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What is Paddle Tennis / POP Tennis?*
*note: Paddle Tennis has been recently renamed POP TENNIS. This is part of a re-marketing of the sport.
Played year round on the West Coast and especially popular in Venice, California Paddle tennis traces its roots back to an Episcopal minister, Frank Peer Beal, in lower Manhattan. Wanting to create recreational activities for neighborhood children, he got the city’s parks and recreation department to lay courts in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village in 1915. The first tournament was held in 1922, and the United States Paddle Tennis Associated was formed the following year. By 1941, paddle tennis was being played in almost 500 American cities.
Although Frank Beal is known as the game’s inventor, Murray Geller, a player in the 1940s and ‘50s, was instrumental in creating the modern game. Elected chairman of the USPTA rules committee, he wanted to make the game more appealing to adults and instituted features including an enlarged court and an underhanded serve.
The sport uses a standard tennis ball with its internal pressure reduced so that when dropped from a height of 6 feet, it bounces to between 31 and 33 inches. This is usually achieved by puncturing the ball with a hypodermic needle or safety pin. Today, there is a POP tennis ball made by PENN specifically for this sport. It is called the Control Plus GREEN DOT ball.
The paddle is made of a composite foam core covered with fiberglass and or graphite, and contains no strings but does have holes drilled throughout. Its dimensions are limited to 18″ in length and 9.5″ in width. A 38 mm thickness is becoming the standard.
Other Facts about Paddle Tennis / newly renamed Pop Tennis:
- Players: Played in both singles or doubles.
- Serves: Serve must be underhand. Only one serve is allowed.
- Score: Scoring method is the same as in tennis. Best of 3 sets.
- Ball: Tennis ball with reduced pressure.
- Paddle: No strings. Typically a perforated face.
- Court: There are two styles of courts. East and West cost styles.
- Walls: Walls or fences are NOT part of the game.
POP Tennis Court
While some POP tennis is played on hard packed beach sand, most POP / Paddle Tennis courts are constructed of the same materials as tennis courts. Overall traditional court measurements are 50 feet from baseline to baseline. The court width is 20 feet and the service line is 3 feet inside the baseline. This creates a ten foot by 22 foot service box. The net height is 31 inches. On the west coast, a restraint line may be drawn parallel to the net, 12 feet back from the net (this area is “the bucket”). If using the restraint line, all players must keep both feet behind this line until after the player receiving the serve has struck the ball.
Court measurement – 50′ Long by 20′ Wide (no doubles lanes). Singles and Doubles played on the same court. Often played on a 60′ court today due to easy access.
Net Height – 31″
Equipment – Paddle – 18″ is the standard paddle length. Composition includes Graphite, Titanium and solid EVA cores (no strings!) They also have holes cut in the face which aid in maneuverabilty and help bite the ball.
Ball – A punctured / deadened tennis ball or Penn Green Dot low compression ball
Shoes – Wear good quality tennis shoes; NO running shoes or cross-trainers for safety reasons!
What is Padel?
Padel is a racquet sport that combines the elements of tennis, squash and badminton. It is only played in doubles and is practiced outdoors as much as indoors and involves the use of walls (yes, you play balls off the wall like in racquetball and squash).
The game was invented by Enrique Corcuera of Mexico, who created the first padel club in Marbella in 1974. The sport became very popular in Spain, which has been the professional circuit host of the World Padel Tour where it has been played since 2005. Over the course of the past 10 years, padel has begun to spread rapidly to the rest of Europe as well as to the United States.
The Padel Court:
•Dimensions: 200m² (10x20m)
•A net divides the court into two sides
•Windows and steel fences surround the court
•The back of the court and the beginning of the sides are made of window glass surmounted by a steel fence (height: 4m)
•The rest of the sides are exclusively made of a steel fence (height: 3m)
•Access to the court is on each side of the net
•There are no doors
For more information on the sport of Padel…read here http://padel-connection.com/what-is-padel/ or for all paddle sports read HERE