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The Rules of Padel 【UPDATED】

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Although it seems easy to play, the rules of padel are peculiar and must be followed to enjoy the game and avoid penalties. In this article, we will go over the rules of padel, what you can't do during the game, the meaning of serving for 4 and some additional rules you should know before you start playing...

The basic rules of padel:

The basic rules of padel are as follows:

  • The match is played in pairs and the aim is to score points by bouncing the ball into the opposing team's court without them being able to return it.

  • The serve must be made from behind the service line and below the waist of the player serving. The serve must be directed into the opponent's court over the net.

  • If the ball touches a player before it hits the ground or the wall, the opposing team wins the point. If the ball touches the wall before it touches a player, the point is still in play.

  • If the ball leaves the court or touches anything other than the wall or the floor, it is considered out of play and the point is awarded to the opposing team.

  • Each match consists of a certain number of sets, usually 3, and the team that wins the most sets wins the match.

What you can't do in padel:

There are some things that cannot be done during play:

  • You are not allowed to hit the ball over the net into the opponent's court after it has bounced on your own court.

  • You are not allowed to touch the net or any part of it while the ball is in play.

  • It is not permitted to touch the ball more than once in succession.

  • It is not permitted to obstruct or hinder the opponent's movement.

  • It is not allowed to talk, shout or make noises that may distract the opposing team during play.

What does it mean to serve for 4 in padel?

"Serve for 4" is an expression used in padel that refers to a specific situation in which the serving team fails to get the serve over the net and into the opponent's court. When this happens, the opposing team wins the point and has the right to serve. However, if the serving team has not managed to make any points in the previous game, it is said to be "serving for 4", which means that in case it misses the serve again, the opposing team wins the point and the serve.

basic rules of padel
basic rules of padel

Rules of padel:

In addition to the basic rules of padel, there are some additional rules you should know:

  • The ball must be yellow or white, made of rubber and have a diameter of between 6.35 and 6.77 centimetres. It must also weigh between 56 and 59.4 grams.

  • The playing field must be 10 metres long and 6 metres wide, with a net in the middle measuring 10 metres long and 0.88 metres high at the ends and 0.92 metres in the middle.

  • Players may call one time-out per set.

  • The change of side of the court takes place after the first game and after every even number of games in each set.

  • If a player suffers an injury, he/she is entitled to a time-out for medical attention, but may only resume play if he/she is fit to play.

These are some of the additional rules you should know before playing padel. Make sure you know all the rules and regulations to enjoy the game safely and fairly - have fun playing padel!

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