How to Play Paddle Tennis

Education & Learning

The game of paddle tennis is fun at both a recreational, social and competitive level. Players of
all ages are becoming involved in this easy to learn sport which has gained a worldwide
reputation for its similarity to tennis and differences including game play off a fence. Learn more
about the game, how to play and see why it has gained a reputation for one of the most exciting
new games out there.

Game Play
Regular tennis and paddle tennis share some similarities including strokes, grips, scoring and
strategy of play. The racquet is solid rather than strung as in tennis and can be played on the
same materials as regulation tennis courts or on hard beach sand. The paddle tennis court
measures 50 feet across and 20 feet wide with the service line measuring 3 feet in from the
baseline. The net measures approximately 31 inches. Players are required to keep both feet
behind the restraint line until after the non serving player receives and strikes the ball.
A server is allowed one underhand serve during the game. The ball must bounce once before a
player is allowed to return it to the other side. An official paddle tennis ball is pressurized to
bounce at a height of six feet when dropped to no more than 33 inches or less. A regulation court
measures approximately 50 feet long by 20 feet wide. Singles and doubles use the same court for
play which can be more social than single play. Similar rules of the game apply. Paddle tennis
allows one serve. When a person misses, the point is forfeited. When a serve goes in, game play
continues with both sides returning the ball inside the white lines. A ball is allowed in play if it
hits the court first then bounces into the wire fence. In paddle tennis, a person cannot just hit a
ball into the wire fence, it must hit the court first to be allowed in play.
Scoring for paddle tennis is similar to regular tennis which begins at “love” (zero serving zero)
and continues on love, 15, 30, 40, game. If both teams are tied at 40 points, the score becomes
‘deuce.’ When a team wins a point at ‘deuce,’ the advantage goes to that side so that if another
point is won, game is over. A complete set is 6 games (won by 2) with the best of 3 games
making a match. Paddle is quite similar to tennis in this way with some subtle differences but is
an exciting, fun way to spend time with friends and family.