|Highest governing body||International Padel Federation (FIP)|
|Nicknames||Paddle (US, Canada)|
|First played||1969, Acapulco, Mexico|
|Registered players||Manolo Jaidar|
|Team members||Doubles only|
|Mixed-sex||Separate competitions (mixed sometimes in leagues)|
|Equipment||Padel racquet, padel ball|
|Venue||Outdoor or indoor padel court|
|Country or region||Worldwide|
Padel is a racket sport typically played in doubles on an enclosed court roughly one-third 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 different from the sport known in Canada and the United States as paddle tennis. It is also not to be confused with platform tennis, a winter and summer sport typically played at country clubs in Canada and the US, 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 Mexico by Enrique Corcuera in 1969. It is very popular in Spain and several countries in Latin America, especially Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Panama and Chile. It is also relatively popular in UAE, Italy, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Sweden and Andorra.
Padel Pro Tour (PPT) 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 Padel (AJPP) and the Spanish Feminine Association of Pádel (AFEP). Nowadays, the most important padel circuit is World Padel Tour (WPT), which started in Spain though it has already reached international expansion. In 2014 WPT has travelled 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.
The US Padel Association was founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1993, and opened two courts in the Chattanooga area. The American Padel 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 Torrance, California, since then.
Padel is played at the USTA National Tennis Campus in Orlando, Florida.
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 4 levels: A, B, C and D. Al-Ahly a major egyptian club have 4 padel courts. "PadelPod" is also considered one of the biggest Padel entities that owns over 12 Padel clubs with 30+ courts across Cairo, Alexandria, and North Coast.
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 26 November 2009.
Padel’s real popularity began after 2020, with an explosion in popularity during the COVID-19 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.
In 2021, there were approximately 700 Padel Courts in Sweden. The Swedish Padel Association (Svenska Padelförbundet) was included as a member of the Swedish Sports Confederation (Riksidrottsförbundet) in 2021.
The islands of Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Martinique, Dutch St. Maarten, French St. Martin, Sint Eustatius (Statia), and Puerto Rico have Padel courts.
The two courts on the Dutch side of St. Maarten officially opened on December 4, 2021, the facilities are owned and managed by SXM Padel group from St. Maarten. The group has expansion plans for more courts over the region. The courts are open to the public and can be rented in intervals of 1 or 1.5 hours, rackets are also available for rent or sale. They also have a fully stocked pro-shop on the premises.
Tungwah Wenzel International School (Dongguan city, Guangdong) opened one of the first padel courts in South China. The city of Shanghai is leading the opening of new courts every year, with more than 25 courts planned to open in 2022.
The padel rules state 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 (1⁄5 in) tolerance).
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.
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).
- 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: Padel balls are required for official matches and to set an optimum player experience. Shape and color are similar to tennis balls. Tennis balls can be used but not recommended.
- Padel Racquet: Solid with no strings. Has to be perforated by rule.
- Walls: Walls are used as part of the game.
- Levels: 1 beginner to 7 professional.
The basic rules
Although Padel shares the same scoring system as tennis, the rules, strokes, and technique are different.
Most play in the sport of Padel is in doubles format. Single courts are also available, the size of a singles court is 20 m x 6 m.
Padel follows the same scoring as the tennis scoring system with the following exception:
- In the 2020 season, World Padel Tour introduced the "Gold Point" or "Golden Point", a new scoring method for main tournaments (Master Final, Master, Open and Challenger) organized by the World Padel Tour. This method of scoring has been widely adopted throughout non-professional tournaments as well.
- The golden point in Padel:
- The golden point occurs when the score reaches deuce during any game.
- The receiving team chooses whether the service will come from the right or left of the court.
- The team that wins that one single point will win the game.
- The golden point in Padel:
- Padel World Championship
- Paddle tennis
- Real tennis, a precursor sport to modern tennis that also features an enclosed walled court.
- Femme Open, worlds largest female amateur tour, started in Sweden 2018.
- "What is Padel?". Retrieved 16 August 2022.
- "History of Padel". Retrieved 1 July 2020.
- "Padel Pro Tour". Retrieved 1 July 2020.
- "World Padel Tour". Retrieved 1 July 2020.
- "Qatar officially joins International Padel Federation". 2 June 2021.
- "US Padel Association". Retrieved 1 July 2020.
- "Beginning and development of padel in Asia". 12 December 2019. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
- Schüllerqvist, Max (1 November 2021). "Så fick Sverige dubbelt så många padelhallar som ishallar" [How Sweden got twice as many padel courts as ice rinks]. SVT Sport (in Swedish). Sveriges Television. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
- "Padel och islandshäst välkomnas som nya medlemmar" [Padel and Icelandic horse are welcomed as new members] (in Swedish). Swedish Sports Confederation. 30 May 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
- "TWIS – TUNGWAH WENZEL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL". Retrieved 20 August 2021.
- FIP 2021, p. 4.
- FIP 2021, p. 5.
- "Padel court structure". Padel Tennis. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
- "The Gold Point debuts in World Padel Tour in 2020 | World Padel Tour". worldpadeltour.com. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
- "Regulations of the Padel Game" (PDF). International Padel Federation (FIP). 28 May 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 August 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2022.