Why Do They Call Pickleball ‘Pickleball’? The Surprising Origin Story


The Fascinating Origins of Pickleball

Pickleball is a popular game across North America, but have you ever wondered why it has such an odd name? Despite the mysterious title, there is actually a fascinating origin story behind pickleball that dates back to 1965.

A Summer Pastime Invented by Accident

It all began with two fathers in Washington trying to keep their children entertained one summer day. Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell were attempting to create a new sport for their kids and stumbled upon the idea of using ping pong paddles and whiffle balls on badminton courts. This combination eventually evolved into what we now call pickleball!

Where Did The Name Come From?

Pritchard’s wife, Joan, suggested the name “pickleball” as a tribute to their family’s beloved cocker spaniel named Pickles who would often chase after stray shots during games. It was an appropriate name since the court resembled a giant version of his favorite pastime: chasing after errant balls!

An Unexpectedly Popular Sport

Although first invented as just something fun for families to play together in the backyard or at county parks, pickleball quickly gained popularity over time with numerous clubs forming around it. Today there are thousands of tournaments held every year across Canada and United States where people compete against each other in this unique sport.


Pickleball is more than just an entertaining game; it also stands as testament to ingenuity and creativity coming together under unexpected circumstances which can lead us down some truly wonderful paths! And if you ever feel like playing this exciting sport, don’t forget its humble beginnings – it all started because of one little pup named Pickles!