• Introduction
  • The object of the game
  • Scoring in padel
  • Serving rules in padel
  • Gameplay
  • Game intervals
  • The padel court
  • Rules and regulations of padel equipment
  • Other rules of padel
  • Sources


  • Points: 15-30-40-Game
  • Game: A game consists of 4 points. If both players are tied at 40, the player who gains a two-point lead is the winner.
  • Set: Once a player wins six games with at least a 2 point lead, they will win a set.
  • Match: A player/team needs to win 2 out of 3 sets to win a match.
  • Deuce: Tied at 40-love (40-40), a player/team must win 2 consecutive points to win a game.
  • Tie-break: If the game score is at 6-6, a player/team that wins a tie break game wins the set. A tie-break game is played until either side reaches 7 points with at least a two-point lead. After the initial rally, the players serve until two points are played.

Intervals and Changes

  • There can be a maximum of 20s between points.
  • Players change ends on the 1st, and 3rd games.
  • Players are allowed a 90s break when changing ends.
  • Players are allowed a 20s break when changing ends during a tie-break
  • Players are allowed a 2min break at the end of each set.
  • In a tie-break, players change ends after every 6 points.


  • The first point is always served from the right side of the court. After every point, the server switches sides until the game is over.
  • Players serve for the whole duration of the game while the receiver changes after every point.
  • Players must serve underhand and below the waist. They have two attempts at a successful serve.
  • The server must have both feet planted behind the service line while the receiver can stand anywhere.
  • Serves must land diagonally over the net into the opponent’s service box.
  • Serve must bounce first before the receiver can return it.
  • If the ball bounces in the service box and hits the wire mesh fence prior to crossing the service line, it’s a fault.
  • If the ball hits the net and lands in the opponent’s service court, the point is will be let (played again).


  • Always played in doubles format (2 vs 2), each team must hit the ball alternatively.
  • The rally ends when the ball bounces twice, touches the wire fencing, hits you or your teammate.
  • If the ball hits any part of the court (including walls) after landing on your opponent’s side, it is in play.
  • The ball can bounce off any of the walls but may only touch the ground once before returning.
  • Players have one attempt to return the ball to their opponent.
  • Volley hits are allowed (hitting before the first bounce). Balls can even be smashed off the court as long as it bounces on your opponent’s side first.
  • Calling a let means the same point will be played again.


Padel, also known as Paddle-Tennis or Paddle Corquera, is one of the more recent additions to the racket sports world. It has its roots in a game called platform tennis, which in turn was a not-so-popular variant of tennis. In 1969, a racket sports enthusiast named Enrique Corquera from Acapulco, Mexico customized his squash court with a tennis net. Thus, creating the first-ever padel court. The sports quickly made its way to both Europe and South America in the mid-1970s. 

Interestingly, the first rules of padel were a birthday present gift from Corquera’s wife Viviana. While most of the gameplay rules are still in use today, the court and wall measurements went through some changes later on, until settling into their modern specifications. 

Since 2010, Padel has been considered the world’s fastest-growing sport with over 20 million active players in over 30 countries worldwide. Nowadays its biggest competitions include Padel World Championship and World Padel Tour (WPT).

The object of the game

The object of padel is easy to understand, your team must hit the ball over the net into your opponent’s side in such a way that they are unable to return it. Of course, the opposing team has the same goal as they try to prevent you from returning it into your side of the court. 

Since padel is being played in an enclosed court that is smaller than other racket sports, players need to understand how the ball can be bounced from the walls for maximum advantage. Therefore, making it an exceptionally fast-paced racket sport that requires fast reaction times, the ability to read the game and position yourself correctly on the court. 

Scoring in padel

A padel match consists of the best of 3 sets, meaning that the first team to win two sets is the winner. To win a set, a team must win 6 games with a lead of at least two games. If both teams are tied at 6-6, a tie-break is played to determine the winner. A tie-break means that the first team that wins 7 points also wins the set.

To win a game, a team must win 4 points with at least a two-point lead. As you can see, padel has an identical point system to tennis, with the exception of a fewer number of sets required to win a match.

  • Love (zero/tie)
  • 15 (single point)
  • 30 (two points)
  • 40 (three points)
  • Deuce (tied at three points)
  • Advantage (player needs one point to win a game)

Serving rules in padel

The basic rules of padel state that the same player from the same team serves for an entire game at a time. During service, the ball has to be hit below the waist and land diagonally over the net into the opposing team’s service court. The first point of the game is always served from the right side and alternates after every point. Although the serving team switches sides after every point, the receiving team remains in their positions during every serve. This means that the receiving player changes after every point. 

The serving player has two attempts at a successful serve. If the first one doesn’t land on the correct service court or the ball hits the net and drops onto the serving team’s side of the court, the player has one serve left. If the ball hits the net and lands in the correct service court, a let will be called and the service will be redone. However, if the ball clips the net and lands outside of the service court, it is considered ”out”. 

During service, the server must also stand behind the service line with both feet firmly planted on the ground, whereas other players are allowed to stand anywhere on the court. Once the service has bounced in the correct service court, the opposing team can return the ball. However, if the ball bounces in the service box and hits the wire mesh fence before crossing the service line, it’s a fault. Lastly, no feints are allowed and the server must not touch the service line at any point during service. 


