The Fascinating History Behind The Name Pickleball: Why Is It Called That?

black and white tennis net

A Look at the Origins of Pickleball

It’s one of the most popular sports in America, but few know how pickleball got its name. An intriguing mix of tennis, badminton and ping pong, this game has been around since 1965 when it was created by three dads who wanted a fun way to keep their kids entertained in the summer. But why “pickleball?” It’s an interesting story that will take us back to that fateful day on Bainbridge Island near Seattle when pickleball was born.

The Birth of Pickleball

On July 5th 1965 Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell were playing badminton with their families in Washington state when they realized they didn’t have enough players for a standard game. They then decided to use lower nets, smaller racquets and balls made out from perforated plastic lids from an industrial-sized jar of “pickles”. The rules were different than those found with traditional games such as volleyball or basketball so they named it “Pickle Ball” after the jar lid used in this new game.

How Pickled Did It Get?

In order to spread word about their new creation, Pritchard and Bell quickly organized tournaments throughout nearby communities which helped propel pickleball into becoming a mainstream sport by 1976. Schools began adding pickleball classes into physical education programs while clubs started sprouting up across the nation making it easier for people to find partners or opponents to play against without having travel long distances like before . As more people became aware of this exciting new pastime, its popularity continued growing until finally reaching international status with professional leagues being established all over the world!


At its core, pickleball is really just an adaptation on some classic backyard games we’ve all grown up playing; however due ingenuity displayed by two fathers looking for something fun do with their children during summer break has led it become much more than that over time! With professional tournaments now taking place each year alongside countless recreational teams popping up everywhere you look , there’s no doubt that Pickled Ball will remain relevant well into future generations too !