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Is Padel in the Paris 2024 Olympics?

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Padel is an exciting game that’s rapidly increasing in popularity all over the world. This racket sport takes place on an enclosed court about half the size of a tennis court. The court has glass walls and a net that’s lower than a tennis court net. A twist that makes the game more thrilling and fast-paced is that players can also use the walls to play the ball. With the Summer Olympics taking place in Paris this year, many people are wondering whether they will be able to watch Padel.

Padel across the world

Spain is regarded as the birthplace of Padel, and in 2022, there were over 20,000 courts and more than six million players. In Spain, padel is the second most popular sport to soccer. Argentina has over two million players. According to the International Padel Federation, over 25 million people play Padel in more than 90 different countries.

While Padel is not as popular in the U.S., players can play it in states like New York, Philadelphia, Miami, and Las Vegas. The number of padel courts in the U.S. has more than doubled in the last two years, and over 100,000 players have taken up the sport.

With Padel’s new-found recognition as a professional sport, the betting scene is also catching up. Online betting on sports is legal in many U.S. states, and gambling on football, basketball, tennis, and various other sports is popular. As Padel is a relatively new form of sports betting, betting on it is not as popular yet, but this could change in the future.

Requirements to be an Olympic sport

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has various requirements for including sports in the Olympics. The sport must have an official international federation that regulates it on a worldwide level. This governing federation must meet ethical requirements and regularly participate in events and tournaments. It must also comply with the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA). Athletes can’t be aided by any motor equipment. The IOC also stipulates that sports must be played in a specific number of countries and on a certain number of continents to be included on the Olympics sports list.

Does Padel meet the criteria?

The Padel Federation is an international body that regulates Padel and it does adhere to WADA guidelines. No motor equipment is needed in Padel as players only use rackets and balls. Where Padel doesn’t meet the IOC requirements is in terms of the number of countries in which people play it. This is particularly the case in the men’s category which requires it to be played in 75 countries and four continents. For inclusion in the women’s category, it must be played in 40 countries and on three continents.

The selection process for the inclusion of new sports takes place about seven years before the Olympic Games take place. Padel won’t make an appearance in Paris in 2024 or Los Angeles in 2028. It could make its debut in Brisbane in 2032 if the IOC selects it for inclusion in 2025.

ARISF status

The World Padel Tour (WPT) has seen an increase in viewership in recent years and also has more sponsors than before. The game requires quick reflexes and accuracy, and the focus on the fitness of the players makes it an exciting game to watch. While it doesn’t meet the IOC criteria yet, it has been given Association of IOC Recognized International Sport (ARISF) status. This means it will be monitored regularly and considered for inclusion when it meets the criteria.

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