The Internation Federation of Padel (FIB) has developed a specific set of rules for the sport. A summary is provided below but for the full details click here.
The game is played with the basic rule of double tennis. Padel uses the same scoring system as tennis. The points are 15, 30, 40 and game, with deuce at 40–40. Then two clear points need to be won before the game is finished. Padel matches are most often the best of three sets. A set is the first side to win six games with two clear games. At 6-6 a tiebreak is played, which is the first side to seven points with two clear points between the sides. If a 3rd set is played, at 5–5 play continues until one side has a two game lead over their opponents. If the participants agree before the game begins a tie break can be played instead of a 3rd set.
Unlike Tennis all the serves are underhand. The ball must be hit waist or below for the serves only. The serve must clear the net directly into the opponent’s diagonal service box, where it must bounce. The ball can go on to hit the wall however if, after the ball bounces.
Padel is usually played as a doubles game although it can be played as singles. During rallies the ball is only permitted to hit the playing surface once. A player can choose whether to volley the ball or to let it bounce. If the ball bounces it must land directly onto the playing surface without previously hitting the fence or walls, otherwise it is a fault.
After hitting the surface, the ball can hit the fence or the walls, any number of times before the ball is returned over the net. The opponent can either hit the ball directly back to the server or they can hit the ball onto their own walls, before returning it. If the ball bounces twice on the playing surface or onto the wire mesh before being returned over the net it is a fault.
If the ball goes over the 4m high metal fence the point is usually won but there is a rule that sometimes applies to allow a player to return the ball from outside the court.
Players are enclosed in an area measuring 10 by 20 metres with transparent walls and wire mesh fencing in places. It can be played indoors or outdoors. The court is divided like a tennis courts. The walls have a hight of 3 meters and can be out of glas or cement.
In order to play you will need a padel racket and a padel ball. The rackets are made from graphite, carbon fibre or titanicum. They are lightweight and thicker and a perforated surface. For safety reasons, rackets have a wrist strap which must be worn for competitions.
Padel balls can easily be mistaken for tennis balls, except that they are less inflated. They are an intermediate ball with gentler bounce and impact.
Padel is often played on sand and therefore suitable shoes are necessary.