Go to the paddle

11 November, 2004

The paddle is becoming fashionable. And there is one thing that everyone has tried to do is point out: it's as easy as playing blades on the beach and as fun as tennis or squash. In addition, it is played as a team and outdoors.

Not long ago, the paddle became fashionable when an ex-president started practicing it in his spare time. But, contrary to what may seem, it is not a new sport nor an elite sport. In fact, it has been practiced a hundred years ago and, in its beginnings, it was conceived as the poor brother of tennis at a time when practicing tennis was a sign of social distinction.

This is one of the main attractions of the paddle. It's an easy sport. And this that may seem obvious is a very important factor for an audience that wants to practice new sports, sports as a team, but who is not willing to invest much time or money in their learning. You want to start enjoying the sport in question quickly. Quite the contrary to what happens with tennis where in the first months you win a low back pain by picking up the ball. Or with basketball and football in which if you have not played a little more worth it, let it run. And it is that Paddle can practice any. From toddlers to off-road sports to housewives, gentlemen who are no longer able to play tennis and a long list.

A bit of history

Once you have made the previous considerations, we will see what it is and where this sport comes from.

Already the 1890 has news about the installation, to English passenger ships, of a type of caged track (not to spend too much on balls) to distract passengers. But it's from 1920, when such a Frank Beal began to enter the sports in the New York parks. At Central Park there were tennis courts but they were few and expensive. And in a time when the aristocracy played tennis, street people started playing paddle on the courts built by Frank Beal. Who also baptized the new sport: paddle, because it was played with a shovel.

In the 1969 year, the Mexican Enrique Corcuera wanted to make a tennis court in his house in Acapulco. Since the characteristics of the terrain did not allow him to build a tennis court, he reduced the size of the field and since then the official sizes of a paddle field have been established: 20 meters long for 10 wide. A network of one meter high and the whole track covered by a wall that is three meters high and a network that reaches the ceiling that is located at four meters. Because surely this is the particularity that differentiates the paddle from other racket sports: that the ball can bounce around the surface of the track and the wall.

How is it played?

Paddle rules are simple. It scores like tennis, usually in 5 games. It is played in pairs and does not require a physical form out of the ordinary. Unlike tennis, where physical wear is much more important, the paddle allows the level of physical demand to vary according to the level of the players.

The development of the game begins with the withdrawal of a player who serves, always below the height of the shoulder, on another who receives. From then either of the two players can touch the ball and this one can touch the ground only once in each band of the network. Unlike squash, the ball must always touch the ground before the wall or the metal mesh and then bounce to the entire surface of the walls that delimit the playing field. Those who have already tried to prove that the paddle appeal is here: in the fact that it is a very dynamic game where, by means of bounces and carambolas, the points are extended and the two players must combine strength and strategy to choose The best corner of the field to send the ball.

Ten years ago, squash became fashionable among them yuppies. The sports complexes were filled with squash courts because the demand for this sport grew steadily driven by the image of successful men who occupied their leisure by punishing a balloon of rubber. Over time, the yuppies They were going out of style and squash dropped into oblivion. And everything seems to indicate that his place has occupied the paddle. A sport that fits with the values ​​of today: it is practiced in the open air, it is played as a team and, despite the exclusivity aura that surrounds it, it is available to everyone

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