Format and Rules

Please note, these rules are under constant development for optimum application in our events. Please check back regularly to make sure you and your team are up to date with the latest rule modifications.

Last Edited: 15 October 2016

Latest Changes

  • We will be using the WPBO rule set
  • New BPS for the 2016 season – 10.5 bps
  • Limited Paint – 3-man (S300 Loader/1 pod) / 5-man (S500 Loader/2 pods) / Challengers/Champions (S500 Loader/2 pods.
  • No Center flag
  • 5-man Field Dimensions 45x36m (grid size 3×3)
  • 3-man Field Dimensions 27x36m (grid size 3×3)
  • 5-man Roster sizes (10 players)
  • Hand on Head when eliminated until player reaches team pit area
  • last 60 seconds of game – Major penalty or higher in the last 60 seconds for a team will stop the game and automatic point to the opposing team.  The team will also have to start the next point minus the players necessary to fulfill the penalty.
  • To score a point a player must touch the opposing teams base/button – When time is called all players must stop where they are.  The referee will check the player that touched and if clean the game will be called. Should the player have a hit the corresponding penalties will be pulled and if there are still enough live players left the game will start again.  Should there be no live players it will constitute a no-point.  If more players are pulled than the number of players live the point will go to the opposing team and the team will need to start their next point down minus the penalized player(s).
  • Gross Penalty – A player will be suspended for the remainder of the game as well as the teams next game.
  • Team switches points on each point scored.
  • Overtime will only take place in elimination rounds (Quarters, semi’s, finals). A 5 minute overtime for 5-man / 3-minute overtime for 3-man.
  • Players found competing with out-of-date tanks will cause the suspension of the player from the event.
  • Players may wear one layer of chest protection for use in paintball, provided that the protection has not been modified from the manufacturer’s original form. Chest protectors total layer thickness must not exceed 2cm.
  • Penalty with not enough players to pull – If at anytime throughout the game a player receives a penalty and there are not enough players to pull, the game will be stopped and the result will be an automatic point for the opposing team. The team who was assessed the penalty will also have to start the following point minus the amount of player that will fulfill said penalty.
  • No eliminated player communication – Players may not talk after elimination. Player may not give any indication that they are eliminated (Hit, Out, etc.) Any talking after eliminated will result in a minor penalty
  • Mercy rule – The game will stop, even with time left on the clock should a team lead by the the number of mercy points for the respective division.  Beginners, Division 5 and Division 4 – 2 mercy points. Challengers and Champions 4 mercy points.
  • Spectator Interference – Spectators are forbidden to communicate, signal, or interfere at anytime with the game of play. If a spectator does communicate, signal or interfere with the game of play they might be subject from a warning to an ejection from the site. The exact way the interference by a spectator is enforced and penalized is upon the specific league or tournament officials.

WPBO Rulebook

Rule Implementations

3-man – Players can play either in the division they are classified in or higher, but no higher ranking player can play in a lower ranking division.

5-man– Players can play either in the division they are classified in or higher.  A D4 5-man team can have 1 player from Challengers(D3)/Champions(D2).  Challengers/Champions teams can have players from D4,D3 or D2, but not more than one player that is ranked higher than D1.

Players with previous tournament experience outside the SARPL can complete a Player Classification sheet to be classified for the correct division in the SARPL to play during the 2016 season.

WPBO RULES – PLEASE NOTE: We are using the WPBO rule-set and it is the responsibility of the players to read, study and understand the rule-set.  Any league specific modifications to the WPBO Rule-set will be listed here.



The most important rule of the SARPL, is to have fun and enjoy the sport. If you come to the SARPL ready to dominate all other teams and play unsportsmanlike, rather stay in bed that morning with some nice hot chocolate, until that feeling has passed ;-). Play hard, Play fair, and above all… Play Ball!


Captains meetings will be held at before the start of the event.


SARPL players will be classified according to the SARPL Classification system.  Your SARPL score will define which is the lowest ranking division you can compete in at a SARPL event.

A rough guideline:

  • SA Champions Div (D2): Experienced players / top division in SA
  • SA Challengers Div (D3): Experienced players working their way to the being the best
  • Div 4: Players with experience in the sport and have played at various regional/national tournament levels either completing a full season or not, but have not yet been classified at a higher division.  This will be the highest division a player can achieve if they only play 3-man.
  • Div 5:  Players with no or minimum experience in the sport and/or haven’t played at any national paintball tournament yet, or players with a ranking of D5 or lower.
  • Beginners: New players with no experience, but that want to experience a paintball tournament. Loader only per point.

