The Fascinating Story Behind Pickleball: Why Is It Named What It Is?

A Deep Dive into the Origins of Pickleball

Have you ever played pickleball, or watched someone playing it? It’s a fun game that has been gaining in popularity for decades. But where does the name come from and why is it called “pickleball”? In this blog post, we’ll explore some theories about why pickleball was given its peculiar name.

The History of Pickleball

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington. The three friends were looking for something new to do one summer day when they created the game out of found items around their house: wooden paddles and a perforated plastic ball similar to a wiffle ball. They named it “pickleball” after Pritchard’s children referred to the combination of different sports as “the pickle game”.

Different Theories About How Pickle Ball Got Its Name

One theory suggests that since pickles are an acquired taste – like pickled onions – similarly people have to acquire a taste for playing pickled balls! Another popular theory is that Mr. Pritchard had two dogs at home named Briney and Pickles; thus he decided to call his new sport ‘Pickles Ball’ which eventually became known as ‘Pickley Ball’ or ‘Picklybally’. Yet another story says that during one particularly intense match between Mr. Pritchard and his friend Bill Bell, someone shouted out “Hey look how those guys are running around like crazy – just like a bunch of crazed-up little green cucumbers! Let’s call this game ‘the Pickling Game’.

Whatever its origins may be, there is no doubt that over time the name stuck with fans all over America – making “pickling” yet another term for having fun together outdoors!


While it may never be completely clear how exactly did pickled ball get its peculiar name – what’s certain is it has brought joy (and lots of sweating!) to generations who enjoy outdoor activities.. All hail the originators Joel Prichard , Bill Bell & Barney McCallum whose vision created this beloved team sport !