08 November 2022 / 2-Min Read
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That, believe it or not, was the conversation I had with somebody standing outside of a row of glass back courts. I thought the person asking me was playing a joke on me, but no, he was serious. This happened many many years ago, in fact before the year 2000. Padel had never been heard of in my circles and the whole concept was just “silly”.
I've circled the player outside, in yellow
In case you didn’t know, in padel, the ball is often made contact with outside the actual court. Below is an example from the World Padel Tour.
The rally was a bit longer, so I cut out the beginning. Pretty cool, huh?
You’re right, but the question was kinda exactly like padel is today. The player who asked me, thought he was allowed to go out the back door and hit the ball from there. And honestly I didn’t know. I didn’t have easy access to the rules back then, unlike today where you can just look on the Internet. I said “no, I didn’t think he would be allowed”. It does make an interesting question, but I highly doubt you could even purposefully create a situation where it’s possible. Do you?
I mean, one player would have to be right by the door waiting to open it and run outside. The other player would have to be right at the front waiting to smash the ball down like a tennis smash, so that it bounced on the floor and then went over the back wall.
The Maspeth outdoor court in New York would be the perfect place to try to do it.
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I suppose the player at the front could lob it, but that would give the other player less time. Maybe if it were an outdoor court then you could really hit it high! Anyway, I fun little thought experiment.
As I said in the introduction, I thought the player was asking about making contact with the ball “above” the outline around the court. yes, this is absolutely 100% allowed. In fact, it probably happens quite a lot in matches when a player lobs and their opponent jumps to hit the ball from near the back.
Rule 15.3, under the Conduct section, says “Players may not leave the court during a game without the permission of the Referee“, so unless get permission from the ref BEFORE the match starts, it’s not allowed, but even then it would probably consitue dangerous play as the area behind a court usually has people.
So the simple answer to avoid any confusion is “NO, you can’t hit the ball outside of the actual court”. Phew, we got there in the end.
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