Padel is played only as doubles - two against two - in competition, and for training purposes also as one against one. The padel court is a rectangular field ten meters wide and 20 meters long, usually with a surface of artificial grass. As in tennis, a net divides the court into two halves halfway along its length. As in squash, the court is surrounded on all sides by walls three to four meters high, which may be included in the rally.
The game starts with a serve "from below". The ball may touch the ground no more than once. Volleys are of course allowed, but after touching down in the court, the ball can also bounce against one or more side walls and then be played on. This often results in long and exciting rallies that make for great fun. Boring baseline duels are rarely seen in padel, but serves and volleys, lobs, smashes and spectacular ball changes are.
Playing equipment in padel, as in tennis or squash, are balls and rackets. However, these are slightly different. Visually, the balls look like tennis balls. However, their internal pressure is somewhat lower in order to prevent the ball from bouncing too much. You can see the difference directly in the rackets: The padel racket is not strung with strings compared to a tennis or squash racket, but has a solid hitting surface. This has a core of slightly elastic foam-rubber mixture, which is covered with a plastic layer. Its paddle-like appearance gives the sport its name.
Padel is a still young sport that was invented in Mexico. There, in 1965, the first padel court was created in Acapulco by Don Enrique Corcuera.
Because he lacked the space, Corcuera is said to have built a scaled-down version with exactly half of a tennis double court, which fit exactly on his estate. Because of the smaller court, he also made some changes to the rules of the game and delighted friends and acquaintances with his new sport.
In many countries in Central and South America, padel has already established itself as an extremely popular popular and competitive sport. From South America, Padel started its triumphal procession to Europe. First to Spain and Portugal, then to Italy, France and Sweden. Padel is also booming in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Padel has been the fastest growing sport in the world for some time. In Spain, padel is now the second largest sport after football. Padel courts can be found there in the numerous municipal multi-sport facilities as well as in publicly operated sports centers, some of which have more than 25 padel courts. Many tennis clubs and hotel complexes have also long since recognized the attractiveness of the sport and expanded their sports offerings to include padel. In Spain alone, there are more than five million players.
By the way, one of the most prominent padel fans is the coach of the Liverpool Football Club, Jürgen Klopp. He first came into contact with padel a few years ago and was completely taken with it, promptly arranging for two courts to be set up at his club's training ground.
With padel courts, a commercial tennis venue can consolidate its turnover and very likely increase it significantly, because at least two courts can fit on the surface of one tennis court. The same is true for the number of members in a tennis club. Normally, tennis is played in pairs. Padel, on the other hand, is played exclusively in fours. After the conversion of one tennis court into two or sometimes even three padel courts, not two people play tennis on the same area, but 8 to 12 people play padel. This way, a significantly larger turnover can be generated quickly. In addition, padel courts are usually equipped with floodlights, which leads to longer playing times in the evening hours.
The sources of revenue for a padel court are the same as for tennis: court rental, courses, tournaments, equipment sales, and sponsors. However, since the outdoor areas of the padel court can also be rented out as advertising space, more advertising space is available. After all, sponsors find it easier if their advertising is visible.
For all those who are now curious, ISPO Munich offers the opportunity to pick up a padel racket yourself. In the ISPO Padel Village in Hall C1, you can also get up close and personal with exciting show matches.
In a special area with original padel courts of the World Padel Tour, Johannes Linderer and Matthias Wunner, the best padel players of the German Padel League, will be on site on all three days of the fair. With Godo Díaz as an international player and Uri Botello as an ex-professional, two more padel greats will be there to provide insights. The court will also be open to visitors and anyone who wants to can simply try out padel.
Around the court, 19 manufacturer brands (rackets, equipment, textiles, court builders) will also present their innovations. The Cluster Internacional Padel and the Spanish Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association will be available in the ISPO Padel Lounge to provide interested parties with information about the padel market and the business opportunities associated with it. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, there will be impulse presentations with exciting insights on padel as a sport, starting at 12 noon. Afterwards, further specialist presentations are planned in the lounge from 1 p.m. onwards. From 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., a cocktail networking event will be held for those who are curious.