TagSoft sports encompass the sports of Gelsoft and the sport of Airsoft. The sport practitioners use TagSoft sports equipment (Gel Blasters or Airsoft devices) that shoot small pellets (6-8 millimetres in diameter) made of plastic of silica gel.

These sports have three main disciplines that have been recognised and practiced worldwide:

  1. Practical Shooting;
  2. SpeedSoft; and
  3. Re-enactment.

Practical shooting

Practical Shooting represents the competitors running an established course and engaging targets with TagSoft equipment. The competition is usually based on the shortest time required to complete the course, with various associated time penalties.

Practical Shooting has a number of different competition formats and includes international events such as:


Speedsoft is a fast paced competition that takes place on a small field (usually indoors). SpeedSoft is similar to the SpeedBall competition that uses Paintball markers. Two teams of 3 to 5 players engage against one another for elimination or capturing a middle flag. One of the most preeminent competitions is organised by SpeedQB and has a global outreach, including Australia.

Games can also be enjoyed by spectators and are usually over in a matter of minutes.


Reenactment is the activity in which competitors, using TagSoft equipment engage against one another for elimination or against set objectives such as capture, hold, transport, observe, deny, defend, etc. TagSoft reenactments usually take place on large outdoor fields with team of hundreds even thousands of players competing over the course of up to several days.


TagSoft sports and Paintball

The differences between TagSoft sports and Paintball are substantial. TagSoft sports are:

  • Cheaper, primarily due to the lower price of pellets and venue infrastructure (i.e. no need for high-pressure air);
  • Safer: the muzzle energies are a lot lower primarily due to the small and lighter projectiles;
  • Environmental friendlier: TagSoft pellets are biodegradable. Paintballs leave reside behind and have been designed for wetter climates to be washed off by the rain;
  • Expanded competition formats: paintball does not easily lend itself to Practical Shooting and Reenactment type competitions.

The difference between the sport of GelSoft and Airsoft is in the pellets the discharge of the device:

  • GelSoft uses gel balls that are required to be hydrated in water before use, also referred to as Orbeez. The diameter ranges between 7 and 8 millimetres diameter; and
  • Airsoft uses round plastic pellets of 6 millimetres diameter, called BBs.

Minor differences (approximately 5%) exist between Gel Blasters and Airsoft Devices in order to allow for the slightly different pellets.


Currently, Airsoft is legal in all western nations with the exception of Australia. From publicly available data, our analysis indicates that globally only 3.6% of all nations have declared Airsoft illegal. Other countries that have also declared Airsoft’s status as illegal are North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Yemen, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

Australia banned Airsoft in 1996 through the amendment of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, based on an emotional knee-jerk response, supported by no body of evidence: “Many of the pistols look so real they could be used as de facto weapons in robberies. In the wrong hands, [they] have the potential to cause a lot of fear on the streets” (Minister for Justice, Senator Vanstone).

This seems to have been an emotional, knee-jerk reaction with no evidence base. Furthermore, the industry at the time was never consulted and some indicate that the decision was an afterthought to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) as some might indicate. Nevertheless, the NFA was designed to prevent mass shootings, not prohibit non-lethal sports such as paintball, Airsoft and other similar activities.

A letter we received from New Zealand Police indicates that ever since Airsoft was legalised in New Zealand, more than 10 years ago there has been no increase in firearms crime and that there is no evidence that links Airsoft to “militant groups” or terrorism, reasons used in the past by Australian Police and politicians to argue for Airsoft being banned.


Gel Blasters have been legal to own in Western Australia until the 3rd July 2021, when they were classified as a Prohibited Weapon under the Weapons Act 1999.

Gel Blasters require a firearms licence to own in South Australia.

Gel Blasters do not require a firearms licence in Queensland and there are no appearance limitations.

Gel Blasters of “cartoon or futuristic appearance that does not imitate/would not reasonably be mistaken for being a real firearm” represent a toy in Tasmania and there are no associated restrictions. Gel Blasters that imitate firearms are not permitted.

In Victoria, Gel Blasters that “generally cannot be mistaken for a working firearm by a reasonable person will be treated as a toy firearm or other firearm-themed paraphernalia and can be owned without a licence or other authority”.

In New South Wales. Gel Blasters are classified as an air gun and require a firearms licence. Gel Blasters that substantially duplicate in appearance a military
style firearm4 are classified as a prohibited firearm.