For the Season Champion (D2), Challengers(D3), Div 4 and Div 5 players competing in the SARPL tournaments/events must register as a player on the PBResults Online System .  The fees for competing in the SARPL tournaments/events during 2016 will be R500 for the year per player. This fee is payable whether a player plays 1 or more events in the SARPL for the season.  We would like to see players commit to a season in the series and not just a single event.

Sand-baggers will be disqualified and banned from the league for the current season. Sand-Baggers are players that enter lower divisions in order to win. If you cheat, hit the street.

All divisions will be separated, ie. Div 4 play against Div 4. There will be times when fun games may be initiated outside of the tournament schedule depending on time and amount of players interested.

Unique Information/Rules applying to Challengers/Champions Division

amended: 31 December 2015

  1. When playing in the Challengers division players will be scored at D3 and when playing in the Champions division players will be scored at D2.
  2. Our pro division will be Division 2, but we will still name it Champions Division as it is our highest division in South Africa.  Our semi pro division will be Division 3, but we will still name it Challengers.
  3. Total Game time will be 10 minutes
  4. Format: Time based
  5. ROF: 10.5bps Ramping
  6. At the end of each event the top 2 winners of the Challengers/Champions Division will receive a cash prize.
  7. The winners of the Challengers/Champions division will each receive a FREE entry into the next scheduled 5-man event. (excluding Paintball Super Cup)
  8. The Season Champion winners will receive a cash prize as well as the SARPL National Championship Ring
  9. Teams will start on the HOME pits (same side as the team name on the schedule) and will switch sides on each point scored. Teams will stay at the same side if there was a no point.
  10. Split Deck will be used. 2 teams per pit area with a minimum of 2 minute break time between points and 1 time-out per game.
  11. A team may concede to stop the game time and allocate the point to the opposing team.
  12. A team that forfeits a game will give maximum points (4) to the opposing team, unless both teams forfeit.
  13. Game Rules/Penalties will be the same as per the WPBO Rulebook
  14. Teams competing in the Champions division must commit to all the season events (5).
  15. We request that teams playing in these divisions set the example for lower div teams on/off the field.  A zero tolerance policy will be followed this season for teams competing in these divisions.


The SARPL expects all teams to have respect for the sport of paintball and their fellow paintballers. Teams that are unruly, use abusive behavior or language, are reported and confirmed to have caused trouble in any way for the venue, area, hotels etc., are subject to sanctions, penalties and possible expulsion from the event.


  • 3-Man: Teams are made up of up to 5 players, maximum of 3 players on the field per point.
  • 5-Man (D5/D4): Teams are made up of up to 10 players, maximum of 5 players on the field per point. Additional non-playing staff will be allowed as per the WPBO rules.
  • 5-man (Challengers/Champions): Teams are made up up to 10 players, maximum of 5 players on the field per point. Additional non-playing staff will be allowed as per the WPBO rules.


3-Man: Coaching from the sides of the field by players, coaches or otherwise is not permitted. penalties will apply.

5-man: Coaching from the sides of the field by players, coaches or otherwise is not permitted. penalties will apply.

Spectators: Spectators may shout out in support but may not use player names or positions of opposing players in their chants. Please ensure that your team communicate this to any spectators that may be inclined to do so, and ask the referees to assist in this matter as either team could be affected by this. – See Spectator Code of Conduct


SARPL 3-man Field Size: 27m x 36m, with a preferred 3m boundary around the playing field

SARPL 5-man Field Size: 36m x 45m, with a preferred 3m boundary around the playing field


Time Based Format: Teams will play in a time based format, meaning they will be grouped in brackets of 5.  Each team will play 4 prelim games and depending on the amount of teams entered in the division the competition will then proceed to quarters, semi’s and finals. Each match is time based back to back games. The team with the highest score at the end of game time wins that match. Unless specified otherwise at the team meetings, total game time are 4 minutes (3-man), 8 minutes (5-man), 10 minutes (5-man Challengers/Champions).


All games are either Win, Loss or Tie/No-point.

