Where was padel invented?

Padel is a sport that more and more people practice all the time, but have you ever wondered where padel was invented? The sport that we know today as padel was born on a family farm in Acapulco (Mexico) in 1969. Apparently, the owner of the farm, Enrique Corcuera, was  annoyed by his daughter incessantly hitting a ball against his wall at nap time. So, he decided to make a court out of a 20m x 10m field, to which he added walls little by little in order to prevent the ball from getting out and so that the vegetation would not invade the court. A great lover of racket sports, his dream was to enjoy that court with his family.

Initially it was a very rudimentary court, with a very simple net, and they played with wooden rackets. Also, the sport was initially called ReboTennis, although in Argentina they called it Paddle Tennis, and in Spain this sport was simply known as Padel.

The hub of international expansion for the sport turned out to be in Marbella (Málaga), thanks to Alfonso de Hohenlohe, who, after discovering the game at the house of his friend Enrique Corcuera, had two courts built at the Marbella Club. And then, led by tennis player Manolo Santana, the sport quickly grew in popularity in Spain, where, in 1991, the International Padel Federation was founded.

Meanwhile, friends of Alfonso de Hohenlohe introduced it in Argentina, where it had unprecedented success, becoming one of the most played sports in Argentina.

As of 1993, padel had already been recognized and classified as a sport by the Higher Sports Council of Spain and it had spread across South America and later Europe, thanks to the boost given by the Spanish.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Basic rules of padel

Although it can be practiced individually, padel is a sport that is played in pairs (which in tennis would be doubles). The main rules are very similar to those of tennis, with a number of important differences:

  • In a match, specialized padel balls and rackets are used, and every player must use the safety strap on their racket.
  • The main objective of the game is for the ball, after being hit once by a player, to pass over the net to the opponent's court.
  • The rules allow the ball to bounce only once before being hit again.
  • The back wall and the side walls are part of the court. The rules require that the ball bounce on the ground before touching any of the walls. The game allows the ball to bounce off of both the back wall and the side walls.
  • Players can hit the ball with or without it having first bounced off the ground (except at service).
  • Putting the ball into play, or service, is carried out diagonally. The service is valid if the server hits the ball and the ball bounces in the opponent's corresponding service box. It is not valid if the ball, after the bounce, hits the fence. Unlike the service in tennis, in padel the ball is hit from below the waist, after first bouncing it on the floor of the court.
  • Scoring is the same as in tennis, with the game divided into a best of three sets. Whoever wins two sets first is the winner. Each set is divided into games. Whoever is the first to win 6 games, while maintaining an advantage of two games, is the winner. In the event of a tie at 5, the game continues until 7. In the event of a tie at 6, a tiebreak is disputed. The scoring of the games is the same as in tennis: 15/30/40/Deuce/Advantage.


Everything you need to know about padel courts

One major differential factor between padel and tennis is the court on which it is played. This court must meet a series of specific requirements:

Padel courts measure 20m x 10m and may be made of cement, concrete, polished wood, carpet or synthetic grass. The surface may be one of a number of different colors: green, blue, black and brown/earth tones.

  • The padel court must be a completely enclosed rectangle, 10 meters wide and 20 meters long. The enclosures of the court have to guarantee a regular bounce except for the mesh areas, where the bounce will be irregular.
  • The walls may be constructed of transparent or opaque material (concrete, cement, brick, glass etc.)
  • The height of the walls at the ends will be 4 meters (3 meters of wall plus 1 meter of metal mesh). The height of the walls running along the sides will vary, depending on the materials.
  • Padel courts must guarantee an unobstructed height of 6 meters from the ground to the nearest obstacle, whether it is a lighting fixture or roof, as in the case of covered courts.
  • The court may be accessed by one or two side entrances, which may or may not have a door.
  • The net that divides the court is 10 meters long and 0.88 meters high at the center (0.92m at its ends).


How does the World Padel Tour work?

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the World Padel Tour is the professional circuit par excellence that in 2013 replaced the Padel Pro Tour. The world ranked players and the best players around the world participate in it. Most of the tournaments that are part of the circuit are in Spain, and they average around 20,000 spectators.

The Tour is organized by Setpoints Events, a subsidiary of the Damm beer company, and, as agreed upon by the Association of Professional Padel Players, the Spanish Women's Padel Association and the Organizers of Professional Padel Tournaments, it enjoys the sponsorship of major brands.

The world padel circuit consists of several tournament categories: the Open 500, Open 1000, Master and Final Master, in addition to a number of exhibitions. Prizes and scores depend on the category of each tournament.

Initially most of the tournaments were held in Spain. Now, however, thanks to the international expansion of padel, tournaments are organized in South America, Mexico and several European countries. At the end of the year, the Master Final tournament is held, bringing together the best doubles teams of the season.

Almost all of the World Padel Tour tournaments hold a male tournament and female tournament. Each edition features technical, technological and sports improvements: for example, the recent implementation of Foxtenn, a VAR-type technology already used in tennis.


What is Premier Padel?

The worldwide success of padel and the business opportunities that have developed around it prompted Nasser Al Khelaffi, President of Paris Saint Germain to create, along with Qatar Sports Investments, a new professional padel circuit, the Premier Padel Tour.

Backed by the Professional Players Association, a new association of professional players, and by the International Padel Federation, this circuit intends to meet the World Padel Tour head on. Its goal is to increase the number of tournaments it organizes annually in Asia, Europe and South America.

If you are interested in taking up the sport of padel, or if you want to take your game to the next level, take a look around our online shop, where you can find the best padel equipment from the main brands: padel rackets for every type of player, accessories, equipment and much more!

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