Padel Rules: The Complete Guide

Padel is a racket sport that is played in doubles, indoors or outdoors. You count points as in tennis, and the ball is allowed to bounce in the walls after it hit the ground.

Padel Rules Basics

  • Padel is played in doubles.
  • You count points as in tennis.
  • The padel court is 10 meters (32 ft 10 in) wide and 20 meters (65 ft 7 in) long, enclosed by walls.
  • The lines on the court are only used while you are serving.
  • Serve must be hit underhand and bounce in the service box of your opponent’s side of the net.
  • The serve can bounce in the glass, but if it bounces in the fence, it’s incorrect.
  • Every player got two serves.
  • If the ball hits the glass or fence before it bounces, it’s lost.
  • You can hit volley except on the serve, half-volley, or let the ball bounce on the glass or fence.
  • You can use the glass on your side to hit the ball to your opponent’s side of the net.
  • You are not allowed to hit the ball in the fence on your side.

The rules of padel are similar to those in tennis, but there are expectations since in padel, you can use the walls. 

Serve

  • The rules of the serve are different than in tennis.
  • You have to hit the serve underhand, and you are not allowed to hit the ball over your hips.
  • Instead of throwing the ball in the air, as in tennis, you bounce the ball in the ground while you’re serving.
  • The bounce must be behind your service box and between the center line and the sidewall.
  • The serve must be hit diagonal and bounce in the service box of your opponents.
  • It’s ok if your serve bounces in the glass, but if it bounces in the fence, it’s incorrect.
  • Just as in tennis, you have two serves. If the ball hits the net before it goes in, you get a second chance.

Points 

  • Count points as in tennis.
  • Padel is played in the best of three-set, and you have to win six games to win a set.
  • You have to win by at least two games.
  • You need to win for points to win a game.
  • The first point is 15-0, the second is 30-0, third 40-0 and the fourth is a game.
  • You have to win with at least two points to win the game.
  • So if the score is 40-40, you have to win two points in a row.
  • If the score is 5-5, you have to win two games in a row since you have to win with at least two games.
  • If the score is 6-6, you play Tiebreak, which is played first to seven points.
  • In Tiebreak, you also have to win with at least two points.

The glass and the fence

  • The side glass is always a part of the game, but there are specific rules for it.
  • When you are receiving a ball, you can let it bounce in the glass after it bounces in the ground.
  • You can also use the glass on your side of the court when you are hitting the ball.

The ball can only bounce in the fence while you are receiving the ball. You can’t hit the ball in the fence on your side of the court. If you hit the ball in the glass or fence on your opponent’s side before it bounces in the ground, you lost the point. 

How to win a point in padel

You win a point in padel if:

  • The ball is bouncing two times on your opponent’s side.
  • Your opponent hits the ball in their net.
  • The other team hits the ball directly into the glass, the fence, or out of the court.
  • Your opponent hits the ball in their fence.
  • The ball hits your opponent.

Summary

  • You play padel in doubles, and count points as in tennis.
  • The padel court is 10 meters (32 ft 10 in) wide and 20 meters (65 ft 7 in) long.
  • Walls around the court mean that the ball can bounce in unexpected directions, which adds a dimension to the sport.

You might also want to check out the guide: how to play padel.

Good luck on the court!