How to Play Padel: A Definitive Guide to Padel Rules

Padel game is a racket sport that is described as the cross between squash and tennis game. It is a fast-paced sport that is easy to learn and can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. One great advantage of the Padel sport is that it has less to do with the stamina of the person, but relies more on the game strategy that one employs and the cooperation between the player and the partner. 

The Padel sport is generally played in doubles and is played on a pitch that is divided by a net. In the padel sport, the player also makes use of the walls to complete the game. The regular pitch of the padel sport is about 10 x 20 m and is surrounded by walls. The game is generally played in doubles. The padel game can also be played in singles of a narrower pitch that is 6 x 20 m in dimension. 

How to Play Padel

Padel Sport Requirements and Accessories

Padel is a simple sport that doesn’t demand the use of multiple accessories. The game just requires a partner, a ball, and two racquets. The panel is made of composite material and the playing surface comprises small holes. Thus, when the game is played using the padel, the strokes are less powerful and are also dynamic.  

The racquets of the padel game come in three different shapes, namely round shape, drop shape, and diamond shape. They are generally made of glass or carbon fiber material and weigh between 300 and 400 grams. The thickness of these paddles is about 38 mm. These paddles render the best control and are thus considered to be pretty much suitable for a majority of players, both at beginner level and advanced level. The racquet that is round in shape is referred to be the control racket. The ball that is used to play the padel sport is similar to the tennis ball, but it is slightly softer. 

Objectives of the Padel sport

Padel is a social game that is commonly played in its doubles format as 2 verses 2. This is indeed a simple game. The player has to hit the ball over the net onto the side of the opponent. The opponent, in their endeavor, will hit the ball so hard, that they prevent the opponent from striking it easily. In the padel sport, since the court is enclosed and is small, it is important to know that the ball can bounce from the wall as well, to gain an advantage. 

Padel is an interesting, yet tough racquet sport that demands quick reaction times. The player should be able to read the game quickly and also be aware of the appropriate placement on the padel court

The game pattern of Padel sport

The Padel game matches comprise of two to three sets. To win a set, the player should win at least six games. In the event of a tie game, where the teams get 6-6, the winner will be decided after a tie-break. If a tie-break happens, the first team to score seven points will be the team that wins the set. 

The International Padel Federation states that the teams that play the Padel game should change sides after they complete the first, third, and odd-numbered games. At the time of the switch, the teams might endure a 90-second break, before they start the next game.

Also, the players are allowed to take a break of two minutes before starting each set of the game. Players are also offered 20 seconds breaks before starting to play every six points and for changing sides when they start playing in a tie-break game. 

Between two consecutive game points, a break of not more than 20 seconds is allowed, in order the make the sport more exciting and interesting for the spectators. 

Players positioning and regulation time

As per the regulations panel for the Padel sport, before the game starts, both the teams should take about 5 minutes times to warm up, before starting the game. The players will be offered additional rest periods in lieu of unforeseen circumstances. Between two consecutive points, only 20 minutes f time will be allowed. No other interruptions will be entertained during the rallies. The Padel is meant to be a dynamic game, and thus, it is mandatory to preserve the flow of the game and this is regulated by the game rules.

When the players change sides, they will be given 90 seconds. During tie-breaks and after completing the first game of each set, an additional 20 seconds will be granted. At the end of each set, the team will be granted an additional 120 seconds. 

In the Padel sport, each team should be positioned on either side of the net, which divides the court into two halves. The team that gets the turn to serve, will be placed on the right side of the service line. Then, the ball will be served diagonally over the net, to the opposite service area. The player who receives the ball will be standing on the opposite side. But the receiver, the partner of the receiver, and the server can take any positions within the court of their side. 

During the regular game set, the players will be changing sides after the completion of one set. In tie-breaker matches, the teams will change sides after every 6 points.

Padel serves and scoring pattern

The padel game starts with an underarm serve, preferably from the right-hand side. After that, the serve changes from left to right for each following point. The server should stand behind the service line, bounce the ball once behind the service line, and then proceed to hit the ball well below the waistline.