It is unclear what the classification of Gel Blasters in the Northern Territory is. There is limited official information.


Top ten reasons TagSoft sports are great!

Mateship (our Australian pride)

We often hear stories and see hero and team based action movies portraying acts of valour and sacrifice, friendships beyond words, teamwork, suspense, courage and fear. We wish to experience all of these feelings in a safe environment and this is what TagSoft sports offer us.

Physical Exercise


TagSoft sports are a very enjoyable activity, usually performed outdoors with friends, requiring good stamina and endurance. The sport provides for full body workout: running, crawling, kneeling, jumping, etc. The usual competitions go on for 3-4 hours and large events go on for several days. The weight of the average TagSoft kit carried by a sport practitioner is between 5-10 kilograms.

Stress Relief & Flow

05-04-2015 To Catch A Spider (202)

Complete detachment from reality and everyday worries coupled with outdoor physical activity surrounded by friends and family (i.e. flow).

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi comments on his definition of Flow as: “…being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.

Safer, Cheaper and more Convenient than Paintball

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Safer: the muzzle energy of TagSoft devices is 10 times lower than a shooting paintball (average of 1.4 Joules). This is equivalent to dropping 5 x 50 cent coins from a height of 2 meters vs. dropping a metal bocce ball from the same height, in the case of paintball.

Cheaper: about 3.5-4 times cheaper, mostly due to the lower cost of projectiles.

Environmentally friendlier: TagSoft projectiles are biodegradable and do not leave residue behind such as paintballs.

More convenient: no attached air tank, no magazine on top, smaller size of projectiles.

Expanded competition formats: paintball does not easily lend itself to Practical Shooting and Reenactment type competitions.

Cosplay, Escapism and LARP


Cosplay: the activity or practice of dressing up as a character from a work of fiction;

Escapism: habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine;

LARP (live-action role-playing): a type of game where a group of people wear costumes representing a character they create to participate in an agreed fantasy world.



TagSoft devices are complex, encompassing mechanical, electrical, pneumatic and electronic components.

Repairing and tuning them can be challenging, rewarding and great fun.


There is no specific legislation regarding TagSoft sports. TagSoft sports are generally accepted, just as similar sports such as paintball and laser tag are accepted.

There are however specific regulatory requirements applicable to TagSoft equipment.

Airsoft devices are a controlled item under the Federal Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and cannot be acquired or possessed by clubs or individuals anywhere in Australia.

Gel Blasters and Gel Balls are classified as Prohibited Weapons in Western Australia under the Weapons Act 1999. It is illegal to:

(a) bring or send a prohibited weapon into the State;
(b) carry or possess a prohibited weapon;
(c) purchase, sell or supply a prohibited weapon; or
(d) manufacture a prohibited weapon.


Gel Blasters were banned on the 3rd July 2021 after more than three years of being allowed in Western Australia. This has seen the hobby of the law-abiding Gelsoft community of around 2,000 active practitioners prohibited virtually overnight. This was done with:

  • No consultation. The Club was advised, not consulted of the upcoming regulatory change. Only the concerns of WA Police were considered;
  • No amnesty. The change to the Weapons Regulations 1999 came into force the day they were published;
  • No compensation. Neither players nor business were provided any compensation for their loss and the Gel Blasters they were required to surrender;
  • No empathy. When asked about the impact on the sports community and the financial losses, the Minister for Police advised:
    • “Get another hobby”; and
    • “Bad investment decision”.

During the press conference in which the Minister for Police announced the upcoming ban on Gel Blaster was based on several concerns of WA Police:

  1. Incidents involving gel blasters;
  2. Gel blasters converted to workable firearms; and
  3. Gel blasters mistaken for real firearms by WA Police.

Incidents involving Gel Blasters

The Minister for Police advised there have been 147 police callouts in 2020 regarding incidents involving gel blasters. In a separate correspondence, WA Police Deputy Commissioner Col Blanch advises there have been 1,600 police callouts since 2017 to such incidents. These numbers do not seem to match as the popularity of Gelsoft was lower before 2020.

For the first half of 2021, the Queensland Minister for Police advised there have been 10 incident involving gel blasters in the entire State. All of these were behavioural incidents (e.g. people portraying gel blasters in public) and none of them were criminal. Queensland has a population double to that of WA and the number of gel blasters was probably 100 times higher than in WA (there were between 20 – 30 dedicated physical stores, numerous online business selling gel blasters in Queensland and numerous venues to play Gelsoft. WA had no physical stores at the time of the ban).

