Paddle-ball is a sport that can be played on a one-wall court with paddle racquets amongst two players (singles game) or in doubles with two teams consisting of two players. Below are the instructions for single games.
To play Paddle-ball, it is necessary to have a paddle (resembling a racquet ball paddle) that is no longer than 17-1/2 inches and no wider than 9 inches, weighing about 0.78 lbs. Paddle-ball can be played with either a tennis ball or any small ball made of rubber. The ball must be kept dry at all times. The appropriate attire for Paddle-ball is ideally one for running, taking climate conditions into consideration.
Paddle-ball is normally played on a court preferably about 20 feet wide and 37 feet long with a wall that is 16 feet in height. The court has a short line, a set of service markers, 2 side lines and a long line. The service zone is the area between the short line and the service markers. At the start of the play, one person must stand inside the service zone and strike the ball against the wall. The server must stay within the service zone until the ball crosses the short line.
Fault, Short, Long
The ball must cross the short line on each serve. Server must stay within the serving box. Once the serve is made, the opponent must hit the ball, hitting it off the wall. If the ball bounces before it crosses the short line, a Short is called. However if the ball bounces beyond the long line, a Long out is called. Any service where the server is not within the service zone upon service is called a Fault. The server has a second chance to serve the ball. Failure to successfully serve the ball into the court beyond the short line twice results in the receiver winning the play. The server and the receiver then switch spots. The game is played until one side wins with 15, 21, 25 or 30 points.
If the serve is good, the receiver must hit the ball before it bounces twice. If the receiver fails to successfully hit the ball back to the wall before its second bounce and have it bounce within the court, then the play stops and the server receives the point. If the receiver hits the ball, but it hits the server, the play restarts again if it looked like the ball could have hit the wall. Otherwise, Fault goes to the receiver and the server wins the point. After the receiver successfully returns the ball, the server can leave the box and must hit the ball before it bounces twice. The server and receiver then alternate until either the ball bounces twice or the ball falls out of bounds. If the server wins the round they gain a point. If the receiver wins, they switch spots and then it is the opponent’s turn to serve. If for instance, one player blocks the other in striking the ball, a block can be called and the play is restarted. If the striker feels that hitting the ball will risk injuring another player, then a Safety can be called and the play starts again. If the server blocks the receiver deliberately it’s out on server.
- Stepping on or over short line, sideline or service marker is a fault.
- Ball is short on serve if the ball does not carry across the short line before bouncing. This is a fault.
- Ball is long on serve if ball carries past the long line without on court bounce or being received. This is a fault.
- Serving between the legs is an automatic fault.
- Server is allowed (1) fault per service point. A second fault means server forfeits serve. This resets every new service point attempt.
- If any serve is wide, the server forfeits the serve.
- If server swings and fails to contact ball, the server forfeits the serve.
- If served ball hits the ground before hitting the wall, server forfeits the serve.
- Server’s partner must remain outside sideline in between service line and short line until the served ball crosses the short line.
- Receiver must hit the ball before it bounces twice.
- Receiver must wait until ball crosses service line before returning serve.
- Receiver may hit ball before it bounces.
- If the server crosses their body with a serve, or if the served ball bounces within one foot of the server, a block may be called by receiver, and point is replayed.
- If struck ball hits the striker or partner, they forfeit the point.
- Until the ball is struck or bounces twice, player(s) can swing any number of times.
- After hit, ball must hit the wall before it hits the floor.
- Off wall, ball may be returned without bouncing.
- Opponent(s) MAY NOT hinder striker by moving during the strikers swing if they are between striker and wall. If they do, opponents forfeit point to striking team. They may move if they are behind striker, and not impairing the striker's ability to return the ball.
- If striking player lets the ball touch any part of their body, it’s out against them.
- If struck ball will hit wall before bouncing, but hits opponent first, play is stopped and point is replayed.
- If struck ball WILL NOT hit wall before bouncing, but hits opponent, striker forfeits point.
- If strikers paddle contacts opponent on forward motion, striker forfeits point.
- If strikers paddle contacts opponent on backswing, point is replayed.
- The ball is in play until it bounces twice.
- If paddle is dropped during play, that player forfeits point.
- Player can call Safety out of fear or injuring opponent with ball or paddle. To call safety, you MUST be able to return ball, and immediately call out "block" or "safety". Any needless Safety is a penalty.
- If the ball breaks, play stops and the point is played over again. Ball’s played over if it hits either a foreign object or if a foreign object enters court.
A referee is not necessary in this particular game. It can be played liked gentlemen, with mutual or compromised agreements amongst the players.
Additional Rules for Single Play
Server can serve anywhere within service box and must serve to major area of the court Major Area: Where the server begins serve. If the ball lands anywhere outside the major area, it’s out. Serving from middle, server must declare with side of court being served into. Serving into a minor area must be declared or it’s a fault.