During the service, the player should stand with both their feet behind the service line and must bounce the ball on the ground within the service box. The server should not touch the service line and the imaginary central line with their feet.

A good service should and in the service box of the opponent. The serve is said to be valid if the ball bounces in the box and then hits the back glass wall or the side glass wall. When the padel ball lands in the service box and strikes the wire fencing it is considered to be a fault. 

While hitting the ball, the server should keep one foot on the ground and while serving, the foot of the server should not touch or cross the line. If the ball hits the net and bounces in the box, it is considered to be a let. If the ball touches the fence before it bounces again, it is considered to be a fault. In the event of a fault on the first serve, the player is entitled to a second serve. A coin flip will determine which player will serve first, similar to other team sports.

The game starts at Zero (love) scoring and the maximum number of points that the teams could score is 40. In reality, that is only four points. In the scoring pattern, first comes 15, then 30, and the game point is attained at 40 points. When each pair wins 3 points, it is referred to as a tie or a deuce.

The next point that the pair wins is called the advantage and if they win the next point, they have set to have won the game. If the team loses the advantage point, then their score will be reduced to deuce. Thus, in order to win the game, the team should win two points consecutively to convert the tie point into a game point. 

The scoring system in the padel sport is thus identical to the tennis game. Love refers to zero scores, attaining 15 scores is referred to as a single point, the score of 30 will yield two points, the score of 40 will yield three points, Deuce is a point where the teams are tied at three points. And finally, the advantage is a stage where a team requires only one point to win the game. 

Winning the game in your favor in Padel sport

In the padel game, you will win the sport if the ball bounces on the ground twice on the opponent’s side. Other situations in which the team will win the game is as follows,

  • The opponent hits the ball into the net.
  • The opponent hits the ball outside the play area or against one of the walls.
  • The opponent hits the ball into its grid
  • Or the ball hits the opponent.

In the padel sport, the following scenarios will be deemed as a fault:

  • When the ball is in play, if the player or their equipment touches the net or any portion of the opponent’s court, it is deemed to be a fault.
  • The ball returns after bouncing in the court for the second time.
  • It is recorded to be a fault if the player returning the ball hits it from the opponent’s side before it goes over the net.
  • It is a fault when the returning ball hits off the wall of the court or that of the opponent or the metallic fence without the first bounce. 
  • If the player hits the ball twice, then it is deemed to be a fault.
  •  If the player has two consecutive service faults, then it is considered to be a fault. 
  • After the ball is hit, if it touches the player who is playing the ball, or their companion, or anything that they are wearing, then it is considered to be a fault in the padel sport.
  • If in any situation, the ball of the player strikes the metallic fence or any portion of the ground on their own side of the court, then it is considered to be a game fault.

Padel Sport – FAQs

What is considered to be a golden point in the Padel sport?

Golden Point is a new point system that has been introduced in the Padel Sport competitions. If the score is 40-40 then the Golden point is considered to be the decisive point in the game. These golden points are generally optional in Amateur games.

Can we play singles Padel?

It is not very common to play singles padel, though it is possible. We can say that only 5-10% of the padel courts in the world are made for the singles game.

Can we hit the fence in the padel sport?

It is okay to touch the fence or the wall in the padel sport. But the ball must always bounce on the ground before hitting the wall or the fence. It will be a lost point if the ball hits the wall or the fence before it hits the playing field.

Is it okay for the rackets to cross the net in the Padel sport?

It is okay to cross the net in the panel, but the rackets or any part of our clothes or bodies should never touch the net in the padel sport.

Who devises the rules of the padel game?

The International Padel Federation of the IPF devices the rules for the padel sport. According to the IPF, the game should be played in pairs in an enclosed court. Padel should be played with a ball that is similar to tennis and with the help of a perforated solid racket. The service should be done underhand at the waist level. The points of the padel sport are calculated by the 15 point system, similar to tennis.

Bottom Line

Padel is a racquet sport that has been rising in popularity over the past few years. The sport is similar to tennis and the rules of this game are regulated by the International Padel Federation. The players play using a short type of padel racquet with no strings and using balls that are similar to the tennis game. 

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