pickleball history

What is Pickleball? Unveiling the Secrets of this Popular Paddle Sport

Sports is the most popular form of entertainment globally and when it comes to sports there are tons of options to pick and choose both for playing and watching. what started as an ingenious way to kill time during a summer holiday is becoming a professional sport. So, what is pickleball? As you know in sports of any kind such as football, tennis, or cricket, people participate in various ways as leisure, friendly competition, or even professionals with millions at stake. Among these modern-day sports, pickleball is one such game that is gaining huge popularity among people of all ages. The peculiar pickleball game that you probably have heard of is one of the fastest-growing games in the US.  its growing popularity is evident from the fact that there is an official body that regulates this sport. If you are a newbie to the world of pickleball, let us explain what pickleball is, who invented this, how is it played and where is it played and where pickleball originate. Trust us, the origin story of pickleball and how this game is played is very interesting to learn about.

Keep reading to learn about when was pickleball invented, how is this game played, what are the rules and where was pickleball invented, and much more about this interesting game.

Pickleball Origin

Well, if you are still not convinced how peculiar and interesting this game is, then its history and origin will pique your interest. You might have heard the quote necessity is the mother of all inventions which implies that in times of utter need and desperation, most creative solutions emerge. Throughout history, sports and competitions such as the Gladiators in the Roman era have been hugely popular among the masses both for entertainment and to show a competitive edge over others, it’s no wonder that this continues in various forms and spirits. Thank God we have come a long way from watching men fight to the death, but in the same spirit we have championships and sports that keep people entertained and engrossed around the world.

what is pickleball

The pickleball origin story is one such instance where the need to entertain and occupy oneself led two bored men to improvise and come up with this ingenious game. It all began in the Summer of 1965 and since then the game has only gained traction. During one weekend in Summer, two men were looking for a game to entertain themselves but lack the proper equipment and space to play a proper sport such as tennis, badminton, etc, so they improvised and invented pickleball.  the two genius who invented pickleball are Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell who were later joined by Barney McCallum to develop this game with its rules and format.

Pickleball History

To answer what is pickleball in simple terms: Pickleball is an interesting mix of three other rackets and ball types of sports like ping pong, tennis, and badminton. And it started purely by three men to entertain themselves but when they saw the potential, they developed the rules of the game, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The story goes like this: Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell were vacationing in WA (near Seattle) and that is where pickleball was invented. These bored men needed something to do, but they lacked the proper equipment to either play badminton or ping pong, so they combined the tools and techniques of both these games and tennis and came up with their own version of a game. Thus, pickleball started with ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. As the week progressed, a third man, Barney McCallum enters the scene and together these three men laid down the rules of the game. So that is pickleball history in a nutshell.

who invented pickleball

What started as a game to entertain a family during vacation was later developed into a full fledge game with the creation of its corporation in 1972 to protect and develop the game. The first tournament took place in  1976 and since then there is no going back. Today, The United States Amateur Pickleball Association (U.S.A.P.A.) oversees the game and places down the rules of pickleball in the US.  

Pickleball Name Origin

If you found the origin story of pickleball quite interesting then you are in for a treat to learn about how did pickleball get its name. the story is written and discussed publicly and a simple version of it is that Joel’s wife named the game Pickleball as the game reminded her of Pickle boat.  Pickle boat are boats in a rowing game and she participated enthusiastically in such sports.

However, their story is not as simple. There are many myths and stories associated with the name which can be found on the internet. As per one, the game is named after the beloved dog of the Prichard family named Pickles, Pickles kept running away with the ball during the game hence they named the game after him. This has been debunked and no the game is not named after their dog, but the dog is named after the game! So that is the pickleball name origin story which to be honest is quite interesting.

Now that you know when did pickleball start and who invented pickleball, it’s time to learn the basic rules of the game.

The Basics Rules of Pickleball

So what is a pickleball game? To understand the game, know a few basic rules and the format of the game. As mentioned above Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong and can be planned both indoors and outdoors. The game is played with a plastic ball with holes and paddles either on a badminton size court with a tennis net. And like Badminton and tennis, this could have either 2 players or four players i.e., a singles game or a doubles game.

Second, learn about the Pickleball terms. The USA Pickleball Official Rulebook 2023 enlists all necessary terms and definitions so it is good to browse through the document to familiar with the game lingo and rules. Some basic terms are serve, dink, paddle, Kitchen or Non-Volley Zone, Volley, baseline, centreline, midcourt, etc.

Now that you got a good idea of what is pickleball and its rather interesting story, we bet you are eager to learn this sport and play it with your friends and family. We assure you this game will definitely keep you hooked for a long time and who knows you might end up playing it professionally!

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