History of Pickleball – A Brief History Of The Game

Pickleball is one of these sports that got high popularity among North and South America because of ease of play, easy availability of gears, and its fun name. Do you ever think about how did pickleball start and how do people play it?

It is one of those games that are being played for over 5 decades in America yet equally popular among girls, boys, youth, and professionals. What is this game and how did it start, let’s discuss.


Pickleball is a sport of paddle and a ball. We can say that it is similar to badminton and table tennis to some extent. It can be a single or double player game with two or four persons respectively. The players use paddles that are made of wood and a polymer ball (contain holes in it), the ball is hit by the paddle. The playing technique of pickleball is also similar to tennis with some changes.

History of Pickleball

As of now, we have a basic know-how about pickleball. Now we move towards the history of pickleball that how it was invented and how it became so popular all over the world. How it is played.  The story of pickleball is just like many other stories interesting and simple.

1965 the year of invention:

Pickleball was invented by Joel Pritchard in 1965. He was a 65 years old man. Pritchard was from Washington returned to his home at Bainbridge Island with his two friends Bill Bell and Barney MacCallum. He found that his family was getting bored on the weekend and had nothing to do. They had a badminton court in their backyard but they couldn’t find the shuttlecock. So they decided to play with a plastic ball. They hit the ball with a paddle of wood over a badminton net and start to play. MacCallum was the first person who made the first wooden paddle. In this way, they created a new game at Pritchard home and also set rules for playing the game. The main purpose of the invention was that their family could play together. In this way, a new game called pickleball came into being.


  • The first permanent pickleball court was constructed in Joel Pritchard’s friend’s backyard.

1972 – 1978:

  • In 1972 a corporation was made for the growth of the new game.
  • In 1975 a new article was published about pickleball as “America’s newest racquet sport”.
  • The first pickleball tournament was held in the world in 1978.

1982- 1990:

  • In 1982 pickleball tournaments were organized in Washington State.
  • In 1984 United States Amateur pickleball Association (U.S.A.P.A) was organized for the growth of pickleball.
  • The first director of U.S.A.P.A was Sid William and he remained the director from 1984 to 1998.
  • In 1990 pickleball became popular and grow day by day. It was played in all the 50 states of America.

1992 to so on….

  • In 1992 pickleball was made at home by a pickleball drilling machine.
  • In 1997 Joel Pritchard passed away. Then in 1999 first internet pickleball website was created which provide information about the game its equipment and its rules.
  • In 2001 the game of pickleball was introduced in Arizona Senior Olympics by the efforts of Earl Hill.
  • In 2003, 39 places in North America were listed on the internet it including 10 states, 3 Canadian provinces, and about 150 individual courts.
  • In 2005, another corporation for the pickleball Association was made (USAPA).
  • In 2008, pickleball was the first time included in National Senior Games Association (NSGA).
  • In 2014, a more friendly website that provide more information about the game is established.
  • In 2017, a pickleball famous hall was created.
  • In 2019, there are 2.6 million players of pickleball were in the US and it is played all over the world.
  • As time passed pickleball became more and more famous and many tournaments in different states were held. Now a day pickleball become very much popular. Many new clubs are also established due to the popularity of the game.

Why it is called pickleball?

There are different stories about the name pickleball. According to one story, the name of this newly invented game pickleball (sometimes written as pickleball) was given by Joel Pritchard’s wife. She chose this name because the game is a mixture of different games and it reminds her of a pickle boat. Also, check the What Is Padel Tennis?

While in another story the pickleball name was given by Joel Pritchard’s family dog. The dog used to chase the pickleball and ran off with them.


In order to play pickleball following playing, equipment is required. This equipment is easily available and everyone can afford them.

  • Wooden paddles
  • Polymer ball with 26-40 holes
  • Dress code
  • Playing court


Peddles are mostly made by the following materials like graphite, wood, and composite material. The cheapest type of peddles are wooden paddles, they are also easy to use. The size of pickleball Paddles should be larger than table tennis paddles and smaller than badminton rackets. The dimension of peddles are maximum length 15.5 – 17 inches and width of 7- 8.5 inches.


The balls used in pickleball are made up of plastic which is very light in weight as compared to other balls used in different games. The most interesting thing about balls used in this game is that they contain holes in them. These holes make the ball less effecting by wind and the game is smoothly played. In general 26 to 40 holes are present in a ball. More the no of holes more efficient the ball is. Balls are served under the hand. Also, read the Pickleball Serving Rules.

