Padder Tennis is a fun and social sport that everyone can play and enjoy - immediately!

Padder Tennis is the New Zealand version of the sport Paddle Tennis which dates back to 1898 and has been played in the playgrounds of New Zealand schools for many decades. It is an accessible alternative to regular tennis.


  • Once you have determined who your opponent is, a quick game of rock-paper-scissors is played to determine who serves in either a singles or doubles match.
  • In schools, a match is best of three sets, each set is played to 7 points. If the score is 6-6 in a set, the players must continue to play until one of the players wins by a margin of 2 points. In local, regional and national tournaments, sets are played to 11 or 15 or 21.
  • During each set, the winner of each point serves the next point.
  • The winner of the set serves first in the next set.
  • A change of ends occurs at the end of each set.
  • Touch bats at the end of the match.
  • A player must serve underarm, making contact with the ball below the waist.
  • One serve only - No faults!
  • The server must stand behind the baseline every time the serve is served.
  • Always start serving on the right side when it becomes your time to serve.
  • When serving, the serve must be hit over the net and land inside the diagonal box.
  • If the serve lands outside the opposite service box, the receiver wins the point and becomes the new server.
  • If the serve hits the net before landing inside the opposite service box, the serve must be repeated (this is called a "let").
  • After a serve has been made, the receiver MUST let the ball bounce before a return is made. If the receiver does return the ball, a rally takes place.
  • During the rally, all players have the choice to let the ball bounce or hit it on the full (this is called a "volley").
  • During the rally, if the ball hits the net and goes over, the rally is continued.
  • For doubles, one player serves continually until they lose the point. The next time that team serves, the player's partner must serve, taking turns just like tennis.
  • On the line is in!

The court

Padder Tennis is played on a 6m x 15m court with a vertical centre line and a 80cm net in the middle.


Padder Tennis is played on smaller tennis courts, with shorter, solid bats and low compression tennis balls.