The Rules of Paddle Tennis: A Beginner’s Guide

Previous page

Paddle tennis is a sport that is rapidly gaining popularity around the world. It is a racket sport that is similar to tennis but played on a smaller court and with different rules. Paddle tennis is played by people of all ages and skill levels, making it a great sport for anyone to try, with rules that are relatively simple and easy to understand

Players follow specific court dimensions and use solid paddles to hit a perforated ball over a net. The ball must clear the net and land within the court boundaries to score

The objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court without them being able to return it. Points are scored when the opponent fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds.

Basic Rules of Padel Tennis

Scoring System

Padel tennis is scored in a similar way to traditional tennis, with points ranging from 0 to 40. However, instead of calling the scores “love”, “15”, “30”, and “40”, padel tennis uses “0”, “1”, “2”, and “3”. If both teams reach a score of 40, it is called “deuce”. From there, the next point won by a team is called “advantage”, and if they win the subsequent point as well, they win the game.

Service Rules

The serve in padel tennis must be done underhand and diagonally, starting from the right side of the court. The ball must be hit into the service box on the other side of the court, and it must bounce once on the ground before being hit by the opposing team. The server is allowed two attempts to serve, and if the ball hits the net and lands in the correct service box, it is called a “let” and the server is allowed to serve again.

Point Play

In padel tennis, the ball can be played off the walls surrounding the court, making for some exciting and unpredictable shots. However, the ball must always bounce on the ground before hitting the walls, and it cannot be hit directly out of the court. If the ball hits the ceiling or any other object outside of the court, the point is lost. If the ball hits the net and lands in the opposing team’s court, the point is still in play and can be continued.

Overall, padel tennis is a fun and exciting sport with its own unique set of rules. By following these basic guidelines, anyone can pick up a paddle and start playing!

Court Specifications


The court is smaller than a tennis court (following official FIP regulations, the dimensions should be 20m in length by 10m wide), and the net is lower (0.88m as opposed to 0.91m), and the game is played with a solid paddle instead of a strung racket with a ball that is smaller and less bouncy than a tennis ball.

Net and Walls

The net is made of a durable material that can withstand the impact of the ball. It is attached to two poles that are placed on either side of the court. The walls of the court are made of glass or a similar material that allows spectators to watch the game. The walls must be at least 3 meters high and must be at a distance of at least 3 meters from the sidelines.

Overall, the court specifications for paddle tennis are designed to create a fair and challenging playing environment for players of all skill levels. By adhering to these specifications, players can focus on their skills and strategy, rather than worrying about the court conditions.


Paddle tennis equipment arranged neatly on a court, with rules displayed on a nearby board


In padel tennis, players use rackets that are smaller than those used in traditional tennis. The maximum length of the racket, including the handle, is 45.5 cm and the maximum width is 26 cm. The weight of the racket must not exceed 370 grams. The head of the racket must be perforated and have a minimum of 68 holes. The strings must be uniform and can be made of any material.


Padel tennis balls are similar to tennis balls, but they are slightly smaller and have less pressure. The circumference of the ball must be between 56 cm and 59.5 cm, and it must weigh between 56 and 59.4 grams. The ball must have a bounce between 135 cm and 145 cm when dropped from a height of 2 meters.

Players are required to bring their own rackets and balls to the court. It is important to ensure that the equipment meets the regulations set by the International Padel Federation (FIP) to ensure fair play.

Player Conduct

Two players on a padle tennis court, one holding a racket, while the other waits for the serve. The court is divided by a net, and the players are ready to play


Players are expected to conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times during a paddle tennis match. This includes showing respect to their opponents, the officials, and the spectators. Players should refrain from using foul language and making unsportsmanlike gestures.

In addition, players should not disrupt the game by making unnecessary noise or moving around excessively during play. They should also avoid throwing their paddle or hitting the ball out of frustration.


If a player violates the etiquette rules, they may receive a penalty, which can result in a loss of points or disqualification from the match. The severity of the penalty will depend on the nature and frequency of the violation.

Examples of violations that may result in a penalty include using foul language, making unsportsmanlike gestures, disrupting the game, and throwing the paddle or hitting the ball out of frustration.

It is important for players to understand the rules of conduct and to abide by them in order to maintain a fair and respectful playing environment for all participants.

Match Formats

A group of players on a padle tennis court, following the rules and regulations of the game, using specific equipment and maintaining proper court etiquette

Singles and Doubles

Paddle tennis can be played in both singles and doubles formats. In singles, two players play against each other, while in doubles, two teams of two players each face off against each other. The court size and rules are the same for both formats.

In singles, players use the entire court, while in doubles, each team member is responsible for their respective half of the court. The serving team serves from the right-hand side of the court, and the receiving team stands on the left-hand side.


Paddle tennis tournaments are typically played in a doubles format. The most common tournament format is a knockout competition, where teams play against each other in a single-elimination format.

Some tournaments may also use a round-robin format, where teams are divided into groups and play against each other in a round-robin style. The team with the most wins at the end of the round-robin stage advances to the knockout stage.

In both tournament formats, matches are typically played as best-of-three sets, with the first team to win two sets being declared the winner. Each set is played to 11 points, and a team must win by a margin of two points.

Overall, paddle tennis offers a variety of match formats that cater to both singles and doubles players, as well as tournament and casual players alike.