padel return

Essential Padel Return Rules

We get so many questions about positioning and rules for the return of serve! So here  Essential Padel Return Rules – the video accompanying this article – we delve into the must-know padel return rules that every padel player needs to know.

Get ready to enhance your gameplay as we uncover both basic padel rules and the surprising, often overlooked, violations that could be holding you back on the court. Having worked a lot with recreational players we’ve seen all the possible service return scenarios and in this video and article we’re going to give you some padel return rules that you need to follow. You might not even realise that you’re breaking these rules! We’re going to go from the most basic right the way up to some of the more extreme things that we have actually seen on court.

Select Padel Return Sides

One of the first rules concerns selecting a side for the return. The rule is that as a returner, you are on that side for the whole set. It’s not like the serve where you can play Australian formation or switch your sides. When returning, you have to return for the whole set from your chosen position on one side with your partner on the other side. However when you start the next set you can decide to switch sides with your partner if you so wish.

Padel Bounce Rules

When it comes to the number of bounces allowed when returning serve, you’re only allowed one bounce. You are not allowed to come in and volley the ball either in front of or behind the line as you would immediately lose the point. If the ball bounces twice in the service box, that would be considered an ace and the server immediately wins the point. Even if the ball contacts the fence after the 2nd bounce, this would still be considered an ace and point won by the server.

Who Calls The Ball In Or Out?

When it comes to calling the serve in or out, either you or your partner can call the ball. If it bounces on the line that is considered in but if it hits the little piece of line that sticks out behind the service line, as shown in the video, that would be out. If the ball touches any part of the fence, then this is considered a fault and again can be called by either player.

If there is a disagreement on the call and the serving pair are adamant the ball was in, most often the players play a let and repeat the serve.

Regarding the returner’s position: in the video you can see Sandy standing in the service box to receive the serve and that is perfectly legal. You are allowed to start inside the service line if you want, It is just not recommended because from here it’s going to be very difficult to defend a good serve

When it comes to your partner’s position, he or she can also stand wherever they want within the confines of the court, but we recommend standing back in line with the returner.

When it comes to a let serve – a serve that hits the net and bounces into the service box and either bounces again or hits the glass  – it can be called by any of the four players on the court and there’s no limit to the number of times this can happen. It can happen five or six times in a row and you just keep repeating the serve until there is a successful serve or a fault. A variant of the let serve is if it touches the net and bounces out the door. This is still considered a let if external play is permitted and a fault if it is not permitted.

Please accept statistics, marketing cookies to watch this video.
Find the full padel return rules in this video

Let us know if we’ve missed anything and also which rules you see broken the most! You will see many padel return tutorials in our courses – check it out here! You can also find more documentation on the FIP rules here!

Related Posts

Become a Member

Take your padel to the next level by joining our all-in-one powerful padel coaching membership.

Stay in the loop!

Be the first to get news and updates from The Padel School and receive regular newsletters full of tips, tricks, drills and great offers.

Stay in the loop!

Be the first to get news and updates from The Padel School and receive regular newsletters full of tips, tricks, drills and great offers.