The story of padel
It all began with a social visit to Mexico in the early 1970s, as the Spanish prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe went to see Enrique Corcuera, a good friend, and early padel enthusiast. Enjoying the sport, Corcuera had built a small tennis court on his land, with walls that were three meters high. Hitting a ball into the walls, the sport was basically related to squash – however using a racket of wood. The Spanish prince immediately fell for the sport, as he started to plan for padel courts of his own, with improved rules and higher standards. And so, returning to Spain shortly thereafter, he presented his first two padel courts at Marbella Club, Costa del Sol. Padel was born, the rest is, as they say, history.
It was not long before jet-set friends of the prince grew attached to padel, out of whom, the Argentinian millionaire, Julio Menditenguia, decided to explore the possibilities and bring padel to Argentina. A good call indeed, as it generated in more than 10 000 new padel courts within a few years. With more than 4 million active players, not only is padel one of Argentina’s leading sports today. It has also spread globally as one of the world´s most growing and popular sports, gathering 19 countries in an International Padel Federation (FIP). Padel VM and EM are arranged every two years.
How to play padel
Padel is basically a perfect mix of tennis and squash, as well as a social and growing training form. It’s lots of fun and easy to learn for players in all ages and stages, with or without prior knowledge. Can you hit a ball? Perfect – let’s play padel!
A padel court is a 10 meters wide and 20 meters long rectangle, divided in half by a net. It is surrounded by glass walls that are three meters high and may be used during the game. It is always played as a double with four players.
The score is set in the same way as in tennis, starting every point with a serve performed by the underhand, where the padel racket must not past the height of your hip.
At the first point in every game, the player holding the serve shall be placed to the right of the middle line and serve diagonally. The ball has to go over the net and bounce in the serving square. You then switch sides.
You have two serves. The lines are only in use during the serve, after that, you are entitled to use the whole court. During serve you must not hit the side grid, only the glass.
Both volley and half volley is allowed. The ball can also hit the ground and the side- or back wall before it going back to the opponent´s side. It is also allowed to hit the ball into the glass walls on your side of the court, to get the ball over to the opposite side.
If the ball bounces twice on your side of the court or strikes a player. The ball must always hit the ground first and cannot be played directly into the opponent´s walls.
How to keep score
Padel, just like tennis is played with game and set. A game shall be counted as 15/30/40/game. To win a set, you need to win at least six games, with an advantage of least two games. At 6-6 an ultimate tiebreak is played, where the first player to reach 7 will be appointed as the winner. You usually play best out of 3 or 5 sets.