Pickleball/Rules History

Pickleball was originally created as a backyard game in 1965 on Bainbridge Island Washington by Congressman Joel Pritchard, William Bell, and Barney McCallum. The concept was a game easier than other racquet sports (badminton, tennis, paddleball) to keep the kids entertained. Although it was created for their kids, the adults quickly took over the game.

Where did the name "Pickleball" come from? The favorite story is that the sport was named after the family dog, "Pickles", that chased after the errant balls, ie Pickle's Ball shortened. Recent published stories from the family members have not confirmed this story since the dog may have come after the game, but the story's cute.

Since its creation, there have been many organizations promoting Pickleball and claiming its history. Here is a brief chronology of Pickleball:

Dates Organization   Rules
1965   The game was created on Bainbridge Island  
1968-Present Pickle-Ball, Inc. A Seattle based corporation marketing and selling the game Pickle-Ball and its equipment. The corporation markets and distributes the game to schools, businesses, and individuals across the country and Canada. Date of Incorporation: 2/13/1968 in Washington, Agent: Doug Smith. Click Here
circa 1972   Pritchard, McCallum and Bell decided to copyright the rules and form the US Pickleball Association (unconfirmed)  
March 1984   1st edition of Pickleball rulebook published to provide the player with an expanded set of rules for tournament and league play.  
January 1985   Revised edition of Pickleball rules.  
June 1987-2001 U.S.A.P.A. United States of America Pickleball Association
A Washington based non-profit corporation owned and operated by a paddle manufacturer to promote Pickleball. Date of Incorporation: 6/18/1987, Expired: 6/30/2001, Agent: Frank Candelario
December 1987 U.S.A.P.A. United States Amateur Pickleball Association Official Pickleball Tournament Rulebook sponsored by Nalley Fine Foods, Washington. Click Here
circa 2003-Present NPA National Pickleball Association
Pickleball organization based in The Villages Florida promoting the sport of Pickleball. In it's debut year of 2003 in the Florida State Games, they had over 200 participants.
July 2005-Dec 2007 USAPA USA Pickleball Association
A Washington based non-profit corporation organized to perpetuate the growth and advancement of pickleball to a national level. Date of Incorporation: 7/1/2005, Agent: Lela Reed
Click Here
Jan 2008-Present USAPA USA Pickleball Association
For the current rules, please visit their website at www.usapa.org

Sources: Pickle-Ball, Inc., Washington Secretary of State, U.S.A.P.A. 1987 Rulebook