During friendly matches and most amateur tournaments padel matches are played without an umpire. The qualifying rounds of World Padel Tour don’t have a referee either. This means that the players will have to judge certain things themselves in an amicable manner. Let’s talk about some of these things to keep an eye out for and how to behave.
- At the start of the match, it is usual to wish the other players a good match, and at the end, all players are expected to approach the net and shake hands amicably, with both sides congratulating the others and thanking them for the match.
- If one of the players hits a shot whereby the ball hits another player, it is usual to apologize, while the person who got hit will acknowledge the gesture, knowing it’s part of the game.
- Each player is responsible for all decisions in her half of the Court. She should be completely honest on all “calls” but, if in doubt, she should give her opponent the benefit of the doubt and play the ball as good.
- It is your obligation to call all balls on your side, to help your opponent make calls when the opponent requests it, and to call against yourself (with the exception of a first service) any ball that you clearly see out on your opponent’s side of the net.
- Any “out”, “let” or “fault” call must be made immediately (ie. made before either an opponent has hit the return or the return has gone out of play); otherwise the ball continues in play. “Calls” must be verbal and clearly audible to the opponent, followed by a signal if necessary. “Lets” may be called by any of the participating players.
- When returning service, the partner of the receiver should generally call the service line for her.
- If players cannot agree on the score, they should calmly discuss the points/ games that are the areas of disagreement. If they cannot reach an agreement they should replay only the points or games in question. All points or games which the players agree on stand eg. cannot agree on whether the score is 40-15 or 30-30, but agree on the winner of the first, second and fourth points. Therefore only the third point needs to be replayed.
- Where a ball interrupts play, either by rolling/bouncing onto the court, and/or creating a visible interruption behind the court, a let should be played. If it happens a second time, the couple to whom it happens loses that point.
- If a player hinders her opponent it can be ruled involuntary or deliberate. If you experience behavior that you consider deliberate hindrance, call the tournament organiser to watch over a few points and take a decision.
- Any hindrance caused by a player that is ruled deliberate will result in the loss of a point.
If there are any situations that you’re unsure about, let me know and I’ll do my best to clear any doubts.