No, Padel is not currently an Olympic sport as it does not meet all the required criteria.
However, as it grows in popularity worldwide, it’s well on its way and we could expect the sport to feature at the 2032 games.
So, why is Padel not an Olympic Sport?
Padel fails to meet all 4 of the criteria required for sports to be played at the Olympic games.
The 4 requirements are as follows:
International Federation and Ethical Standards
To become an Olympic sport, Padel must have an international governing body to oversee the game on a global scale.
Thankfully, Padel meets this requirement with the International Padel Federation (Federación Internacional de Pádel or FIP), ensuring that the sport is regulated worldwide while adhering to the ethical standards set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
World Anti-Doping Code
Another criteria is that sport must be compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA).
Padel players, like athletes in other Olympic sports, must adhere to the strict anti-doping regulations.
Through the FIP, professional Padel players are regularly tested and players have embraced these standards, so the sport passes this criteria too.
One distinctive feature of Olympic sports is the absence of motor equipment assistance.
Padel easily meets this criteria as its a sport played with a ball and a racket. No motor equipment is used, ensuring a level playing field for all participants.
So, again it passes this requirement too.
The most challenging requirement for Padel to qualify for the Olympics is the number of countries where the sport is played.
According to the IOC’s criteria, it needs to be played in a minimum of 75 countries and on at least four continents in the men’s category, and 40 countries on three continents in the women’s category.
Currently, Padel falls short here, particularly in the men’s category.
Will Padel Ever Make it to the Olympics?
While Padel may not yet meet all the criteria to become an Olympic sport, there’s reason for optimism.
The sport’s incredible growth and popularity have earned it the title of “Association of IOC Recognised International Sport (ARISF),” which means it is closely monitored as it continues to expand.
This recognition is a significant step towards potential inclusion in future Olympic Games.
When will Padel be an Olympic Sport?
The Olympic selection process is highly competitive, with many sports vying for a limited number of slots.
Padel’s fans will need to wait a bit longer, as the selection for the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympics has already taken place.
However, the door is open for Padel’s inclusion in the Brisbane 2032 Olympics if the sport continues to grow as it has been.
With the rate of adoption across the world, we expect Padel to make the cut.
Conclusion: Is Padel an Olympic sport?
While it hasn’t yet reached the pinnacle of Olympic recognition, it’s well on its way.
Padel’s international federation, compliance with anti-doping regulations, and the absence of motor equipment make it a strong contender.
The only remaining challenge is expanding its presence in more countries.
With its rapid growth and an enthusiastic community of players and fans, Padel’s future on the Olympic stage seems promising.
So, mark your calendars for Brisbane 2032; Padel might just make its Olympic debut.