Padel is always played in a doubles (2 vs 2) format. After the initial coin toss, teams decide their sides and which player serves and receives first. Once the service has been returned and the ball is in play, a rally begins.

The rally ends when the ball bounces twice, touches the wire fencing, or hits you or your teammate. Additionally, touching the net in any way is also considered a fault and leads to the loss of that point. During gameplay, players can also:

  • Hit the ball into the other team’s wall as long as it bounces on their side of the court first
  • Bounce the ball off walls as long as it touches the ground only once
  • Ricochet the ball from their wall into the other team’s side
  • Hit volleys (hitting before the first bounce)
  • Smash the ball out of the court as long as it hits other teams’ side of the court first
  • Return the ball from outside of the court as long as it doesn’t bounce twice and lands on the other team’s side of the court

These rules are overseen by an umpire, who is the main authority during a padel match. They count the points, rule out unsuccessful services, and maintain the overall continuity of the match. In unclear situations, the umpire can also call a let, which means that the same point will be played again. Some major padel tournaments also have a tournament umpire, whose responsibility is to ensure that the game is being played fairly and according to the International Padel Federation (FIP) rules and guidelines. 

Game intervals

According to the basic rules of padel, teams must change ends (sides) after the 1st, 3rd, and every odd number of games after that. When switching sides, teams are also allowed a 90s break before starting the next point. After each set, players are also granted a 2-minute break. During tie-break, players also 20s to change ends every 6 points. 

The International Padel Federation (FIP) also rules that there may not be more than 20s between points to make the sport more exciting for spectators. 

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In padel, the ball can bounce off any of the walls but may only touch the ground once before returning it.

The padel court

The Padel Court is 20m (66ft) long and 10m (33ft) wide. The court is divided in the center by a net with a height of 98cm (3.2ft) at the posts and 88cm (2.9ft) in the middle. The service line is 6.95m (23ft) from the net and is divided by a perpendicular line into the left and right service courts. Additionally, the minimal height of a padel court is 6m (20ft) with no obstructing elements that could hinder gameplay. 

Padel courts must also be completely enclosed to ensure uniform bounce from surrounding walls. Each end must have a combined height of 4m (13.1ft). The bottom 3m (10ft) of these are made of solid material such as tempered glass or brick, whereas the last 1m (3.3ft) is made from a metallic fence. The sides have stepped wall areas, first step measuring at 3m (10ft) near the ends with a 1m (3.3ft) fence, and the second one is 2m (6.6ft) with a 1-2m (3.3-6.6ft) fence. The third step connects the sides with a 3-4m (10-13.1ft) high metal fence. There is also an opening next to the net so that players can enter the court. 

The court surface can be made from concrete, artificial grass, or synthetic material. The only requirements are that the court doesn’t accumulate water and the ball has a uniform bounce on the surface. The preferred colors of the court are blue, green, and terracotta. Black surfaces are only allowed in indoor facilities.

Rules and regulations of padel equipment

In addition to athletic apparel and a court, padel only requires two pieces of equipment; a racket and a padel ball. 

The padel racket is made up of three parts; an oval-shaped head, the handle (grip), and a wrist cord with a maximum length of 35cm (13.7in). What makes padel rackets different from tennis and badminton, is that they have a solid surface on both sides and no strings. The racket is usually perforated with 9-13mm (0.3-0.5in) cylindrical holes in the hitting surface for added aerodynamics. The modern rules of padel state that the handle may not be longer than 20cm (7.9in) or thicker than 50mm (2in) whereas the head cannot be wider than 26cm (10.2in), or thicker than 38mm (1.5in). The maximum length for a padel racket is 45.5cm (17.9in). 

Padel balls are felt-covered rubber balls similar to the ones used in tennis. However, they are slightly smaller with a diameter of 6.35-6.77cm (2.5-2.7in) and weight of 56g-59.4g (1.98-2.10oz). They also bounce less due to having a lower internal pressure than tennis balls. Padel balls also come in both yellow or white colors. 

Other rules of padel

A padel match starts with a coin toss to determine which team serves first. The team that wins the coin toss gets to decide who is the first server while the other team chooses the side they want to play on. Once this is done, both teams tell the umpire who will serve and receive first.  

If the match is suspended due to rain, accidents, lack of light, etc., and resumes later, players are allowed to warm up before the match continues. The warmup rules are as follows: 

  • Under 5min. No warmup 
  • 5-20min. 3min warmup
  • Over 20min. 5 min warmup

If a player is injured, they are grated three minutes of medical attention once per match. However, players are also allowed three-minute-breaks during the next change of ends to treat the injury themselves. If the injury is a direct result of the game, the umpire may use their discretion and stop the match for a maximum of 15 minutes. In case of a bleeding wound, the player is not allowed to continue the match. 

If a player accidentally breaks their paddle during gameplay, they are allowed to use a spare racket. However, the racket can only be switched during a break between points.

Did you learn anything new about the rules of padel? Let us know in the comments below!

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