The History and Origins of Paintball
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I got most of this info from Action Pursuit Games Magazine.
It all started back in about 1976 or 1977, two guys, Charles Gaines and Hayes Noel were drinking some gin and talking. They started to come up with an idea for a game where you stalk each other in the woods, as a challenge to their friends. The idea started as they were wondering and conversing over whether being able to survive in the woods was a product of nature, or a natural born instinct. George Butler saw a Nelspot(paintmarker for marking cattle and trees) in a farm catologue, and Bob Gurnsey and Hayes Noel wrote up the rules for the first game of paintball.

The First Paintball Players
In no particular order, here are the first people to play paintball: Bob Gurnsey, Charles Gaines, Hayes Noel, Loinel Atwill, Ken Barrett, Ronnie Simkins, Ken Barrett, Joe Drindon, Bob Carlson, Jerome Gary, Carl Sandquist, Ritchie White, and Bob Jones.
  A Few Paintball Firsts
Ritchie White was the first Player to Win a game of Paintball. He never fired a shot and no one ever saw him!(if you are wondering how only one person won, its because the first game of paintball was played every man for himself)

Ken Barrett Was the first player ever to be eliminated. (he is also the first person to surrender, that's how he was eliminated)

Lionel Atwill wrote the first publication about Paintball: THE OFFICIAL SURVIVAL GAME MANUAL.

Bob Gurnsey founded the first comercial paintball enterprise: National Survival Games, which also made the first marker SPECIFICALLY designed for the game, the Splatmaster.

If you want to know more, check out:

Action Pursuit