How Did Pickleball Get Its Name? – Why Is It Called Pickleball?

Are you one of those who are wondering how did pickleball get its name? If yes, then this article is a credible source of info. If you’re interested in pickleball, then the information that this article offers will definitely let you appreciate this sport even more. Expect your questions about its origin to be answered, so let’s begin.

What is Pickleball?

How Did Pickleball Get Its Name why

Pickleball refers to a racquet sport, which combines the vital elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton. The game requires 2-4 players who need to use solid wood or composite paddles as a means of hitting a ball made of perforated polymer over a net.

Pickleball has the same features that you can find in other racquet sports. For instance, it uses the same layout and dimensions used in a badminton court. It also applies the same rules and net used in tennis. There are, however, some modifications that you have to take note of.

It actually started in the middle part of the 1960s. During that time, this sport works as a backyard pastime of kids. Later on, adults also started playing it because of the fun and excitement that it brings.

More About the History of Pickleball

Pickleball is a game designed for the entire family, so it is no longer surprising to realize that a family invented it, too. As mentioned earlier, the sport started in 1965. Its origin is actually in Bainbridge Island, an island, which you can reach from Seattle, WA via a short ride in a ferry.

It was founded by the then Congressmen, Joel Pritchard, along with his friends, Barney McCallum and William Bell. It happened when they went home after playing golf and found their bored kids. This motivated them to invent an engaging game that their kids can play, especially during the summer season.

How Did Pickleball Get Its Name History

Their goal during that time was to develop a challenging, yet easy to access game. With that in mind, their kids were handed with one wiffle ball and table tennis paddles. The net used in the badminton court was also lowered. The game they created using those materials was actually very challenging that not only the kids fell in love with it. The adults did, as well.

As days passed by, they started solidifying the mechanics of the game. It wasn’t long before the neighborhood caught on with the new game and pastime. They fell in love with it, as well, triggering its further evolution. They started creating their very own paddles that are more suitable for the game than the ones used in table tennis.

In this case, they used marine plywood and wood jigsaws. Those with access to badminton courts just decided to lower their nets. There are also those who built their own courts in their own backyards and driveways, with lines drawn using a chalk. The game became more and more popular as news about how exciting, fun and challenging it is started to spread all throughout the neighborhood.

So How did Pickleball Get Its Name?

Now the more interesting part of this article is where the pickleball got its name. Pickleball is quite an odd name for the game loved by many, but there are several stories about where this name came from. One story is that it was taken from the name of their family dog. The family, however, denied the story because even if they did have a dog named Pickles, he only became part of the family two years after the invention of the game.

How Did Pickleball Get Its Name old

The most viable story about its name, therefore, is that which states that it came from the phrase “pickle boat”. This phrase denotes the last boat to return, which has a catch. Joan Pritchard, who is the wife of Joel Pritchard, one of those who invented the game, stated that the name pickleball started after he mentioned that the game tends to make him remember the pickle boat. This statement further solidified the truth behind that story.

For more information about how the game started and where its name was derived, take a look at this highly informative video:


Pickleball is one of the most charismatic games that ever graced the world. It’s a fun game for the entire family to enjoy, and it was also founded by a group of friends and their family. This further solidified how this game represents fun, excitement, bonding and the good relationship between family and friends.

The game made a long way from the time it started in 1965, and we can’t deny the fact that it played a major role in the lives of many people, particularly those who love sports. If you have any other related questions, then don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section.


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