Last week Saturday at our usual late afternoon padel game we took one of our frequent water breaks. While sipping water and catching our breath in the warm winter sunshine the conversation shifted to the Golden Point and how that will impact tournament play. I took it upon myself to research the Golden Point in padel and this is what I learned.
What is the golden point in Padel?
- The Golden Point occurs when the score reaches deuce during any game.
- The receiving team chooses whether the service will come from the left or right of the court.
- The team that wins that one single point will win the game.
- The implementation date for the Golden Point in tournament play is Saturday 29 February 2019.
The seeming sudden introduction of such a drastic change to the scoring of padel matches has brought about more questions than answers. Let’s examine each of those in more detail and unpack everything that you need to know about the Golden Point.
How Does A Golden Point Arise?
The golden point arises during any game in a padel match when both teams have won three points and “deuce” is called.
The effect of the golden point is that there will no longer be those padel games that never seem to end that just go deuce/advantage/deuce/advantage for seemingly ever.
How Is A Golden Point Played?
Once deuce has been called, the receiving team has the option of which side of the court the golden point needs to be served. It must be noted that the receiving team may not switch sides for the golden point, they must keep to their original receiving sides.
Once the side of the court has been selected by the receiving team, the point is played in the usual way, with the exception that the winner of the golden point will win that particular game.
Does The Golden Point Apply To All Rounds Of A Tournament?
Once implemented the golden point will apply to all the rounds of a tournament, including the qualifying rounds that are played prior to the beginning of the main draw of World Padel Tour tournaments.
Does The Golden Point Apply To All Games Of A Match?
The golden point is applied to every game of a padel match in which deuce is reached. The golden point is equally possible in any of the potentially three sets that make up a padel match.
Is There A Limit To The Number Of Golden Points In A Match?
Although it may sound strange at first, there is a maximum limit to the number of golden points that can occur during a padel match. In the highly unlikely event that all three sets of the padel match go to a tiebreak, ie. with a score of 6-6, there will be a maximum of 12 games per set and hence 12 potential golden points per set. That makes an absolute maximum of 36 golden points possible during a three-set match.
When Was The Golden Point Announced?
The golden point was announced at the start of the 2019 World Padel Tour season when it was added to the International Padel Federation tournament rules as an alternative scoring method.
All new player contracts signed with the World Padel Tour from the beginning of 2019 onward included a clause where the players agreed to the use of the golden point in World Padel Tour tournaments.
By the end of the 2019 professional padel season, all players had renewed their annual contracts with the World Padel Tour and were contractually bound to using the golden point.
What Was The Implementation Date For The Golden Point?
The World Padel Tour implemented the golden point for the first time in the Marbella Masters tournament at the start of the 2020 season.
The opening round of the pre-qualifying tournament of the Marbella Masters tournament was played on 29 February 2020 making that the effective implementation date of the new rule.
Will The Golden Point Make Padel Matches Shorter?
When I initially saw information about the golden point I was convinced that the goal was to shorten matches to a more predictable length for television purposes.
I was thinking about those games that go deuce/advantage for seemingly ever. However, it turns out that relatively few tournament matches include those never-ending games.
Re-watching the final of the 2019 Marbella masters with a stopwatch in hand showed that only two minutes would have been shaved off that match had the golden point been implemented.
Why The Decision To Implement The Golden Point?
As the Director-General of World Padel Tour, Mario Hernando highlighted, the golden point was implemented to add an additional layer of tension to the matches in order to make padel more exciting to watch from a fan perspective. That is both from a live audience as well as those watching on television or via a streaming service.
It will be interesting to see how this rule change will affect audience numbers. Though it must be said that the total audience size will likely be impacted more by the implementation of English language commentary on the official World Padel Tour live streams on YouTube.
Who Will Benefit From The Golden Point?
The way I see it, it will be the receiving team that will benefit from the golden point. Not only will you have what is effectively a breakpoint, but you will have the option to force the serving team to play from their weaker side of the court.