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What are the Basic Rules for Playing Padel – 2024 Guide

When Mohamed Salah tried out padel, then it was sure that the sport isn’t only fun, but is gaining popularity day by day. Remember, the multitalented tennis player, Rafael Nadal, has also shown interest in the game. In fact, to make it clearer, padel is threatening the dominance of tennis in Spain, and it’s likely to be the next biggest thing.

So, if this is your first time hearing about this, then it would help if we tell you what padel is all about.  Padel is more like tennis, only that it incorporates squash. It is also played in doubles. The popularity of the game seems to attract new players across the globe, with new courts and clubs emerging across Europe. World padel communities like are contributing immensely towards free interaction among padel players, coaches, and even courts. Moreover, users don’t need to download any app as the community has an online website.

Padel can either be played indoors or outdoors, provided there is a court with the right equipment. For instance, when playing, the players should be enclosed in an area of 10 by 20 meters with transparent walls. Also, two teams have to be separated with a tennis net. The court must also be marked with lines and service boxes, not forgetting its coloring, which must resemble blue, green, or terracotta. Here are some of the basic rules that make padel enjoyable:

  • How are the points awarded?

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All padel matches are made up of about two to three sets, just like in tennis. In fact, padel has adapted almost everything in tennis, and if you can play tennis, then paddle shouldn’t be an issue. A minimum of six matches is required to win a set, and the team that wins two sets carries the day. So if you are playing a tournament, it is advisable that you keep your head up so that your team can win the first two sets. In some instances, pairings can end up in a 6-6 tier, and in that case, a tiebreak match has to be played. In the match, the pairing that gets ahead to seven points with two clear points carries the day. If the first tiebreak match still results in a draw, other matches will again follow, but the team which gets to have a lead by at least two games is declared the winner.

Other than winning, padel resembles tennis when it comes to scoring. The points go up from 15, 30, 40, and now the game. In any case, the teams have a 40-40 tier, then that results in a deuce, and the first pairing to lead with two clear points is declared the winner.

  • How do you serve?

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Before the game starts, a coin is tossed, and the players get a chance to either choose whether to serve first or on which side to start the game on. Just like in tennis, paddle allows two serving attempts at the beginning of the game, strictly on first and the second service. Also, the first service has to be done diagonally, like in tennis.

When servicing, the player must also stay behind the service line. Remember, the court must be marked as we said earlier on. As for the returner, there aren’t many restrictions about placement when starting the game as they can stand anywhere in the court, provided it is diagonally opposite towards the server. The server must also bounce the ball first then hit it precisely at waist level; otherwise, it may be treated as a wrong serve.

When the balls get to the returner’s side, the pairing must allow it to bounce first, just like in tennis, and then it’s when it can be hit back to the server. Remember, if the ball doesn’t bounce, then that service is treated as a fault too. The ball may also bounce inside the box, but it instead hits the wire mesh fencing before reaching the service line, and that is treated as a fault too.

Another essential rule about serving is when the ball bounces into the box after hitting the net and is treated as a let. However, if it proceeds to touch the wire mesh fence before the second bounce, then it is a fault.

  • How do you play?

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After first service and everything goes well without any player faulting, then the game proceeds into standard playing rules, which still have a close resemblance to tennis. Any ball that crosses the net into the opponent’s side must first bounce before hitting the wall, for it to be declared a score.

The only thing that can be a little different here is smashing, where a player can choose to hit the ball as a volley. Another important thing is that the ball can only bounce once on your side, and you must ensure that you don’t hit it more than once. One hit should be enough to send it back to the opponent.  And just like in tennis, just hit the ball so hard that the opponent loses control over it after bouncing.

  • Player discipline

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Finally, padel is just like any other sport, and therefore a players’ discipline is paramount for the success of the club. For instance, hard drugs and narcotics will obviously land you into problems, and you will not participate in any major tournament. Moreover, most clubs will do several toxicological tests to confirm that you’re pure before signing you. In other words, doping isn’t allowed at any cost! Other player disciplines include showing up for training sessions on time and maintaining close ties with the team, as unity is important.

Padel is a great sport that is yet to make its biggest milestones ever witnessed before. You, too, can be part of this growth. If you love tennis, then you’ll likely get addicted to padel. Link up with an online community that can help you find a court or coach in your locality, and you’ll not regret a single bit about it. Moreover, you don’t have to be like Rafael Nadal to try your first serve. Just be patient, and you’ll grow into a pro by constant practice!

About Ronald Lamumbe