Padel (sport)

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Sanchez-Casal Paddle Tennis Game.jpg
Padel players on outdoor padel courts
Highest governing bodyInternational Padel Federation (IPF)
NicknamesPaddle (US, Canada)
First played1969, Acapulco, Mexico
Team membersDoubles only
Mixed genderSeparate competitions (mixed sometimes in leagues)
TypeRacquet sport
EquipmentPadel racquet, padel ball
VenueOutdoor or indoor padel court
Country or regionWorldwide

Padel is a racquet sport. It is different from the sport known in the US and Canada as paddle tennis.

Padel is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court roughly 25% smaller than the size of a tennis court. Scoring is the same as normal tennis and the balls used are similar but with a little less pressure. The main differences are that the court has walls and the balls can be played off them in a similar way as in the game of squash and that solid, stringless bats are used. The height of the ball being served must be at or below the waist level.

Padel is not to be confused with platform tennis, a winter and summer sport typically played at country clubs in the US and Canada, with courts heated from below to eliminate snow and water. The court, rules and styles of play are very different.


The sport was invented in Acapulco, Mexico, by Enrique Corcuera in 1969.[1] It is currently most popular in Spain, Mexico, Italy and Andorra as well as Hispanic American countries such as Argentina, although it is now beginning to spread rapidly across Europe and other continents.

Padel Pro Tour (PPT)[2] was the professional padel circuit which was created in 2005 as a result of the agreement between a group of organizers of matches of padel and Association of Professional Players of Pádel (AJPP) and the Spanish Feminine Association of Pádel (AFEP). Nowadays, the most important padel circuit is World Padel Tour (WPT),[3] which started in Spain though it has already reached international expansion. In 2014 WPT has traveled to Portugal, Argentina and Dubai.

The sport's popularity along the Costa del Sol in southern Spain and the Algarve in southern Portugal has exposed it to a large number of British visitors, leading to an increased popularity of the sport in the UK and a launch of the UK Padel Federation in 2011. Padel is now also making strong inroads in the Middle East in countries like Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt. [4]

United States[edit]

The US Padel Association[5] was founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1993, and opened two courts in the Chattanooga area. The American Paddle Association was formed in 1995 and built its first courts at a private club in Houston, Texas for exhibition games. The first public courts opened in Miami, Florida in 2009, and several clubs have opened nearby, as well as in Los Angeles, since then.

Padel is played at the USTA National Tennis Campus in Orlando, Florida. Four additional courts will open in June 2021. Sanctioned tournaments are planned for the autumn of 2021.


In 2014, the Swiss Club in Singapore opened the first padel court in Singapore.[6]


The sport was introduced in 2014 with the opening of some courts in suburbs near Cairo. The sport's popularity was growing slowly in its early years, until 2020, when the popularity of the sport exploded. As a result, more courts at several locations have been built, mostly around Cairo, but also in Alexandria and El Gouna. There are often tournaments being organised, where players can pay to participate, and winners earn prize money. The current format for tournaments currently comprises 3 levels: A, B and C.


The first Padel Court in Denmark was founded in Fredericia 2007. It has not been approved by the Danish Padel Association as the first, however generally to the public it is referred to as "The first". Several clubs still use this old-school court for both leisure and Tournaments. The local club "Padøl-banden" are the proud owners of the court record of - longest match ever played. In 2012 they played 11 hours and 52 minutes over one match.


Padel came to Finland in 2003. The official launch of the sport's official organisation was held on November 26, 2009.

Padel’s real popularity began after 2016, with an explosion in popularity during the growth of the Corona pandemic.

In Finland, padel can now be played at 65–70 locations. According to statistics from the Finnish Padel Federation, there were 206 courts at the beginning of 2021, but in fact 250 already exist with around 150 new courts planned.

The Caribbean[edit]

The islands of Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Martinique, French St. Martin and Puerto Rico have Padel courts.

Two courts are also under construction on the Dutch side of St. Maarten slated to open on October/November 2021. Sxm Padel group from St. Maarten has expansion plans for more courts over the region.

The court[edit]

Padel court dimensions

Padel rules[7] states that the playing field should be a rectangle 10 metres (32 ft 10 in) wide (back wall) and 20 metres (65 ft 7 in) long (side wall) (with a 0.5% tolerance), enclosed by walls. At the middle of the playing field there will be a net dividing the court in two, the net has a maximum height of 88 cm in the center raising to 92 centimetres (36 in) at sides (with a 0.5 centimetres (15 in) tolerance).[8]

The superstructure is made from connecting 3m high x 2m wide panels, with an additional 1m mesh height over the glass back walls (10m walls). This additional 1m height is continued for 2m from each corner over the side walls also. This means that the back walls and service corners are actually 4m in height, with the remaining side walls are 3m in height.

Glass panels make up the back walls and service side walls (closest 2 side panels to back walls), whilst metal mesh panels occupy the sides.[9]

The service lines are placed 3 metres (9 ft 10 in) before the back wall and there will be also another line in middle that divides the central rectangle in half. All lines have a 5-centimetre (2 in) width and should be clearly visible.

The minimum height between the playing field and an obstacle (for e.g. the ceiling) is 6 metres (19 ft 8 in).


Padel area at ISPO 2014
  • Players: Singles use 6 by 20 metres (19 ft 8 in by 65 ft 7 in) instead of 10 by 20 metres (32 ft 10 in by 65 ft 7 in).
  • Serves: Both first and second serves must be underhand.
  • Score: Scoring method is the same as in tennis.
  • Ball: Very similar to tennis balls. Tennis balls are sometimes used.
  • Padel Bat: Solid with no strings. May be perforated.
  • Walls: Walls are used as part of the game.

See also[edit]

other forms[edit]


  1. ^ "History of Padel". Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  2. ^ "Padel Pro Tour". Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  3. ^ "World Padel Tour". Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "US Padel Association". Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  6. ^ "Beginning and development of padel in Asia". Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  7. ^ "The Rules of Padel". Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  8. ^ "Padel Court Dimensions". Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  9. ^ "Padel court structure". Padel Tennis. Retrieved 2020-09-22.