New sport hits South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New sport hits South Georgia

December 29, 2002

Albany- It may look like a war zone, and the players may look like soldiers...but its a harmless game of paintball.

"All the kids in South Georgia don't have anything to do; there's not much to do in Albany for the young people, so I'm trying to grow paintball into something they can do every week," says paintball organizer Michael Pearlman. "I'm just trying to promote the sport because it's good, safe fun, nothing violent about paintball.

Pearlman says it all started from old cattle marking guns and from there the game took off like a bullet or in this case a paintball.

"The young ones are in better shape than the grown folk. They're hard to hit; they run so fast," laughs paintball player, Jerry Cooper.

"I started at a friend's birthday party. I didn't know what it was; I just got hooked. That was the first time I played," adds 16 year old Corey Gamble.

The kids definitely know their guns, but the parents say it teaches more teamwork than violence.

"It's a good sport. I think competition is very good for young people, and this is a competitive sport. They have fun, play as a team," says paintball parent Gene Ritchie.

Whether you're the last man standing or the first one to die, paintball is a sport worth giving shot.

Paintball is one of the fasting growing sports in the nation. More than 7 million Americans play it. Their are even professional paintball teams.

Posted at 6:10 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com