Dress code

For pickleball, a proper dress code is not needed. Players can wear anything in which they are comfortable. Like they can wear sweatshirts, caps, sneakers, sweatpants, light jackets, etc.

Playing courts

A pickleball court is a place where we play the game. Usually, the size of the pickleball court is the same as the double badminton court. The dimensions of the court are 20×44 feet. The pickleball net is attached at the height of 36 inches from the sides and 34 inches from the middle. Court for single and double players remain the same. In the court, the serving line is a non-volley zone which we called Kitchen. It is 7 feet away from each side of the net.

Rules of pickleball

There are also some rules for playing pickleball which is as follows:

  • There is no bouncing off the ball, it is served to the opposite player behind the baseline diagonally.
  • The net should be clear and not present in the kitchen.
  • Points are given when the opposite player makes a mistake like hitting the ball outside the boundary.
  • The score is given only to the serving team.
  • The server continuously serves the ball until the opposite play makes a mistake.
  • The game must be played up to 11 points and won by 2.
  • The game must be according to the double bounce rule.
  • Players must be in volley zone to volley the ball.

Why pickleball is so popular?

In recent days pickleball is very much popular because of many reasons.

    • First of all, it is very easy to play as it is a combination of different sports and has simple rules to play.
    • Pickleball is a social activity and people become close to each other. Moreover, families can play this game together which increases their understanding of each other.
    • Pickleball is also a healthy game and keeps people fit. This allows a balance in your reflexes.
    • Pickleball can easily be in parks and anywhere with very cheap equipment. It can be played indoors and outdoors.

How Pickleball is different than tennis?

Although both the games are quite similar on the basis of which we can differentiate between both the games. Following are the differences:

    • In tennis double fault is present while it is not present in pickleball.
    • In tennis overhand serving is allowed while in pickleball underhand serving is allowed.
    • Pickleball is loud while tennis is quiet.
    • The dimensions of the court used in both tennis and pickleball are the same.
    • Tennis is played outdoors, on the other hand, pickleball can be played both indoors and out the door.
    • In tennis ball is not hit hard, but in pickleball, ball is hit hard.
    • In tennis, simple plastic balls are used, while in pickleball plastic balls containing holes in them are used.

Popular country of pickleball

As it is described earlier that the pickleball is invented in the United States of America. It is mostly played in America. It is mostly played and getting popularity because it is cheap and required only equipment a peddle and a ball.


There are some questions which people frequently ask about pickleball when they search about the game:

1. Why it is called pickleball?

Its name is based on two stories. According to one story its name was given by Joel Pritchard’s wife which reminds her of the pickle boat. While according to the second story pickle name was given in the memory of Joel Pritchard’s dog. Who chase the pickleball and ran off.

2. Is pickleball easier than tennis?

Yes! Pickleball is easier than tennis. Because it emerges from tennis with some changes rules. So pickleball is easier to play as compared to tennis.

3. What is Pickleball equipment?

Following equipment are required for pickleball :

  • Peddles
  • Ball
  • Court
  • Dress code

4. What is the double bounce rule?

The rule in which the first team shot off the bounce which other team also must serve the bounce and then the first team again serve the bounce. After two bounces occur the shot is played off it is called the double bounce rule.

5. What is the required age of pickleball players?

Pickleball is played by people of all ages up to 43.5 years old. This game makes people healthy and fit.

6. What dress code is needed for pickleball players?

For pickleball, a proper dress code is not needed. You can wear whatever in which you are comfortable with. You can wear sweatshirts, sweatpants, caps, sneakers, etc.

7. Where is pickleball played the most?

Pickleball is mostly played in the United State Of America. It is the place where the game was invented. It’s getting popular day by day.

8. How is the ball served in pickleball?

In pickleball, the ball is served underhand. Overhand ball serving is not allowed in pickleball.

9. What is a pickleball ball?

The ball of pickleball is the same as the tennis ball. It is made up of light plastic with some holes in it.

10. Why does a pickleball ball have holes in it?

Pickleball balls have holes in them to reduce the resistance of air. Through holes, air can easily pass. The game is smooth when holes are present in a ball.

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