Ask an airsoft enthusiast this question, and you will probably stir him or her to a serious conversation detailing why this game should be considered a real sport. Even though it is not as popular as other mainstream sports, like soccer or athletics, airsoft is an engaging military simulation sport that requires practice and physical fitness, as well as intelligence and quick thinking. If you know nothing about it, and many of you probably don’t. You can learn more at Airsoft Gun Guy about this game and maybe, you too will be convinced why this game should be considered a real sport.
Let’s start by understanding what the game is all about.
If you’ve ever hand about paintball, that game where competitors shoot at each other with balls that burst out leaving paint marks on the target, then you already have an idea of airsoft. However, unlike paintball, airsoft is a complete replica of military combat where the participants use weapons that look exactly like the real guns only that they use 6 millimeters hard plastic as bullets instead of paintballs.
This game was first invented in Japan in the 1970s. It involves players shooting each other with plastic projectiles or BBs instead of metal ones that were initially used for target practice. The game has two categories. The first category is called milsim or military simulation, where the players simulate real military scenarios. This form of the game is usually longer and more intensive and is used by soldiers and police for training purposes. The second category is called speed soft, a game that resembles paintball. It takes a short time and is less intensive. Anyone, even children can play this version of the game.
The guns used vary from spring powered, automatic and gas-powered weapons. You have to cock the spring powered gun every time you want to shoot. Automatic weapons use batteries and motor to fire the plastic balls. They are a bit easier to use for those new to the sport. Gas powered guns use gasses such as carbon dioxide, propane or green gas to power the firing mechanism.
This game is played in areas that simulate special forces areas of operation where, in most cases involve close combat. You can, however, modify to suit your own environment. The key point will be it will simulate real military combat. You also need to wear protective gear and cover your eyes fully to avoid any injuries. This is a requirement for anyone within the vicinity of the playing area irrespective of your role.
Now that we have a basic idea of what the game is all about, here are some of the reasons why it should be considered a real sport.
You Need to be Physically Fit
Airsoft requires a lot of walking and maneuvers just like it happens in a real war situation. Like soldiers, participants have to be fit to endure the physicality required in real combat. You can always modify the game to accommodate less physically fit individuals, but the fitter you are, the better the experience especially when in a competitive match.
Strategies are required
Just like in other sport, you need to plan and strategize to win an airsoft encounter. Special forces soldiers usually craft meticulous plans before engaging the enemy. They have to understand their opponents, their strengths and weaknesses relative to their own. Participants in an airsoft match have to devise plans on how to attack their aggressors. The art of planning and strategizing is practiced in all sports. If you fail to plan in this game or any other for that matter, you’ll probably be going to lose.
Individual and Team Effort
Most sports require individual as well as a team effort. Soccer, for instance, requires individual skill that contributes to the team’s performance. In airsoft, you need your team members to play their part that will contribute to the success of the team. Just like in a real combat situation, you will have different members of the team playing different roles. Assigning of different responsibilities to team members is similar to many other sports making airsoft a sport like any other.
Like any other sport, airsoft is competitive. You can have two or more teams playing against the others. The team that earns the highest number of points emergences as the winner. The competitive nature of this activity qualifies it to be a real sport.
All sports are governed by rules that all participants have to adhere to. There are penalties and punishments for those who fail to obey the set rules. As a sport, airsoft has its own rules and regulations. For instance, you are eliminated if your opponent hits you. The same case applies to your opponent. There are different varieties of the game including Domination, where you are required to eliminate all your opponents and Capture the Flag, where the mission is to capture a particular enemy target. You can modify the game to your liking depending on your resources.