Let's try to precisely define the game levels of the padel based on the existing scale.
Let us first specify that the French scale of levels of padel, graduated from 1 to 10, is different from Spanish, simplified and presented as follows:
1 – introduction
2 – intermediate
3 – medium/high
4 – advanced
5 – competition/instructors
6 – professionals
The French scale has 10 levels:
1 – introduction
2 – beginner
3 – beginner +
4 – intermediate
5 – intermediate +
6 – advanced
7 – advanced +
8 – expert
9 – expert +
10 – elite
It is quite easy to be in the first two rungs when starting the padel, and also easy to position expert and elite players.
On the other hand, between the beginners and the elite, ie from level 3 to level 7, there is a vagueness which makes it difficult for French club players to situate themselves. Thus, a level 7 in a given place could perhaps correspond to a level 4 or 5 in another club or another city!
Not to mention those who may sometimes be tempted to increase their level...
We will therefore try to define the levels more precisely by explaining them precisely, to try to establish a scale of levels 2022-2023 that is clear and simple to apply.
Before that, it should be specified that these levels are indicative, the level of padel not only being based on technique but also on the speed of play and the ability to follow the speed of the opponents' play.
Thus, a high-level tennis player starting out in padel will be able to immediately reach a high level of padel without having the tactics or even the technical rudiments (playing with windows, bandeja, vibora, 360). It is not uncommon to see tennis players of 2e series compete with players from padel level 7 or 8, thanks to their speed of play, their volley and their half-volley, all without almost playing with the windows!
Obviously, a player without technical bases who supports the comparison in match with 3 level 7 players will be de facto at this level.
Indeed, the similarities between racket sports make it easier to switch from one sport to another with ease. This is the case for example for squash players, accustomed to playing with glass and 360.
From there, we can try to define the levels of padel from a theoretical point of view, on the following bases:
Thus, the scale becomes the following, to be visualized on the sketch below.
Here is the more detailed definition proposed for each level.
I start to play.
I'm learning the basic strokes to make my first rallies.
I don't do long trades yet.
I'm starting to master the basic strokes.
I play slowly with short rallies.
I start volleyball.
I know the rules.
I don't play matches yet.
3 / ELEMENTARY
I play for leisure.
I know how to serve and I play rallies trying to keep the ball in play and trying to master the different basic shots (rally, volleys, lobs, play with the glass).
I play shots flat, without effect.
I'm starting to land a few lobs.
I make a lot of unforced unforced errors, from the baseline and on the fly.
I lack control and control on the fly.
My smashes are simple forwards of the ball.
I don't play or play very little with the windows.
I don't know the tactics padel and the placements: I play a lot from the baseline, occasionally going up on the fly, not or not always falling back on the lob, or on the attack or counter-attack of the opponents; no or not always a rise on counter-attack opportunities (lob).
3+/ ELEMENTARY +
Ditto 3, with more game speed, better positioning, fewer unforced unforced errors, and more net and window play.
I regularly play matches with long exchanges and repeated ups and downs at the net.
I return the ball after a rebound on the glass.
I control the placement, in particular according to my partner, whom I accompany at the net or in retreat at the baseline.
I use the cut effect in groundstrokes.
I go up on the fly on my serve, after a lob, and on attack from me or my partner.
I hit most of my forehand and backhand volleys, and my smashes, sometimes with winners.
I let the ball pass and wait for the glass rebound.
I succeed in my lobs at least once out of 2.
I go down in defense on the opposing lob to return the ball.
I accompany my partner back when he gets lobbed.
I sometimes manage to put the ball back in defense of double panes.
I sometimes manage to put the ball back after a 360.
I still make unprovoked unforced errors.
4+/ INTERMEDIATE +
Ditto 4, with more speed of play, and fewer unforced unforced errors.
I know how to play padel, mastering my shots in all game situations.
I master tactics and placement by playing a game of padel classic with serve and volley, retreat on the lobs, come back on the counter-attack, with placement in phase with my partner.
I systematically go up on the fly after a lob.
I use effects.
I play games in leisure and I have the level to play and win games in amateur tournaments (P25, P100).
I finish stitches on the fly.
I finish points in flat smash.
I vary between returns in the feet and the lob.
I play with the windows in defense, and I put the ball in play on the double windows.
I know how to play 360.
I make a few unprovoked unforced errors.
I make mistakes in defense under the offensive pressure of the opponent.
I make unforced errors by forcing my shots, especially in attack.
I find it difficult to finish rallies with a winning shot against a very good defense (level 5-6).
I have a regular game, with little or no unforced unforced errors.
I'm good at fast play.
I use spin regularly, on serve or in game.
I defend well and raise under pressure (with counter-attack on the balls bouncing against the back window).
I win (or I have the level to win) regular matches in official medium category tournaments (P100, P250).
I finish points in topspin smash by 3 or by 4 and/or in controlled smash, with glass or in bandeja.
I vary the areas and speeds of my volleys.
I manage to defend by turning around the ball.
I can slow down or speed up the game.
I counter-attack the opponent's smashes.
I defend double glazing with mastery.
I know the 360 perfectly.
7/ ADVANCED +
I master all aspects of the game, and the tactics of padel.
I end the points with winning shots against a solid defense (of equivalent level).
I don't make unforced errors.
I have a perfect command of double panes and I use the panes, including the side panes, as a counter-attack.
I have full control over the effects.
I win matches in higher category tournaments, P500, P1000.
I master all attack moves.
I master the different forms of volley and smash (vibora, bandeja).
I vary the different smashes depending on the opposing game.
I defend perfectly by turning around the ball.
I make glazed returns in the feet or lobed.
I master all defense moves.
I counter-attack by varying the blows.
Expert player: between 100e and 200e French (out of 3.200 classified).
Expert player: between 400e and 1000e French (out of 20.000 classified).
9/ EXPERT +
Expert player +: between 30e and 100e French.
Expert player +: between 100e and 400e French.
Elite player: French top 30.
Elite player: French top 100.
This indicative scale of levels is intended to help you define your level and that of the players in your club, in order to allow everyone to find the partners of padel that correspond to his level.
Wishing you parts of padel in the top !