Airsoft | Rules and Regulations

RulesAirsoft is an exciting sport, and sometimes in that excitement things can go awry. To keep everyone as safe as possible and continue the fun and enjoyment of the game there are rules set in place to ensure the well being of each airsoft player as well as possible civilians in the vicinity. Abiding by these rules will provide everyone with a fun and safe environment as well as following proper etiquette and procedures will ensure a fair game and promote good sportsmanship.

Please note, that these rules do not apply to every playing field. Every playing field may have modified or removed some of these rules as well as added their own. These rules and regulations are simply just a set of general rues that are most commonly used, but your local playing field may adhere by slightly different rules and regulations.

|General Rules|

Consent to Pain or Personal Injury –  Airsoft can be quite a dangerous sport and by participating in any airsoft game, players agree to hold no other players, organization, or company involved accountable for any personal injury that may occur while playing airsoft. If you become injured at any time while in or out of play, you are solely responsible. A player is wholly responsible for their own safety. Players who are concerned with becoming injured should wear sufficient protection, proceed carefully, or possibly even avoid playing airsoft altogether as some injury and/or pain is inevitable when playing airsoft. Following the rules of airsoft listed below will help to significantly reduce the chances of injury.

Obey the Boundaries –  All boundaries set by the Game Moderators must be followed. Violating this rule may denounce the non compliant player as “dead” and must act accordingly.

Weapon Check –  All airsoft weapons will be checked by Game Moderators before play and labeled or tagged as compliant with the regulations of the field (usually with a ribbon or zip-tie provided by a Game Moderator). Any weapons that do not comply with the regulations may not be used in play.

Case Your Weapons –  All weapons must be brought within a weapon bag/case to provide safe transportation of these weapons. A barrel cover is also recommended as some fields may require it. 

The Game Moderator’s Word is Law – Game Moderators provide final approval for all field decisions, the calling of games, resolutions on all conflicts and issues, and are responsible for all safety related issues that occur on the field. Arguing with the Game Moderator may be taken as a sign of flagrance and could result in ejection from the current match, but again, It’s all up to the Game Moderators.

Tip: Listen to the Game Moderators.

No Firing is Permitted in a Safe Zone –  A safe zone is an area outside of the playing field where weapons must be set to the guns “safety” setting, unloaded and should not be aimed towards anyone or be fired at any time within the safe zone. Let’s keep the safe zone safe.No Smoking

No Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco –  Mind-altering substances such as alcohol and drugs are not permitted at airsoft games. It can hinder a player’s judgment and perception as well as cause the player to be more susceptible to aggravation. Also, youth are sometimes present at airsoft events. Tobacco is similarly not allowed (outside of designated smoking areas) because many people are joined together in an area where second hand smoke may harm or disturb other players or civilians. These events are often an activity for family and friends and these substances may cause a negative environment.

No Legitimate Firearm, Knife, or Explosives –  Such items should not be anywhere on the premises (even within a player’s vehicle). For obvious reasons, these items may be misconstrued as an airsoft gun and operated in game, resulting in serious harm or even death. Just stay safe and leave them at home, why take the risk right?

|Rules of Engagement|

Call Your Hits –  There are no sensors, no indicating marks of being hit and the Game Moderators will not be able to catch everything happening on the field. So as to ensure a fun and fair experience for everyone there is a certain level of honesty and honor in the game of airsoft. When hit by an enemies bb, whether it be on your gear, gun, or direct contact to yourself, you must call the hit and exit the field of play. Note that although ricochets do not count as a hit, if you are in a position of uncertainty and are not sure if it was a direct hit then call a hit. There will be more games and It’s better to be a good sport than to be greedy and come off as a cheater.

PS: If people think you’re a cheater then you will generally set a target on your back. Speaking from an experienced stand point in which my team and I have pelted many cheaters to the point of honesty. Cheaters beware.

Do Not Call Other’s Hits –  Although you may come across moments where it seems like one of your enemies are not calling their hits, they are in the best position to determine if they were hit or not. If there is a possibility that the enemy is simply disregarding the hits and attempting to cheat, then there are two courses of action. You should either continue to fire and tag this enemy until they decide It’s about time to call the hit, or continue the game and move on. You may notify the Game Moderator after the match if you feel the need to.

PS: I prefer to notify my squad in an attempt to synchronize open fire on this enemy as to ensure that the enemy calls the hit.

Engagement Distance –  For safety purposes there are limits to the distance in which you are allowed to engage an enemy with a certain range of FPS. Players may not shoot at any other player when closer than 12 feet (3.66 meters) when using an AEG. Players using a dedicated sniper rifle may not shoot another player closer than 60 feet (18 meters). Pistols have no engagement distance provided that the pistol shoots below 320 FPS, otherwise it will be considered the same as an AEG and abide by the same engagement distance limit as an AEG.

