Rules of padel can be confusing, especially if it’s your first time to play padel. Determining valid or invalid shots, and understanding the point system, is difficult.

But, knowing the rules governing padel courts helps avoid errors and penalties.

This article will teach you to determine valid points and playable balls.

Contents

## The ball bounces off the glass, or was it off the ground first?

Official padel rules include how you can consider if the ball is in or out.

Two things you should know are:

1. The ball is out if it hits the glass first
2. The ball is in if it bounces off the ground first

However, the ball can hit the angle between the wall and the ground. It’s called an egg ball or “huevo” in Spanish.

In a situation like this, you must look at the trajectory and spin to know if it’s in or out.

### Trajectory

If the ball springs at an angle higher than when it came in, the player likely hit the ball off the ground first.

When a normal ball comes in at waist level and leaps an angle higher than the waist, it’s considered a valid ball.

However, if the ball rebounds at the knee or ankle level, the ball likely hit the glass first.

### Spin

The ball’s spin as it rebounds off the surface is another indicator.

When the player hits the glass, it will likely go forward towards the net with an intense top spin.

But, a ball that hits the ground first will create a backspin. This slows the ball down while moving at a higher trajectory.

### If it hits the side glass in a huevo situation

It’s hard to see the spin at a return position. Hence, you can only rely on the trajectory.

You can tell if the ball hit the side glass if it bounced towards your knee or ankle. But if it bounced like normal, it likely hit the ground first.

### If it hits the fence, also called a pico situation

Another difficult situation to judge a ball’s validity is when the ball strikes the fence or “pico.”

The ball’s trajectory is still a good indicator. If the ball immediately shoots off towards the middle of the padel court, it’s likely to hit the fence first.

But, if it hits the ground, it should bounce slightly higher. However, there are situations where the ball would rebound from the ground, hit the fence, and roll towards the middle.

## The Serve

Securing good service is important because this is where the point starts. Be aware of things to avoid during service.

### We (our pair) serve, and the ball bounces more than one time in the receiver’s service box

A valid service takes place when you cross the ball to your opponent’s service box on your left side.

If the ball bounces off your opponent’s ground twice, your team wins the point. The receiver shouldn’t allow the ball to bounce twice before returning it.

### We serve but step over the “imaginary central line”

You are NOT ALLOWED to step on the imaginary line at the center of the court.

Proceed to your second serve if the incident happened during your first serve. But your team loses a point if it’s already in the second service.

### My opponents jump when they serve to get movement to the net faster

The server should keep at least one foot on the ground while serving. Hence, jumping during service is considered a bad serve.

### When serving, we bounce the ball inside the box

The server cannot cross the center or service line or step into the boxed service area. Hence, bouncing the ball inside the box is considered a foul

You should, however, let the ball bounce once before serving.

### Our serve bounced on the serving line or the center line of the opposing court

If the ball bounced on your opponent’s court’s serving or center line, it’s still considered a valid point

Remember:

A point is invalid if the ball served touches the fence or wall first or if the ball went beyond the receiver’s box (service box).

## The Return

When returning the ball, ensure that you direct it towards its natural exit by using the same movement you’d normally do when playing.

But, there are technicalities you need to consider involving equipment and gameplay.

### I run towards the net to return a ball but accidentally touch the net

Players are not allowed to touch the net. Hence, touching the net is considered foul play even if it was an accidental touch.

### My team is in attacking position on the net. We hit the ball while our racket is on our opponents’ side of the court

There are two considerations in instances like this:

1. If the ball crossed your side of the court and rebounded back to your opponent’s court, the ball is PLAYABLE.
2. If the ball has not yet crossed your side of the court and you returned the ball, the point is INVALID.

### When is it OK to touch the fence?

You’re only allowed to touch the fence IF you’re allowed to do an out-of-court play. But, note that you can only touch your side of the fence.

Touching the fence of your opponents would cause you to lose a point. The same applies if you jump to return the ball and accidentally hit their fence.

### Instead of hitting the ball, I “carry/drive/sweep it” (also known as “double touch”)

Carrying or a “double touch” is considered foul. You are NOT ALLOWED to hit the ball twice on your side of the court.

### Your opponent smashes, the ball bounces on your side and goes up to rebound from the fence at the back of the court, above the glass

It’s a valid point, given that the ball leaped on the ground before rebounding from the fence.

The same rule applies when the ball gets stuck on the flat horizontal surface of the fence.

