The Tale of Pickleball History

Pickles? Balls? A game that looks like badminton, ping pong, and tennis combined into one? For pickleball fans out there, the origin of this sport and its hilarious name may be a mystery. Not any longer! Let’s dive into the tale of pickleball history.

Pickleball History

Once upon a time (actually 1967), a Washington State congressman, a successful businessman, and their families were sitting bored in a backyard. Together, the families teamed up to cure their boredom using an old badminton court, some ping-pong paddles, and a perforated plastic ball.

These clever individuals spent the next couple of weeks designing a family-friendly game for all to enjoy called Pickleball, but little did they know the smashing success that it would become!

Over the next decade, the family’s pickleball game evolved. Soon, they designed a pickleball court and then even formed a corporation to protect the sport. In 1975, The National Observer published an article about “America’s newest racquet sport,” and the rest was pickleball history! Well, not quite!

The sport continued to grow, transforming from a family pastime into a competitive sport. Today, there are over 8,500 locations to play the sport in the USA, with countries around the world beginning to recognize and adopt Pickleball into their culture. With tournaments, avid players, and a host of entertainment options, Pickleball has become a beloved American sport!

Pickleball’s Name

A critical part of the tale of pickleball history is how this sport got its hilarious name. For many years, it was believed that the sport was named after the creator’s family dog, Pickles. The story went that Pickles had a fondness for stealing the ball off the court. However, that theory was debunked! While the family did have a dog named Pickles, the pup came years later and was named for the sport, not the other way around.

So, where did the name come from? According to the Prichard family, Joel’s wife, Joan, was once a competitive rower. During the creation of the sport, she said that the game reminded her of a pickle boat, which in rowing is what people refer to weaker, mismatched crew boat teams.

Whatever the oral pickleball history, the name is set and stone. While there is controversy over the benefits of a goofy name for this competitive sport, it certainly doesn’t change the love of the game we have here at Oasis.

Play Pickleball at Oasis

Would you like to get involved in pickleball? Oasis has 16 dedicated outdoor pickleball courts, 4 dedicated covered pickleball courts, and 4 hybrid pickleball courts waiting for you to take on! Review our website today to learn more about our pickleball services.