Rules

WHERE THERE'S A WALL, THERE'S A WAY®

Official court markings and dimensions Community Registered Design No. 002082370

The images above show the official court design and markings, together with measurements for an official court. However, courts will be made to measure depending on space limitations in each school and recreational ground.

THE BALL

Traditionally a tennis ball has been used to play Pattball but a tennis ball has it’s limitations. Firstly, it is quite heavy and hard and can hurt the hand when playing for long hours. Secondly, the fur of a tennis ball gets wet during damp conditions and makes the ball soggy and heavy which can affect play. For this reason the official Pattball is made of pure rubber. Currently the Pattball is only available to purchase by requesting an order by email.

More colours available soon.

Official rules

Players can either play a direct ‘Head-to-Head’ match or start with ‘The Elimination Stage’ – see below for details.

NOTE – These are the official rules of Pattball in a tournament setting. However, as with any other sport you can adapt rules to suit your setting; for example, amongst friends you can have unlimited players to start off with in the ‘Elimination Stage’. ‘Head-to-Head’ matches can be upto any number you choose.

THE SERVE
To start the game the player serving stands in a chosen service area (the receiving player(s) must stand outside of the chosen service area) and throws the ball against the wall above the service line via a bounce. All shots must hit the wall via a bounce. Serves that do not hit the wall above the service line are considered a foul serve and results either in a loss of a ‘life’ if it is served in The Elimination Stage or a point is given to your opponent if this occurs in the Head-To-Head stage.

SERVICE RETURN
The return of serve can then be played anywhere against the wall. All shots must be played using your hands – if the ball touches any other part of your body then it’s a foul shot.

OUT OF BOUNDS
Any shot or serve that hits or directly bounces out of the court markings (the semi-circle) will be deemed out of bounds and either, a ‘life’ or point will be lost by the executor of the shot.

VOLLEYS
Once the ball comes off the wall a receiving player can hit the ball on the volley i.e. not letting it bounce (1 bounce maximum is allowed).

MIDS
This is when the ball hits exactly between the wall and the ground – If this occurs you continue as normal.

SCOOPING
When a player scoops the ball up instead of patting it – this is a foul shot.

THE ELIMINATION STAGE – ‘Last Man/Woman Standing’
A maximum of 5 players participate in the elimination stage – each player has ‘1 life’. The serving and receiving order is determined by drawing numbers from a hat. The next player must return the serve against the wall legally; a rally can then commence with the players returning the ball in the correct order. A ‘life’ is lost when:

  • The receiving player is unable to return the ball against the wall
  • The receiving player returns the ball out of bounds
  • The serving player serves the ball below the service line
  • The ball bounces more than once before the receiving player returns the shot
  • A player touches the wall with a part of their body during a rally
  • A player deliberately obstructs an opponent or ball

When a ‘life’ is lost, the player must leave the court immediately. The game will resume with the next in line serving the ball, the game will continue until there are only 2 players left in the game then it’s ‘the Head to Head’.

THE HEAD to HEAD
The 2 remaining players play a best of 3 games to decide an overall winner. The scoring now reverts from losing ‘lives’ to winning points. Each game commences with each player on zero, a point is awarded to a player when:

  • Their opponent is unable to return a serve or shot legally
  • Their opponent returns a service or shot out of the bounds
  • Their opponent serves the ball below the service line
  • Their opponent touches the wall with any part of their body
  • Their opponent allows the ball to bounce more than once before hitting their shot
  • The opponent deliberately obstructs a player or ball

Each game is up to a minimum of 11 points. At this stage players must have at least a 2-point margin to win the game. The first person to serve is determined by the toss of a coin. The server chooses either the left or right hand side service area to serve from first. Players serve twice consecutively then it alternates.

PATTBALL TERMINOLOGY/LANGUAGE

Ace –  A serve that can’t be returned.

Drop-shot – When the ball drops against the wall from an acute angle.

Low-cut – Ultimate kill shot when ball bounces close and low against wall.

Mids – The ball hitting exactly between the wall and the ground.

Obs – A derivation of ‘obstruction’. When the ball hits an object or a person that blocks it before the returning player has a chance to hit it.

Rolls – When, after the ball hits the wall, it rolls across the floor.

Scoop/Carry – When a player scoops the ball up instead of patting it.

Send ‘Em – Cross court shot when receiving player is close to one side of the wall and the opponent hits a shot that goes across the full width of the court.