To win the game a team must eliminate all the opposing team players “OR”  a “clean” player must terminate the game by by touching the buzzer or touch the opponents starting screen depending on the facility) within the time limit.

The player that terminates a round will be checked by the referees after terminating the game (at which point all players must preferably freeze until the referees call the game over). If the player is discovered to have been marked/hit, this constitutes a “dirty” termination/hang and a no point will be given as well as an corresponding penalties will apply.  A penalty point will be allocated to the opposing team if the touch was with a obvious hit.

If there are teams tied at the end of a Division that are in point earning positions for the day a sequence is set out in the WPBO rulebook how teams will be seeded.

It is the responsibility of the team to make sure they have enough paint to complete the events for the day or they will forfeit the remaining games if they can’t continue to play.


  • 3-man time based – 4 minute game time
  • 5-man D5/D4 time based –  6 minute game time
  • 5-man Challengers(D3)/Champions(D2) time based – 10 minute game time

We will use the split deck system where Team A and B will be playing while Team C and D is in their respective pits.  Teams will have 1 minutes to get onto the field after the point end of the current team on the field.  A minimum 2 minute break will apply between points for teams in the pit.

Game times on the schedule will fluctuate according to how fast games are handled, the faster the better.


Each game is started with 2 whistles or the buzzer. A ten second warning will be given either verbally or by a single whistle before the buzzer or second whistle blows and the game starts. Division teams break out from a starting screen or starting bunker. The barrels of all players must be touching the starting screen/bunker before the second whistle is blown. If a player does not have his/her barrel touching the starting screen when the second whistle blows, that player will be eliminated.



  • RSA  (Champions, Div 3/4/5)
    • 3-Man: 10.5bps, ramping
    • 5-Man: 10.5bps, ramping
  • RSA (Beginners)
    • 3-Man: 10.5bps, mechanical, semi-auto

Velocity: Maximum velocity of 300FPS. Not negotiable. If you’re marker’s chrono speed is above 300FPS, you must correct it before you will be allowed to enter the playing field. Check your equipment properly between games. WPBO Ruling states that certain penalties can be enforced if your marker is over 300FPS during/after a game.  Please check your marker before entering the field.

Division players can use any recognized marker as long as it conforms to the ASTM ROF/BPS and FPS regulations.

Medals are given for 1st to 3rd at every event, and season points are awarded to all participating teams.

All other prizes, sponsored or otherwise, will be handed out to the various category winners or additional prizes for the day will be raffled or randomly handed out and teams must be present in order to win prizes.

Entry prizes:

  • Divisions with 10 or more teams entered for event: 1st – Free Entry to next event, 2nd and 3rd Half Entry to next event
  • Divisions with 5-9 teams entered for event: 1st/2nd – Half Entry

Category Prizes sponsored by a specific brand (if sponsored):

  • Move of the Day Award
  • Fastest Game Time Award
  • Sportsmanship Award
  • Most Improved Team Award
  • Referee of the Event Award


A Special prize may be given at the end of every year for the team/players that displayed the following qualities during the season.

  • Sportsmanship
  • Most Valued Player
  • Most dedicated player of the year
  • Most improved team of the year
  • Provincial/National Champions

Provincial and National Champions

Teams playing in their respective provinces will be ranked in their province and will stand a chance to be crowned provincial champions in their respective division in their province.

The top 3 scores from a team, whether they played in their province or nationally, including the Super Cup event score will count towards a teams national ranking where the top 3 scores from a team played in their province, including the Super Cup event score will count towards a teams provincial ranking. Please note that Super Cup is a double point event.


Players must conform to the rules of the SARPL and it’s sponsors or hosting fields with regards to paintballs. Support the fields that are hosting tournaments for you. All Official SARPL events are OWN PAINT events. Any paint from a paint sponsor of the SARPL will be allowed. It is the Hosting field’s responsibility to ensure that paint is fresh and sold at a fair price for tournaments and not at normal field prices. If there is a specific paint you need, check if the hosting field sells it or bring it to the event yourself. Sponsored teams are welcome to use their sponsored paint at the events.

Only water based (P.E.G + water + dye) non-staining paintballs are allowed. No WHITE, RED, ORANGE or PINK fills will be allowed.

We (the SARPL) reserve the right to ban any paint that we deem unsuitable for the field or tournament. The hosting field may also ban any paint that is considered a problem due to staining etc.