Have you ever practiced paddle tennis?
Paddle is a racquet sport that is always played in pairs and consists of three fundamental elements for its development: the ball, the paddle and the court.
The game consists of passing the ball to the opponent’s court allowing only one bounce on our side, if we get our opponent not to return the ball, we win the point. To obtain the victory we must win two of the three sets that make up the match.
This sport originated in Mexico as Enrique Corcuera, who is considered the inventor of paddle tennis. It all started at his home in Acapulco in 1969 where he incorporated a court with 10-foot-high walls and a 20×10-meter track enclosed by a metal fence. And it used the same rules as tennis, with the variant that the walls were used as a reference.
In Spain it arrives in mid 1974 thanks to Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe who was amazed with this sport during his visit to Enrique’s house in Mexico, he decides to build two courts in Marbella with some modifications in the court and regulations.
In 1975, Argentinean milionaire Julio Menditegui decided to import it into his country and it became the second most practiced sport in Argentina. From that moment on, it began to spread to other Latin American countries such as Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.
Ten years later, there was an exponential growth in the number of tournaments and players, especially in Argentina, which led to the first international professional paddle championship in 1988.
By the end of the 1990s, the circuit in Argentina lost popularity and the main tournaments were played in Spain, which generated a great migration of Argentine players to Europe.
Currently, paddle is one of the favorite sports in Spain, in 2019 it surpassed tennis for the first time in federative chips, and unlike other sports it can be practiced by the whole family, from the youngest to the elderly.
Globally, it is the sport with the fastest evolution and penetration in number of players and courts in the world. So far there are 35 national paddle tennis federations spread over the five continents. We also have the World Padel Tour (WPT) which is the most important world circuit, along with the world championships.
What do I need to play paddle tennis?
Although it may seem otherwise thanks to the wide range of products currently offered in the market, the essential clothing to practice this sport are: The shovel, the shoes and the ball.
Then you can complement it with paddle bags, backpacks, equipment, accessories such as grips and overgrips, protectors, vibration reducers, wristbands, substances to reduce sweating in the hands, among others.
There are 3 types of blades:
- Round paddles: It is the most recommended for beginners as it has a very wide hitting point which offers better control of the ball and are usually more manageable.
- Teardrop-shaped or hybrid racket: are blades somewhat more balanced with respect to the round blades which allows gaining more power and greater control of the ball.
- Diamond-shaped paddle: These are the blades with the most power that feature a very high balance and a smaller hit point.
If you still do not have a team or very clear equipment that you can go better, from Club de tennis Calonge, we advise you for the purchase or rental of equipment.
What should I keep in mind when making my choice?
Please note that it must meet the requirements of the Spanish Federation of Padel (FEP) homologation:
- Its maximum measurements must be 45.5 centimeters long, 26 centimeters wide and 38 millimeters thick in profile.
- The striking surface may be flat, smooth or rough, but should not exceed 30 cm in length and 26 cm in width.
- The frame including the handle must be free of adhering objects and other devices. Only those that limit or prevent damage, vibration or weight distribution are allowed.
- Neither may reflective or sound elements that alter the normal course of the game be added.
- The cuff should have a maximum length of 20 cm and a maximum width and thickness of 50 mm.
- It must be fitted with a lanyard that allows it to be attached to the wrist. This cord should have a maximum length of 35 cm.
- The shovel should have a limited number of holes of 9 to 13 mm diameter each throughout the central area. And with a maximum peripheral area of 4 cm. The holes may vary in shape, as long as it does not affect the dynamics of the game.
- Regarding the weight of the paddle, the physical condition of each person must be taken into account, for example: for women the weight would be from 355 to 370 grams while for men it ranges from 370 grams to 385 grams.
Paddle shoes to start to play
Paddle shoes are another essential item to practice paddle, and it does not work to use any shoe because you need a special type of shoe to avoid slips and dangerous falls.
When making your choice, take into account two important points: the sole and the cushioning. There are three types of soles available on the market:
- Herringbone or clay sole: This type of surface, inherited from tennis, is composed of zigzag grooves that provide excellent grip on the court and good cushioning. It is currently the most popular sole.
- Omni sole: This sole is made up of a multitude of points, it works well on trails where there is not much sand as it offers good grip and allows for good sliding. The only drawback is that it wears out after a few months of use.
- Mixed sole: combines the two previous surfaces. The omnio surface in the areas where there is not so much support and the clay or herringbone surface at the tip of the sole.
The paddle ball
The Regulations of the Spanish Padel Federation state that “the ball shall be a rubber sphere with a uniform green or yellow outer surface. Its diameter must measure between 6.32 and 6.77 cm and its weight will be between 56.0 and 59.4 g. It shall have a bounce between 135 and 145 cm when dropped on a compact surface from 2.54 m (8.5 ft). The ball shall have an internal pressure of between 4.6 kg and 5.2 kg per 2.54 cm²”.
Ready to get started?
Let’s learn the rules of paddle tennis!
Paddle tennis is played in three sets and points are won when the ball hits two boots in the opponent’s court or when the ball is thrown incorrectly by the opponent, for example:
- Throwing the ball to the wall but from a previous bounce.
- The ball goes out of the court without a previous bounce.
- A player touches the opponent’s net or court.
- A player touches the ball with the body or something opposite to the paddle.
- One or two players touch the ball twice in a row.
Each set is made up of games, where the serving alternates between the couples and the members of each one of them. The idea is that the couple manages to jump the ball in the opponent’s court, with the possibility of the ball bouncing off the walls.
How are points earned?
The scoring method for each game is the same as that used in tennis: when a pair wins their first point, their score is 15, when they win two points it is 30 and when they win 3 points their score is 40. The scores of those who score are always named first and when both pairs tie at 40, it is said that there is a debt or equal.
The first team to win a point after being equal gains an advantage and, in case of winning the next point, the game is removed. If it fails to do so, they will become equal again until one pair achieves the difference of two points in their favor.
As the match is played in three sets, the couple must win two sets to obtain the victory. The pair that first wins six games with a minimum difference of two with respect to its rival is the winner of the set.
If they were tied at six, the tie-break would be played by tie-break. In the event of a tie in a set, a third set may be played until one of the parties gets two games ahead of its rival, without tie-break at any time. However, the general rule is that if each pair wins one of the two sets played, the tie-break rules apply in the third set.
Currently the World Padel Tour implemented the golden point at 40-40. This means that when the match is reached, the pair that wins the point will win the game.
What do you say? Would you like to play with us?
In our calonge tennis club, we have a group of experts in the sport that is fashionable. Our courts will be the perfect place to learn, improve techniques and make great progress in paddle tennis as a professional player. Contact us at either to become a member or just enjoy a day of paddle.