The stark difference in the number of incidents is based on the action / inaction of the State Police Force. Queensland Police has launched a gel blaster public education campaign “STOP & Think” from the very beginning gel blasters were allowed in Queensland. This campaign had the support of the entire industry and community: venues, retailers, players, media, etc.

On the other hand, between 2017 and 2021, WA Police has taken virtually no public education measures to advise of the legal penalties associated with gel blaster misuse. The penalties under the Weapons Act 1999 were up to 2 years jail and $24,000 fine for causing fear, not having a lawful excuse to own a Gel Blaster, ownership by minors, etc. At the sight of such lack of action from WA Police, the Western Australia Airsoft and Gel Ball Club Inc. developed a public education campaign called “My Blaster, My Responsibility”. The campaign was rolled out at public exhibitions, Gelsoft venues, retailers sending gel blasters to WA, through online media and others means. The Club requested the support of WA Police for their campaign or a similar one in order to reach more people and contribute to a reduction in incidents, however we were refused.

Gel blasters converted to workable firearms

There is a significant difference between an attempted conversion and a successful conversion. Beaton Firearms experts were consulted on the matter and advised “There’s pretty much nothing on a Gel Blaster which you can utilize to manufacture a firearm. And you’d need an entire firearm to turn a gel blaster into a firearm… It’s just not feasible at all”.

If the opinion of a local firearms expert is not sufficient to debunk this inaccuracy we further refer to Airsoft devices. Gel blasters are slightly modified Airsoft devices (i.e. they share 95% the same components). With the exception of a handful of countries (i.e. Australia, North Korea, Syria, Papua New Guinea, Uzbekistan and a few others), Airsoft has been legal in the entire world for over 30 years.

If Airsoft devices / Gel Blasters were indeed able to be converted to workable firearms all the countries in which Airsoft is legal (i.e. about 97% of the world) would have shared the concern of WA Police and would have most likely banned them. However this is not the case. The same goes for all the Australian States and Territories that allow Gel Blasters.

Gel blasters mistaken for real firearms by WA Police

This is likely more a concern related to the training WA Police offers to their personnel. It is very difficult to understand how an assault rifle type Gel Blaster could be mistaken for a real firearm.

Such firearms, of assault rifle type appearance, have been banned in Australia in two subsequent waves: one after the Second World War and another one 24 years ago, after the Port Arthur incident. The only assault rifle type real firearms are owned by the Police and the Military. This is further substantiated by the firearms appearance laws that have been in place for over 24 years all over Australia. We are quite confident that WA Police does not encounter such firearms in their seizures.

Furthermore, criminals require firearms that can easily be concealed and not attracting attention. A gel blaster is definitely not one. Furthermore, it is also the behaviour of the individual that is a key driver to differentiate between what could be a real firearm and what would be an imitation such as a Gel Blaster.


Before the prohibition of Gel Blasters in Western Australia, the Club has launched a safety campaign targeting the safe use of Gel Blasters both on and off the field. The campaign aimed to educate current and future players on the legal requirements, associated penalties and the safe use and storage of Gel Blasters. The campaign aimed to replicate the success of the Queensland Police “STOP and Think” campaign and:

  • minimise incidents where Gel Blasters are portrayed in public; and
  • minimise the risk of injury whilst competing.

The campaign has been embraced by the community and is supported by both Gelsoft venues and retailers. More can be found out here.

The legal information provided in the flyer is not longer applicable. Gel Blasters are classified as Prohibited Weapons in Western Australia.

The Club is the only not-for-profit organisation in Western Australia lobbying for TagSoft sports. Established in 2017 in conformance with all Government regulations, We work hard to advance, promote and safeguard these awesome sports so you can enjoy them with your friends.

Government and the wider community expects an organisation such as ours to govern, educate and regulate the sport in order to permit its future presence. We are here to prevent the South Australian case where Gel Blasters were effectively banned overnight and business and hobbies ruined, as well as to expand the sport of Gel Ball.

By becoming a Club Member, you:

  • Become part of a great community;
  • Support us in achieving our objectives to advance, promote and safeguard the sport of Gel Ball and Airsoft in Western Australia.

Updated 2 July 2021