Why Play Padel
Despite being a new game, padel is becoming one of the most popular racquet sports in many countries. The secret: it’s aimed at everyone and it’s easy to learn!
In 1974 Alfonso de Hohenlohe received an invitation from his friend Enrique Corcuera to visit him in Mexico. During his stay he became intrigued by this new sport that his friend had just invented. It used to be played with wooden racquets and it was known as Paddle-tennis.
Alfonso de Hohenlole’s enthusiasm for this new sport became known when he returned to Spain. After improving certain aspects of the court and changing a few rules of the game, he built two padel courts at the Marbella Club, Malaga, Spain, and began promoting the sport among his many friends who became padel fans.
The growing popularity of the sport in such a short period of time was quickly acknowledged by many relevant individuals within the tennis world such as Manuel Santana, 1966 Wimbledon Champion, who began organizing competitions and promoting the sport in the Costa del Sol, in the south of Spain.
In 1975, a good friend of Alfonso de Hohenlohe’s and a regular visitor in Marbella, Julio Menditengui decided to promote the sport in his native country Argentina, where in a couple years it became the second most played sport in the country; currently, more than 2 million players and 10,000 courts built nationwide.
Over the last few years padel has spread globally to countries such as Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, USA, Canada, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy, Holland, Finland, etc. The growing popularity of this sport has even reached the UK, where courts are being open in many places. Currently, over 10 million participants play the sport in over 30 countries. Padel is growing internationally and is organised under the International Padel Federation.
Basic Padel Rules
All play in the sport of Padel is doubles format.
In the sport of Padel, the same scoring system is used as in the sport of tennis.
With regard to service, the following rules apply:
- In Padel, all play begins with an underhand serve from the right service court into the opponent's court diagonally across similar to tennis.
- The server must allow the ball to bounce once before hitting it and the ball must be hit below waist level.
- The serve must land in the opponent's service box. If the ball bounces in the service box and strikes the side or back wall, it is a valid serve and must be played by the opposing player. If the ball lands in the service box and hits the wire fencing, it is considered a fault.
- The server must keep at least one foot on the ground when hitting the serve. The server's feet may not touch or cross the service line while serving.
- In Padel, similar to tennis, the server has two opportunities to complete the serve.
The following are considered fair play situations in the sport of Padel:
- The court lines are considered in play only during the initial serve. Otherwise, they are not a factor in determining the outcome of each point in the game between opposing players.
- All players are permitted to play a ball off any of the walls on their own side of the court.
Loss of Point
The opposition wins a point when any of the following events occur:
- The ball bounces twice in any area on your side of the court.
- The ball strikes you or your teammate while in play.
- The ball hits the wire fencing, posts or any other fixture before going over the net or landing on the opponent's court.
Out of Bounds
The ball is considered out of bounds and a point is given to the opposing players if the ball hits the wire fence or walls before bouncing on the opponent's side of the court.
The ball can be taken out of the air by any player except on the initial serve and the return of serve.
See extended version of rules – download file here: GAMEREGULATIONSFIP
The Padel court
The padel court is rectangular in shape, with a dimension of 10m wide by 20m long. It is divided in the middle by a net. The court is enclosed entirely at the back (the width of the court) and partially on the sides (4m in length) with solid walls. The height of the back wall and sidewalls is 3m. The balance of the court is enclosed with mesh wire that is also 3m high.
Installing a Padel Court
A padel court is slightly smaller than the boundary area of a singles tennis court. Two official size padel courts can easily be constructed within the area of a full size tennis court. Courts can be built either outdoors or indoors with the same considerations as a tennis court.
The dimensions of the padel court are provided below. The walls of a padel court are typically constructed using glass, however cinder blocks or plywood will also work. Chain link fence is also required primarily for the side walls. Padel courts use the same materials as tennis courts and require a tennis net.
The cost to construct a padel court varies based on the materials used. Clubs replacing an existing tennis court will find that the cost of installing two padel courts is lower than those to build a new tennis court. One of the primary reasons that padel has grown so quickly throughout South America and Europe is the low capital cost to build courts.
The Playing Surface
The playing surface of the court should be porous and can be made of concrete, cement, synthetic material or artificial grass as long as it allows the regular bounce of the ball and avoids accumulation of water. The International Padel Federation states that the playing surface should also be either green, blue or terracotta.
There is an unusual rule in padel that permits a player to leave the enclosed court through an ‘access point’ in order to legally return a ball. (See RULE 15). As a result there are standard guidelines that determine the dimensions and location of the access points to the court. In particular, there may be 1 or 2 entrances on each side, with or without a door and they should be symmetric to the centre. For more details see the FIP website.
Lighting should be situated outside the courts and should be at least 6 metres above the playing surface.
The racquet is solid being made mostly from light composite materials. The surface is perforated to lighten the racquet and to allow for airflow. The face of the racquet is relatively large measuring 26cm X 29cm (10in x 12in) and the overall length is 45cm (18in). This shorter racquet is much easier to control than a longer stringed tennis style racquet.
As a result, from the first time on court, novice padel players of all ages and racquet skills can enjoy a well-paced game with plenty of rallies.
Why Play Padel?
Benefits of Playing Padel
Padel, a sport for everyone!
Padel is a sport that can be practised by everyone, young and old. It is inevitable to refer to tennis. We've all played with the big racquets, but we are less familiar with bats. What attracts about padel which engages so many people? You can enjoy the game even if players have different levels (very difficult in tennis!). Older people can play it because it doesn’t involve huge strain (almost always people play doubles), joints suffer less on the surface on which you play... And above all it’s fun!
The scoring system is the same as tennis and even the type of ball, but padel has its own rules. The service is much less decisive than in tennis because the ball has to bounce on the ground and have to hit before waist level. And then you can also use the walls. Of course, if the ball hits the wall or wire mesh you will have to hit a volley since you’ll lose the point if it bounces again.
When you grab the bat, the most important thing is that you are comfortable and that you hit the ball with the largest possible surface of the bat. A basic advice on padel? The ball is not hit, it is pushed, a defect common among players who come to play from tennis is that they exaggerate the movement: the swing is much shorter in padel. In addition, the hits are sliced, while in tennis they are more direct.
MAIN FEATURES OF THE SPORT
- Affordable, relatively easy to practice.
- Simple rules.
- Fun, social and competitive.
- It is not necessary to have an overly complex kit purchased. It is only necessary to have the following items: bat, runners, comfortable clothing, optional: other accessories ...
- We can work very different concepts with our partner (partnership, competitive edge, capacity for effort and improvement... as well as many other values.)
- Amazing increase in the number of players in recent years (the estimate for the next few years is spectacular).
Benefits at the physiological level
- Increased muscle power.
- Increased general and specific coordination (eye-hand).
- Active habits in physical activity.
- Fight against obesity and inactivity in children (increased considerably in recent years).
- Caloric expenditure (release of endorphins from exercise) and appropriate moods.
Benefits of padel at the motor function level
- Improvement of psychomotor development of children.
- Overall dynamic coordination, as well as hand-eye coordination are increased.
- Provides a correct body development.
- Improve the player's movements and balance.
Benefits of padel at the psychosocial level
- Provides fun and good mood to the players. We all know the feeling of comfort that we experience when we are able to carry out a sporting activity and commit ourselves to do it regularly.
- Padel by its nature is a team sport, so that its social character makes this a fun activity.
- Provides values such as excellence, teamwork (partner), willingness to make efforts, providing at the same time, personal maturity.
- Improved self-control of emotional reactions regardless of the situation in which they appear.