The winter season begins, Padel enthusiasts face the most difficult time of the year.
The spread of Padel in Italy is by now nothing new. One of the few sports in the world with an increase in the percentage of fans on an annual basis with double-digit growth. There are no sports activities with a growth rate comparable to Padel.
However, most of the elements that characterize this sport and make it so fun tend to decrease significantly during the winter.
The reason is linked to a set of elements: Cold, Shortening days, Humidity, Rain and even snow in some locations.
Padel, as we all know, has few prerequisites in terms of infrastructure. A synthetic turf field that requires little maintenance, walls and grates, artificial lights for night games.
With just a few ingredients, the "game" is done.
Unfortunately, however, in open-air fields (outdoors), the humidity of the windows even on days of good winter weather already begins to occur around 17:00. Typically after 18:00, the glasses are fogged up, they are not even more transparent.
The game ball absorbs humidity and water increasing its weight, losing the elastic capacity that characterizes it. If the glass is wet, unlike the concrete wall used at the origin of this game, it returns a ball that "collapses" or goes to "peak". This dynamic almost completely trivializes the efforts of the player who wants to hit the wall. It makes the game distorted and all the movements and automatisms of the game, obtained with hours and hours of training, seem useless.
The result, together with a slippery and often dangerous ground, with unpredictable rebound conditions, is that of a Padel that can be defined as NON-PADEL. A strange mix that looks like many games to play with a racket, but it's not Padel.
The novice player adapts, in order to play and not give up on the nascent passion but, who by now has average or good experience of Padel in optimal conditions, ends up reducing the number of matches and training sessions to get back to the game again in the most suitable periods or focusing on the weekend daytime hours.
Padel courts in Italy
In Italy there are currently around 700 fields surveyed and affiliated to the FIT which also carries out technical verification and regularity of the facilities at the time of affiliation, and around 150 "non-FIT" fields.
It is estimated that less than 30% of these pitches offer seasonal coverage or are set up indoors. So we're talking about 250 fields even if the impression is that this number is much lower than the official and unofficial estimates.
Numbers however, completely insufficient to meet the demand of the players in the autumn/winter period, in the late afternoon and evening bands. Obviously those with the greatest turnout.
The scarce and slow diffusion of covered structures capable of guaranteeing optimal conditions all year round represents a decisive slowdown for growth and a deterrent also for entrepreneurs in the sector who hardly support investments which, for reasons already mentioned, risk to become "seasonal" with too low percentages of exploitation.
The induced activities generated by the growth of this sport are important. It concerns circles, clubs, associations, federations, teachers, manufacturers of sporting goods, judges and insiders.
The discontinuity of sporting activities due to weather conditions must be faced in a structured way and with everyone's support through coordinated actions in order not to disperse this induced and prevent the organic slowdown of a phenomenon which, on the other hand, wants to grow exponentially.
In other words, this means promoting investments through the provision of clear plans and programmes, incentives and supports also dedicated to sector entrepreneurs.
Working in Teams
The federations, municipalities, credit institutions, entrepreneurs and insiders should set common objectives, including infrastructural ones, in order to make the most of the incredible momentum of expansion of this sport.
So the objective of these actions should be only one: Padel 365 days a year . To bring this sport to an exponential but structured growth, enhancing both the quality and characteristics of the game, and protecting and approaching every group of athletes from the youngest to the older ones.
This is the point of view of SEFHT which works daily alongside padel professionals, clubs and athletes.
Report your field to SEFHT
If you wish to communicate to SEFHT how your sports facility dedicated to PADEL is made, write firstname.lastname@example.org indicating the address and name of your club, the number of covered and uncovered courts, the opening hours and contact details of the manager of the service to the public.
We are collecting this information to publish a complete list of facilities in the area in order to help all enthusiasts find the club that best suits their needs!
Photo credits: World Padel Tour
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