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Paintball games take off
in Southeast Michigan
The Battleground paintball fortress, west of Saline, has
Each weekend, scores of enthusiasts show up to crawl
through trenches, hide behind barricades and implement tacti-
cal maneuvers with and against their co-workers, family and
According to veteran referee Jack "Popeye" Moyer, the
games facilitate competitiveness, camaraderie and general team
"Teamwork wasn't invented by some marketing consultant,"
Moyers said. "If you're not talking out there, you will get
For these reasons, many companies, clubs, teams, fraternities
and families have used the grounds for their own battles. From
family reunions to company outings, the paintball games offer
a new spin on traditional team sports,
Of course, like any team sport, paintball games have their
risks. The sting of a ball from close range can often leave quite
a healthy welt on an unprotected player.
Accordingly, most smart players wear layers for protection.
Also, the fortress requires that players wear face masks at all
times and keep the barrels of their guns stuffed with a saftey
mechanism called a "barrel-plug" when not in play.
Bruises notwithstanding, most players leave the
Battleground with stories and smiles, just a bit battleworn,
but eager to return.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT:
Player Jason Morriss takes target
practice, keeping the carbon dioxide
in his gun warm in preparation for
battle. * Master referee Jack "Popeye"
Moyer pauses by a rack of rental face
masks. . Battleground employee John
George washes the rental guns in
between battles. * Mike Kress raises
his arms in surrender after being shot
in the back. * Jim Copper hides
behind a barricade, defending his ter-
ritory while playing "Capture the
Photostory by Josh Biggs