What is Airsoft?
Article Database
Join the WAA
Official Documents
Officers and Staff
Contact Us
Discussion Forums

What is Airsoft?

Airsoft is a fast becoming game or sport that is rapidly taking the place of many of the traditional paintball games of the past. That is hotly debated by both sides of that argument. Many of the new players to airsoft have come from paintball, they have become less interested in the 'flashy' costumes and speedball games that have become the 'norm' for many of the fields now.

Airsoft is growing rapidly as the cost for the equipment has dropped dramatically in the last 5 years. This has opened the game to many that could not have afforded it in the past. This, depending on whom you talk to, could be either a boon or a bust for the game. As this has also created a large volume of players that need the structure of an organization to provide a safe and honorable place to play and grow in this game.

Many of the games in the past were played on private land and out of the view of the 'public'. This allowed for the games to be played somewhat in 'secret' and as such did not draw the younger players. As a matter of fact, the average of players in 1990's was closer to 25 years old. Today that number has dropped to closer to 14 years old, this is also not accurate as this only takes into account public attended games, and not private games or children being given these guns for gifts and never playing outside of their backyards. (An activity that is strongly disapproved by the WAA membership)

Airsoft is a new enough activity that many do not know exactly what it is nor what the game entails. Airsoft is much like a combination of paintball and military reenacting. However there are some significant differences. A skirmish typically involves two different teams that are competing to complete objectives detailed in the layout of the game. This can be as simple as a capture the flag game to very complex scenarios that involved tiered results and overlaid mission objectives. Each game is different and is a product of the organizer of that game.

Airsoft is played with VERY REALISTIC replicas of actual firearms that shoot six-millimeter biodegradable plastic bb's. These replicas are as safe to the players of the game as any other properly used sports equipment.

It is important to know and to think about PRIOR to purchasing one of these guns, it is virtually impossible to distinguish these replicas from a real firearm even as close as a foot from the gun. As a parent it is crucial that this is conveyed to you, ultimately it is your decision for your child, but please be aware that these guns can be misused, much like a baseball bat can be, and result in injuries outside of the game.

This is one of the reasons for the Wisconsin Airsoft Association to exist, to educate and to help provide a safe place for these games to be played.

Though it may sound like this game could put the players into a 'bad' situation. That is not the case, airsoft games have been played in this state since the late 1990's without a major injury incident. This is due to a large part to the dedication of players and members that have gone out of their way to make sure that the games are played as safe as possible. Airsoft is actually quite well established in Japan (where it originated in the 1980's) and other Asian countries, but only in relatively recent years has there been a large interest in North America and other parts of the world. Because of the relative young age of the game, scattered groups still play the sport on private land, each with their own rules variations and safety precautions. There are now “official” organizations that have been created (such as the Wisconsin Airsoft Association) to unify players around a central foundation of knowledge, communication, support and safety.

We strongly encourage you to contact us if you have any additional questions about the game of Airsoft!

Find out more about the mission and purpose of the Wisconsin Airsoft Association by reading our charter and other official documents.


2003 - 2008 Wisconsin Airsoft Association