The Fascinating Origins Of Pickleball: Why Do They Call It That?

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a relatively new sport that has gained traction recently. It combines elements from badminton, tennis, and table tennis, and it can be played indoors or outdoors with two to four players. A net divides the court into two halves; each half contains one player who stands on either side of the net. Players use paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over the net, back and forth until one team scores 11 points.

Where Did Pickleball Get Its Name?

The origin of pickleball’s name remains shrouded in mystery – however, there are several theories behind its odd moniker! One theory suggests that an early developer named Joel Pritchard was inspired by his dog “Pickles” when naming the game – as he watched his canine chase balls around their backyard court. Another theory suggests that Pritchard combined parts of different sports (like ping pong and badminton) together much like you would combine ingredients for a pickling brine – hence “pickle” + “ball” = pickleball!

Regardless of where its name comes from, it’s clear that pickleball has gained popularity as an accessible sport for all ages due to its fast-paced nature and easy learning curve. With so many people embracing this unique game across the country – we may never know exactly why they call it pickleball!


Pickleball’s peculiar name still remains shrouded in mystery, but what we do know is that this sport has become increasingly popular among fans young and old alike, thanks to its straightforward ruleset coupled with energetic gameplay! Whether Joel Pritchard drew inspiration from his pup “Pickles” or if he was experimenting with different sports like ingredients for a brine – only time will tell!