Padel rules of play

Padel rules of play

Getting a good grip on the rules of play for padel is essential in order to fully enjoy this great sport. We have therefore compiled  the most important padel rules of play in this overview.

Scoring
Scoring works exactly the same as in the game of tennis, namely 15, 30, 40 and game, with deuce at 40-40. In case of deuce two consecutive points need to be won in order to win the game.

Most of the time, padel matches are played in the best-of-three format, meaning that two sets need to be won in order to win the match. A set is won by the team that first wins 6 games, with a two game difference. So in case the score is 6-5, one more game needs to be won by the team with 6 in order to win the set. In case of a 6-6 draw in the set, a tie-break is played. Tiebreaks are played till 7 points, with a two point difference. This means you keep playing when the score is 7-6 until either team has a two point advantage over the other team. in which case that team wins the tiebreak and thereby the set.

Serving
The service always needs to be played underhanded. The first serve is played from the right side, and after that changes from left to right each following point. Bounce the ball once behind the service line and hit it at or below waist height towards the service box diagonally across from where you are serving, on the other side of the net.

The service must bounce into the opposite service box which is located diagonally across from where you are serving. The ball should not hit the net and bounce between the midline and the sidewall inside the service box. After the bounce, the ball may hit the glass wall, but not the fencing (foul serve). The person returning the serve may choose to hit the ball before or after it hits the glass wall. As soon as the serve has bounced correctly inside the service box diagonally across and the ball is hit by the person returning, both play halves come into play. After a foul serve, you get one extra try at serving (the second serve). If the ball touches the net before bouncing inside the correct service box, you get to try again, regardless of how often you have already tried.

Ball in play
During rallies, the ball may only touch the playing field ones before hitting it over the net. Each player may choose to let the ball bounce or play a volley. The ball always needs to bounce on the playing field before hitting a wall or the fencing. If the ball hits the wall or fencing before it hits the playing field, it's a foul. After a bounce the ball may hit the wall or fencing once or more before it is played back over the net. You may use the wall to play the ball back over the net as long as it bounces inside the playing field on the other side of the net before it hits the wall or fence on that side of the net.

If the ball hits the fencing before it goes over the net, it's a foul. If the ball bounces over the wall after hitting the playing field it is normally a good point. In some instances players are allowed to move outside the 'cage' in order to return a ball that has gone over the wall. In that case the ball needs to be returned before it hits the ground outside the 'cage'.

Play continues until the ball bounces twice on one side of the net, in which case the point goes to the team on the opposite side of where the ball bounces. A point may also be scored if a player breaks any of the rules in another way.