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Omaha Magazine

The Art of War: Chad Noahr Wields His ‘Marker,’ and His Passion for Paintball, with Pride

Jun 23, 2023 01:05PM ● By Jacob Andersen
the Art of war chad noahr mad Cow Paintball

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

It’s mesmerizing to listen to someone talk about their passion in life; the gleam in their eyes meeting an attentive audience, their spitfire speech painting a picture of joy and intimate knowledge. Indeed, this excitement is on full display when speaking with Chad Noahr about his favorite pastime—the fine art of paintball. 

Noahr is the general manager of Mad Cow Paintball, a multi-course outdoor paintball facility located in Louisville, Nebraska. However, his love for the sport began decades prior with an invitation to a friend’s birthday party—an event that would color his perspective, and his clothing, forevermore. 

“I actually started playing paintball when I was 9 or 10 years old for a friend’s birthday party. That turned into once, here or there, in a friend’s grandpa’s backyard. Then it turned into once every couple of months, then once a month, to once every other weekend, to once a weekend,” Noahr said. 

His love for the sport eventually led to  Noahr forming a team and entering local, then national, tournaments. As to be expected, the relatively inexperienced squad faced some sobering statistics—only earning around three or four points during their first national outing. They suffered some major losses but continued to practice and improve, eventually training in the same circles as Nebraska’s former professional paintball team, “Vicious.” He and his teammates have since gone on to become a serious force in the national scene.

In his current position as the general manager of Mad Cow Paintball, Noahr has  shifted his focus away from practicing and toward maintaining and updating  the courses at his facility. However, he said he and his friends are planning a “glory year,” as many of the crew are turning 40. In fact, they plan to enter another national tournament for kicks and for old time’s sake.  

These lofty goals aside, Noahr and his teammates regularly get together with their families and attend local paintball festivals, or simply camp together with gear in tow—the sport a reliable source of fun and camaraderie among its members. 

Dan Napoli, producer and director of several documentaries on paintball, said, “You spend so much time together in airports, hotels, cars, and vans. You’re probably starting by cramming as many people as possible into a Motel 6 room and borrowing someone’s minivan to start because you have no sponsorship money.

“There’s so much intimacy in traveling that closely with a small group of people. I’ve witnessed that firsthand and been lucky to document it in a few films.”

Noahr can often be seen wandering from room to room in his house picking up various competitive paintball markers (guns), describing the significance of each. There’s one that’s been customized with laser-inscribed doughnuts, one that looks gold that’s been passed from teammate to teammate over the years, one that he describes as his “workhorse,” and one of his first markers that he still carries with him to tournaments. 

As much as Noahr enjoys his collection of markers, he wants people to know that an expansive armory isn't needed to enjoy paintball at Mad Cow. Everything is provided for nearly every age, including gear for children as young as 5, with softer projectiles for safety.

“We always say we’re in the business of making memories,” Noahr said. 

For the groups that fill the facility, such memories are not only fond, but frequent.

“Groups of high school kids, the bachelor parties, the bachelorette parties, the birthday parties, the wedding parties, the trash-the-dress parties. It’s [all] amazing,” Noahr said of his guests. 

It’s undeniable—Noahr genuinely loves to see his guests enjoying the game he personally cherishes.

“When someone asked me what’s gratification for me at Mad Cow, I tell them high-fives and smiles,” he said.

With the passion that Noahr has for the sport and the joy it brings him to see others playing it, it's little wonder that Mad Cow is among the premier paintball facilities in Nebraska. There are three different styles of courses available for players, both veterans and newcomers. For those looking to try something unique and exhilarating on a beautiful summer day, consider making the trip up to Louisville, Nebraska, with some friends. After all, discovering new passions is often a messy, colorful, and ultimately, rewarding ordeal. 

Visit for more information.

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2023 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, 
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