Blog Main

How Did Pickleball Get Its Name?

Do you know that pickleball has a whole interesting story behind it? So how did pickleball get its name? What is the truth behind that story?

Pickleball games are considered an amalgam of various racket sports. It starts from a small game for kids and has now gained a reputation all over the world. However, most people have no idea about the history of the game. So how did Pickleball get its name?

Pickleball Paddles And Balls On The Court
Pickleball Paddles And Balls On The Court

How Did Pickleball Get Its Name

There are two stories relating to the pickleball name:

  • Pickles the dog

The story was about the three families: Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, who created a game for their kids on a summer afternoon. 

The Pritchard family got a dog called Pickles, and she had the habit of picking up the ball and ran off with it. Thus, the McCallum family, the first players of Pickleball, decided that they would name the game after the Pritchard family’s dog. 

Besides, the game has had no official name for years. The first inventors of pickleball had no idea that the game would continue to exist and become widely accepted.

Maybe you don’t know that there is another very famous dog also named Pickles, who found known the stolen Jules Rimet Trophy in March 1966.

  • The pickle boat

The second story came from the wife of Joel Pritchard – Joan Pritchard, . According to Joan: ‘The combination of various sports make me recognize the pickle boat in crew in which oarsmen were picked from other boats’ the leftovers.

The term ‘pickle boat’ means the last boat finishing the race. Joan remembered how the boat filled up with leftover rowers on the race, resulting in inventors starting to call the game “pickleball”.

Other people declared that both stories were all true. However, the game’s inventors understood that the second version, ‘the pickle boat’, is not a good story to tell. 

If you introduce the game to the newcomers, one of the first questions they will often ask is: “Where does that name come from?”. Explaining that Pickleball was named after a family dog is much shorter and easier to tell than spending hours talking about the “pickle boat”. 

The name “Pickleball” has become familiar over the past five decades. So no matter whether you like the version ‘Pickles the dog’, or the story of ‘the pickle boat’, we all have to thank Pritchard for the name. These inventors had come up with one of the most exciting sports that fascinates thousands of players worldwide.

Read more:


How The Food Packaging Industry Develop Sustainable Solutions

Accelerating demands for sustainable products and responsible corporate behavior are reshaping the food, beverage and restaurant industries – and with them the food packaging industry. Think plastic straws, which no longer stir the drink for a wide range of leading organizations including Starbucks, Hilton and American Airlines.

Consumer expectations are one driver. As early as 2014, a Horizon Media study found 81% of millennials expect companies to make public commitments to good corporate citizenship. And 66% of consumers at large will pay more for products from brands committed to environmentally friendly practices, according to the Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report. So sustainability is good business, too.

A swelling wave of legislation is also mandating sustainable actions, worldwide. Seattle has been ahead of the curve, going back to its 2009 ban on Styrofoam and 2010 requirement for food service items to be recyclable or compostable, and for restaurants to have composting and recycling bins.

All this public and private sector momentum – highlighted in the three sustainability trends below – is creating openings for innovative food packaging products and thinking.


1. Innovative and sustainable food packaging is creating new solutions

Innovative recycled and recyclable food packaging materials are emerging as sustainable alternatives to plastics, Styrofoam and other environmentally-unfriendly materials. A few notable examples:

  • Koepala have developed packaging solutions that combine cost-efficient mass manufacturing technologies and cutting-edge materials with a functional and innovative design. Koepala aims to be sustainable food packaging solution for an ever-urbanising future.
  • Ecologic paper bottles, made from recycled corrugated cardboard and newspapers, and already popular for products like wine, pet food, and protein powders, are now being used by L’Oréal USA in a new line of body-care products called Seed Phytonutrients.
  • TemperPack supplies Plated, one of the leaders in the fast-growing meal-kit industry, with insulated packaging made from jute and material recycled from burlap bags. It keeps perishables chilled during shipping, and after use it is compostable.

Sustana is on the side of innovation with our unique food packaging product, EnviroLife, made from recycled fiber. It is the only 100% post-consumer recycled fiber that is FDA-compliant for direct food contact under all conditions of use, allowing food service brands to serve customers with environmentally-friendly paper cups and meal boxes. Post-consumer fiber is inherently sustainable, eliminating the resource utilization and environmental impacts related to forestry (which benefits biodiversity) and to landfilling.

EnviroLife is also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC), making it one of many Sustana products which meet the FSC’s strict environmental and social standards.

2. Corporate leaders are embracing sustainable food and beverage packaging

A key food packaging trend in 2018 has been toward recycled and recyclable materials, partly in response to stunning media reports of waste plastic, notably the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (three times the size of France).

Beyond plastics, leading beverage and restaurant brands have answered the call and announced major sustainability-oriented commitments in 2018. The trend-setters include:

  • Coca Cola stated that by 2030 it will collect and recycle one bottle or can for each one it sells; and
  • McDonald’s announced a commitment to have 100% of its guest packaging made from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025.

These actions have pleased everyday consumers as well as committed environmentalists, and will have trickle-down effects, encouraging other companies to follow.

3. Governments are not only banning plastic, but mandating recycling and reusable materials

California was the trend-setter, finally initiating a ban on plastic bags from major retail stores after the November 2016 elections. Dozens of North American cities have followed suit. In the United States, during the 2017-18 legislative season, more than 70 bills have been introduced in state legislatures regarding plastic bags, encompassing bans, fees and recycling programs.

In Australia, national, state and territory environment ministers have agreed on an admirable target: 100% of Australian packaging is to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025. This is only a few short years away, and a major opportunity for the food packaging industry.

Vancouver, the first major Canadian city to ban plastic straws (effective 2019), has also adopted a ban on the distribution of polystyrene foam cups and containers in that year – so users of food packaging are looking for sustainable solutions, now. Vancouver also adopted restrictions on disposable cups and plastic shopping bags. And the city aims to completely eliminate the disposal of solid waste by 2040.

The worldwide trend is clear on the legislative front: Less in the way of plastics and single-use materials, more in the way of recycling and sustainable food packaging.


Consumers everywhere are increasingly looking to companies and brands to take the lead on environmental issues. And, as outlined above, the broad legislative trend toward bans and restrictions on unsustainable materials is encouraging adoption of sustainable materials and practices.

For the food, beverage and restaurant industries, environmentally-friendly post-consumer recycled products like Sustana’s EnviroLife reduce environmental impact and contribute to the development of a truly sustainable economy, aligned with the above trends.