Hand signals in paintball are a very effective way of communicating with your fellow teammates. In yesterday’s article, we discussed the three different modes of communication on the field, and today we want to cover hand signals a bit more. Typically, hand signals used on the paintball field are similar, basic motions that are used by the military. The key to using hand signals is making sure that everyone on your team knows what they are and when these signals could be used.
How To Effectively Incorporate Hand Signals in Paintball
As mentioned above, one of the big keys to incorporating hand signals is to make sure that your entire team knows what they mean; otherwise your hand signals are useless. It would be a good idea to get your teammates together before a tournament or game and give a “crash course” on the hand signals that will be used. The more aware and educated your teammates are, the better they will perform on the field – keep that in mind!
There are several important hand signals that you may want to use. The following is a list and some suggestions for how to teach and use them.
- “Move (direction) way” – With this hand signal, your main objective is to offer directions to all of your teammates, or just one. Sometimes it may be necessary to move out danger or to work towards a certain part of the field. To do this, you will hold out your pointer and middle fingers together on one hand and point in the direction that you want them to go.
- “STOP!” – This signal is important, as are all of the others, but this signal asks your teammates to stop where they are and crouch down and aim in different directions. The actual hand signal is simple; hold one hand up in the air with the hand open. The reason why you will want all teammates to crouch and aim in different directions is because they all are on alert and ready to take on the enemy. So needless to say, the “STOP!” hand signal is more than just a halt, make sure that your fellow teammates understand this and practice this hand signal regularly.
- “Move to cover” – When you see or sense danger ahead, hold up a fist and your team will know to take cover. This means that they should all crouch, lay down, or crawl to a safe location where they will be out of sight should the opposing team appear.
- “I see…” – This hand signal means that you have actually spotted someone (an enemy) and that you are making your teammates aware of this. Simply put your pointer and middle fingers to your eyes and point them towards the location of the enemy.
Using hand signals on the field is a great way to communicate silently and quickly. You can make up your own signals if you would like, or utilize some of the signals mentioned above. Remember, all of your teammates will need to know and understand what each hand signal means and when they will be used on the playing field. Begin by practicing and simulating an instance when you might need to use each hand signal with your team. This will better equip them with the knowledge they need to move and act effectively on the field.
What hand signals do you use? And how do you equip your teammates to know and understand them before a tournament or game? Share below.