For a long time, my family and I had never tried paintball. I always thought that paintball seemed fun in the laser-tag sort of way, but with one big difference: Don’t the paintballs hurt when you’re hit? Plus, I have three young children. It can’t be a family sport if the youngest can’t participate. Think again. After a little research, I discovered that, yes, it absolutely hurts if the paintball hits bare skin. However, most paintball locations around Indianapolis allow children 10 and older to participate. Younger children can participate in certain circumstances, if there’s an option for low impact play and if they are wearing the proper gear. Playing Paintball Safely The consensus says that, if you're properly dressed for playing paintball, a paintball might feel like a flick on the arm or a slight sting. Wear a sweatshirt, a long-sleeved shirt, jeans or other thick clothing. Wear a protective vest, gloves on your hands, and of course, a face mask and goggles (these are required). It's also helpful to establish a set of ground rules. For example, when we play paintball with our family, we calibrate our paintball gun to fire at a safe range. If you don’t, you can send a paintball out of the gun that travels too fast and can hurt the other player. Never shoot a player closer than 20 feet away for the same reason: too close, a stronger hit. When you're properly outfitted and playing by the rules to keep everyone safe and having fun, paintball is a fun activity! Where to Play Paintball in Indianapolis If you're looking for places to play paintball with the family, check out the list of local paintball locations around Indy. Indy Acres Paintball 7225 E. Raymond Street, Indianapolis Indy Acres offers open play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. With four themed fields, you can choose the Treehouse, the Woods, Trailer City or Scenario. Each field is packed with structures, bridges and strategically placed shrubs for hiding. They also use .50 Caliber Paintballs that have 60 percent less impact than traditional paintballs. This means kids 8 and older can participate and everyone can have fun. Necropolis Underground Paintball 7130 Western Select Drive, Indianapolis Formerly known as Dark Armies Paintball, at Necropolis, you’re playing underground so if it’s cold or rainy, your plan for the day isn’t ruined. The theme is set in an abandoned city and games are made for beginners. Minimum age for paintball is 10 at Necropolis and they are currently open by reservation only. Indy Battleground Paintball 2350 South State Road 37, Greenwood Though the min age to play regular paintball is 10, they offer low impact paintball as well, allowing kids ages 7 and older to participate. According to Indy Battleground, many adults also want the low impact option as well. There are a variety of fields to play throughout the day, Airstrip, The City, Bootleg, Hyper-Pipe Field, Speedball, The Brig and The Village. Open play is Saturday and Sun, with reservations required throughout the week. White River Paintball 5211 S. New Columbus Road, Anderson Located north of Indianapolis in the town of Anderson, White River Paintball offers several different battlefields to choose from, including a heated staging area that's great for playing during the cold-weather months. Children ages 8 and older can play if playing during a private party, and children ages 10 and older can play in open play.