Padel is an intense sport that projects some serious action inside the field and it is also a game with tremendous scope for fun and social interaction. It is an exceptional game for players of diverse skill sets and different ages and it is also a game that is easy and quick to pick up.
As this game is not dominated by technique, serve and strength as in the case of tennis, it is an ideal game for men and women. The padel court is a mix of both the tennis court and the squash court. The game is played in doubles usually on an enclosed court, and the court is generally covered by walls of glass and a mash made of metal. Let us discuss the nature of the padel court and its dimensions in detail here.
Padel Court Characteristics
The padel court is about 1/3rd the size of a tennis court. The ball can bounce of any of the walls and can hit the turf once before it is being returned to the opposite side of the court. Thus, the court is enclosed on all sides by walls of glass and a metallic mash. According to the competent bodies and the governing authorities, it is mandatory for the padel court to meet certain requirements, so that the sport can be practiced officially in them.
Also, for a competent and tough sport like padel, it is mandatory to choose a place that is appropriate in measurements and playing conditions, so that the players can adapt to the game space, in which they are going to play. The padel tennis federation lays down the rules of this game and these rules and requirements are set out in its official regulations.
1. Paddle court access
One important consideration of the padel tennis court is the court access. The access for the court should always be located on the sides and the player can choose if they have to enable the access on one side or both sides. If the access for the court will be only on one side, then the free access space should be rough, 1.05 x 2 meters and if access is required for both sides of the court, then the minimum space clearance on both sides should be 0.72 x 2 meters.
2. Padel court lighting
The next important consideration with the padel court is the court lighting. The padel courts must have at least four spotlights and these lights should always be placed outside the court at a height of about six meters. Thus, it will be possible to draw about 400 to 500 lux of power to play the game efficiently.
3. The playing surface
The playing surface of the padel court should be porous and should be made of concrete material. At times, the padel court can also be made of cement, artificial grass, or synthetic material, but it should allow regular bounce of the ball and it will also avoid the accumulation of water. Also, according to the regulations laid by the Federation, the playing court surface should either be blue, green or terracotta colors.
4. The enclosures around the padel court
The padel courts should be enclosed completely with wire meshing and they can be made of either concrete or glass walls. The back walls of the court should be about 10 meters across and should be about 3 meters high. Also, additionally, there should be a 1m high mesh fence above the solid wall, enhancing the total height of the back of the court to be about 4 meters. The sidewalls of the court should also be made up of both a solid wall and a wire meshing.
5. The Padel racquet and the ball
The padel racquet and ball are both quick and easy to learn, making it both a fun and an addictive sport to play. It makes use of a short stringless racquet. The racquet should feature an elastic surface with holes. To play the game efficiently, it is important to make use of a low compression tennis ball that easies flies across the tennis net. The service in the tennis game is generally made underarm.
Shots in the padel tennis sport are generally played either before or after the ball bounces off the surrounding glass walls. Such arrangements, wall enclosures, and meshes add a unique dimension to the sport over the tennis game.
The Dimensions of the Court
The padel court is about 20 meters long and it is about 10 meters wide. The back walls of the court should either be made of glass up to the height of three meters. The walls can either be made of glass or any other solid material such as concrete. The rest of the court is generally enclosed by making use of a metallic mesh up to the height of four meters. Let us discuss the detailed dimensions of the padel court here.
1. Space required to set up the padel court
The first step in setting up the padel court is to make sure that a large area is available in setting up the court and building it. The padel court for the doubles game is generally 20 meters long and 10 meters wide and the court for the singles game is about 20 meters long and 6 meters wide.
Thus, for the construction of the padel court, a space of about 11 x 21 meters is required, and an additional 0.5 meters’ clearance is required on both sides. Thus the minimum space that is required to construct a doubles court is 231 square meters. These are the minimum required space requirements that are required to build the courts, it is however recommended to allow more space around the courts for audience interaction and to have a better gaming experience.
It is important to choose the location of the padel court wisely, as both sun and wind could affect the game significantly.
