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Why Is Pickleball Called Pickleball?

Why Is Pickleball Called Pickleball

Why is pickleball called pickleball? How did pickleball get its unique, gherkin-based name? 

I'm sure many of you have wondered these very questions before, and so have our Paddle Experts. So, in an effort to answer all of your pickleball-related questions, our team of Experts conducted research and have outlined how the game of pickleball got its amazing name below. 

It all started with three young neighbors named Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. Little did they know that the Summer of 1965 would be the start of a global phenomenon. In Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington, the three neighbors made up a game, created rules, and crafted wooden paddles that were slightly larger than ping pong paddles to hit a wiffle ball over a badminton net. The three boys now had a fun game, equipment, and rules, but the only struggle for them was to come up with the name. 

The Rules of Pickleball

The boys played the game many times but couldn’t seem to land on a name that they felt fit the sport.  That is, until one fateful day when Joel Pritchard’s family adopted a dog and decided to name it Pickles. Every time the boys would play their game, Pickles the dog would continuously chase the ball. If the ball went into the grass or in the bushes nearby, Pickles would chase it and bring it back. As they were sitting down one evening, one of the three suggested the name Pickleball and it stuck!

The rest is history. 

The History Of Pickleball

Since that night, the three families have always called it pickleball and that’s how the name was born. With pickleball being a very family-friendly game, having a family dog be the inspiration behind the name is only fitting. Little did Joel, Bill, and Barney know that soon after naming the game it would become as popular as it is today. The United States has by far shown the fastest growth in Pickleball but the sport has also started gaining popularity in 35 other countries around the world. The growth in popularity likely comes from how easy it is to learn, how family-friendly it is, and from how fun the game truly is. Pickleball is something that will be around for a long time and can be played essentially anywhere with anyone at any age. 

Do you have any other pickleball questions? Are you in the market for a new pickleball paddle? If you answered yes to either of these questions, our Paddle Experts are here to help! They’re available via phone at 866-382-3465, email at, or live chat! Don’t forget, we’re here for you from Click To Court!

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