The invention of firsts for everything is always a mystery, as it is with a sport that evolved as a combination of tennis and squash.
Tennis and squash are two of the most popular racket sports globally. Both the sport involve a racket that differs slightly. Besides that, the courts of both sports are also different. Tennis is played on an open court with two sides, while the squash is played in a walled environment with both players standing side by side. However, a new sport has been recently introduced as a combination of both, and people are attracted to it.
“Padel” is the sport invented by combining tennis and squash. Padel is usually played in doubles, but it can also be played in singles. It is played on a tennis-like court, which measures one-third of a tennis court. One of the main elements picked from squash is the glass walls surrounding the padel court.
Both sport heavily influences not just the court but the rules as well. Padel is also called padel tennis in some countries. No matter the location, padel has become one of the fastest-growing new sports worldwide and one of the primary reasons for that is the enclosed court, so the game stays on for longer as there is no way out for the ball.
We are a bunch of padel enthusiasts and have been playing the sport for a significant time and know all about it. This article will talk about everything you should know about the new sport - Padel.
What is Padel?
Padel is a racket sport similar to tennis but played on a smaller court with walls. The game can be played singles or doubles. Padel is a relatively new sport, originating in Mexico in the 1960s. It is now popular in Europe, South America, and Asia.
Padel can be played indoors or outdoors. The indoor version of the game is typically played on a hard court, while the outdoor version is played on a clay court. The game is played with a specially designed racket with a shorter handle and a larger head than a tennis racket. The ball used in padel is similar to a tennis ball but slightly smaller.
Padel is typically played best-of-three sets. In doubles, each team consists of two players. One player serves the entire set while the other hits the ball from the baseline. Players can switch positions after every game. In singles, each player competes against another player one-on-one.
A Brief History
Padel has become one of the most popular sports in recent years and is played by people of all ages and abilities. Padel is a racquet sport that was invented in Mexico in the 1960s. It is similar to tennis but is played on a smaller court with walls or nets. Padel is a popular sport in Europe and South America and has been growing in popularity in other parts of the world in recent years.
There are many different tournaments and competitions that are held for padel players of all levels. The biggest event in the padel calendar is the World Padel Tour, a professional tour that features the best players from around the world. Other major events include the European Padel Championships and the South American Padel Championships.
The first international tournament in 1991 was in Madrid, with players from Argentina, UK, Spain, and France.
Other major padel tournaments include:
- The 2005 Padel Pro Tour tournaments in Argentina, Brazil, Canary Islands, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and Uruguay.
- The first Women’s World Padel Tour 2006.
- The 2009 Padel World Championship in Madrid.
- The 2013 World Padel Tour, with events in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and Uruguay.
- The first Padel World Cup 2014 in Buenos Aires.
Today, padel has over eight million players and is played in more than ninety countries.
How Padel Compares to Tennis
Padel and tennis are both racket sports that can be played individually or with a partner. Both games are played on a rectangular court with a net in the middle, and the objective is to hit the ball over the net and into your opponent’s court.
There are some key differences between padel and tennis, however. For one, padel is played with a much smaller court than tennis - about one-third the size. This makes for a faster-paced, more action-packed game. Additionally, while tennis is typically played with only two players, padel can be played with four. This means that there are more opportunities for strategic play in padel. Finally, the walls surrounding the court are used as part of the game in padel - players can bounce the ball off of them to keep the rally going. This is not allowed in tennis.
Overall, padel is a very similar sport to tennis, but some key differences make it its own unique game. If you’re a tennis fan, you’ll enjoy padel just as much!
How Padel Compares to Squash
Padel and squash are both racket sports played indoors on a court. The main difference is that padel is played with four players, while squash is usually played with two players. Both sports require the use of a racket and a ball, and the objective is to hit the ball against the wall so that your opponent cannot return it.
In terms of equipment, padel uses slightly different rackets to squash. Padel rackets have a smaller head and are made of different materials, such as carbon fiber or fiberglass. The balls used in padel are also smaller and lighter than squash balls.
The rules of padel and squash are also quite different. For example, in padel, the ball can bounce off the floor before a player hits it, but in squash, the ball must only be played off the front wall in squash. In terms of scoring, padel games are usually played to the best of three sets, while squash games are usually played to the best of five sets.
