This post is about defining terms in an effort to help clarify yesterday's Playing the DZ post. I'd like to thank Mike for the feedback that prompted this post and encourage the rest of y'all to consider doing the same anytime you have a question or comment; good, bad or indifferent. (Just no whining. See blog rules.) And this isn't just for Mike. Since I failed to fully communicate the concept for him I know there must be others as well--so here's hoping I do a better job today.
One thing paintball seems to lack is a generally accepted lexicon of terms for ways to describe the game. Sure, we've got plenty of names for things associated with the game. many of which are more or less universally recognizable, but even so there's also lots of regional idiom at work. For example, if you're from one part of the country you say bucket while the nest guy, from someplace else, says pail. Happens in paintball, too. And then there are ideas and concepts about playing the game. Are there even words for most of them? I don't know. All I can tell you is what I mean when I use certain terms.
That's where edge & edging come in. Let's start with what the "edge" is. It is the imaginary line that separates the visible from the not visible in a straight line-of-sight. Imagine two players dueling, each in stand-up cans. If they are snap-shooting at each other they are using the edge for cover and only crossing the edge when they offer a minimal profile while shooting before ducking back behind cover. In that situation neither player has control of the edge. In a gun battle the players are using ROF and volume of paint in the air to force one player or the other back behind the can, "off the edge," in order to control that edge. See the Secrets of the Red Legion post for the related topic of lane control.
Edging is two related things. It's using an edge to maximize your security while attempting to eliminate your opponent and/or force them off their edge. For example, I use the term mostly when talking about the breakout. When I ask a player to "edge" Home OTB I'm requesting two things. First I want them to use the X by shooting a blind stream of paint over the angled X-side and maintain that attempt as the player moves away from the board moving wither forward or laterally (and usually some of both.) As the player clears the edge (and can see exactly where their paint is going) hopefully it is already sufficiently on target that no adjustment is necessary. The initial "edge" was the line-of-sight where Home was first visible to the moving shooter. But as the shooter continues moving so does the edge. Effective edging gains the shooter an advantage that leaves the opponent no recourse except to continue to seek cover or break cover in a desperate attempt to gain edge control. Edging also includes a situation where one players gains edge control and continues to roll his gun while making a move that alters the edge line to the shooting player's advantage; ie: widening the angle in an effort to expose and/or eliminate the opponent.
So "edging" is both the effort to push an opponent "off the edge" and actively moving the "edge" in an effort to gain advantage or elimination.
I hope that helps and if there are any further questions don't hesitate to ask.