Every decent, competitive game has rules, and Padel is no exception. You may not have heard of the sport in the UK to date – it’s not appeared on TV a lot. But, we’re pretty sure it will hit your consciousness in the near future, such is its growing popularity throughout the four nations.
What exactly is Padel?
Likened to a combination of tennis and squash, with a bit of badminton thrown in, Padel has been played in Europe for many years now. It’s especially big in Spain and Mexico (where it started). It’s also played in America, where it’s known as Paddle.
To the initial onlooker, Padel is a fast-paced match, played on a smaller court than tennis but still with a net in between. Go along to any venue where Padel is being played, and you’ll find its mainly paired partners against each other. The Padel court has walls (hence why it’s likened to squash). Size-wise the court should measure 20m x 10m and be coloured blue, green or terracotta.
The ball itself is the size of a tennis ball but softer due to its close proximity to players. The racquets are shorter than those used in tennis and are designed for airflow. Each hole must measure between nine and 13mm in the centre area.
The International Padel Federation (IFA) dictates the specifications for equipment. They say the handle of the racquet should be no longer than 20cm, no wider than 50mm and have a thickness of 50mm or less. The head of the racquet and the size of the handle combined should be no longer than 45.5cm, no wider than 26cm and with a maximum thickness of 38mm. There is a 2.5 percent tolerance when it comes to racquet thickness. Players must wear an elastic cord around their wrist, which is then attached to the racquet. This has the advantage of ensuring the racquet doesn’t go flying across the court and into an opponent or smashing against a wall.
How to win points in Padel
The scoring in Padel is similar to that in tennis, i.e. 15, 30, 40 and game. When both players reach 40, it’s called deuce, and, like tennis, the winner needs to get one by two clear points to clinch the game.
There are a minimum of six games in a set, to win the set you need to reach six games and have a 2 game advantage over the opponent ( eg 6-4) and the winning team is that which wins two out of the three sets. Should the score reach a point where both teams have six points in a set, then a tiebreak situation occurs, with the winners the team which wins seven games, with two clear points.
Serving in Padel is underarm and goes diagonally into the opponents court. To win a point, the ball must only bounce once. You’ll lose a point if the ball hits you or your partner or if it hits the wall on the full or the net.
Another rule concerns the dress code. It’s fine to wear shorts or tracksuit bottoms, but on top, you must cover your arms. This means sleeveless tee-shirts are banned on court.( I am not sure about this)
Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/racket-padel-ball-padel-tennis-6308994/