What Is Padel Sport?
If you are looking for what Padel is, then here is a detailed explanation. Padel is a racquet sport that could also be mentioned as a mix of two sports, such as squash and tennis. It is played within an enclosed space but has many more similarities with the sport tennis and is also called Padel tennis.
The game has a net in the middle, and the court looks just like the tennis court. Like tennis, Padel consists of players passing a ball over the net and the opponent hitting the same with a racquet. However, in the case of Padel, the walls of the court tend to be a part of the gameplay. Players are also allowed to hit a ball after it bounces off the fence to keep the ball in play, unlike the game of tennis.
While this was a small introduction about what Padel sport is, here is a more detailed outline of the same game and how it is played. Learn more about the rules and regulations along with the Padel game.
History of Padel
The history of the game of Padel tennis goes back as long as 1969. This game was invented in Mexico when Enrique Corcuera wanted to modify his quash court to include features of the tennis game. Some of the notable Padel players who have participated in tennis are Roberta Vinci and Lara Arruabarrena.
This racket sport was also included in the 2023 European Games. The International Padel Federation is also looking forward to introducing 75 national federations for Padel to make it into an Olympic sport for the 2032 Summer Olympics.
Padel Court and Equipment
If you are wondering what the Padel game court is like, here it is. A Padel court is about 20 m long and 10 m wide, with the walls made of glass up to 3 m high. The glass walls end after 4 m. The walls could also be made of other materials apart from glass, such as concrete. The rest of the court is closed with a metallic mesh of up to 4 m in height. In the middle of the field, there is a net that divides the court into two. It has a maximum height of about 88 cm in the centre and rises to 92 cm at both ends. The Padel court is further divided in the middle by a central line and another line 3 m away from the wall, which indicates the service area. This court is also about one-third the size of a tennis court.
If you are also interested in this game of Padel, then here are some of the equipment you might want to keep in handy:
- Padel racket
Among all the other equipment, a Padel racket is the most important equipment when it comes to this game. A Padel racket is made of a composite material and consists of a playing surface covered with small holes. These small holes make the strokes less powerful and dynamic. The Padel racket comes in three shapes: round Padel, diamond-shaped, and drop-shaped. The composite material used in the racket can either be fibreglass or carbon and could be a mix in some other cases.
- Padel balls
Padel balls are another essential piece of equipment needed to help you get started with the game. Padel balls are almost like tennis balls; however, they are a bit smaller and have a different bounce style. The major difference between tennis and Padel balls is the different pressures. The pressure in a tennis ball is around 14 psi, whereas in a Padel ball, it is only 11 psi. This ensures a smooth flow in the game. These balls are typically made of rubber and are of high quality and durability.
Padel shoes are specifically designed in such a way that they support you while playing the game. While padel shoes are quite similar, there are also a lot of differences. They are typically lighter and much more flexible than tennis shoes, which allows more mobility on the court. However, some of the tennis shoes are also great for Padel games.
- Padel bag
A Padel bag can help you keep all your equipment handy and in proper order. Padel bags come in various sizes and different styles. While choosing a Padel bag, you can check for how many rackets or balls you will be carrying and what other equipment you will be carrying. Most Padel bags also have a separate compartment to store shoes.
Rules and Gameplay
Certain Padel rules need to be followed to get the game right. Here is a complete list of the rules and scoring criteria that will give you an idea of how to play the game.
Scoring will mostly consist of terms like tennis and will follow the point given below:
- A point in Padel is awarded if the ball tends to bounce on the ground twice on the player's side, if a player hits the ball into the net, or if the player hits the ball outside the court against an opponent's fence without the ball bouncing initially.
- The first player or team to win six games will win the set. A team must either lead two or more games to win the set.
- Like tennis, the match is made up of 5 or 3 sets. The first player or team to win 2 out of 3 sets will win.
- The game follows a scoring scheme like a tennis game, where the score goes from 15 to 30 and 40. If the scores are at 40-40, then the game is a deuce. Two consecutive points will be needed to win from deuce.
- Players can change their side of the court whenever an odd number of games is played.
- In-game rules to be followed can be provided as follows:
- Serve is done by underarms into the opponent's part of the court. The serve needs to let the ball bounce at least once behind the service line before serving, and the ball must be hit by the server below their waist level. The serve done must also bounce in the opponent's court. If the ball bounces onto the fence, it will be considered a fault. If it hits the wall, then the game continues.
- In the game, you return the ball once it bounces off the surface on your side of the court. You can also play the ball if it bounces onto a fence and rebounds off it.
- A player can play the ball against a wall on their side but not off the court's fence.
- A player can also leave the court to play a shot if there is an exit gate. This situation normally arises when a ball tends to bounce on the opponent's part of the court and bounces over the fence. The player can return the ball before it hits the second time.
Padel's Distinctive Features
Certain distinctive features differentiate Padel game from other sports, such as tennis, and some of these differences can be provided as follows:
- The court size in a Padel game tends to be smaller, unlike other courts. The line markings are also not the same as in other courts.
- A Padel racket tends to look similar, but there are no strings in the racket, and it is made of a composite material.
- The fence, unlike other games, is inclusive in the game itself and is also helpful in scoring.
- The balls used in Padel are much smaller than the ones used in other sports, though they look almost similar.
- In Padel, the serve is done underarm, unlike the overhead serve seen in other games.
- Lastly, Padel is a different and much more inclusive game, as it does not depend much on power to get your game going.
Padel's Global Presence
Padel has been growing significantly in the last few years. The first key factor owing to its growth is the ease of learning this game. With just three or four friends, it is possible to have a fun game. Unlike other games where there are tons of rules, Padel provides fewer rules and more flexibility. Apart from this, many renowned celebrities are now ready to endorse this game, including people like Andy Murray, David Beckham, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Benefits of Playing Padel
Playing the Padel game has a lot of benefits, and some of them can be provided as follows:
- It is suitable for all ages, making it very easy to adapt.
- Playing the Padel game will help relieve stress and take your mind off any worries that you have in your daily life.
- The game helps in improving reflexes and coordination.
- It also helps improve muscle toning, especially in the buttocks and legs.
- This game requires less space; hence, it can be played either inside or outside without having to worry about the weather.
- It will help improve heart rate and hence the health of your heart.
Getting Started in Padel
Though Padel can be a game that you can jump right into, it has many intricacies to the game, such as the tactics that you need to employ and the various shots that you can play. Here are some tips for beginners of the Padel game.
- Choosing the right Padel racket is essential when you are just starting.
- Learn basic shots, such as forehand and backhand, ground shots, volleys, serves, and lobes.
- Take a few Padel tennis lessons that can help you start and become a better player.
- Do warm up before you get into the play. Warm-up exercises are also great to avoid injuries to your legs, neck, and shoulders.
- Do not forget to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. This will also help in keeping your energy levels up.
Padel's Future and Trends
With its high growth rate, Padel sport is all set to become the most played sport in the world. It currently has 4,200 courts in Sweden and is ranked third in Europe. From its current total of 40,000 courts, the number of courts worldwide will be more than double. By 2026, it has also been expected that there will be around 85,000 courts. Apart from this, the other market looking at the emergence of this sport is Kuwait, where not just adults but also children and teenagers have started taking interest.
Padel is here to stay! And if you still want to know more about the Padel game, then now is your chance to experience it firsthand. Despite its popularity, a lot of people are still not aware of the game. With the various Padel rules and the tennis Padel requirements now clear, you can also try out this new and emerging sport.