How did Pickleball Get its Name? A Brief History
How did pickleball get its name?
Pickleball is the name of a game that has been around for decades, but it wasn’t always called pickleball. The origins of the name are rather comical and involve sour pickles.
The sport of pickleball was created by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum on Bainbridge Island, Washington in the late 1965s. These people were looking for a way to play tennis in their retirement years, but using an alternative to regular tennis rackets and court-sized nets was too difficult. They decided it would be better if they had smaller courts with lower netting that could accommodate fewer mobile players.
Why pickleball is called pickleball? The wife of Joel Pritchard, Joan, started to make their game a pickleball game because “the combination of different sports reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.” However, according to the report of Barney McCallum, they named the game after Pritchard’s dog who was (as you may have thought) known as Pickles! Despite the taste of real pickles the dog was sweet and was known to run away playing with the ball even though it was being played!
This sport is now adopted by people all over the world and has become popular in the United States. It is currently played by over 20 million people in all 50 states and has reached countries like Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and much more.
How did pickleball become popular? A brief history
Pickleball has been played for decades, but it wasn’t much popular until the 21st century that pickleball became a household name.
In 2001, USA Pickleball Association was created to help organize the sport and provide a sense of community for pickleball players.
In 2003, the USAPA held its first National Pickleball Championship in Florida, which was attended by over 400 pickleball players.
In 2005, Roger Federer won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and became a household name for tennis enthusiasts all around the world. The same year was also marked when the USA Pickleball Association received recognition from the US Olympic Committee as a National Governing Body for the sport of pickleball.
In 2009, USA Pickleball Association had over 50,000 members and was gaining more attention from all around the world.
In 2010, a group of professional tennis players attended an event called “Pickleball Night” at Madison Square Garden. It was the largest pickleball event in history, where 250 participants showed up to play and another 500 watched from their seats.
In 2012-2013, pickleball started gaining attention when it reached TV shows like The Big Bang Theory and Shark Tank on ABC Network. In 2014, USA Pickleball Association held its first national championship for men and women.
In 2015, pickleball was recognized as a Paralympic sport.
Currently, there are more than 20 million people who play pickleball in the United States alone and over 100 countries worldwide have embraced this exciting game!
Why is pickleball so popular?
Pickleball is so popular because it is a low-cost sport that anyone can play. It’s very similar to tennis and table tennis but with much lower equipment, maintenance and court fees.
The rules of pickleball are easy enough for beginners yet challenging enough for advanced players. This has helped in allowing the game to become so popular all around the world in such a short time.
Pickleball doesn’t require one to be athletically skilled and it’s easy enough for children as young as five years old to play with adults, which is another plus that has helped the game gain so much popularity all over the world!
What are some similar sports?
Table Tennis – This sport requires two or four players and a table that is divided by a net. Players use rackets to hit the ball above the net and into their opponent’s side of the table. There are some similarities between pickleball and Table Tennis such as similar equipment, rules, scoring system, etc…
Racquetball – This sport requires two or four players and a court divided by a net. Players use rackets to hit the ball against their opponent’s side of the wall until they fail to return it. There are some similarities between pickleball and Racquetball such as similar equipment, rules, scoring system, etc…
Tennis – This sport requires two or four players and a court divided by a net. Players use rackets to hit the ball against their opponent’s side of the wall until they fail to return it. There are some similarities between pickleball and Tennis such as similar equipment, rules, scoring system, etc…
Squash – This sport requires two players and a small enclosed space with walls of glass, wood or metal. Players use rackets to hit the ball against their opponent’s side of the wall until they fail to return it. There are some similarities between pickleball and Squash such as similar equipment, rules, scoring system, etc…
Badminton – This sport requires two teams with one or two players on each side. Players use rackets to hit the shuttlecock over a net and into their opponent’s side of the court. There are some similarities between pickleball and Badminton such as similar equipment, rules, scoring system, etc…
What was used as the first pickleball paddles?
The first pickleball paddles were just wooden dowels that players used to hit the ball against their opponent’s side of the court. These would eventually evolve into more sophisticated designs and materials with time!
What was the name of the first pickleball business?
The first pickleball business to be founded was called “Pickle-Ball, Inc” and it is still in operation today.