Champs Sports Club

How To Play Padel Tennis

How To Play Padel Tennis: Rules, Strategies, & More

What Is Padel Tennis?

Padel (or padel tennis) is a racket sport, a cross between tennis and squash. It is a fast-paced,
social sport that is easy to learn and suitable for all ages. Padel is usually played in doubles and
on a pitch divided by a net, the difference being that in Padel, the player also uses the walls, as in
squash. A regular padel pitch is 10 x 20m and is surrounded by walls. It is a racquet sport that
generally follows the rules of tennis but is played on an enclosed smaller court. Padel is great for
beginners, incredibly social, and combines the best aspects of tennis and squash. Enrique
Corcuera invented the game in Mexico in 1969 and was overseen by the International Padel

What Are The Rules Of Padel Tennis?

1. Players Have To Serve The Ball From A Box Behind The Baseline.

The rule about serving from a box behind the baseline in padel tennis is that the server must
stand behind the service line, between the central line of service and the sidewall (service box),
when beginning the service and remain there until the ball has been served. The serve must be
directed diagonally across to the receiving box of the service. The player must bounce the ball on
the ground within the service box, and when serving, players are not allowed to touch the service
line or imaginary centre line with their feet. Additionally, when hitting the ball, at least one foot
must be on the ground, and the ball should be at or below waist level. Contact with the ball
across the centre service line is allowed.

2. The Ball Must Be Returned To The Net And Above The Waist.

No touching net/post. The ball must bounce on the own side before reaching over the net; the
opposition earns a point if the ball bounces twice on the own side, hits player/equipment, crashes
fixtures or fencing, or fails to land in the opponent’s court; serve underhand below the waist,
diagonal to opponent’s service box, and must bounce before return; players switch sides after
each point; faulty serve if the ball hits wire mesh before crossing service line; only one bounce
allowed; volleying allowed; point lost for various violations including touching the net, double
strike, or hitting the ball outside court.

3. Players Can Hit The Ball With Any Part Of The Racket.

In padel tennis, players can use their racket’s side glass and rear glass to hit the ball. However,
they are not allowed to use the fence or top fence as this will result in the ball being out. Volley
hits are also allowed, as long as the ball bounces on the opponent’s side first. Additionally,
players must ensure that they do not hit the ball twice in the same shot and adjust the safety rope
of the racket before starting a game.

4. There Is No Volley On The Serve.

When serving, players must position themselves behind the service line, within the service box
and between the centre line and the sidewall. They must maintain this position until the ball is
served. The ball must bounce inside the lines within this box. The server must then bounce the
ball on the ground within the service box and hit the ball diagonally over the net towards the
service box for the person receiving the service. Violating this rule will result in a “faulty
service”, and the receiver will be awarded a point.

5. Only A volley On The Return If Specified By The Court’s Rules.

In padel tennis, the return of a volley is allowed as long as the player has not hit the ball twice,
the impact happens with the same movement, and the natural exit of the ball does not differ
significantly. Volleys are allowed when the ball has bounced off the court on the opponent’s side,
except during the initial serve. The player hitting the volley must not touch the net or net posts,
and the ball must not cross over the net or bounce twice before returning to the opponent’s court.

6. Players Are Allowed To Hit The Ball Underarm.

Yes, it is permissible to hit the ball underarm in padel tennis. This is stated in the rules provided
by the International Padel Federation, which state that all play begins with an underarm serve
from the proper service court into the opponent’s court diagonally across, similar to tennis. The
server must keep at least one foot on the ground when hitting the serve, and the serve must land
in the opponent’s service box. Contact with the ball across the centre service line is allowed.
Additionally, it is essential to note that the ball can be hit at or below waist level.

7. There Are No Doubles Matches.

In singles matches, the rules of padel tennis are essentially the same as for doubles, with some
slight differences. The server is always underarm. The score is the same as tennis: 15-0, 30-0,
40-0, game, etc. The same ball must be used throughout the match, and ball changes can be made
following an established odd number of games, at the beginning of the tiebreak, or at the start of
a set. Players must switch ends after the 1st, 3rd and every subsequent odd-numbered game in a
group. During a tiebreak, players switch ends every 6 points. There is a 90-second break when
players change ends and a 20-second break for a tiebreak. A two-minute break is allowed after
each set. No part of the player’s body or racket can touch the net anytime. The winner is the first
player to win two groups (in a best-of-three-sets game) or three sets (in a best-of-five-sets game).

8. Different Ball Sizes And Types Depend On The Skill Level.

Padel tennis is played with different types of balls, which vary in size and characteristics. The
standard tennis ball has a diameter between 2.57 and 2.70 inches, whereas a padel ball has a 2.50
to 2.63 inches diameter. Padel balls also have a much lower air pressure than tennis balls and
bounce off a little flatter. This makes playing with the padel ball slower and requires more power
to hit it on the other side of the court. Additionally, padel balls are often coloured yellow, just
like regular tennis balls, and they are made with a rubber core and a felt layer. Lastly, the felt
hairs covering the rubber of the padel ball determine how quickly it will travel, with shorter hairs
leading to a faster ball.

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