Rules of the padel game

Rules and Regulations of the International Padel Federation

Below you will find the rules of the game of padel or padel-tennis written by the International Padel Federation, IPF.

The padel court

  • Padel court dimensions

The playing area is a rectangle 10 meters wide by 20 meters long (inside dimensions) with a tolerance of 0.5%.

Dimensions terrain padel

This rectangle is divided in two by a net. On each side and parallel to it, at a distance of 6.95 meters are the service lines.

Hauteur terrain de padel

The area between the net and the service bottom line is divided in the middle by a perpendicular line, called the Central Service Line, which divides the area into two equal parts. The central service line extends 20 cm beyond the service line. The two halves of the court must be completely symmetrical with respect to the surfaces and lines. All lines are 5 cm wide. The minimum clear height must be 6 metres over the entire surface of the court, without there being any elements (e.g. lighting projectors) that invade the space.

  • The padel net

Padel net height

The net has a length of 10 meters and a height of 0.88 meters at its center, and it rises on their ends up to a maximum of 0.92 meters (with a tolerance of 0.005 meters). The net is suspended by a wire rope with a maximum diameter of 0.01 metres. Its ends are attached to the two side posts at a maximum height of 1.05 metres or directly to the court structure.

Poles of the padel net dimensions

The cable tensioning device must be designed not to release unexpectedly, which would pose a risk to the players. The outer faces of the net posts must coincide with the lateral limits of the court (opening, door or wire mesh). Posts may be circular or square but must have rounded edges.

pole and padel net

The top of the net shall be covered by an upper strip of white background between 5,0 and 6,3 cm wide. Inside is the net cable. It may carry advertising provided it is of one and the same colour.

Padel net band

The net must be fully extended so that it completely occupies the space between the posts without being stretched.

Case 1: Can there be a gap between the wire mesh or the plane that defines it and the net post? (See figure)Answer: NO. This type of court does not comply with the padel rules.

The threads will be made of synthetic fibres and the width of the mesh must be small enough to prevent the bale from passing through.

pole distance

  • Enclosures, fence

The court is entirely closed by 10 metres long bottom walls inside and by 20 metres long side walls inside. All fences are made of a combination of materials that allow a regular rebound of the balls:

  • The bottom walls

With 4 meters total height of the fence, including 3 meters of wall and a final meter of wire mesh.

Height of padel walls

  • Side walls

The regulation admits two variants concerning the side walls: Variant 1 Composed by zones of wall stepped at both ends, 3 meters high and 2 meters long the first panel and 2 meters by 2 meters length the second. The metal meshes complete the fence up to 3 metres high in the central 16 metres and up to 4 metres high at both ends.

padel court dimensions

Variant 2 Composed by wall zones tiered at both ends, 3 meters high and 2 meters long the first panel and 2 meters by 2 meters long the second. The metal meshes complete the fence up to 4 metres high over the entire fence.

padel court dimensions - variant 2

The dimensions indicated are from inside the court. The metal mesh is always placed in line with the inside of the walls. Walls can be of any transparent or opaque material (glass, brick, etc.) as long as they provide good consistency and even ball rebound. Whatever the material, it must have a uniform surface, hard and smooth without roughness to allow contact, and sliding of balls, hands… The colour of the opaque walls must not alternate the players’ vision or the playing conditions. Glass courts must conform to tempered glass standards:

      • European Union norm: UNE – EN 12150-1.
      • Other countries: consult their own regulations.

The metal mesh must be rhomboidal or square, which may be of simple torsion or electro-welded, provided that the size of its opening (the measurement of its diagonals) is not less than 5 cm and not more than 7,08 cm. It is recommended that the diameter of the steel wire used be between 1.6 mm and 3 mm, allowing up to 4 mm, and it must have a tension that allows the ball to bounce off the mesh. If an electro-welded mesh is used all welding points must be protected both inside and outside, so that they cannot produce cuts or scratches. If the electro-welded mesh is not interlaced, its assembly shall be square, not rhomboidal, and the steel wires parallel to the ground shall remain inside the court, the vertical wires outside. If the mesh is in single twist, the tensioners must be placed outside the court and properly protected. The joints or seams between the mesh rolls must not have sharp objects. Both the electro-welded mesh and the single twist mesh must form a flat and vertical surface and they must be preserved so that their characteristics are not lost.

