What Exactly Is Padel? I’ll Explain

Most likely, you’ve seen at least a few videos of four individuals slugging it out on a small tennis-like court with walls, and you’re curious as to what’s going on. 

In this article, you’ll get to know Padel, or also known as “Tennis with Walls so you can begin playing or become an informed fan.

what is padel

Introduction To Padel

Padel is a sport played on a closed court with players able to play off the walls surrounding them. The court is approximately one-third the size of a tennis court without doors, allowing players to strike the ball outside of the court. 

You can play it as a doubles game; however, you can also play it as a singles game. 

Also, you can score the same way as you do in tennis, so it is straightforward to understand. 

Padel is also famous for paddle tennis in the United States and Canada. Based on the name, you need a paddle to play this sport. 

It may be a hybrid of many racquet sports such as tennis, badminton, and squash.

Let’s dive into more information about Padel starting from the history up to the game’s scoring. You may have questions that this post will provide an answer to so you can be more informed.

Padel’s Timeline

There is a history around Padel, just as there is with any sport. If you wish to participate in this sport, having a thorough grasp of its components is essential for gaining respect and improving your own game.


In 1962, Enrique Corcuera, a bold contractor from the Dominican Republic, transformed his home squash court by incorporating aspects of platform tennis into the design in Acapulco, Mexico.

The court for this new racquet sport was just a third the size of the more well-known tennis court.

The idea for the game, which he devised, came from other racquet sports, such as squash, tennis, and badminton. He believed that this activity required its name, and so he created it. 

As a result, he coined the term “Paddle Corcuera” or “Paddle Tennis” for the sport which is now more famous as Padel.


Julio Menditengui from Argentina, who visited Alfonso, discovered his friend’s sport that spread across nations.

The sport captured Menditengui’s imagination as well, and he went on to promote it in his own country, where people first played in 1969. It became the mark of the sport’s entry into the South American continent.


A few years later, he sent an invitation to his Spanish acquaintance, Alfonso de Hohenlohe. 

Alfonso got fascinated as well by his friend’s newly developed sport. Thus, he brought the excitement back home to his own country with him.

In 1970, Hohenlohe returned to Marbella, Spain, establishing the world’s first padel courts. 

In the years that followed, the sport experienced a lot of modifications. As a result, the sport increased in popularity and attracted the attention of well-known tennis players like Manuel Santana.


In 1991, the World Padel Championship, organized by the Worldwide Padel Federation in Madrid, became the sport’s first international championship event. 

So far, only countries who have helped in the development of the sport have taken part. Spain, Argentina, the United Kingdom, and France were among the countries that participated.


The Padel Pro Tour started in 2005 as the first worldwide professional championship tour dedicated to the sport of Padel. 

The organization hoped to establish the sport as a legitimate professional sport and develop male and female rankings.


The World Padel Tour became the premier worldwide authority in determining Padel champions, taking over from the Padel Pro Tour in 2013. 

The World Padel Tour has 15 to 20 events, culminating in a final Master series at the end of each year.


There are more than eight million Padel players and 4,000 padel clubs in the globe now. As of November 2020, there are 6000 active padel players in the U.K.

Most of the Padel courts are in Spain, with over 11,500 courts, with the remainder primarily located in France, Argentina, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, among other nations.

Although it has strong origins in Spanish-speaking nations and southern America, Padel reached global recognition and a large fan following.

It is currently extensively active in European nations, North America, and Asia, and some are even seeking to get the sport included in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Padel Equipment

Padel Equipment

To get a game of Padel started, you’ll need the following items:


However, although the sport needs four people, it is possible to play it against just one person. 

You can play doubles, which most people do, but you can also try a singles game. 

Padel Racquets

The Padel racquet is a one-of-a-kind racquet that does not have strings, solid, and holes.

Manufacturers use ethylene-vinyl acetate and coat it with either plastic or carbon; the more costly ones use more expensive material.

Furthermore, the typical weight of the racquet is between 340 g and 370 g, depending on the model.

The overall length of the racquet must be at 45.5 cm maximum. The size of the handles should not exceed 20 cm, and the breadth and thickness of the head should not exceed 26 cm and 38 mm, respectively.


Padel balls are essentially low-pressure tennis balls with a softer feel. It is like green dotted tennis balls used mainly by young children to play tennis and is similar.

It uses a rubber material with a diameter ranging from 6.35 to 6.77 cm and weighs between 56 and 59.4 grams.


The court is ten by 20 meters with four glass walls and railings that stand 4 meters in height.

Also, the court might be either indoors or outside. There is an opening on each side of the net but does not have any doors.

The court is divided in two by a 10-meter-long net. When measured from the middle, it stands 88 cm tall.

Game Officials

An umpire is present on professional and competitive matches to keep track of the action and accurate score.

On the other hand, referees are not always present in recreational and friendly games of Padel. 

Thus, Padel players must have a thorough grasp of the game’s rules to ensure that the game remains fair.

Padel Basics

Padel Basics - what is padel

Apart from a few minor differences, the scoring system and regulations for Padel are pretty identical to those for tennis.

The serve is one notable distinction between the two games. In contrast to tennis, in which players can serve overhead, in Padel, players must serve underhand and below the waistline to call it successful.

In the same way that tennis players have two tries to serve, so do Padel players.

The serve must be diagonal to the receiver, as is the case in many racquet sports. This rule means that if the server is on the right side, the service must travel to the left side and vice versa for the left side.

It is a let if the ball strikes the net and rebounds into the correct side during service. Moreover, players must exchange sides after every odd-numbered game after the 1st, 3rd, or 5th set.

Even though the ball can strike the surrounding walls, it must always bounce off the ground before hitting the court walls. Otherwise, the other team gets the point.

Players can, however, choose to play off the walls first, as long as the ball reaches the wall on their side of the field. The ball can only bounce once on the ground.

Lastly, players can strike the ball in the air, except the serve and return.

Padel Scoring

As previously stated, the score in Padel is identical to the scoring system in tennis.

You may play matches with the best of three sets, which means that the team that wins two sets first wins the game. To win a set, players must win six games. 

If the score in the games is 5-5, the set will extend to a maximum of 7 games. If the score ties at 6-6 in-game, players need to do a 7-point tiebreaker.

Like in tennis, a game has 0, 15, 30, 40, and a game, with a bonus point.

Teamwork And Game Plan

Remember that this game is usually in doubles, meaning there is a pair per team. It makes Padel an activity of collaboration and strategic thinking.

When two players work together on a 5-by-10-meter court, communication and coordination are vital for a better game plan. 

Therefore, practice is essential for developing a solid bond with your partner. Furthermore, a sound strategy is significant for finding opportunities to win the point and outwit the rivals.

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Final Thoughts

The fact that you have a smaller area to deal with is already a challenge because the space available to move is little. 

When combined with the fact that there are two opponents, it necessitates a sharp ability to evaluate the fast-paced games and discern the other player’s tactics.

Furthermore, players must train and improve their abilities, such as maneuvering the racquet and speed, to better control the direction and placement of their shots.

So, there you have it; hopefully, this post answered some of your questions and dispelled your concerns regarding Padel.

Additional Questions

How Do You Earn Or Lose Points?

When playing Padel, there are primarily four ways to win or lose a point first, if the ball bounces twice on the court, second, if the ball touches a player’s body.

Also, you can lose a point if the ball does not go over the net, and lastly, if the ball bounces twice on the opponents’ side walls before bouncing twice on the opponents’ court.

What Happens When My Shot Bounces Off The Opponent’s Wall Back To My Side?

Since the other team did not touch the ball before its return, you earn the point in this situation.