The National Paddleball Association (NPA) is the governing body for the sport of paddleball. There is an international presence but is more strongly represented in the United States where matches are played under NPA rules and NPA approved equipment (the paddle). The court is half the size of a tennis court and matches can be played by two players (singles) or two teams of two (doubles). The racquet or paddle is made of plastic and has holes for less air friction. The ball is also plastic with an air hole to also provide less friction. These normally come in yellow or light green.
The court is generally 20 feet wide and 37 feet long with a wall that is 16 feet high. The lines marking out the play area include a short line, service markers, two side lines and a long line. A server must stay in the serving box when serving. Should the first serve be called a fault, a server has a second chance to ensure the ball crosses the short line. Once a serve is made, the opponent hits the ball, hitting it off the wall. The server and receiver switch spots depending on who wins the points. Paddleball is played until one side wins with 15, 21, 25, or 30 points. The game is essentially played on a handball court following the same basic rules as handball, but in which players use short-handled, perforated paddles to hit a ball resembling a tennis ball.
There are variations of the game with 4-wall Paddleball being one that can be played by two or four people. A more casual version can also be played by three players. Two varieties of the casual version include ‘Cut Throat’ and ‘One Man Out’. The National Paddleball Association are in the process of growing the game internationally and each year paddleball, together with racquetball and handball form part of the 3-Wallball World Championships. The tournament normally features in September and is now over ten years old.