Case 2: If you continue with the same type of mesh above the regulatory limits (see options 1 and 2) in order to avoid the ball coming out of the court, it is recommended to place it from 3 or 4 meters, depending on the option, a white sheet to clearly differentiate between the valid part of the game and the part it is not. The ball that impacts the sheet is considered offside.
  • Surface

The surface of the court can be made of porous concrete, cement, wood, synthetic materials, artificial grass, or any other material that allows a regular rebound and avoids water accumulation. The regulatory colours are green, blue and earthy ochre. The pavement will have such a flatness that the level differences inside are below 3 mm measured by 3 m (1/1000) ruler. In draining pavements the maximum transverse evacuation slopes shall be 1% and always from the centre to the outside of the court.

Case 3: In non-draining pavements the 0% gradient will be valid.

Synthetic and artificial turf (synthetic grass) coverings must meet the following requirements: – European Union: according to Report UNE 41958 IN “Sports Floors” – Other countries: see their own regulations. Padel surface requirements.

Shock absorption (effort reduction) RF≥20% Synthetic grass
Friction 0,4≤μ≤0,8 Synthetic grass
Rebond verticale de la balle ≥80% Synthetic grass
Sand filling SiO2≥96%CaO≤3% Rounded edges Granulometry:80% weight ∅16mm-1,25mm visible fiber length 2mm- 3mm Synthetic grass

  • Access to the padel court

The accesses to the court are symmetrical with respect to the centre of the court, being located in its sides. There may be one or two openings on each side, with or without a door (see rule 16 of the game). The sizes of the openings must be the following:

      1. With only one lateral access: the free space must have a minimum of 1.05 x 2.00 metres and a maximum of 1.20 x 2.20 metres (see figure).
      2. With two accesses on each side: each free space must have a minimum of 0.72 x 2.00 metres and a maximum of 0.82 x 2.20 metres. (See figure).

padel court access padel court access - option 2

Note: Facilities for public use must comply with the rules on accessibility and the removal of architectural barriers for disabled people. The minimum distance between the bottom wall and the surface closest to the opening must be 9 metres. In the case where there are doors, the handles must be placed outside the court, without there being any protrusions towards the inside.

  • Outside safety zone

Each side of the court must have two access openings. There must be no physical obstacles outside the court in a space at least two metres wide, four metres long on each side and two metres high (see graph).

safety zone - padel court

  • Lighting

The artificial lighting must be uniform so as not to obstruct the vision of the players, the refereeing team or the spectators. It must meet the standard:

      • European Union: UNE-EN 12193 “Lighting – Sports Facility Lighting” and have the following minimum lighting levels:
MINIMUM LEVELS OF LIGHTING(outdoor) Medium horizontal lighting (lux) Uniformity min/E average
National and international competitions 500 0,7
Local competitions, training, education and recreation 200 0,5
MINIMUM LEVELS OF LIGHTING(indoor) Medium horizontal lighting (lux) Uniformity min/E average
National and international competitions 750 0,7
Local competitions, training, education and recreation 300 0,5
      • Other countries: see their own regulations.

Lighting poles must be located outside the court. If they were in the safety zone, outside play would not be allowed. The minimum height measured from the ground to the bottom of the headlamps shall be 6 metres.

lighting padel

For colour TV broadcasts and film recording, it is necessary to have a vertical illumination level of at least 1000 lux, however this value may increase with the distance from the camera to the object. For more information see the standards cited.

  • Orientation

It is recommended that the longitudinal axis of the court in open air installations be North-South with variation between North – North-East and North – North-West.

