Running has always been my stress-relief activity of choice, but then again, I have never been paintballing.

It’s one of those things I have always wanted to try, and I now have the ability to do so right here in the Garden City.

City Life Community Center recently opened an outdoor paintball field in the open lot next to Bob Ward and Sons, southwest of Southgate Mall. Materials for the course were donated by the sporting goods store and other local businesses.

The field features a variety of obstacles, including triangular shields, huge wooden spools, and low-lying bunkers. Games are monitored by referees, but the rules are pretty simple. Once you’re hit, you’re out. The last team with players on the field wins the game. The public is invited to play from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday during the summer, with the exception of June 30 — the date of City Life’s four-man outdoor tournament.

If you have your own equipment, you’ll only have to pay $12 to play all day — $10 if you are a City Life member. Rental equipment and paintballs are available for an additional fee. There are a few equipment regulations, so be sure to visit the paintball page on City Life’s website before you head to the field.

The tournament, which will be played in a round-robin format, is open to players of all ages. Players under the age of 15 will compete in a youth division. There is a team entry fee of $100, and individuals who wish to be placed on a team must pay $30. For more information or to register, visit City Life’s website.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.

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