By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJune 4, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 31, 2012) -- While physical fitness opportunities abound at the post, there is also blasting friends, coworkers and Family with paint to get the adrenaline flowing and the blood pumping with excitement.
Outdoor recreation teamed up with Dothan Survival Sports to bring the sport of paintball to West Beach at Lake Tholocco as a way for Soldiers, Families and the local community to relieve stress and teach people to work together in an environment they might not be used to, according to John O. Clancy, outdoor recreation and Lake Tholocco lodging program manager.
"Paintballing is a good way … to teach people to organize, build team work, get good exercise and [open them up] to many more learning experiences," he said.
There are three different fields for people to play on the west side of Lake Tholocco: two of the fields are wooded courses and one, the Levee Field, is located near the spillway, said Clancy.
Offering the games on the installation saves people that are interested in paintball from having to travel more than 25 miles to the nearest paintball range, said the outdoor recreation manager.
The games consist of three to seven players per team with people spread out across three different positions; front, middle and back, according to Clancy.
The front position is usually the position assigned to the most agile of players so that he or she can work his or her way to the bunkers that are furthest from the starting area -- deeper into enemy territory, he said.
"A 'front man' doesn't fire off the break, he simply runs and dives for the farthest position," said Clancy. "There are typically no more than two front players on a team and front [players usually] shoot the most players and use the least amount of paint since they have the most advantageous angles."
The mid position, which is considered one of the most difficult of positions to play, is where a player is assigned to bunkers between the front and back players, said the outdoor recreation manager, adding that the mid player has to be a "Jack-of-all-trades."
"A mid player can fire while moving, jump into the snake and make lanes," he said.
Back position players are no less important than the other two positions as they are responsible for suppressing the opposing team off the start as the mid and front players move into position.
"Back players sometimes carry as much as a case of paint in their pod packs so they can consistently lay down suppressing fire," said Clancy.
No matter the position played, the team has to use teamwork in order to overcome the opposition and claim victory, he said.
The paintball fields are open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 - 5 p.m. People can also play Mondays-Fridays, but by reservation only, said Clancy.
The cost for play is $25 per person or $20 per person with a group of 10 or more and the games include all-day field usage, equipment, unlimited CO2 and 100 paintballs.
Safety is a major concern for outdoor recreation and is taken seriously as staff briefs all patrons of all rules and regulations before any games are played, said the outdoor recreation manager.
"We make sure that all the fields are maintained, the staff is properly trained and referees are provided," he said. "Both Dothan Survival Games and outdoor recreation play a major role in emphasizing safety."
For more information, call 255-4305