(First say it ten times fast, without a mistake. If you still don't need medical attention to untie your tongue, read on.)

TIP # 1

Follow all safety rules. Do not fire your paintmarker in camp, for ANY REASON. Do not remove your goggles in the playing area for ANY REASON. Pay attention to the safety portion of the orientation briefing at the field.

TIP # 2

Don't stay in one place too long. The key to the game is movement. Try to plan your next move, before you actually move. However, if you do decide to lay in ambush for someone, keep absolutely still. Movement will defeat the best camouflage.

TIP # 3

Don't stand behind someone when they're being shot at. There's a good chance you're going to be hit with the paintballs that missed the player you're standing behind.

TIP # 4

Don't ever lie down. Crouch or kneel, otherwise it takes too long for you to get back up again. I find "going to ground" is a habit most associated with people who have had military training. Sometimes you have to crawl, but for the most part, stay on your feet.

TIP # 5

Don't forget to check over your shoulder.

TIP # 6

Spend some time on the target range. Learn to operate the paintmarker you're going to be playing with.

TIP # 7

If possible, play with someone who is patient, who will point out what you did right, and who will offer constructive criticism when you do something wrong.

TIP # 8

When defending the flag, you should be away from the flag, so when you are pressured by the opposition, you have some room to move back, to prevent from being out-flanked. You should also not be disappointed if the opposition does get the flag. If you've managed to hold them off for even a couple of minutes, you've done your job. I might point out that you are a flag DEFENDER, not a flag KEEPER. No one ever said you had to keep the flag, just defend it.

TIP # 9

Don't be afraid to surrender. If you are vastly outnumbered, you've been cornered, or you're in any no-win situation -- its okay to give up. Besides, it's painless!

TIP # 10

Don't get discouraged. Every paintball player in the world, no matter how good they are, started out as newbies. They just forget it, sometimes.