Padel is generally a faster-paced and more aggressive game than squash when it comes to strategy. This is because the smaller court size and different racket dimensions make it easier to hit powerful shots. As a result, rallies in padel tend to be shorter than in squash.
Overall, padel and squash are two racket sports with some similarities and some key differences. While they both require a racket, ball, and glass walls, the equipment, rules, and strategy differ between the two sports.
What Do You Need to Play Padel?
So you want to play padel? Padel is a great sport that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. All you need is a racket, a ball, and a court. Below, we discuss these elements in detail.
Padel rackets are made of different materials, depending on the desired weight, size, and grip. For example, lighter rackets are made of aluminum or carbon fiber, while heavier ones are steel. The grip is usually made of rubber or synthetic material, and the material of the racket itself can be anything from wood to Kevlar.
The size and shape of padel rackets also vary depending on the player’s preference. Some players prefer larger rackets for more power, while others prefer smaller ones for more control. Padel rackets typically weigh between 275 and 350 grams.
A padel ball is a special type of tennis ball used in the sport of paddle tennis. Paddle tennis is a variant of tennis played on a smaller court with shorter racquets. The game is similar to regular tennis, but the smaller court and different equipment make it a unique sport.
Padel balls are made of rubber and are filled with air. They are typically bright yellow or orange. Padel balls are slightly larger than tennis balls and have a softer feel. They also have a different bounce than tennis balls, making them suitable for paddle tennis.
Padel balls are available in different sizes, weights, and materials. The size and weight of the ball depend on the age and skill level of the player. The material of the ball also affects its performance. Padel balls can be made of different materials, such as synthetic rubber or natural rubber.
Synthetic rubber padel balls are typically cheaper than natural rubber balls. However, they don’t have the same feel and bounce as natural rubber balls. Natural rubber padel balls are more expensive, but they provide a better playing experience.
There are different padel courts, each with its unique features. The most common type is the clay court, which is made up of a layer of clay over an asphalt base. This type of court is typically found in warm-weather countries and provides excellent traction and a consistent bounce. On the other hand, hard courts are made of concrete or asphalt and can be either indoor or outdoor. They offer good drainage and are very versatile, making them ideal for practice and competitive play. Finally, carpeted courts offer a softer surface and are often used for exhibition matches or training purposes.
The padel court measures 20 meters long and 10 meters wide. The game is typically played in doubles due to its high complexity and fast pace, so there are no separate measurements for a singles game. The net is placed in the middle of the court, and it should be 1.07 meters high for men’s matches and 1.02 meters high for women’s matches.
The different areas of a padel court include the baseline, service line, and sideline. The baseline is the backline of the court, and it is where players start each point. The service line is located at the front of the court, and it is where players must stand when serving. The sidelines mark the boundaries of the playing area, and they are used to determine whether a ball is in or out.
There are several key elements of a padel court, all of which contribute to the game. The net, for example, is an essential part of the court and helps keep the ball in play. The posts that support the net are also important, as they determine how high the net can be. Other elements of the court include the lines that mark the boundaries and the backboards, which help to deflect wayward balls. All of these elements come together to create a unique playing experience enjoyed by millions worldwide.
A four-meter-high glass wall surrounds a padel court. This wall is made of tempered glass and has an aluminum frame. The glass wall is necessary to contain the ball within the court boundaries and protect spectators from errant shots.
Besides that, a metallic mesh covers certain areas of the court’s boundaries. This mesh is placed on the upper part of the glass wall, and it also has an aluminum frame. The metallic mesh protects the glass from impact damage caused by the ball.
The metal mesh extends beyond the boundaries of the padel court, forming a roof over the court. This roof protects from the sun and rain, and it also helps to contain errant balls.
What are Padel Rules
Padel is a racquet sport similar to tennis, except it is played on a smaller court with softer racquets. The game can be played either singles or doubles.
The game’s main objective is to hit the ball over the net into your opponent’s court and make it bounce before they can return it. Points are awarded whenever your opponent fails to return the ball or if they hit the ball out of bounds.