2. Height of the padel court ceiling
We all know that the lob is very serious and is perhaps the most critical shot in the padel tennis game. Thus it is important to craft the height of the ceiling of the padel court appropriately, as the players would not desire to lose points, just because the lob touches the ceiling. If the padel court is considered to be built outdoors, then the height of the ceiling may not be considered. But in the case of indoor courts, it is mandatory to mind the ceiling height.
According to the padel federation guidelines, the height of the ceiling of the indoor court should be at least 7 meters, but it is better to extend the ceiling height by an additional meter and make it 8 meters to offer a comfortable playing experience for the players. Generally, skilled players with higher demands will prefer padel courts with higher ceiling heights.
While installing the padel courts, choosing the right color of the wall is important, but it is more of a matter of preference. Some prefer to use walls, but the color trend of some of the lavish padel clubs is gray. Gray is also easy to see, as it creates a clear contrast against the wall. Black color is least preferred as it makes it difficult to judge the distance of the ball. It is mandatory to have a uniform color on the ceiling to avoid a messy appearance. Some prefer to cover the entire roof with acoustic tiles, while others choose to paint them white or gray.
3. Back walls and service line
The back walls should be 3 meters high and cover the entire back of the field and the sidewalls of the padel court should be at least three meters high and two meters long. The diagonal type sidewall is also accepted instead of a step, as it runs like a straight line between the two heights of the side walls. The rest of the court will generally be closed with the help of a metallic mesh, which is also three meters high. The sides of the walls that are enclosed with a metallic mesh can also be up to one meter tall.
The service lines are placed about three meters before the back wall and there will also be another line at the middle of the court that divides the central rectangular court in half. All the lines must be of 5 cm width and are also visible clearly.
4. Padel court flooring
The playing surface must be leveled and the playing surface should not be sloping. The recommendations for the padel court foundations could vary slightly between the suppliers, but generally, we should strive to use a surface that is about 10 cm thick and a surface that is free from all sorts of elevations and pits.
In cases where the padel court is built outdoors, it is okay to install a quick-dry asphalt, which will help in the quick drying of the court, even in rainy seasons.
5. Surface of the court
The top layer surface that has to be used for the court is very important as it helps the players to move around the court easily and efficiently and play the game effortlessly. The regulations for the top surface of the court, have been laid by the federation, but there is a range of options, each with its pros and cons.
The synthetic turf on the padel courts has been designed specifically to withstand the heavy and strenuous wear and tear, owing to frequent usage, compared with the small surface area. Before choosing to lay the surface of the padel court with artificial turf, it is important to consider several factors. Such factors include, how frequently the court will be used, how much maintenance is required for the court etc. Also, the decision on the surface of the court relies greatly on whether the court will be laid either indoors or outdoors. It also depends on the budget and the financial plan.
The padel courts can also make use of sand in the synthetic turf to preserve it within its limits and to decrease friction so that the movements in the court will be fast and easier as well. To build a complete padel court, it might be required to have about 8 to12 kg of sand per square meter, depending on the type of artificial turf and grass that will be used.
6. Padel court net
In the middle of the playing field, there will be a net that will divide the court into two halves. The net will hold a maximum height of about 88 cm in the center and the height of the net will be rising to about 92 cm at the sides, with a tolerance of about 0.5 cm.
Padel court installation and permits
Installing a padel court is not an easy task, and it requires extensive knowledge and experience, to achieve the best results. Completing the installation of the padel court involves setting up the complete structure, installing the glass walls in the structure, adding sand, and installing artificial turf in the courts.
It is mandatory to set the structure and install the artificial turf correctly to yield the best results and it is mandatory to seek professional advice and consultation for appropriate court installation. Before installing the padel court, it is mandatory to prepare all the required electrical sockets and outputs, before completing the installation.
Also, before starting to build and install the padel court, it is mandatory to have all required permits in place. The padel court does require a building permit and it depends on the area where one requires to build the padel court. It might be required to check with the local authorities to complete all the formalities of building and installing the padel tennis court.
Padel is a hybrid sport and is a mix of both tennis and squash games. The padel court is tough to construct, but luckily there are several padel clubs, that help us to enjoy and practice the game at ease.