Casilino Sky Park, Rome (photo IGT)
There International Paddle Federation (FIP) is the governing body of the sport of paddle tennis worldwide.
According to official sources, paddle tennis was created in Acapulco, Mexico, by Enrique Corcuera in 1969: however, there are many anecdotes about the history of paddle tennis and we refer you to it.
29 years after that date, on July 12, 1991, the FIP was founded in Madrid: they remind us who are the signatories of the deed, the legal representatives of the Argentine, Spanish and Uruguayan paddle associations, in front of the notary Javier Gaspar. Alfaro, with protocol number 2486.
He was born in Italy the same year Italian Federation of Paddle Gamesbased on CONI regulations but never recognized by the Olympic Committee until 2008, when the game of paddle was included as a sector of Italian Tennis Federation (FIT)like beach tennis.
Today (May 2022) the clubs registered in the FIT, in the Paddle section, are 1,086 while those registered in tennis are 3,892. In absolute terms, the regions with the most FIT-affiliated paddle clubs are Lazio, Lombardy and Sicily; in relation to the number of inhabitants, however, after Lazio emerge Umbria, Calabria and Marche, while the Triveneto is at the end of the statistics.
The Italian Tennis Federation therefore governs the game of paddle in our country, and publishes the Rules, which literally translate those of the FIP into English, the last update of which is that of May 28, 2021.
The only difference between the two texts is the note relative touse of glassof which we speak here.
The FIP (and therefore the FIT) recalls that “the IPF Rules and Regulations Committee continuously reviews the game and proposes, when it deems it necessary, amendments to the Assembly, the authority ultimately responsible for approving any amendment to the Paddle Rules, in accordance with the ‘statute.“.
For the sake of completeness, we remind you that today the Spanish Best Set and the Italian Italgreen are official suppliers of the International Federation.
(Source: International Paddle Federation “REGULATION OF THE PADEL GAME FEDERACIÓN INTERNACIONAL PADEL FIP” – Application review 28.05.2021)
The World Padel Tour
So far, the World Padel Tour (WPT) is the world professional circuit paddle tennis, which includes between 15 and 20 tournaments a year as well as a final master’s degree among the best couples of the season. Since 2019, the previously different male and female rankings have been unified worldwide.
The circuit is currently on managed by Setpoint Events SABarcelona subsidiary of the DAMM group, which sets the standards and ensures compliance with the required quality parameters, as well as the prizes awarded to the professional players participating in the circuit.
Prior to the birth of the WPT, between 2005 and 2012, the circuit met at Padel Pro Tour, which was attended by the best players in the world. The Padel Pro Tour was joined in 2013 by the WPT, the result of an agreement between the organizers, the Professional Players’ Association (AJPP) and the Spanish Women’s Paddle Association (AFEP); the two circuits were the subject of a long legal battle for mutual competition, until the agreement unifying the tournaments under the acronym WPT.
In Italy, the WPT first leg took place in 2020 with the Sardegna Open.
The new FIP international circuit
The FIP announced in February this year the establishment of a new official paddle circuit worldwide, fully regulated by the FIP itself, which will be the only official circuit. Note that the circuit is set to strategic partnership with Qatar Sports Investment. The initiative is supported by the Professional Players Association (PPA), which represents the best players in the world.
For each of the first two years (2022 and 2023), there are a minimum of 10 tournaments – with a first “major” category tournament already held in March – which will become more than 25 from 2024.
The FIP press release states that, in order to support this process of transforming paddle tennis, a new entity has been created that will focus on key areas such as: the international organization of the circuit; a new business model (with innovative solutions in the media, digital and sponsorship sectors); a new global and dynamic brand for sport and its routes; improve player well-being, sports infrastructure and rewards.
However, it should be noted that it was recorded in these first months a little grumpy by the WPT for the coincidence of some races that would have withdrawn some athletes from their respective contracts already signed: it seems a situation similar to that of 2013.