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Padel 101: Navigating the Basic Rules of the Game

3 min read

Padel 101: Navigating the Basic Rules of the Game

As one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, padel has been confusing many first-time players with its peculiar court and fast-paced gameplay. If you’re one of them, don’t worry! This article will guide you through the padel basic rules so that you can enjoy the game without feeling lost or frustrated.

The court

Padel court measures 10 meters wide and 20 meters long, enclosed by glass walls and metallic meshes. The walls are considered in play, meaning that you can use them to bounce the ball and execute trick shots. The court is divided into two sides by a net that stands one meter high and separates the opposing teams. Each side is further divided into service boxes, located at the front of the court, and a back zone, where most rallies occur.

The equipment

To play padel, you’ll need a paddle and a ball. The paddle has a flat surface and holes in it, usually made of hard foam or carbon fiber. The ball resembles a tennis ball but is less pressurized, giving it less bounce and making it easier to control the rallies. Players usually wear non-marking sneakers and comfortable clothes that allow them to move freely.

The serve

The serve is a crucial part of padel, as it sets the tone for each point. The server starts in the service box, behind the baseline, and must hit the ball diagonally to the opposite service box. The ball must bounce once in the server’s box before the receiver hits it. If the server misses the serve, hits it outside the court or into the net, or violates any of the service rules, the receiver earns a point.

The rally

After the serve, the players hit the ball back and forth until one of them hits it outside the court or into the net, or fails to hit it before it bounces twice. The ball can bounce off the walls, including the roof, but can’t go over them. If the ball hits the opponent’s body or paddle, it’s considered in play, and the rally continues. Players can’t touch the net, cross the centerline, or step into the opposition’s court during the rally. The team that wins the rally earns a point.

The scoring

Padel follows a non-conventional scoring system, where the first team to reach six games, with a difference of two games, wins the set. If the score is tied at six, a tiebreaker game occurs, where the first team to reach seven points, with a difference of two points, wins the set. A match usually consists of the best of three sets, but can also be the best of five in some tournaments.


Now that you know the padel basic rules, it’s time to hit the court and put them into practice. Remember to always play fair, respect your opponents, and have fun. Padel is a social and entertaining sport that can improve your fitness, coordination, and mental sharpness. Who knows, you might become the next padel champion!

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