What are the padel rules? Padel is a racket sport closely related to tennis. As well as being played primarily in doubles, it is also played on an enclosed court.

In addition, it has walls that you can use throughout the game. Although with slightly less pressure, the balls used are the same as in tennis, and the scoring system is identical.

This guide will cover all the main rules of padel step-by-step. To clear up any doubts you might have about playing padel, read on.

Requirements – what do you need to play padel

  • There are Padel courts for doubles (20m x 10m) and for singles (20m x 6m). Around 90% of all the Padel courts worldwide are for doubles since single Padel is rare. The court is surrounded by walls in the back made of glass, with mesh on the sides.

  • Padel Rackets are also known as Padel Bats. This stringless racket is generally made of glass or carbon fiber, weighs between 300g and 400g, and is 38mm thick.

  • Three Padel balls. They resemble tennis balls but have lower pressure. Since the ground is used during rallies, balls are never left on it since it could interfere.

  • Four players. Padel is a social sport that is commonly played in its doubles format, 2 versus 2.
You need a padel racket and padel balls to play padel

Game Objectives

Padel is a simple game. Your team must hit the ball over the net into your opponent’s side in such a way that they cannot return it. To prevent you from returning the ball to your side of the court, the opposing team has the same goal as you do. 

In padel, since the court is enclosed and smaller than in other racket sports, it is essential to know how the ball can bounce from the wall to gain an advantage. Thus, it is a racket sport that requires quick reaction times, the ability to read the game, and a good sense of placement on the court. 

Scoring in padel

Padel matches consist of two to three sets. To win a set, you must win at least six games. In the event of a tie at 6-6, the winner is decided by a tie-break. If a tie-break occurs, the first team to score seven points also wins the set.

Game scores start at “love” (zero) and go all the way to 40, but in reality, that’s only four points. First comes 15, then 30, then 40, then game point. When each pair wins three points (40-40), it’s called a “deuce,” which is, essentially, a tie.

The next point won by the same pair, in that case, will be called “advantage,” and if it wins the next point, the pair has won the game. Losing the point returns the score to “deuce.” Thus, two consecutive points are required to convert a tie into a game.

Padel has an identical point system to tennis:

  • Love (zero/tie)
  • 15 (single point)
  • 30 (two points)
  • 40 (three points)
  • Deuce (tied at three points)
  • Advantage (winning a game requires one point)

Game intervals

It is important to note that these rules are mostly guidelines for playing professional games.

The International Padel Federation (FIP) states that teams must change ends (sides) after the first, third, and odd-numbered games. During a switch, teams are also allowed a 90-second break before starting the next game. Additionally, players are allowed to take two minutes of rest between each set. Players are also given 20 seconds between every six points for changing sides when playing in a tie-break. 

Also, there may not be more than 20 seconds between points to make the sport more exciting for spectators. 

A ball on a padel court

The padel serve

In padel, all points begin with an underarm serve from the right side, and after that, changes from left to right each following point. The server must stand behind the service line, bounce the ball one time behind the line, and then hit the ball below waist level.

A serve must land in the service box of the opponent. It is a valid serve if the ball bounces in the box and then hits the side glass or back glass wall. When the ball lands in the service box and then strikes the wire fencing, it is considered a fault.

When hitting the ball, the server must keep at least one foot on the ground. When serving, the server’s feet cannot touch or cross the line. If the ball hits the net and bounces in the box, it will be a let, but if it touches the fence before it is bounced again, it will be a  fault. In the event of a fault on the first serve, there is a second serve.

What are the rules for who will serve first? A coin flip will determine the outcome, just as in many other sports.

How you win points in padel

You score a point in the following situations:

  • The ball bounces on the ground twice on the opponents’ side
  • An opponent hits the ball into the net
  • The opponent hits the ball outside of the play area, outside of the cage or against one of  your walls
  • The opponent hits the ball into his grid
  • The ball hits an opponent

Faults in padel

It will be deemed a fault if the following scenarios occur:

  • If the ball is in play, the players or their equipment touch the net or any part of the opponent’s court.
  • After bouncing a second time, the ball is returned.
    If the player returning the ball hits it from the opponent’s side before it goes over the net.
  • Upon returning the ball, either directly or by hitting it off the walls of their court, without first bouncing, it lands on the walls of the opponent’s court, the metallic fence, or any other element not on the ground of the opponent’s court.
  • Any time a player hit the ball twice.
  • In the event that a player has two consecutive service faults.
  • After the ball is hit, if it touches the player playing the ball, their companion or anything they are wearing.
  • In any situation where the player’s ball strikes a metallic fence or a part of the ground near their own side of the court.
Questions about the rules of padel

Frequently Asked Questions

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