Why Is It Called Pickleball: Unraveling the Sport’s Name Origins

why is it called pickleball

To know the story behind why is it called pickleball? Here are the interesting facts about the funny name of pickleball.

Do you know why it is called pickleball? The game has nothing to do with pickles. But the funny name has a significant history behind it. Most of the famous sports in America were invented in the late 19th century such as baseball and football.

But pickleball was invented in the middle of the 20th century. The game is the fastest growing in America today. However, there is a very short story about the origin and the name of pickleball.

Related: What is My Pickleball Skill Ratings: Understanding the Levels

History of Pickleball

Back in 1965 two dads Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell returned home after playing golf. They found their families bored so they tried to find some way to pass their time. However, Pritchard had an old badminton court. So, they started playing badminton on the court but they could not find enough equipment.

With some rackets, ping pong paddles, and wiffle balls they tried to play a game. At that time these people did not know that they were inventing a new game that will be one of the favorite sports in America.

Well, as the weekend went on and over time they played this amalgamation of sports with their own set of rules. However, they evolved rules but the game had many flaws. Such as, in the beginning, the net height was about 60 inches, and it was hard to play with a 60 inches badminton net so they began using a 34 inches net.

The game was introduced to another family friend named Barney McCullum. These three dads Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCullum gave pickleball a proper sports shape with rules and regulations.

2 years later in 1967, Joel Pritchard built a permanent court for the game in the backyard of his neighbor. The purpose of the permanent court was to promote the game in the Pacific Northwest. In 1972, a corporation was founded named Pickleball In.

The agenda of this Pickleball In. was to support the people who want to play pickleball but do not have enough equipment. The corporation distributed nets, pickleball paddles, and wiffle balls. It helped the domestic game to become a legitimate sport.

The reason behind the game becoming famous is that it is easy to play, similar to badminton and tennis. To play pickleball you just need a place and some equipment. All you need is a waffle ball, paddles, and a court to play. People enjoy pickleball because you do not need to run faster or jump higher.

Why Is It Called Pickleball?

Now you know all the history of pickleball but the question still remains: why is it called pickleball? There are different records but the main reason to call it pickleball is Joel Pritchard’s wife. Joan Pritchard used the word pickleball for the first time in history. She defines this game as a pickle boat in which the oarsmen who were left behind from all the other boats were filled.

Related: How to bulid an Outdoor Pickleball Court Dimensions

Why Is It Called Pickleball

But there is another untold story behind the name of pickleball. Barney McCallum, a family friend of Pritchard says Joel Pritchard had a dog named Pickle. He says that unlike the pickle this dog was sweet and used to run after the wiffle ball during the match. Barney McCallum says the game was named because of the dog.

Now I think you are confused because there are two accounts of the pickleball name. But both of these accounts may be true. Because in the beginning there was no official name for the game.

Joan the wife of Joel Partichard probably named the game and the reason is an amalgamation of two games into one. Pritchard had a cocker spaniel whose name was Pickle. Mrs. Pritchard was inspired by her dog’s name, so she called the game pickleball.

Why is It the Fastest Growing Game In America?

The games are all about fun and entertainment. But games like baseball, football, tennis, and pickleball are also helpful for our health. Researchers have proved that daily fast-paced activities such as sports enhance our brain’s ability to think, slow down Alzheimer’s, keep a player’s body fit, and improve the stamina of the player.

As we grow old our brain starts shrinking naturally but sports and running can stop brain shrinking. However, there are many reasons people prefer pickleball over other sports.

Easy To Play

It is not a coincidence that pickleball is the fastest-growing game in the USA. Pickleball is probably the easiest sport in America. This is why people learn fast pickleball tips. You do not need to run, jump, slip, or fall on the ground. All you need to learn is to stay calm and focus on the ball. It is more a mind game than a physical game

Safety Of Player

Players of baseball, basketball, or football suffer from serious injuries. In basketball, players mostly have knee injuries, chest injuries, and foot problems. In baseball players are injured because of strong ball hits and bouncers. Football players suffer from foot problems and brain hemorrhages.

But pickleball players do not face these threats because the game is all about standing and hitting a lightweight ball with a soft paddle. There are no fast movements instead of it, as you start playing the game your ability to focus enhances.

Why Is It Called Pickleball


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Pickleball is called pickleball because it is a combination of different games. Different games are the inspiration for pickleball such as badminton, tennis, and ping pong. Although today pickleball is a unique sport, in the past, the game was invented because of inadequate equipment for badminton.

The game was named by Joan Pritchard, wife of Joel Pritchard. However, some claim that the game was named pickleball because Joel Partichard had a beautiful cocker spaniel. Well, both of these origins are true, Mrs. Partichard named the game because of her dog.

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