The Fascinating Origin Story of Pickleball: Who Invented It and Why Was It Named?

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A Look at the Inventors of Pickleball and Its Quirky Name

Pickleball is a popular sport that has been gaining traction worldwide in recent years. But who invented pickleball and why was it called pickleball? Surprisingly, this fun game has an interesting history and quirky name. Let’s take a look back at how it all began.

The Invention of Pickleball

Back in 1965, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum were looking for something new to do on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington. They decided to create their own game based on badminton, ping pong, and tennis; thus leading them to invent the beloved pastime – pickleball!

Why Was It Called “Pickleball”?

It turns out that there are several theories about why they chose the name ‘pickle ball’. One theory suggests that Pritchard named it after his dog Pickles who would chase after stray balls during games. Another suggestion is that they simply liked how the two words “pick” and “ball” sounded together when pronounced quickly by someone with an American accent. Whatever the reason may be – we will never know how exactly this sport got its unique moniker but one thing remains certain – it certainly fits!


While we can only speculate as to why this iconic sports was given such a strange name – one thing is certain: pickleball is here to stay! With its increasing popularity around the world thanks to its accessibility for players of all ages, genders or skill levels -it’s no surprise that people everywhere are getting hooked on this fun-filled pastime!