Dec 1, 2016
PADEL - SMALL TENIS
Seen as a tenis relative, Padel has been growing both in interest and in the number of players. Therefore, is is not a surprise when it comes second most practiced sport in Argentina, only surpassed by football.
The history of Padel is told in few lines and it is not so surprising. In late 19th century, the british passengers of cruise ships wanted to adapt the practice of Tenis aboard the ships. This version of "High Seas Tenis", as it was known until the early 20th century, was practiced in a block with much shorter dimensions than the actual Tenis court. This bloc was surrounded with screen walls.
Only in 1924 did this sport arrived "solid ground", when american Frank Beal, improvised some of these blocks on the state parks of New York. The scenario changed, and so did the name of the sport, which was now called Padel-Tenis.
And only by 1969, did mexican, Enrique Corcuera, built the first block with the official dimensions, and set the rules which are still in use, today.
Nowadays, this sport is regulated by FIP (Internacional Federation of Padel), and it has 15 national federations associates.
This sport is played between two teams with two players. The ball is much like the regular Tenis ball, but the block is only 20 metres long and 10 wide, with walls on both tops and on the sides. These walls can be built with glass or screen to allow the match to be seen. The floor, can go from cement up to regular grass, but in most cases, it is an ordinary sports pavilion floor.
What distinguishes Padel from traditional Tenis is the importance of the walls surrounding the block. These walls, replace the ball into the match, making it become more thrilling and dynamic.
In this sport, service can't be done above the waist height. First of all, the ball must hit the floor before the bottom line and then it must cross the block into the opponent's field. The pontuation is the same as in Tenis, meaning, you must win four points to win one match. The players can go outside the block and return the ball to the opponent field, while a second hit doesn't occur.
Padel is a sport in which the field occupation is very important, as the walls provide the ball to return into the field instead of letting it go off the block.