Racquet Point Blog and News Racquet Point

What is Padel and Pop Tennis?


Padel and Pop Tennis

Padel and Pop Tennis are similar racquet sports that have enjoyed growing popularity. However, as identical as they might seem, there are some subtle differences between the two worth knowing. 


POP Tennis (Paddle Tennis) 

When it comes to Pop Tennis, its rules and scoring system are the same as tennis except that the players have one underhand serve. However, it is played on smaller courts with shorter, solid racquets without strings called paddles and slightly depressurized tennis balls. Moreover, pop tennis can be played all year round, indoors or outdoors, on courts ranging from about half to 75 percent of the size of a tennis court.


POP Tennis (Paddle Tennis) History 

Pop Tennis is the oldest among these 'small tennis court' games, with its history going as far back as the nineteenth century. Thanks to Frank Peter Beal, it started as paddle tennis as a recreational activity that would help children learn to play tennis. He sought the help of lower Manhattan's parks and recreation department to build small courts in Greenwich village's Washington Square Park. 


Initially played with a short, wooden paddle and a small rubber ball, it became a simpler, easier version of tennis with a shallow learning curve. Its popularity quickly grew to the point where adults became interested in it. Moreover, bigger 20' × 44' courts were built to suit the players better. In the years that followed, paddle tennis's popularity grew rapidly as more and more cities started to embrace it. As soon as 1941, Pop Tennis was already played in more than 500 cities of the United States! 


Some top paddle tennis players recently felt the need to replace the sport's current name with a more compelling one. Leo Recagni came up with the term 'POP' because the sport became a Popular Tennis game, and POP is the sound the paddle makes upon contact with the ball. It seemed a friendly and exciting way to refer to the sport in question, and this is why Paddle Tennis rebranded to Pop Tennis in late 2014. 


Must have Pop Tennis accessories

For Pop Tennis, it's the racquet and the ball you need to know about. The racquet is a paddle, has no strings, just tiny holes, and is usually made of fiberglass or carbon fiber. 


As for the ball, the official ball is the Green Dot and has 25 percent less internal pressure than a regular tennis ball. However, children and other players who prefer a slow-paced game play with the Orange Dot ball.


What is Padel?

Padel is a combination of the sports of tennis and squash. While the rules and scoring are the same as tennis except for the underarm serve, balls can bounce and be played off the back and side walls just like squash. These rules make the sport attractive, allowing for long, exciting rallies, something not usually seen in tennis.

However, it's still nowhere near as physically demanding as tennis, with points usually being won through strategy and clever tactics rather than consistency, long rallies, and strength, making it easy for people of all age groups to learn and play the sport. 


You use a slightly depressurized tennis ball and a stringless, solid racquet with holes, commonly known as the paddle, to play Padel.


Padel History

Enrique Corcuera created Padel in Acapulco, Mexico in 1969. 


A professional Padel circuit, Padel Pro Tour (PPT), was formed in 2005. However, the World Padel Tour (WPT) is the globally recognized Padel circuit. 


Padel is more popular in Spain, Mexico, and South American countries such as Chile and Argentina though its popularity in Spain, in particular, hasn't gone unnoticed. The massive number of foreign visitors to the country has helped spread the sport in question to other parts of Europe, with pretty much every European country now having a Padel federation. 


The Covid-19 pandemic has made Padel even more popular. Padel is not a contact sport, unlike football, rugby, and squash, nor is it as mentally and physically exhausting as it doesn't require a great deal of on-court practice to get going or involve grueling rallies and sprints. These factors made it the best recreational activity for people to kill time during the stressful quarantine and lockdown days. 


In fact, in Italy, Padel's popularity is growing so rapidly that it would be safe to say it is just a matter of time before it becomes the most popular sport in the country, at least after football. The number of padel courts has increased fivefold alongside the threefold increase in padel clubs, and schools are a testament to that. 


Must have Padel equipment 

Once again, it's only the racquet and the ball you need to focus on here. Premium racquets made of carbon fiber are designed to put more spin on the ball. They are geared towards advanced players, while those using the cheaper fiberglass are for beginners as they usually provide more control. 


The weight of a padel racquet also determines how it plays. The heavier ones allow for more power but are less maneuverable and offer little control. The lighter ones, in contrast, are easy to maneuver and allow for a faster swing which is great for beginners.


At Racquet Point, we carry the best Padel and Pop Tennis racquets and Padel and Pop Tennis balls of renowned brands like Dunlop and Tecnifibre so that you can play these fun small tennis court sports.




Hey @StevenPaulsen ! Yes, you can use Padel rackets to play Pop Tennis, I use them all the time

Steve Paulsen
Steve Paulsen

Can you tell me if a pop paddle can be used for padel. Can’t seem to find it anywhere. My club has a few demos from 2020 made by Drop Shot()i think)
Any advice would be helpful!

Steve Paulsen

Alex Sanchez
Alex Sanchez

Hello Mitch!
Thank you very much for your comment; it means a lot to us!
Indeed, POP Tennis and Padel are growing at a very fast pace and have a great future.
Thank you for your help promoting the sport of POP Tennis!


Alex Sanchez
Racquet Point Team

Mitch Kutner
Mitch Kutner

Well done! Excellent article/writeup about 2 great sports! Thanks for your support and helping to spread the word. Pretty sure Padel is the fastest growing sport in the world and making headway in the US now. POP growing a lot in US and now making strides in 13 or 14 countries. Both POP and Padel have great exciting futures ahead.

Best regards,

Mitch Kutner
International POP Tennis Association

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    1 out of ...