As the eliminated player walks off the field in the direction of your team's bench, your feelings of excitement slam to a halt. It takes just a split second to realize what has just happened. You mistakenly just shot your own teammate. A feeling of embarrassment grows as your face flushes to a deep red hue. Instead of getting your first kill, you just had an incident of friendly fire.
Luckily, there are some techniques you can follow and share with your teammates that will greatly reduce the chance of anyone being involved in a friendly fire shooting.
1) Before the break (or start of the game) - Establish the direction each player will head and assign a shooting lane to each player.
Shooting lanes are specific areas each player is responsible for covering. Adherence to this advice will greatly reduce the chance of someone shooting a teammate from behind in the hectic scramble which tends to occur during the first few moments of any game.
2) Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. Often times new players are excited and will fire at anything that moves. Make sure you know what your marker is pointed at before pulling the trigger.
3) Communicate with your teammates. Paintball is a team sport. You are not in this alone. If your teammates do not know where you are, they may be quick to pull the trigger when you enter their line of sight while mistaking you as an opponent.
4) Be visible. If your teammates can't see whatever it is that is being used to indicate your team membership, (flag, scrap of cloth, color, etc.) they will probably fire at you.
5) Be careful of crossfire and be aware of who is in your vicinity and down range. Flanking is a useful strategy, and your teammates will often attempt this tactic. When they do, be sure not to shoot at them.
Incorporating these suggestions into your game play will help reduce the risk of being involved in a friendly fire incident.
Feel free to add your own suggestions or friendly fire stories in the comments section.