How to Play Paddle Ball

Senior man playing beach tennis, smiling

Paddle ball is a classic toy that is played by one person only. It consists of a small wooden or plastic paddle that has a rubber ball attached to its center by an elastic string. According to Best Toys Guide, paddle ball enhances your eye and hand coordination and many tricks can be done when you learn the basics of how to bounce the ball on the paddle. Keep this toy away from small children and the small rubber ball may be a choking hazard for toddlers.

Choose a paddle that feels comfortable for you. Wooden paddles tend to be heavier and can prove to feel sturdier but the lightness of plastic paddles makes it harder for your arms and wrists to get tired.

Test the length of the elastic string that attaches the rubber ball to the paddle. The shorter the string, the easier it is to hit the ball, and as a beginner you want to have the string be no longer than the length from your waist to your ankles.

Shorten or lengthen the string by tying a knot at the top of the string for your chosen length and begin hitting the ball with your paddle.

Start off slowly so you can understand the relationship between the ball and the paddle. Soon you will be able to calculate how much time it takes for the ball to bounce back once you have hit it and how much that will vary depending on the speed and strength you apply to the ball with your paddle.

Try hitting the ball with the center of your paddle so you can direct it with more intention. When you hit it with the edge of the paddle the ball may bounce at an angle, which makes it harder to follow and hit again.

Practice every day as much as you can. The more you practice the better you will get and then you can begin to learn tricks, such as using two paddles at the same time and rotating your paddle to hit the ball with both faces of the paddle.


Invite friends to learn and practice playing paddle ball so you can have competitions and get better at it together.


Do not hit your eyes with the ball when it is bouncing back if you miss hitting it. In the beginning, lean your face away from the bouncing pattern of the ball.