The game is typically played to the best of three sets, with each set being won by the first player/team to reach six games. A tiebreak may be used to determine the winner of a set if necessary.
As padel is a fusion of tennis and squash, the rules are heavily inspired by these sports. However, you should be aware of some changes to the rules and gameplay before playing the game. Below, we discuss Padel rules in detail.
Scoring in Padel
When playing padel, the aim is to score points by winning rallies. A rally is won when a player hits the ball so that the other team cannot return it or when a team commits a fault. The team that wins the rally scores a point.
Scoring points in padel is similar to tennis. The points are scored as 15, 30, 40, and game. However, there is a difference in how these points are scored. In tennis, if the score is tied at 40-40, then the next point wins the game. However, if the score is tied at 40-40, it is called “deuce” in padel, and the next two points win the game.
The first player to score four points wins the game. To win a set, a player must win six games. A match is usually best out of three sets, but sometimes it can be best out of five.
Players’ Position in Padel
In doubles padel, each player has their position on the court. The positions are numbered from one to four, with the lower number corresponding to the server’s position. Position one is always behind the baseline, while position two is in the middle of the court between the baseline and service line. Position three is at the service line, and position four is behind it.
Positions one and two will move up to the service line when receiving serve. After returning a serve, they will return to their original positions. Positions three and four will stay in place during the entire point.
The positioning of the players can vary depending on what type of shot they are hitting. For example, if a player is hitting a forehand, they will move up to the front of the court to be in position for the shot. They will move back behind the baseline if they are hitting a backhand.
Serving in Padel
When playing padel, the server must stand within the designated service area behind the backline and on their side of the court. The server then hits the ball with their paddle, aiming to bounce it inside the opposing team’s half of the court.
There are a few different serving techniques that can be used in padel. The official way to serve is the underhand serve, which involves hitting the ball with an underhand motion. Other types of serves include the overhand serve and the backhand serve.
It is important to keep the ball low over the net when serving. This makes it more difficult for opponents to return the ball and increases the chances of winning the point. It is also important to vary the speed and spin of your serves, making them more difficult to predict and return.
If you are playing doubles, each team member must take turns serving. The order of serving will rotate after each game so that each player has a fair chance to serve first. In singles games, players can choose which player serves first.
The server always has the advantage when serving, as they get to dictate where the ball goes and how it is hit. However, there are ways for opponents to gain an advantage when returning serves. For example, if the server hits the ball too hard or too close to the net, opponents can return it with a powerful, difficult shot to defend.
Serving Faults in Padel
When serving in padel, several faults can be committed. These faults can lead to the loss of a point or even the loss of the game. Here is a list of some of the most common serving faults in padel:
A foot fault is committed when the server’s feet touch the ground over the baseline before making the serve. This results in a loss of serve.
A double bounce is committed when the ball hits the ground twice before the server hits it. This results in a loss of serve.
A let is called when the ball hits the net on its way over and lands inside the service box. This results in a re-serve.
A serve is out when it lands outside of the bounds. This results in a loss of serve.
A fault is committed when the ball hits the ground inside the service box before it is hit by the server. This results in a loss of serve.
Some lesser-known faults about padel often result in lost points or even disqualification in padel. These include:
A double fault occurs when a player hits the ball into the net on two consecutive serves. This usually results in an automatic point for the other team.
Touching the Net
Touching the net with any part of the body while the ball is in play is a fault. This is often called on players who reach over the net to try and hit a shot.
This is a catch-all type of fault that can be called for any type of unsportsmanlike behavior on the court. This can include arguing with the referee, profanity, or throwing your racket in frustration.
A hindrance occurs when one player interferes with another player’s ability to play the ball. This can happen if a player’s clothing or hair gets in the way of another player’s swing, for example.
Knowing these different types of faults is essential for any padel player, as they can often be the difference between winning and losing a game. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules before you start playing to avoid making any costly mistakes.
About THE AUTHOR
Since initially playing at the collegiate level, I have amassed several decades of experience playing racquetball, tennis, and pickleball. I have played thousands of matches and games, and won medals and awards in multiple tourantments. I am constantly improving my game and enjoy mentoring and coaching other players in strategy and technique. I have authored dozens of articles on the sport.Read More About Michael Stevens