha Noi.

Paintball was first introduced to Viet Nam when it was first played in the country.

"We are associated with Air Defence Brigade 77 to establish the first paintball club in HCM City, in an effort to make the sport popular in Viet Nam," said Cong.

By being associated with Air Defence Brigade 77, the Tri Long Paintball Gun Club is connected to the brigade.

The Tri Long club has a three-hectare site where players engage in various levels of the game, from the simple to the complex.

The size of land is measured in hectares.

Complex is the opposite of simple.

"At first, you feel afraid to fire the first painful shot, but after completing the experience and going through the feeling of being shot, everyone is smiling and eager to play with guns. We can say that paintball has gradually become a new pastime that is extremely healthy and rewarding for young people."

A pastime is a hobby; something people do to relax when they are not working.

At the Ha Noi Paintball Gun Club in Tu Liem District, the air reverberates with the boom of guns beginning around 10am on weekends. Built on a 1,200-square metre site along Thang Long Road, the club has set aside eight yards of land for mock battles.

If the air reverberates with the boom of guns, the sound of them repeats itself a lot.

Mock battles are pretend battles.

Months after it opened, the club has attracted quite a following among the young, who troop to the club's battlegrounds to experience the feel of guns and the stress of battle.

Stress is a feeling of being under strain.

Amid natural and artificial terrain consisting of obstacles, bunkers, depots and imitation aircraft, young Vietnamese in soldiers' uniforms, armour and helmets clash with each other in fierce but fun mock gunbattles.

Terrain means landscape. An artificial terrain is one that is not made of natural features.

Obstacles are things that are difficult to get past.

Bunkers are shelters that are especially protected.

Depots are places where things, like ammunition, are stored.

Imitation aircraft are pretend aircraft.

Each battleground has mounds of sand, oil drums and bamboo fences to give players the feel of a real battleground.

Mounds are heaps.

The guns are made of aluminium alloy, weigh about three kilos each and are effective at a distance of up to 300 metres.

An alloy is a metal of two metallic substances. An aluminium alloy is one that is made up mostly of aluminium.

Compressed air or carbon dioxide (CO2) tanks are attached to the rear to create recoil pressure for the bullets, which consist of wheat flour wrapped in thin plastic layers. When a bullet hits its target, it breaks easily without causing pain to players.

Compressed air is air that has been put in a container under great pressure.

The rear is the back end.

Recoil pressure is the difference in pressure between two sides of a piece of elastic material.

Before players enter the game, they have to get acquainted with the mock battlefield.

To get acquainted with something means to get to know it.

Players are equipped with camouflage uniforms, boots, armour and gloves. They are also made to wear protective masks made of resilient plastic, to ensure safety from possible shooting injuries.

Resilient means tough.

The captain assigns tasks to each group member and plans the combat manoeuvres.

Combat manoeuvres are specially planned military movements that are aimed at fighting an enemy.

 The losers stand up, raise their arms and walk out of the scene of battle as the referee orders a halt to hostilities.

To halt the hostilities means to stop the fighting.

In this instance, it is the blue team that emerges victorious.

To emerge victorious means to come out as the winners.

Hung expressed the belief that the game has helped players sharpen their senses, make smart moves and handle emergencies quickly.

Your senses are your being able to smell, see, feel and hear.

Pham Kieu Oanh, a young female player, said paintball really helped to strengthen people physically and mentally and relieve them of stress.

Mentally means to do with the mind.

"I have tried playing this game a few times and I was very pleased. The feeling of shooting down an ‘enemy' is quite strange and inspiring for me."

If something is inspiring it causes you to want to do something positive, and often creative.

"In addition to the physical exercise that players have to engage in when they run and roll over rough terrains that resembles real battlefields, the game also helps players to improve teamwork and team building spirit because players must find ways to support and protect their teammates," he said.

If terrain (landscape) resembles real battlefields, it looks like real battlefields and people can use this landscape to do things similar to what they might do in battle, in a real war.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1.      The gas that is compressed in paintball guns is carbon dioxide.

2.      Players must pay to play paintball.

3.      There are 10 people in a paintball team.

4.      The University of Finance offers courses in marketing.

5.      Thanh Tam always feels very sad after a game of paintball.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2014



















































1. True; 2. True; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

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