POP tennis

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(Redirected from Paddle tennis)
POP tennis
Highest governing bodyInternational POP Tennis Association
First played1898 in Albion, Michigan, United States
Team membersSingles or doubles
Mixed-sexYes, separate singles, doubles, & mixed doubles
Typeracket sport
EquipmentModified tennis ball, paddle, net
VenueOutdoor or indoor
Country or regionWorldwide
World GamesNo

POP tennis (originally known as paddle tennis[1]) is a racket sport adapted from tennis and played for over a century. Compared to tennis, the court is smaller, has no doubles lanes, and the net is lower. Paddle tennis is played with a solid perforated paddle, as opposed to a strung racquet, and a lower pressure tennis ball.

The same court is used for both singles and doubles, with doubles being the dominant form of play. The smaller court size adds a strong emphasis and advantage to net play and creates a fast and reaction-based game. Local leagues and tournaments can be found worldwide.


During year 1898, paddle tennis was invented by Episcopal minister Frank Peter Beal in Albion, Michigan. Afterwards, the sport spread in lower Manhattan where Beal wanted to create recreational activities for neighborhood children. In 1915, Beal got the Manhattan parks and recreation department to lay courts in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. The first tournament was held in 1922, and the United States Paddle Tennis Association (USPTA) was formed the following year. By 1941, paddle tennis was being played in almost 500 American cities.[2]

Although Frank Peer Beal is known as the game's inventor, Murray Geller, a player in the 1940s and ‘50s, was instrumental in creating the modern game. Elected chairman of the USPTA rules committee, he wanted to make the game more appealing to adults and instituted features including an enlarged court and an underhanded serve.[2][3]

Scott Freedman has won the World's Men's Singles Paddle Tennis Championships 19 times, the World Men's Doubles Championships 16 times, and the World Mixed Doubles 14 times.[4] He wrote a book titled Paddle Tennis and Tennis: Anyone Can Play.[4]


The court[edit]

Paddle tennis courts[5] are constructed of the same materials as tennis courts, or can also be placed on hard beach sand. The court measures 50 feet (15.24m) baseline-to-baseline and 20 feet (6.09m) across, with the service line 3 feet (0.91m) in from the baseline. This creates a service box of 10x22 feet (3.04x6.70m). The net is placed at a height of 31 inches (0.78m). On the west coast, a restraint line is drawn 12 feet (3.66m) back parallel to the net. When in use, all players must keep both feet behind the restraint line until after the player receiving the serve has struck the ball. All paddle rules are similar to tennis. Paddle tennis second serves also have to be bounced at least once in the other opponents side.


  • Players: Four, played in a doubles format.
  • Serves: Serves must be underhand. A second serve is allowed only in the event of a net ball that lands in bounds, as in tennis.
  • Score: Scoring method is the same as in tennis. Matches are best of five sets.
  • Ball: Tennis ball with reduced pressure.
  • Paddle: Solid with no strings. May be perforated.
  • Court: There are two styles of courts. East and West coast styles.
  • Walls: Walls or fences play the same role as in tennis, once the ball comes in contact with either the point is over.

Similar sports[edit]

Padel is a similar sport typically played in doubles on an enclosed court about half the size of a tennis court. It is popular in Spain and Hispanic America.

Pickleball is a similar sport invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, WA. It uses a similar size court and paddle but uses a plastic "wiffle" ball.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History of POP Tennis (Paddle Tennis)". Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  2. ^ a b "Paddle Tennis". Archived from the original on 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
  3. ^ "A Guide to POP Tennis (Paddle Tennis)". Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  4. ^ a b "Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame Home". scjewishsportshof.com.
  5. ^ "POP Tennis (Paddle Tennis) Rules & Court Dimensions". Retrieved 2020-07-02.