MARYVILLE, Mo. — When people go out for entertainment or an activity getting dirty is not generally a high priority. However, local entrepreneurs David Baker and Chelsey Clark don’t mind getting a little dirty when it comes to their business and neither do their patrons.
As of this weekend, area residents officially have a new option when it comes to having something to do. The Fields Paintball is now open for business. Clean or dirty is a choice that each individual player can make at least up to a point, as all participants are going to get a little messy regardless of the outcome.
“Whenever we go play we give 100 percent and always get really muddy and covered in paint,” Clark said. “It’s a ton of fun. People low-crawling through the mud and getting into the bushes. What is nice though is you don’t have to get really dirty if you don’t want to, but most people really dive headfirst into it and have a blast because of it.”
The Fields Paintball is a Maryville-based, veteran-owned business that currently specializes in providing mobile paintball services in northwest Missouri, southwest Iowa, southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas. If someone has the space, The Fields can bring the outdoor action directly to them.
Paintball is a sport/activity that anyone can take part in, from a first-time player, to a grizzled veteran of epic battles, according to Clark, who is currently serving in the Army National Guard.
“It’s an outdoor sport and something you can do year-round” she said. “It’s about meeting new people and trying new things where everyone can have the same amount of fun.”
Some may view the paintball community as only for a certain segment of people or about those who are only interested in playing war type games.
Baker, who served 10 years in the National Guard, said that the sport is welcoming to people of all skill levels and backgrounds which is something that ends up drawing people from every walk of life into a community where everyone is welcome.
“It’s something that’s really enjoyable,” Baker said. “When you go paint-balling everyone is very welcoming and inviting, they are very helpful. Typically, you make new friends and they offer advice and help. “You are immediately engaged in a team-building activity with people you’ve never met before. It’s just a very inclusive community where everyone is always excited and you build connections. There has never been a time when we have gone paint-balling where we haven’t walked away with new friends.”
Paintball is also an activity that does not require a lot of physical skill, although most people associate it with those who are extremely active.
“There is no physical capability required,” Baker said. “There are a lot of sports where there is some skill involved, but with paintball you can go out with zero skills or ability and be proficient at it.”
There are many different activities that The Fields offers, including the traditional team versus team, capture the flag and a free-for-all where it's every person for themselves. However, the company also offers additional themes, such as escort the president and defuse the bomb along with numerous others.
“We take some of the simple games and add more elements/objectives,” Baker said. “The basics are still the same and any new player can come in and understand the other game modes.”
The Fields is open to staging corporate events, parties and just about any type of get-together one can imagine.
Currently, The Fields only offers mobile services, but that is not the long-term plan as the company is in active negotiations to purchase a parcel of land for a permanent on-site paintball facility in the Maryville area. If Baker and Clark are able to secure the property, the plans are for the location to be open for customers by late summer.
“It’s been our goal from the start to have a permanent paintball park in the Maryville area,” Baker said. “I think we are closing in on that goal and are excited to provide a year-round activity to the Maryville area and provide an entertainment outlet for people who want to get active in a sport for all age groups and abilities.”
Currently for its mobile services, The Fields requires all participants to use equipment, including markers and paintballs, provided by the business to ensure safety and a level playing field for all those taking part in the fun.
The Fields refills the paintballers’ markers with CO2 free of charge. However, that requirement will change for the permanent paintball park, as long as the equipment meets safety standards.
Should Baker and Clark complete a permanent park, they plan to allow players to bring and use their own equipment as long as its meets safety standards.
The Fields Paintball is having its grand opening this weekend with a booked event.
In the meantime though, the longtime area residents are excited about the opportunity to provide another avenue for people in the area to enjoy themselves
“There are limited things to do in a market this size from an entertainment venue and we are excited to be able to provide something to fill the gap in the market for this area,” Baker said.
For more information on The Fields or to book an event go to the company’s website www.fieldspaintball.com.