Although paddle tennis resembles lawn tennis, the size of a paddle tennis court is smaller and the net is lower than the lawn tennis specifications. A paddle tennis court doesn't have double lanes and a solid paddle is used in this game as opposed to a string racket in lawn tennis. The game has been played for more than a century now and is gaining wide popularity around the world. Being played on a small court, paddle tennis requires more agility and quicker reactions.
- Players: Played in both singles or doubles.
- Serves: Serve must be underhand. Only one serve is allowed, no second serves as in tennis.
- Score: Scoring method is the same as in tennis. Matches are best of three sets.
- Ball: Tennis ball with reduced pressure.
- Paddle: Solid with no strings. May be perforated.
- Court: There are two styles of courts. East and West coast styles.
- Walls: Walls or fences are not part of the game.
Rules of Paddle Tennis
According to paddle tennis rules, a paddle tennis court should be 50 ft in length and 20 ft in width, with the distance from service line to service line being 44 ft. Here are some more paddle tennis rules, constituted to maintain the spirit of the game.
The ball used in this game should be a pressurized tennis ball, meeting the requirements set by the United States Tennis Association. The ball has to be punctured in order to reduce its internal pressure.
The net, 22 ft long and 2.6 ft wide, should be exactly 31 inches above the surface of the ground and 18 inches outside each sideline.
A proper court attire is a must in this game and the shoes should sport non-marking rubber soles.
The player who wins the toss, or paddle spin, may either choose the side or serve. In case the player chooses to serve, the opponent gets to choose a side, and if the player chooses the side, the opponent gets to serve.
The service is regarded as a fault when the server misses the ball while attempting a serve or the ball touches the net when served.
At the end of each game, there is a role reversal. The receiver becomes server, while the server becomes the receiver.
In order to win a set, the player should have a lead by a margin of 2 games over his opponent; if the game reaches to a point of a tie, there is a tie breaker to decide the winner.
Breaks of 60 seconds when changing sides, 10 minutes between 2nd and 3rd set and 15 seconds between points are allowed. Unnecessary delays can call for a disqualification.
On the west coast, a restraint line is drawn 12' back parallel to the net. When in use, all players must keep both feet behind the restraint line until after the player receiving the serve has struck the ball.