Padel Tennis

Latest info please see LTA Padel newsletter: LTA Padel Newsletter Q1 2024

PADEL HISTORY

Padel, an innovative form of tennis, is one of the fastest growing sports. It’s easy to learn, extremely sociable and a great way to get a low impact, high-energy cardio workout. Played on an enclosed court about a third the size of a tennis court, groups of mixed ages and abilities can play together.

There are close to 300 padel courts in the United Kingdom. Norfolk has two padel court venues, the Diss Heywood Tennis & Padel Club and at the Royal Norwich Golf Club.

The rules are much the same as tennis, although you hit an underarm serve and the walls are used as part of the game. Padel is a great way to attract new members. Learn More 

General Guidance On Planning, Building & Operating A Padel Court (PDF) 

Competition


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Padel Rankings

Padel Officiating
Existing tennis referees can do a free one-hour LTA Padel Referee Conversion Course.

History of Padel

Known and referred to as Padel the sport is derived from tennis and hs been played for more than a century. The name comes from the english word paddle, referring to the paddles players use during play. In the 19th century, passengers on British cruise ships were already playing on a similar enclosed court. 

In the 1960s, the Mexican Enrique Corcuera, considered to be the inventor of how the sport is played today, found inspiration in America’s platform tennis. The new sport was born when Mr. Corcuera modified an existing Fronton court (measuring 20 by 10 metres) at his holiday home in Acapulco by enclosing the court with walls and a metallic fence of up to four meters on all sides (this was to prevent the ball from escaping onto his neighbour’s land). He called the sport Paddle Corcuera.

One of Enrique’s friends was Alfonso de Hohenlohe, one of the founding figures of Marbella in Spain, a man most associated with turning the sleepy town into the well-known beach resort destination for the international jet set that it is today. While visiting Mexico in 1974, Hohenlohe enjoyed this new game so much that he decided to import it to Spain’s Costa del Sol, where he built Spain’s first two paddle courts at the Marbella Club. The introduction of the courts marked the beginning of the game’s popularity among the members of this exclusive club, including the famous tennis player Manolo Santana. Soon, tournaments were being organized along the Costa del Sol as more and more clubs built their own courts.

In 1975 an Argentine millionaire and Marbella regular imported the sport to his country, where it became a sporting sensation. Today, there are more than two million officially licensed paddle players in Argentina, a country that boasts over 10,000 paddle courts. From Argentina, the sport’s popularity spread to neighbouring countries such as Brazil, Uruguay and Chile, and it is increasingly popular in Mexico, the United States and Canada.

In 1991, Julio Alegria Artiach formed the International Paddle Federation (FIP), and in 1992 the first World Championships was arranged and hosted in the dual cities of Madrid and Seville. In 1992 the British Paddle Association was formed by a group of passionate British expats seeking to complete in the World Paddle Championships of 92. From the southern coast of Spain, paddle began to spread to the rest of the country. In 1993, the Sports Council of Spain recognized Paddle as a sport whilst changing the spelling to Padel for pronunciation purposes in the Spanish language.

In 2005, the Padel Pro Tour (PPT) was created, a professional circuit of tournaments where players from around the world compete for world ranking positions. In 2013, the World Padel Tour (WPT), a new circuit of professional tournaments was launched with key commercial partner Estrella Damm (a leading Spanish beer brewery). With the majority of the tournaments being hosted in Spain, and a few in Argentina, the professional game has only really developed amongst Argentinian and Spanish players. To date, most content has only been produced in the Spanish language, and therefore it’s following and that of the sport’s developments has been limited to mainly Hispanic nations.