Pickleball is an unusual name for the sport we all love so we wanted to let some of the families who were actually there tell the story for themselves of how the game got its name.  Travel with us now back to Bainbridge Island once again for this fun episode of Pickleball 411 and learn from founder Barney McCallum the story behind how the game got its name.  Also hear first hand from Dick Brown, one of the four original men who helped develop the sport, and was actually in the room when they came up with the name pickleball.  This is a fun look into a unique aspect of this exciting sport! If you’ve ever been asked why this game has such an unusual name, you won’t want to miss this episode!

Just in case you’re wondering, Pickleball Channel is aware of alternate theories as to how the game came to be named pickleball including the one where it was named after the pickle boats in rowing.  In this video, we simply let the eyewitnesses themselves tell their story.  We hope you find it as captivating as we did.  At the end of the day, pickleball is a great sport that is full of heart, creates community and is a lot of fun.  We are excited to help keep it growing!

For more information about the history of pickleball visit https://www.pickleball.com/history and http://www.usapa.org/history-of-the-game/

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Additional pickleball resources can be found at the USAPA website at ‪http://www.usapa.org

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  1. Finally! We all have an answer when asked the second of two quwstions concerning Pickleball! Thanks for the many videos we watch and especially for the recent historical ones.

  2. Thank you so much for getting the real story from the original creators!!!!

  3. Very nice segment on how the game got its name…thanks to those who created the game and to the Pickleball Channel for promoting the game.

  4. Another GREAT video Pickleball Channel. 🙂

  5. So why do Joan and Joel have a different story? (below from the Kitsap Sun Puget Sound Blog)

    Joan herself set the record straight in a column she wrote in July for the Parkersburg, West Virginia News and Sentinel:

    The name of the game became Pickle Ball, after I said it reminded me of the Pickle Boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats. Somehow the idea the name came from our dog Pickles was attached to the naming of the game, but Pickles wasn’t on the scene for two more years. The dog was named for the game, but stories about the name’s origin were funnier thinking the game was named for the dog.

    In an oral history published by the state in 2000, Joel Pritchard said the tall tales about the sport’s name originated with an out-of-town reporter…and a few imaginative locals…and his own willingness to hush-up when a good story takes hold.

    Interviewer: There are several accounts about how you named the game. Is it true you named it for your dog?

    Joel Pritchard: We needed a nutty name like Pickle-Ball, but, no, the dog was named after the game. A reporter came through and was doing a national story on the game, and somebody told him that story. Everybody said, “Shut your mouth. It’s a good story. It works better, leave it alone.” It’s like a lot of stories.

  6. @Paul Porch. Exactly. It is called propaganda. The USAPA has decided that the dog story is easier to tell and is “cute”. No need to reference statements from those who actually invented the game. Now it’s on video so it has to be true…not! As Paul mentioned read the true inventors version herehttp://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/507610/Pickle-Ball-featured-on-Morning-show.html.

    Maybe the Brown’s can tell us how the dog got its name too.

  7. I’m with Paul. Why make up a rowing story that is much more complicated. Let’s get Pickles birth certificate. A truther in Beantown.

  8. Tired of hearing the story of how PB got its name. Enough already, will someone make an effort to get the score, parts of the rules etc. right, the majority of the time. Sure everyone occasionally has a hiccup or senior moment when it comes to memory.
    That would happen a lot less if you make it a habit to mumble the score, obviously under your breath, every time you hear it. Thx!
    Make the effort to play the best you can, I promise you’ll have more fun.

  9. Pickleball Charley

    STILL don’t know where the name came from! Conflicting stories. Why bother putting this on YouTube???

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