Explore Why Is It Called Pickleball? (Fascinating History Of Pickleball)

Are you new to pickleball and observe the name pickleball very strange, especially to sport spare? Don’t worry, you’re not the first one who faces such a puzzle while starting a career here. Actually, it was nameless but later, they named it pickleball but how.

Simply, there could be different motives behind this. But the one which is very common is the dog named “Pickle” was around the court where Pritchard, Dick Brown, and his other friends (Founders Of The Pickleball) and their family members used to play pickleball. And the dog pickle was grabbing the ball again and again. So in this case, they thought why not name the sport pickleball?

I’m going to expose it in more detail. Besides it, I’ll explore the names and mysterious facts behind its name which you’d love to hear.

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Why Is It Called Pickleball?

As pickleball gets famous so people want to know about the history of pickleball. In such cases, the first and most common question we do is the reasons behind the name of the sport.

Where you’ll hear various questions from different people. To make it very clear, I’ve researched in depth and asked multiple professional players who have been on the court for more than 10 to 15 years.

But as I said before, everyone has a different idea about its name. Furthermore, I went behind in the inception years history of pickleball. Here’s a list of 11 Surprising Pickleball Benefits That Will Surprise You.

Where I got several cases related to pickleball name which is in the hot discussion. However, I couldn’t find the answer which can impress or satisfy me. 

Most of the players were unclear about it while some were explaining funny stories. I mean even one of the women players said:

The ball hitting sounds like you’re opening the pickle. 

Another claimed:

It’s the combination of multiple racquet sports that’s why it’s called pickleball.

But these reasons sound somehow silly until you don’t know the history. That’s why I want to explore a few of the most well-known and confirmed states behind the name of pickleball.

1. Named After Pritchard Puppy “Pickles”

Named after the founder’s family dog is one of the accepted controversies by most picklers. If you’ve heard about the history of pickleball, you might have heard about the dog story.

The most famous theory about pickleball name is that Pritchard had a puppy whose name was Pickle.

In addition, the dog was taking the ball in the mouth during playtime. And trying to run away from the court. 

But on the other hand, other creators’ family claims it opposite to this. They said that the pet wasn’t available during the invention days of the game.

Even they state actually the dog was named after the pickleball sport which makes it more ambiguous to get to the real story.

It’s somehow debatable that’s why I’m also not confirmed about it. Why not to hear from some inception-era officials who’ll disclose the facts behind the name of the sport?

One night we all were sitting in the Pritchard’s cabin. Dick Brown, Pritchard, Joan Brown, and Joe named the game Pickleball.

David MacCallum (The son of one of the pickleball creators)

And it isn’t enough and below is what Dick Brown saying about the theory of pickleball name.

We’re sitting in Joel’s old cabin front room. And we’re throwing around to get a name for it. because the dog was always around there grabbing the ball and stuff. Joanne said, “why don’t you call it pickleball.” And it just gets it like that thinking of pickles.

Quoted from Dick Brown (One of the original families who develop the game)

So these were all relevant factors related to Pritchard’s puppy name for pickleball. 

2. Name Selected From Pickle Boat 

This story behind the sport name may sound strange. However, it’s another viral theory among folks is that the was name taken from a pickle boat.

You may know that the pickle boat is made of leftover oarsmen from other teams.

And same like Joan reports that pickleball is leftover from the remaining racquet sports such as tennis, badminton, and ping pong. But don’t you think it looks irrelevant to pickleball?

I myself really satisfied with dog theory. As well as that’s somehow impressive and most professionals take to that story after the pickleball name.

One night having a long conversation about the name of the newly invented sport. In the end of the conversation, Pritchard said, “Hey, why not you call it pickleball after pickle.” And everybody said ok and they all cheered together.

Jim Brown (Son of Dick Brown)

It’s not named after the dog because we didn’t get the dog until years after the game started.

Prichard’s daughter Peggy, says.

But according to Barney, all of the sport’s creators knows the name came from the dog. On the other side, if you ever visited the homeland of pickleball Bainbridge Island. 

You may have seen the sailors who were training there progressively. Those people love water sports such as motor boating and rowing. Although, it can also be a strong reason for pickleball’s name. 

Who Invented Pickleball?

In the summer of 1965, pickleball was created by four families Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum on Bainbridge Island, Washington. For the purpose to have fun with their families.

So Pritchard went down to an old badminton court with a wooden made paddle and one plastic holes ball almost the same as wiffle ball

In the beginning, the rules and regulations weren’t specified but it got their interest. They all really enjoyed playing it together.

Then later, these four founders of the sport made a few simple regulations as well as they chose the name for it “Pickleball”.

What Is Pickleball A Combination Of?

As we all know that pickleball is the amalgam of different paddle games. Such as table tennis (ping pong), paddle tennis, badminton, and tennis. The paddle you use in pickleball is almost similar to a table tennis paddle.

A Pickleball net is similar to a tennis one but it’s just 2 inches lower as compared to a tennis net size.

Moreover, the court size is really small as looking to the tennis court but almost equal to the badminton double game court size.

As I said before, even some people consider the combination of various racquet sports caused it to name pickleball.

However, the pickleball rules are different from other games such as non-volley zone (kitchen area) and serving.

Pickleball is an amazing paddle sport that even doesn’t require so much energy. I’d like to recommend it for aged people who want to have a workout along with fun.


As there’s nothing essential to know the history of its name. But sometimes people want to know this thing just for having more information about their favorite sport. Now whatever story you believe depends on you. However, it can’t affect your game skills.

The Pritchard dog’s name theory is somehow acceptable to me. And I’m also considering it correct while looking for more evidence or we can say votes to this story.

But you may want to consider the pickle boat facts. It isn’t something to force you for. That’s why whatever you want to say right depends on your choice.


Q1. Was Pickleball named after a dog?

Yes, according to Dick Brown, the sport was named after the Pritchard’s puppy which name was Pickles. However, there are a lot of debates about the name of pickleball. I don’t think it’s something to conflict about like you accept the pickle boat story it depends on you.

Q2. Was Pickleball named after a Cat?

The pickleball name wasn’t taken from any cat. However, there’s a hot argument between dogs and pickle boats. Some say that the name wasn’t observed from the family dog. And other says no it was named leftover rowers.

Q3. What ball is used in pickleball?

The ball we usually use in pickleball is made of plastic with holes in it. But nowadays, the game is going to modify more day by day. The ball is also separated for outdoor and indoor games. 

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