The Fascinating Origin Of Pickleball: Where Did The Name Come From?

blue and white track field

The Origins of Pickleball

Have you ever had the urge to play a sport, but just couldn’t seem to find one that was right for you? Well, if so, pickleball may be the answer. This increasingly popular game has been around since 1965 and is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. But where did it come from and what’s with the name “pickleball”?

Pickleball can trace its roots back to Washington State in 1965. It started off as an informal activity among three families – the Pritchards, Ansons & Johnsons – who were looking for something fun to do on a summer day at their local beach resort. After some experimenting with various household items like ping pong paddles and Wiffle balls, they eventually created what we now know as pickleball.

Where did pickleball get it’s unusual name?

Now that we know how pickleball came into existence, let’s answer the biggest question: where did it get its unusual name? According to legend, Joel Pritchard (one of the original founders) named it after his dog Pickles! As farfetched as this might sound, there is actually some evidence to support this claim too. In fact, when asked about it later on in life he said “you’re never too old for a little bit of whimsy”.

So there you have it; pickleball gets its name from an imaginative pup called Pickles! The rest is history – today pickleball is played all over the world by millions of passionate players both young and old alike. Not bad for a game that started off simply as family fun on one fateful summer day back in 1965!


Pickling may initially appear quite random but upon closer inspection there’s much more than meets the eye here – namely an extraordinary story behind its origin which includes elements such as family bonding time and creative thinking coupled with whimsy! What began all those years ago has grown into something much bigger today – so why not give this beloved sport a try next time you’re looking for something new?