17 Fun Facts About Pickleball

Thanks to its interesting name and complex list of rules, pickleball is a sport that has seen a rapid boom in popularity. It is loved by various demographics and is played in a variety of public spaces, from sports centers to retirement homes. 

17 Fun Facts About Pickleball

However, despite how popular it is, pickleball is still a relatively new sport and there are still plenty of facts about it that people are unaware of. 

In this article, we will take you through 17 fun facts about pickleball! So, the next time you pick up a paddle you will be able to impress all of your friends with your extensive pickleball knowledge as well as your skills. 

If you’re interested, read on for more! 

The Origins Of Pickleball Facts

Did you know that pickleball is not actually a new sport at all? That’s right! The game was actually invented all the way back in 1965! That’s before we landed on the moon! 

It was actually invented by three fathers, Barney McCallum, Joel Pritchard, and Bill Bell, who were trying to come up with a way to entertain their children.

They combined some of the rules of tennis, badminton, and table tennis to result in pickleball! The first-ever game of pickleball was played by using random items from around the house. 

The Naming Of Pickleball Facts

No, one of the items above was not a jar of pickles. The name “pickleball” actually comes from Pickles the dog, who was owned by the Pritchard family.

Pickles loved chasing the ball while the fathers and children were playing the game. Not long after, the game got its name, and it stuck.

However, there may also be another reason as to why pickleball got its name. Joel Pritchard’s wife claims that she referred to the game her family was playing as “pickleball” because it reminded her of “pickle boat sea men” where the rowers of these boats were chosen from other boats. 

Fun Pickleball Stats

Here are some fun pickleball stats that you can reel off the next time you’re at practice! 

  • Pickleball is very popular among adults. In fact, 68% of adults over 60 love this sport! 
  • 53% of pickleball players are male, while 47% are female.

The Development Of Pickleball Facts

In the 60s, pickleball became so popular that the first pickleball court was constructed in 1967. What’s more, it is now offered in both grade school and high school. 

Not only that, but because of its popularity, the International Federation Of Pickleball came into existence, created in order to ensure that the sport was regulated. 

The International Federation Of Pickleball is currently active in the US, Canada, the UK, Spain, and France. 

Pickleball Lingo Facts

Did you know that there is specific pickleball lingo?

  • Die-hard fanatics of pickleball are called “picklers.” 
  • When a server goes to serve the ball, they should the word “pickle” so every other player and member of the audience is aware 
  • If your team does not get any points throughout the entirety of a pickleball game, then this is known as getting “pickled.” 

The Most Popular State For Pickleball Is

The most popular state for pickleball is Florida. Florida has named itself the pickleball capital of the world. Although, it is important to note that this is an unofficial title. 

The city of Naples, Florida, has a growing number of people who play pickleball every year, and each year they celebrate the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championship. In fact, there are at least 60 courts at the Naples Pickleball Center. 

Not only that but there are actually many private and public pickleball courts in the city which means many people can pick up a paddle and play pretty much any time they like. Throughout Florida as a whole, there are 10,000+ pickleball players. 

However, if we were to base the popularity of pickleball on court density by state, then Seattle, Washington would be the winner. This should come as no surprise since Pickleball first began on Bainbridge Island. 

The First US Open Championship Facts

Did you know that the first US Open championship for pickleball was held in 2016? It has grown in popularity since then, with the crowds that go to watch this championship multiplying in size each year. 

Pickleball Can Be Played Anywhere

You can play pickleball both indoors and outdoors, unlike many other sports which are typically one or the other. 

Pickleball Is An Affordable Sport 

Pickleball is actually a rather affordable sport to play. Of course, when it first began, it centered around unused items that you could find around the house. 

However, today there is professional equipment you need to buy to play the game, such as paddles, a wiffleball, etc. You can find most of this equipment for around $35, and high-end pickleball equipment will cost around $100.

Please note that this may vary depending on where you purchase the equipment. 

Pickleball Has Many Rules

Because it is a game inspired by three other games, it comes as no surprise that pickleball has many rules. One important rule to remember is that you cannot volley in the kitchen.

The kitchen is the term pickleball players use for the “no volley” zone(see also: What Is The No Volley Zone In Pickleball?). Any player that is standing in the no-volley zone is not permitted to hit the ball into the air. 

Many people who are just getting into pickleball forget this, so it is important to remind them!

Another important rule to remember is that the ball needs to bounce on either side of the court before a volley is hit. This is called the “Double Bounce Rule.” This means that the ball must bounce at least once before the players can hit it for the first time. 

After this initial bounce, players can go ahead and hit the ball back and forth in the air as much as they like, provided that they are not standing in the kitchen. 

Pickleball Paddle Facts

Did you know that pickleball paddles have changed a lot throughout the years? When they were first invented, these paddles were actually made of wood. Then, as pickleball began to develop and change, the paddles did, too!

Eventually, instead of being made from wood, they began to be made from lighter materials such as graphite and aluminum. 

Pickleball Is Inclusive

Both the IFP and the USAPA have adjusted their rules to allow standing participants and participants who use wheelchairs to be able to play together. 

The Speed Of A Pickleball

A pickleball can only travel at around ⅓ of a tennis ball. This is because they are typically made from plastic and contain many holes, which results in them traveling much slower. 

The Point System Is Notably Complex 

You may be sitting at a pickleball game listening to picklers explain the point system to newcomers for ages, and that’s because the point system is extremely complex. 

During a game of pickleball, you can only score points if it is your team that is serving. For example, if you are playing a singles game of pickleball and you score a point, but it was your opponent’s turn to serve, then you will not get that point. 

Pickleball Serving Facts

During a game of tennis, players get the chance to play a second serve. However, no such serve exists in a game of pickleball (see also: What Is The Chainsaw Serve In Pickleball?). So, if you miss the serve the first time, then hard luck.

Bonus fun fact: all serve in a game of pickleball needs to be underhand. So, you need to get practicing if you want to hit all of those underhand serves the first time. 

Pickleball Dress Code Facts

Did you know that there is no official dress code in a game of pickleball? That’s right! The games themselves, from high school games to professional games at the top of the league, do not have a uniform.

However, athletic wear is expected so players can run around and perform as best as they can. 

Common attire for pickleball players is tennis apparel, tennis shoes in particular. 

Pickleball Is Great For Socializing

Pickleball is a great sport when it comes to being social! This is because it is typically played as doubles and the court is much smaller than a tennis court.

This means you are often in close contact with other players. So, during friendly games of pickleball (as most of them are!) there is a good chance you will leave the game with some new friends! 

Final Thoughts

Pickleball is a sport that has seen a boost in popularity (see also: 20 Countries Where Pickleball Is A Popular Sport)in recent years. However, there is still so much that people do not actually know about the sport, such as its origins, the origin of its name, the most popular state for pickleball, the numerous rules of the game and so much more! 

We hope this article provided you with some fun facts that you can use to improve your game or that you can share with your friends during pickleball practice. Happy playing!

Michael Walter
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