In paintball, taking the opposing team by surprise can be key in winning a match. Taking another team by their side can be easy, but taking them by surprise can be a little more difficult. You need a lot of communication between your teammates and a good distraction that isn't too obvious.

There are two ways you can flank: by rushing up quickly or sneaking up slowly.

The Rush

The Rush can be used on any size of field, and will generally either work really well or fail horribly. It really depends on how fast the other team can react.

Right off the break, have one or two teammates lane (shoot a rope of paint) across one side of the field. This will hopefully keep the other team from spreading out to that side, and keep the players who planned to run to that tape held up by the break point. While that player(s) holding the others team down, have another player run all the way to the tape on the same side. This can be very easy or very difficult depending on the width of the field.

At this point, the player who is laning should somehow communicate to the runner if he/she is alone on the tape. This can be through a term like "green light", "go go go", or "Clear". If opposing players managed to get through the lane, you can also communicate this by saying "red light (number of players on the tape)" or "Number of players on the tape". This can be anything you choose, certain phrases work better for certain teams. Not communicating can destroy the plan completely, you don't want a player running up the tape into five of the opposing players and on the other hand you don't want a player thinking there are five opposing players on the tape when there really aren't.

If the tape is clear, the runner should then sprint up the tape (back player should still be laning to keep the other team held back) and attempt to take out the other players side. If this is a success, you can send more players to the opposing teams tape and push inward.

If it is not clear, the rush has failed. If the runner is eliminated, it is smart to keep away from trying again as the opposing players will suspect another attack from the side. If he is still active in the game, try and take out the players on the tape so you can continue to push.

The Sneak

This generally works better in larger fields with a lot of bush that can conciel two or more players. Off the break, have two or more players run to the tape that has the most cover. Send more players to push the opposite tape in hopes to distract the majority of the opposing team. The few sneaky players should then slowly move up the tape, making sure they are not seen or heard.

Once you have moved up enough, you should be able to see the opposing team. Do not advance up more than you need to, and do not open fire on them. Wait for them to stay still, and take a few shots, eliminate all players in sight. Since you are not at a 90 degree angle with them, the remaining players will think the player(s) you eliminated came from the center area, not the tape.

Push up a little more and slowly take out the rest of the team.

If you are spotted, either fall back or engage your opponent as if you would normally. Communicate to the rest of your team that the flank has failed and to send reinforcments to your side if you need them


You should always talk to your team about the plan before the game, and have a backup plan incase something goes wrong, remember no plan is foolproof. When you are in the game, keep in contact with your team - know how many players are left on each team and where they are at all times. You don't want to be flanked yourself!

Follow these steps, and you should be able to successfully take advantage of the tape.