How Did Pickleball Get Its Name?

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Pickleball is named after the pickle boat, which is the name of the boat that comes in last with its catch. There is an untrue story that indicated the game was named after the owner’s dog.

Pickleball is a racquet-based sport that combines three other familiar sports:

  • Badminton
  • Table tennis
  • Tennis

The sport is designed for two to four players and requires solid paddles to hit a ball over a net. The dimensions of the court are the same as the badminton court and the net and rules are similar to tennis.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Washington State Representative Joel Pritchard and two of his friends. Together with Pritchard’s family, they created the game by cobbling together a badminton game and when they could not find all the pieces used fabricated paddles and a ball from a different game. The individuals present enjoyed the game and it became a favorite for the children. It also became a favorite of friends and, in 1972, Pritchard and his colleagues decided to copyright the rules.

There have been a number of stories that suggested the name of the game was derived from the name of the family dog. However, family members refute that story and indicate that the family dog, whose name is Pickles, did not join the family until two years after the game was created.