Uncovering The Mystery Behind Pickleball: What Is This Sport And Why Is It Called That?

black and white tennis net

is so appropriate

The Origin of the Name Pickleball

Pickleball is a popular racquet sport that has been enjoyed by enthusiasts for years. It combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis and can be played indoors or outdoors. Despite its popularity, many people are unaware of where the name pickleball came from. This article will explore why this apt moniker was chosen to represent such a unique game.

A Story From the Past

The origin story behind the name pickleball dates back to 1965 when it was invented in Washington State by Joel Pritchard and his friends Bill Bell and Barney McCallum as a way to entertain their bored families on summer days. The trio wanted an easy-to-learn activity that anyone could play regardless of age or athleticism level – something with rules similar to other sports but more accessible for all ages and abilities. They grabbed some ping pong paddles, lowered a badminton net across their driveway, used wooden boards as courtside walls instead of fences; then added wiffle balls which allowed them to make tighter shots than traditional tennis balls would’ve allowed for easier scoring opportunities. With these ingenious modifications in place they dubbed their game “pickleball” after Pritchard’s dog Pickles who liked chasing down errant shots during games!

Why The Name Fits So Perfectly

It may seem odd at first glance but upon further examination it makes perfect sense why these inventors chose the word “pickle” as part of their sport’s name: much like how you need multiple ingredients (or “ingredients” if you will) combined together in order to create a tasty dish (think breadcrumbs + eggs + oil = fried fish), you also need different components intertwined together in order to enjoy playing pickleball: two players/teams hitting a perforated ball (like Ping Pong/Table Tennis) over a low net using paddles (similar Badminton/Tennis). Moreover, much like how Pickles chased down errant balls during initial games; sometimes you have no choice but chase after your own mistakes while playing pickleball too! Therefore making “pick” from “Pickles” plus “doubles”, i.e., “Pickledoubles” – eventually just shortened down into what we now know today as simply ‘PickLEBALL!”.


At its core, pickleball is about coming together with friends or family members regardless of age or skill level — not only enjoying each other’s company while playing an active game requiring strategy & technique but having fun doing it too! And thanks go out Joel Pritchard & Co.’s clever thinking when naming this one-of-a-kind pastime we’ve come to love so dearly; ’cause without them picking such an aptly fitting title none us would ever get chance experience all joys associated with this fantastic racquet sport today!