Padel ball

balle de padel

The balls used in official competitions will be approved by the IPF. The ball must be a rubber sphere with a uniform white or yellow outer surface. Its diameter must be between 6.35 and 6.77 cm and its weight must be between 56.0 and 59.4 grams. The ball must have a rebound between 135 and 145 cm in the event of a fall on a hard surface of 2.54 m. The bale must have an internal pressure between 4.6 kg and 5.2 kg per 2.54 square cm. During a match played more than 500 metres above sea level, another type of ball may be used, being identical to the type described above, except that the bounce must be more than 121.92 cm and less than 135 cm.

The padel racket

The padel racket used to play will be the one approved by the IPF. It is composed of two parts: the head and the grip.

      • grip: maximum length: 20 cm, maximum width: 50 mm, maximum thickness: 50 mm.
      • Head, variable length.

The length of the head and grip may not exceed 45.5 cm, maximum width: 26 cm, maximum thickness: 38 mm. The total length of the racquet, head plus fist, may not exceed 45.5 centimeters. When making control measurements the tolerance allowed will be 2.5% thickness. The area dedicated to hitting the ball must be perforated by an unlimited number of cylindrical holes 9 to 13 mm in diameter each over the entire central zone. In the same area may be considered a peripheral area 4 inches measured from the outer edge of the racquet, where the holes may have another shape or size, provided they do not affect the essence of the game. The surface intended for the equal striking by its two sides, can be flat, smooth or rough. The racquet must not have attached objects and other devices, except those used solely and specifically to limit or prevent deterioration, vibration and weight distribution. Any object or device must be a reasonable size and location for such purposes. The racquet must have a cord or a non-elastic wrist strap as protection against accidents. Its use is mandatory. This cord must have a maximum length of 35 centimeters. The racquet must be free of any type of device that can communicate, give advice or instructions of any type to the player, what is it either visible or audible during a game.

Case 1: During play, a player accidentally breaks the racket. Can he continue to play another point with the racquet in these conditions?Decision: Yes, except if the safety cord is broken or that the break of the racquet becomes a dangerous element
Case 2: Is a player allowed to use more than one racket during play?Decision: Yes, but he is not allowed during a point.
Case 3: Can a racquet incorporate cells (batteries) that can affect playing characteristics?Décision: No. A battery is prohibited because it is a power source, such as a solar cell or other similar accessories.

Rule 1: Score in a game

  • Score

When a couple wins their first point, “15” is counted. If you win your second point you count “30”. By winning his third point counts “40” and the fourth point counts “game”, except if both partners have won three points, the score is called “equal”. The next point is called “advantage” in favor of the winner and if it comes back to winning, they win the game. If they lose, however, it would be “equal”. And so until one of the participants wins two consecutive points. The couple who wins first six games, always with a minimum of two advantages, wins the “set”. In case of a 5 game tie they must play two more games, up to win 7-5, but if a 6 game tie occurs the tie-break is applied. Matches will be played to the best of three sets (a couple must win two sets to win the match). In case of a tie in one set, and always as previously established, the third set can be modified without applying the”Tie Break“, if the tie occurs at six games, which gets two sets difference wins.

  • Decisive play or “tie-break”

During tie-break, the points are “zero”, “1”, “2”, “3”, etc. The first to reach 7 points wins the”tie-break“, provided he does so with two advantages, therefore the peer wins the “game” and the “set”. If necessary, the tie-break continues until this margin is reached. The tie-break begins with the corresponding player’s serve doing it in the order followed in the set and it will serve from the right side of the track, it is played a single point. Then and while respecting the order of service mentioned above, two points are played starting from the left side, and so on. The tiebreak winner wins the set 7-6. In the next set the player of the peer who had not started the service in the tie-break starts the service.

Case 1: Who starts the “Tie Break”? The player who started the serve at the beginning of the set. Except which occurs in Rule 6(j)

Contents

1. The padel court

2. The padel ball

3. The padel racket

4. Rule 1: Score in a game