Paintball is an art, not a science. This applies to installing your paintball netting as well. You can go visit any paintball park and you will find each one has installed the net a different way.
Here is the suggested netting installation for our netting products for the paintball industry applications. This installation sheet is taken from the ASTM Guidelines for proper netting installation and netting safety guidelines. Your application may vary depending on your location and available materials. Spend a little extra money to mount it correctly and you will not be redoing the mounting process each month!
12 Foot Netting
1. Layout of netted area.
Depending on the size of the field 3 man, 5 man, 7 man, or 10 man, you will need to extend the perimeter 20 feet away from the nearest bunker on the tape lines and the back bunkers. This is the safety zone for speedball and to keep the balls from passing through the netting.
Poles should be at least 4 x 4 treated lumber (6 x 6 if windy) or 3-4 inch, thick walled tubing, preferably galvanized. Poles to be set 25 feet apart. Poles should be set at least 3 feet in the ground in concrete if possible. Pole length should be 15-16 feet long. Holes drilled on top and 38 from bottom (or equivalent distance) for eyelets to be bolted into poles for mounting hardware.
2. Mounting hardware
Use high grade galvanized eyelets with a 2 hole on top and bottom of poles. Buy them long enough and with additional nuts and washers to place end of eyelet 4-6 away from pole. Use a 3/8 steel cable to tie the tops of the poles together and stake down at each corner. Utilize some sort of 3 corrugated pipe or material to make cable visual so people will not trip on wire or stakes. Protect stakes from anybody falling on them. This will keep the top taught and prevent sagging of the netting between poles and minimize the billowing effect of the netting. The eyelets will also keep the netting from rubbing against the poles and minimize splatter.
Use nylon rope or 3/8 cable for bottom of netting and attach to the ground with stakes that penetrate 2 below ground to keep from people becoming injured. Tire inner tubes make great connectors as they stretch. This prevents netting blowing up.
Use galvanized turnbuckles to tighten down the cabling between poles and on the corners of the poles. Use the correct size for the turnbuckles depending on the span, the size cable, and the amount of pull needed to straighten the poles and/or tighten the netting. Remember, bigger is better!
If you are dealing with wind and billowing of the netting then we recommend that you criss cross nylon rope from pole to pole, top to bottom corners to prevent excessive billowing. Do this on the opposite side that the wind is blowing or on both sides as needed. Attach it to the eyelets that you placed on top and bottom.
To attach the netting to the cable we recommend netting clips every 6, or carabineers every 18 depending on netting style. There are other attachment devices available. If you have strong wind place every 1 inch.
Netting must be placed on the outside of the poles from the windward side to help prevent billowing.
Make sure to leave an entrance and exit for your players and refs. It is best not to have them touch the netting and to make a Z entrance where no balls can leave the area. Make it wide enough for 3-4 people wide to walk around and not hit the netting. This will take a couple of extra poles to accomplish and make your life a lot easier and your netting last a lot longer.
Place boundary tape on the outside of the netting to keep people at least 3 feet from the netting to protect them and to keep the spray and paintballs from hitting them. This will also keep them from touching the netting.
20 Foot High
1. Material differences
Poles need to be telephone poles 30 feet long. Steel 4 x 4 x 3/8 also work well. Sink into ground 5-6 feet and into concrete for stability.
Depending on the wind velocity you want the poles at 20-25 foot spacing to assist against the billowing effects and blowing the netting and poles over.
Make sure you use heavy-duty turnbuckles for the extra stress load with the larger netting surfaces.
You may need to tie a rope from the top of the pole and stake out away from the netting if there are high winds.