Why Is It Called Pickleball? Uncovering The Origins Of This Fascinating Sport

a green and red skateboard

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements from tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It’s played on an indoor or outdoor court with a net stretched across the middle. Players use wooden paddles to hit a lightweight ball over the net. The game can be played as singles or doubles and can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels.

Why is it Called Pickleball?

The origin of pickleball’s name remains somewhat mysterious to this day – no one knows for certain why it was named after the cucumber-based condiment! However, there are several theories about how the name came into being. One theory suggests that Joel Pritchard, one of pickleball’s inventors, was inspired by his wife Barbara’s recipe for dill pickles when naming the game in 1965. Another theory claims that Pritchard simply liked the sound of “pickle” better than other potential names like “paddle bat” or “whiff-whaff.”

Whatever its true origin may be, it’s clear that pickles had something to do with why this fun sport has become so popular around the world today!


Though its true origins will likely remain unknown forever, we can rest assured knowing that pickles were involved in some way in choosing such an iconic name for this beloved sport! No matter what brought about its unique moniker, it looks like pickleball will stick around for many years to come as more people discover (and love) this fantastic game.