Whether you're just starting out or you're an experienced padel player, you may be confused about the rules of padel. That's why we've put together this ultimate guide to the rules of padel. In the first section of this guide, we offer you a quick overview of the most important padel rules to help you get started.
In the second section of the guide, you can read the complete set of padel rules from the International Padel Federation. With this guide, it is our intention to enable you to find the right decision, no matter what you're unsure about in the padel regulations.
Padel rules - the quick overview for new players
As a new padel player, you need to learn the basic rules to get started with the game. In the following, we give you a brief overview of the most important padel rules, including the court dimensions, serve, scoring system, equipment and how to win a rally in padel.
- Padel is most often played as doubles with two players on each side of the net.
- Compared to other racket sports, padel is more approachable for most people as it is not as technically demanding (at least in the beginning).
- Padel is also less physically demanding, which means that people of all ages can participate and the risk of serious ankle, knee and hip injuries is reduced.
- It's a social sport with 4 players, which is why many people also use padel for networking, corporate events and generally as a fun form of exercise.
The padel court
- A padel court measures 10 x 20 metres. A padel singles court measures 6 x 20 metres.
- The court is divided in two by a net in the centre.
- The court is surrounded by glass walls and metal grids that can be used in the game.
How do you score points in padel?
- The scoring system in padel is the same as in tennis (with some variations).
- You play best of 3 sets. A set is won by the first pair to win 6 games with a minimum advantage of 2 games.
- If the score is 5-5, the set is played to 7. If the score reaches 6-6, the set is decided by a tiebreak to 7 points. The tiebreak must be won with a minimum advantage of 2 points.
- The point count in a game is 0, 15, 30, 40 and game. If the score is 40-40 (deuce), you have agreed before the start of the match whether you will win the game with a minimum advantage of two points or whether you will play a deciding point, i.e. the winner of the next point wins the game (golden point).
How to make a serve in padel
- Each rally starts with a serve. The server has a 1st serve and a 2nd serve.
- The same player serves throughout the entire game. At the end of the game, the serve is passed on to the opposing pair.
- The serve must be an underhand serve, which must be hit from the waist or below.
- The serve must be hit diagonally into the opponent's service box, where it must hit the ground first. It may not hit the grid or glass wall directly, nor may it bounce once in the service box and into the grid. If the ball hits the white service line, it is valid.
How to win a padel rally
- The ball is lost if it hits the ground twice in the same half of the court.
- The ball is lost if it is hit directly into the glass walls or grids of the court.
- The ball is lost if you hit the net with your padel racket or body.
- The ball is lost if it hits you on the body - even if you or your partner subsequently manage to return the ball.
- After the serve (which cannot be returned with a volley), you can hit the ball either directly with a volley or where the ball has bounced once on the ground.
- The ball must land in the opponent's half of the court and hit the court surface.
- You are allowed to let the ball bounce in your own half of the court, then bounce back off the glass wall or grid and return it before the ball hits the ground for a second time.
- You may return the ball by hitting it into the glass wall in your own half of the court so that it lands on the opponent's half. You may not hit the ball into the metal grid in your own half.
What equipment do you need for padel?
- Each player needs a padel racket.
- A tube with 3 balls is sufficient for a padel match.
- Shoes are often underestimated. A proper padel shoe is clearly preferable. Avoid various running shoes and standard indoor shoes, as the outer sole, support and shock absorption do not live up to the demands of padel.
- Read more in this guide about padel equipment.
The complete set of padel rules from the International Padel Federation
If you are in doubt about a specific situation on the padel court, you may need to browse the complete set of rules in order to find the answer to your question. Dive into the full set of rules for international padel tournaments from the International Padel Federation (PadelFip).