Padel, the fastest growing new sport in The Netherlands. What is Padel? Padel is a racket and ball sport. During a match you play a ball, similar to a tennis ball, with a padel racket over a net. You always play it with four players. You can think of it as a mix between tennis and squash. A padel court is in a cage and the fence of the cage also participates in the game. Because of this, you never know exactly what a ball is going to do and it remains surprising!

Padel at Sports Centre VU

At Sports Centre VU there are no padel courts yet. That’s why we have teamed up with B. Amsterdam padel club. Starting 1 November, students can book a padel court during off-peak hours. How to book? You can do this via this link.

More information

  • Valid from 01-11-2021 until 01-11-2022
  • Off-peak hours: 08:00 – 17:00 from Monday to Friday
  • Location: Johan Huizingalaan 763A


Padel is similar to tennis and squash, right? Yes it is! The only difference is that a padel court is smaller than a tennis court (20m x 10m) and padel does not have walls (like squash) but an enclosure made of glass and fencing. Each half of the court, separated by a net, is divided into two service fields and a back field. Padel is always played with four players. This often leads to surprising new friendships.

The rules of padel are similar to those of tennis. The ball must be hit over the net and into the opponents box. The ball must bounce behind the service line before it is served. A big difference is that you can let the ball hit the wall after the bounce and then hit it back. This can also be done through the wall and often results in surprising rallies.


The scoring sequence in padel is the same as in tennis, namely 15, 30, 40 and game, with deuce at 40-40. At deuce, two consecutive points must be scored to win the game. Padel matches are usually “best-of-three”, or to two sets won, with a set won by the team that wins first six games with two games difference. At 6-6, a tiebreak is played, which goes to seven points won with two points difference. A possible third set is played as a supertiebreak or match tiebreak (up to ten points won with two points difference).


The serve must be underhand and the ball may be hit at waist height (navel). The first serve is from the right side. Then the serve is hit alternately from the left and right. The ball is bounced once behind the service line (which delimits the 7x5m service box), between the center line and the side wall. The service ball must bounce directly into the diagonal service box of the opponent without touching the net. The ball may then touch the wall, but not the fence (foul service). The receiver can choose to play the ball back before or after it hits the wall. If the ball touches the net edge on a first or second service and then lands in the correct service box, the serve is replayed.


During rallies, the ball may touch the ground only once. A player may choose to bounce the ball or volley it. A volley may only not be hit as a return. Once the ball bounces it must do so without first touching a wall or the fence, otherwise it is a foul. After the ball has bounced it may hit the wall or fence one or more times before being returned. The receiver may return the ball directly into the opponent’s field of play, or he may return the ball through the back or side walls. If the ball hits the fence before coming over the net it is a foul. If the ball is hit over the wall (4 meters) or fence (3 meters) through the playing field, it is normally a point; except if a player outside the cage plays the ball back. Play continues with these rules until the ball bounces twice on the playing field or a player otherwise violates the rules. (Source: KNLTB)

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