Paddleball is a fun game that is sure to offer a lot of fun and entertainment moments for you and your opponent as well. The game can be played either as a singles game or as doubles with two teams of four players in total. Depending on the seriousness of the play, you can either play on a fixed paddleball court or decide on your court dimensions in your courtyard. Let us discuss the ideal dimensions of a paddleball court along with the game rules to help you add a tinge of seriousness in the otherwise recreational game.
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About the Paddleball Court and its Dimensions
The game is generally played on an enclosed court space, which is generally about one third the size of the tennis court. The four-wall paddleball game is generally played by either 2 or 4 people in a four-walled court. The dimensions of the four wall paddleball game are as follows,
- Length of the standard court: 40 feet wide
- Height of the front walls: 20 feet
- Height of the side walls: 20 feet
- The back wall of the court: 12 feet
- There should be a ceiling for the paddleball court.
There are few distinguishing lines in the paddleball court to denote the servicing and the receiving zones. There is a line midway parallel to the front and the back walls, which divides the court exactly in the center. This is also known as the short line. There is also another line that is five feet at the front of the short line and parallel to it, known as the service zone.
There is also a line that is 18 inches from the sidewall and parallel to the side, at every end of the service zone. This is called the service box. There are also vertical lines that are marked three inches from the floor on the sidewalls, known as the receiving lines. All of these lines are made 1½ inch wide with contrast colors, distinguishing them appropriately from the floor and the wall colors.
The Paddleball game is played with the help of paddle made of wood or composite material and should have a safety strap attached to it. The ball used in the game should have a rebound of 3 ½ feet when dropped from a height of 6 feet.
Rules of the Paddleball Game
There are three variations with the paddleball game depending on the number of players involved.
- Two players – singles match
- Three players – cutthroat (casual game)
- Four players – doubles match
As the paddleball game is played on a smaller court it demands the players be more agile and have quicker reactions.
Some Key Pointers of the Paddleball Game
- A solid paddle is used to play the game with no strings. But the paddles can be perforated
- The game is played with the help of tennis balls with reduced pressure
- Serves of this game are underhand
- Only one serve is allowed and there is no second serve as in tennis
- The scoring method of this game is the same as that of tennis
- Winners are announced based on their performance in the best of three sets.
- The paddleball court is enclosed by walls, but the walls and fences are not part of this game.
Serves and Serve Returns
The serving side will be determined with a coin toss. The server can serve from anywhere in the service zone. No part of his foot should extend beyond both the lines of the service zone. After serving, he should remain in the service zone, until the ball passes the short line. In doubles match, the partner has to stand in the service box with his back against the wall, till the ball passes the short line. Failure to do so results in a ‘foot fault’.
The ball should drop to the floor within the service zone and then struck with the paddle on the first bounce while serving. It has to hit the front wall and rebound back of the shortline, without touching the side walls. The players are permitted to serve until a serve cut occurs. The balls should not be served until the opponent is ready, failing to do so results in a serve-out.
A serve is lost if two illegal serves are made in succession. Illegal serves are ceiling serves, long serves, short serves, the screen serves, out of court serves, etc. While returning the service, the receivers should remain well behind the receiving lines, and wait for the ball to cross the short line. A ball that is served well, returns on the fly, or after the first bounce on the front wall, either diretly or after touching the ceiling, back wall or sidewalls. A good return should not touch the front wall and the floor simultaneously. Failure to return the serves, helps the server to gain a point.
- In a doubles match, both the players on a side should be rendered fair and uninterrupted access to the ball.
- Both the paddle and the ball should be dry to play the game.
- The game can be stopped or replayed when there are any outside hindrances.
- The game should be played continuously from the first serve until the game is completed.
- The players can ask for a time out, not exceeding 30 seconds and should also remain in the court. Delays in returning after time outs are not entertained.
- Considering the safety features, players should be wearing the safety thong at all times in their wrist.
- They should not switch the paddle from one hand to another, however can use both the hands to strike the ball.
- The referee takes the position above the back wall of the court and he offers the approves the scores of the teams and declares the winners every time.
Paddleball is an interesting game that is played by people all over the world. The game is open for players of all ages and skillsets. The rules of the game are simple and you will find yourself falling in love with this game within a short duration.