What is padel?
Padel is a racket and ball sport, typically played in a two-on-two format, on a court surrounded by glass walls and fencing. If you've never seen or played padel, it can be best described as a mix between tennis and squash. The court resembles a tennis court with a net in the middle and service areas, but the glass walls and fencing are used to play the ball off, much like in squash.
How to play padel?
Padel is played on a padel court, which resembles a tennis court. The court is divided into two halves with a net in the middle, and each half is further divided into two service boxes and a backcourt. Unlike tennis courts, padel courts are surrounded by glass walls and fences, which are integral to the game. Padel is typically played in a two-versus-two format, and less commonly in one-versus-one. You generally need 4 players, a padel court, padel rackets, padel balls, padel sportswear, and preferably padel shoes to prevent injuries. Ensure you use genuine padel balls, not tennis balls, as they have distinct differences. We'll outline the key rules briefly:
- The ball can bounce only once on the court before being hit back.
- Except during the service, the ball doesn't need to touch the ground; you can hit it in the air.
- Before touching the glass walls or fencing, the ball must first bounce on the court.
- If the ball (after bouncing) goes over the glass walls or fencing, you win the point. Be aware that there are two exits on both sides, allowing players to run outside the court. If the opponent manages to hit the ball back from outside the court, the game continues.
- The ball must not touch your body or other players' bodies. If it does, you lose the point.
How does the scoring work in padel?
The scoring in padel is exactly the same as in tennis: 15, 30, 40, and game. At deuce (40-40), you need to win two consecutive points to win the game. If you're not familiar with tennis scoring, it may seem a bit peculiar at first, but you'll get used to it quickly. A set is won by winning 6 games, with a minimum of two games difference to secure the set. When leading 6-5 in games, the match is not yet won; you still need to play another game. If the score is 7-5 after that game, you've won. However, if it becomes 6-6, a tiebreak is played. In the tiebreak, you play to 7, and you need to win by at least two points. Like in tennis, padel matches are best-of-three sets, so the first player to win two sets wins the match.
What are the serving rules in padel?
Similar to tennis, you start a point by serving from behind the baseline. The first serve is played from the right side, and the ball must be hit diagonally into the service box on the opponent's side (also the right side for them). Unlike tennis, in padel, you must let the ball bounce before hitting it underhand over the net. Another rule is that the ball cannot go higher than your navel after the bounce before serving. The ball must not hit the net, and if it does before landing in the opponent's box, the serve must be retaken. If the ball doesn't land in the opponent's box at all, you get one more chance. If you miss that too, the point goes to the opponent. After this, you serve from the left side, again diagonally to the other side, and you alternate like this until the game is over.
What are the rules of a padel tiebreak?
As mentioned earlier, when the score is 6-6 in games, an all-decisive tiebreak is played to determine the set winner. In the tiebreak, you play to 7, and just like in games, you need to win by a minimum of 2 points. For example, at a score of 7-6, a winner cannot be declared yet. In a tiebreak, the team that was serving when the tiebreak began starts with the serve and serves for one point. After that, serving alternates every two points until the tiebreak is over. In some cases, you may be tied at 1-1 in sets and don't have the desire or time to play another full set. In such situations, you can choose to play a super tiebreak. The format is the same as the regular tiebreak, with the only difference being that you play to 10 points instead of 7.
Want to try Padel?
Hopefully, this blog has provided you with some clear insights into this wonderful sport of Padel. Are you interested in playing Padel? At The Padellers, you can easily and quickly book a court and discover the sport. You can also take lessons, participate in competitions and tournaments or create your own event at The Padellers.