Watch Where You’re Shooting –  Blind firing is the act of shooting an airsoft weapon around a barrier without presenting your head around the barrier to properly mount the gun. This can lead to friendly fire, firing into safe zones, or other unforeseen accidents as a line of sight is not established between the the individual firing the airsoft weapon and their target. 

Players Must Have and Utilize a Dead Rag  Traditionally a dead rag is a bright colored (often fluorescent) rag concealed in a player’s pocket during gameplay. Upon being hit by an enemy’s bb the rag is to be pulled out and held above or placed on the head as to signify that the player is out and exiting the field of play. This rule is very common in airsoft arenas, but there are often arenas that do not require you to utilize a dead rag. In this case you would simply hold your arms and airsoft weapon above your head as you exit the field of play.

The Dead Don’t Speak –  Essentially if you are shot by an enemies bb, you are deemed “dead” or inactive. Just the same as a real life situation, if you are dead then you are not able to communicate to your team or reveal enemy positions. This rule is set in place to keep the game fair and enjoyable for all players. 

|Equipment Regulations|

Protect Your Eyes – Eye protection is required where any player is allowed to fire an airsoft gun, including while testing airsoft guns in the firing range. Eye wear protection requires the eyewear to be ANSI Z87.1 compliant or have a higher compliance level. Proper eye protection for airsoft may not have any significant gaps or openings between the eye wear and the face.

AEGs Must Comply With Specific Regulations –  Generally AEGs may not be allowed to shoot above 380 FPS. Players who use AEGs which shoot faster than 380 FPS may use heavier BBs until the FPS is brought down to under 380 or use a different weapon that does comply with these regulations.

Sniper Rifles Must Comply With Specific Regulations –  All sniper rifles must be semi-automatic with no full auto or burst fire capabilities. Sniper rifles are limited to 550 FPS and are not allowed to exceed this limit. Snipers whose guns shoot faster than 550 FPS may use heavier BBs to bring the FPS down to comply with these regulations.

All Close Range Guns Must Comply With Specific Regulations –  For any airsoft weapon to be used in close range situations the FPS may not exceed a 320 FPS limit otherwise the close range airsoft weapon will be considered an AEG which is limited to an engagement distance of 12 feet (3.66 meters). Any airsoft weapon shooting below 320 FPS may be used in close range combat with no engagement distance limit.

Hand-Thrown or Propelled Grenades Must Comply With Specific Regulations –  If you choose to utilize grenades in game they may not weigh more than .75 pounds (.34 kilos) to prevent the grenade from causing harm upon impact. For this same reason grenades may not be made dominantly of metal. Grenades will not be allowed to emit any sound louder than 120 decibels. Grenades which utilize spark or heat will not be allowed at any time as it may be a fire hazard. (These weapons might not authorized at your local arena).

Use of Hand-to-Hand Combat Replica Weapons Must Comply With Specific Regulations –  Knives, axes, or other hand-to-hand combat weapons must be used with caution and may only be used to lightly tap the enemy anywhere on the body excluding the groin, head, or face. Throwing of these weapons will not be allowed. (These weapons might not be authorized at your local arena).

|More Rules|

“Bang Bang” –   In instances where an enemy is closer than the appropriate engagement limit for your airsoft weapon, you may abide by the “Bang bang” rule. This rule is to be used to prevent players from firing from very close range and possibly inflicting unnecessary injury. Simply just point your fingers (I usually make a gun shape with my hands for effect) and call out “bang bang” to notify the enemy that you have essentially “shot” them and they are out. In instances where there may be multiple targets you must call “bang bang” on each individual separately until either all enemies are eliminated or you are eliminated by surviving enemies.

Mutual Kills –  In an instance where two players from opposing teams hit each other simultaneously or nearly simultaneously both players are to be deemed hit and must proceed to exit the field of play.

Keep the Game Fair and Fun –  Let’s make sure to keep the game of airsoft as fun and enjoyable for everyone by being a good sport and playing fair.

|Stop and Shop|

Now that you’ve brushed up on the basic rules and regulations of airsoft, it’s time to get the gear you need to follow them. This article previously implicates four items required for following these rules and regulations and those are the dead rag, face protection, weapon bag/case, and barrel cover. You can find quality options for these items directly below.

Dead Rag

Face Protection

Weapon Bag/Case

Barrel Cover


Reminder:  Please note that these rules may not apply to everyone and every airsoft field. Many airsoft fields in many different areas may play by slightly different rules so always be sure to double check the rules of the field in which you are going to play. These rules are a detailed yet general guideline of the rules of airsoft. Hope you enjoyed and learned from this page and feel free to comment if there are some general rules that I may have failed to mention, or anything I can fix up a little.

Now get out there and Dominate that field… by playing safe, fair and following these airsoft rules and regulations ;).