### I hit a high lob; the ball hits the ceiling (or another external object)

Hitting the ceiling is known as a “globo” in Spanish. In such cases, the point is awarded to your opponents, given that you committed an invalid shot

The same rule applies when your high lob hits floodlights or another object located outside the game area.

### The ball hits the net post and then bounces back in on our opponent’s court

It’s valid even if the ball touches the net posts BEFORE bouncing towards the opponent’s court.

However, there are instances where players play a let ball. These situations include:

• A ball in play hits the net or posts and falls within the receiver’s box
• A ball touches the net or posts and touches any of the opposing team’s body
• A ball splits during play

### Our opponents dropped the ball from their pocket and asked to play the point again

When your opponent drops a ball from their pocket, they are allowed to play a let ball. In this case, the player can ask to repeat the play, and the play continues.

Valid padel points – was it a good point?

In playing padel tennis, there are different ways to determine a good and invalid point. You can refer to the ground rules for padel matches by the International Padel Federation (IPF). These rules are also followed by World Padel Tour players.

How many bounces are allowed in padel?

You should only bounce the ball once. The second bounce can be on the back glass or fence to make it playable.

How do you know if a padel ball is in or out?

In or out padel tennis balls can be determined if the ball hit the ground or glass first.

What happens if you touch the net in padel?

Players SHOULD NOT touch the net. However, touching the net accidentally is not penalized if the ball has already bounced on the opponents’ court area.

Can you hit the ball before it bounces in padel?

Yes, you are allowed to hit floating balls or volleys. However, it’s invalid if you hit a volley BEFORE it crosses the opposing team’s net.

Can you touch the ball twice in padel?

Touching the ball simultaneously or twice is NOT ALLOWED.

Can you hit the fence padel?

You are NOT ALLOWED to hit the fence. It’s only accepted if the ball touched the ground first.

Can you serve backhand in padel?

Backhand service is acceptable. Points begin after a valid serve is made.

## Conclusion

Determining a valid padel point might be difficult at first. However, the point system is equally important as knowing padel techniques.

There will always be dubious points, and players trying to win those points by talking opponents over; remember to think about the spin and the trajectory!

It helps you secure points and avoid errors during your matches.

## 12 replies on “Valid Padel Point or Not? Dubious Padel Points Explained”

Chris Smithsays:

Can you return a serve without the ball bouncing. I.e on the volley?

Marios Christoforousays:

What happens if the ball touches body ?

Hi Chris,

No, you cannot.

Skagitsays:

what if I play the ball against the back wall and the ball touches the fence on my side before going over the net and goes inside the playing field on the other side?

Hey Skagit,

Great questions! That’d be a foul, you’d lose the point. It would be the same as you hitting the fence (without the wall in play) and the ball then going over. You can never use the fence. Love the boosting play though, keep it up!

Annamariasays:

Hi there,

I was wondering in padel what happens if you hit the ball with a backspin, it bounces on the opponent’s side and then it goes back over to your side of the net without your opponent touching it? It actually happened to us 🙂

Thanks!

Hello Annamaria,

Thank you for your question! That would be your point, if you’re the one playing the backspin so to speak. The point would be valid as it hit the opponents side of the court and they did not manage to get it over before it died on your side.

Perhaps stating the less obvious; your opponents could have run towards the net, and before it touched the ground on your side, reached over on your side and hit the ball into the net on your side (if they didn’t touch the net, which would forfeit the point to you).

The entire case though is similar to when WPT-/pro players would do a kicksmash, hit the ground, the back wall, and it would bounce over to your own side. That’s a won point for “the smasher”.

Keep enjoying padel, and thanks for visiting us!

Hussainsays:

During the game; i know if i return a double glass ball it should be a valid point. My question however is; is it still valid point when i hit the ball to the back glass and it goes to the side glass before going to the opponent court? (Hitting double glass during a rally)

@Marios Hi! Thanks for reaching out. If the ball touches the body of your opponent, it’s your point and vice versa.

As a scenario, say you play a shot from the back and your opponent is at the net position, your shot hits the body (e.g. stomach) of your opponent, it’s your point.

@Hussain Hi! No, that would be an invalid point from your end, it’d be a point to your opponent. Here’s why;

Playing a “boost shot” (hitting the back of your glass) into the side glass of your opponents court would be the same as hitting a volley into the side glass of your opponents court, if that makes sense?

[…] Valid point or not? Dubious points in Padel explained […]

[…] the glass wall after bouncing, but not the side fence. Once the point is in play, the ball can touch the fence without being considered “out.” Players are allowed only one hit per shot, and volleys […]