Who is Jerry Braun?

Who is Jerry Braun?

Las Vegas, Nevada
by Sara Duckwall

Jerry Braun
Jerry Braun
From a participant in the 3rd paintball game ever played, to the promoter who runs World Cup, Jerry Braun is one of paintball’s most influential people. He wears many hats on and off the paintball field. His multi-faceted roles include being part of Paintball Sports Promoters (PSP), running World Cup, owning Ground Zero (GZ), owning a field in New York, playing a major role in Paintball Sports International (PSI) magazine and being a lawyer by trade.

Braun & Ground Zero celebrate after 
their Mardi Gras 2002 win
Braun & Ground Zero celebrate after their Mardi Gras 2002 win
Starting out as a lawyer, how did Braun get into paintball? Braun smiled and said, “I’m very competitive and I like games. Paintball is the ultimate game.” In 1982, Jerry Braun read about the sport of paintball, which was called a “survival game” at the time, and he just had to participate. Participating in the very beginning of the existence of the sport, Braun’s excitement knew no bounds, so he signed a distribution contract with National Survival Game (NSG) and opened a paintball field in New York. From there, “we just grew as the industry grew,” Braun said. With passion behind his madness, Braun has helped mold paintball into what it is today.

According to Braun there are two schools of paintball. First, there is recreational paintball. “The thrill of being the prey, not the predator,” Braun explained. This is seen in the scenario games and missions of paintball.

Ground Zero, Las Vegas Open
Ground Zero
Las Vegas Open
The second school is the competition paintball. This school as Braun sees it, “evolved into a real team sport.” With Braun’s influences, he hopes that both schools can integrate in a single game. He would like to see the, “recreational player and missions meet the competition player.” Braun’s brain keeps churning and his ideas for paintball help to drive the sport forward.

At the NPPL Chicago Open in June, Braun says, "We are trying something new, and pushing the envelope." There is going to be a 24 hour scenario game that will take place next to the tournament, but it will "not in anyway incumber the tournament, and it may involve some tournament players if they have time," Braun informed. He went on to say that the goal is to finally bring "rec ball and tournament player together."

Braun in his GZ jersey
Braun in his GZ jersey
When looking intimately at the competition side of paintball, Braun has been involved from the beginning to help make it what it is today. Braun was there for the injunction of the PSP and NPPL relationship. “The NPPL and PSP pooled resources and created what we have today,” for the competition segment of the sport, Braun held. He went on adamantly to say that, “Always, through the NPPL, we have considered players’ feedback. Players should be able to sit at the table and say we like this, we want this.” The players are what make paintball what it is today, and Braun recognizes the significance of the voice.

With the PSP and NPPL finished with negotiations, the two bodies have agreed to work together for at least the rest of the year. Braun stated that, "we [PSP] just want to run good tournaments and we [PSP] are happy that there are no more conflicts." Braun went on to say that he is really excited about Chicago and the remainder of the tournaments this year. He went on to say, "World Cup is going to be incredible."

After getting through the gritty details of Braun’s history of the sport, it demands the question of what advice he has for new players. He affirmed that, “if [you] play the game [you] don’t need advice...Pure play engenders emotions in you that you haven’t had since you were 3-4 years old.” On an ending note Braun said, “Paintball is like an onion, the sport has many layers.” A simile I think we can all relate to and one not far from the life of Jerry Braun.

Comments here