You want to know everything about the track of padel, its playground, its way of building? the methodology is explained by QUALISPORT.

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Here is an excerpt from the files padel MAINTENANCE et CONSTRUCTION.

Lplaying area and clearance surfaces

The play area of Padel measures 20 m by 10 m. It is divided in two in the middle by a net a little lower than that of tennis. Parallel to the net, 6.95 m from it, the service lines are drawn. A center line perpendicular to the middle of the net defines 4 service squares. The distances are measured inside the court and a tolerance of 10 cm is allowed for the length and 5 cm for the width. All lines are 5 cm wide. The free height above the track will be 7 m.

Taking the ball outside the court is authorized in two "clearance" zones located on either side of the 1.4 m by 8 m field. Players can leave the playing area through the gates at net level to pick up the ball in these areas (for experts only!). These areas must be free of any obstacles and of a different color from the playing area.

Each short of padel must have its own structure. A wall cannot be used by two terrains. Around each site, on all sides, a strip of 1,4 m will be left free for PMR access (Persons with Reduced Mobility) and security.

The supporting structure (the walls)

The field of Padel is entirely enclosed by a rigid load-bearing structure. All four sides being used to bounce the ball; they must therefore be sufficiently rigid and devoid of protruding elements to allow a regular and uniform rebound of the ball.

The baseline measures 10m by 4m high. The lower three meters are made up of glass walls, enhanced by mesh panels 1 m high. The glass bottom should be 10-12mm tempered glass and provide a smooth, even ball bounce. The glazed bottom may be made up of several panels. The so-called “panoramic” backdrops made up of a single panel offer better visibility. They must be 12 mm thick. We will pay attention to the method of fixing the panels and the glass / metal junction. The junction of these two materials can constitute a point of weakness. The affixing of adhesives on the glazed panels is prohibited. They create areas of rigidity that lead to glass breakage.

The side walls measure 20 mx 3 to 4 m in height. They must be made up of mesh elements and other transparent ones. The first two meters from the bottom angles have a height of 4 m, they join with panels with a height of 3 m. 2 models of glass and mesh arrangement are authorized. (See specifications).

Access to the pitch is through openings (usually two) located in the center of the pitch on either side of the net. If they have doors, they open outwards.

Tip: The courts of padel exteriors have significant wind resistance. It is important that the structure is correctly sized to withstand the weather and that it meets building standards well.[1] in force. It is advisable to have the calculation notes drawn up by a specialized office, or to ensure that the company has the means to do so.

During construction, attention will be paid to assemblies to avoid false rebounds and injuries. The FFtennis specifications require that the space between the glazed walls be between 2 and 8 mm maximum and that the junctions between solid walls and rigid panels be made in the same plane (an offset of 3 mm maximum in a plane vertical is tolerated). It is also necessary to check the absence of asperities on which the players could injure themselves.

The foundations of the load-bearing structure and the platform that supports the flooring

The load-bearing structure (all the bottom and side walls) will be established on footings (longerines) peripheral to the ground (or studs). Their characteristics depend on the types of soil and a calculation note will be produced to define them. Note that there are self-supporting structures that can be placed directly on an existing ground if this allows it (study required).

Inside this surround, the synthetic turf (or carpet) will be laid on porous concrete, draining bituminous concrete or reinforced concrete. Each type of terrain corresponds to specific standards to which we will refer, NF or DTU [2] which are those that apply to tennis.

The most expected main quality of the platform is its flatness and stability over time. The FF Tennis specifications prescribe respecting the following flatness values:

  • Maximum deviation of 2 mm under a 30 cm ruler,
  • Maximum deviation of 5 mm under a 3 m rule
  • No more than 3 mm offset between two sections of adjacent tiles if the ground is made up of several sections.

Water circulation will be taken into account (rain, watering, cleaning). Under the porous surfaces, a water collection and drainage system will be installed. If the platform is impermeable, it must have a slope (1%) which rejects the water outside and the stringers must be at the level of the slab so as not to block the flow. In the case of adjacent courts, gutters are provided between the courts to lead rainwater to the drainage systems.

Indoors, the problems of wind resistance and water drainage are less present. Here too, the load-bearing structure will generally be installed on external stringers unless it is possible to install a self-supporting structure.

Insert: Building a tennis court padel is not very complex and calls upon well-known and mastered techniques. However, there are specificities specific to padel or the type of structure to be implanted which are acquired through experience. Examples of achievements (references) will validate the choice of contractors. In the case where several companies are used, we will prefer companies that are used to working together. And for the calculation notes, favor offices that already have expertise. Companies that have a Tennis Quality Plan or Qualisport qualification provide proof that they meet the conditions. Stéphane BERRAFATO in charge of Padel to the FFTennis recalls that "although it is recommended to choose companies with Tennis Quality Plan or Qualisport qualifications, this condition is not mandatory to benefit from federal aid".

The floor covering

For Olivier BOURGETON of the equipment department of the Tennis Federation, "the very essence of Padel, it is synthetic turf and the most frequently used colors are green, blue, fuchsia or ocher (clay)”. The construction of the floor will meet the requirements of tennis court standards.

The flooring plays an important role in the quality of the game. It must allow a natural and predictable bounce of the ball, facilitate the movements of the players and be comfortable. As we often play in the same place, it must minimize the abrasion caused by trampling and limit the risk of injury (friction in the event of falls or slips). For maintenance and upkeep, attention should be paid to resistance to UV rays (especially outdoors) and ease of maintenance.

There is a very wide variety of soils. The quantity and height of the fibres, the materials used for the fibers (polypropylene or polyethylene) and for the underlayer (latex or polypropylene), the quantity of sand (which is used to keep the fibers straight) vary and influence the rebounds and movements of the players.

Sanded carpets must be regularly replenished with sand. A single fiber carpet will require more sand than a higher fiber (textured) carpet. It ranges from single to double and can have a visual impact. The sand hiding the carpet and giving a cloudy appearance to the courts. The sand (in pure silica and with rounded grains) is specific. All sands are not equivalent and each support corresponds to a quality and quantity of sand recommended by the manufacturer. Follow these recommendations. It is wise to check that the necessary sand can be easily obtained. The sand is easily transported under the shoes of the players during their movements between the field, the locker rooms, the club house which can pose problems of maintenance of the installation which can be anticipated. Appropriate treatment of traffic areas can prevent this inconvenience.

Game lines can be incorporated into the flooring during factory manufacture or made by assembling (gluing) carpets of different colors on site. These stickings can constitute points of weakness with the use.

The French Tennis Federation accepts all floors for the organization of competitions. For the World Padel Tour the international federation of Padel requires artificial turf that meets specific standards.

Court lighting padel

The minimum level of illumination of a court of padel is 300 lux. Given the foreseeable aging of the lighting and the need to maintain the level of lighting over time, this corresponds to 350 – 400 lux installed. Poles and floodlights cannot be installed in the playing area. For floodlights, an overhang of 20cm is authorized above 6m. Control of this lighting is done according to the 13-point method of the Tennis Federation.

Care should be taken to connect the entire installation to an earth connection.

[1] Eurocode 1 (standard actions on structures – snow loads NF-EN 1991-1-1-3/NA and standard actions on structures NF-EN 1991-1-4) and NF-12150-1+A1 Glass in the construction

[2] Porous concrete and bituminous concrete: NF P90-110 of July 2016, Concrete DTU 13.3 or specific study.

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