Pickleball Is a Combination of What Three Sports

Pickleball Is a Combination of What Three Sports?

Have you seen some people having rectangular paddles and playing at recreation centers? Or perhaps you might be wondering why your tennis court was suddenly converted into smaller courts. Pickleball is rapidly growing and is played by most folks everywhere. There are a lot of places where pickleball can be played. According to USA Pickleball, about 4.8 million people play this sport. So, pickleball is a combination of what three sports?

The best way to describe pickleball is that it is a combination of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. This sport is usually played on courts; however, it can also be played in recreational centers, schools, retirement communities, camps, and even correctional facilities.

Whether you’ve just discovered this sport or are already a professional player, here is some important information you need to know.

What are the Names of the 3 Men that Invented Pickleball?

In the summer of 1965, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum discovered pickleball. According to USA Pickleball, these three dads wanted to provide their families with a fun game. During that time, a Wiffle ball is used for playing the sport. Currently, a perforated plastic ball created specifically for the sport is used for playing the game. 

Ever since pickleball was invented, the sport has quickly evolved and can be accessed by players of different ages and skills, making it an excellent source of entertainment for the whole family. The popularity of pickleball, which can be played outdoors or indoors, has grown more and more ever since it was created.

Why is it Called Pickleball?

As mentioned, it was Joel Pritchard, William Bell, and Barney McCallum who first introduced pickleball on Bainbridge Island during the summer of 1965. Originally, the game was created to offer fun and entertainment for the whole family. 

Interestingly, there are two versions of the origins of pickleball. The first version is that before the sport was given a name, its inventors and the people around them called it “the game.” Then, one day, in the house of Pritchard, while they were having cocktails, somebody recommended that they should give the sport a specific name.

Several ideas came around, including tennis pong, rally ball, and others. Finally, somebody suggested that the game be named after Pritchard’s dog, Pickle. Every time they play the game, Pickle likes to grab the ball and run with it. It was specifically known as “Pickle’s Ball,” but later, they changed the name to Pickleball.

The second version is that Joan, the wife of Joel Pritchard, revealed to the media 32 years later, after the game was invented, that she was the one who came up with the name. She said the game was named after a pickle boat, and the dog’s name came afterward.

So, what is a pickle boat? A pickle boat is composed of different parts taken from different boats. Consequently, all of these varied parts are put together to create a new boat. These two different stories have become the topic of conversation in the world of pickleball. Most often, whatever is the first story that people hear is usually the one that they believe. So, which story do you think is the right one?

Initially, pickleball is played in backyards, on dead-end streets, or driveways. However, since the mid-1970s, pickleball has greatly evolved from being a family sport to a court game with regulated rules. After over 20 years, pickleball is played in different recreational centers, parks, schools, retirement communities, camps, correctional facilities, etc. This sport is becoming a favorite among senior adults and is quite popular in universities.

What Sports Makeup Pickleball?

So, pickleball is a combination of what three sports? Pickleball comprises three different sports: tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. This sport is usually played on a badminton court using a tennis net but two inches lower. The paddle used for playing the sport looks like a ping-pong paddle but is much larger. A Wiffle ball is used for playing the game.

One of the unique features of pickleball is the NVZ (non-volley zone). Also known as the Kitchen, the NVZ is a specific area within the pickleball court with a dimension of 7 x 40 feet from the NVZ line to the net. It is required that the ball should not get into the NVZ or hit the NVZ line during service; however, it can touch the area at any other time. 

Pickleball can either be played in singles or doubles. The first team that reaches 11 points can win the game, although a team is required to win by at least two points. Pickleball is fun and easy to learn, making it an ideal sport for people of all ages and abilities.

How is Pickleball Different from Tennis and Badminton?

Pickleball, tennis, and badminton are alike since they all use a ball and a racket. In badminton, players prefer an elastic bird over a regular racket. Badminton and pickleball are played on a court with a synthetic surface like plastic, while tennis games are held on a hard surface like clay. However, pickleball can also be played on hardwood floors.

Tennis is considered the oldest among the three sports since it started way back in the 1500s. And pickleball and badminton were introduced in the 1800s. As time passed by, tennis became more popular. Compared to badminton and tennis, pickleball is more physical since you are required to hit the ball off the ground, making it more difficult to control. 

What is Badminton?

Badminton games are held on a hard surface; however, it is different from tennis in many ways. Rather than a round ball, a shuttlecock is used for badminton. One player will hold the shuttlecock, and the other will hit it over the net. Once the shuttlecock touches the ground, the point will be given to the player who first hits the ball into the opponent’s court.

What is Tennis?

Tennis is considered the most renowned sport all over the world. The game is played on a hard surface. The goal of tennis is to hit the ball with a racquet so it crosses the opponent’s court. The winner of the match is the one who hits the ball first into the other player’s court.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball started on Bainbridge Island when two dads were looking for something fun for their children, who were getting bored. So, they decided to transform their old badminton court. Since they do not have badminton rackets, they use Ping-Pong paddles but improvise them. A Wiffle ball was also used for the sport. The net was lowered to 36 inches. 

In the succeeding week, they were joined by another friend, and together they created some rules for the game. When it comes to the name of the sport, it is believed that the game was named after the founder’s dog, who loves chasing balls and running off with them. And the name of the dog is Pickles.

Instead of Ping-Pong paddles, pickleball paddles are used for playing pickleball. These pickleball paddles look square and are a bit larger. However, the games are much the same. This game is fast-paced, which means that it can be an excellent workout. Additionally, the scoring system is quite the same. That is why pickleball professionals usually tell beginners that pickleball is the same as Ping-Pong.

The size of pickleball courts is approximately a quarter of the tennis court. Hence, a tennis court can likely fit four pickleball courts. The major differences between pickleball and tennis are that pickleball has a 7-foot NVZ(No-Volley Zone), also known as “the kitchen,” which extends from the net, the pickleball ball has less bounce, serving is done underhand, and there is no doubles alley since the same court is used for playing both singles and doubles. After bouncing, you should hit the ball within the kitchen area.

Generally, tennis players can easily pick up the game and even get addicted to it. In fact, one of the things that most players love about this game is that younger and older players can play together in a competitive way, particularly in doubles.

One of the reasons the popularity of pickleball has skyrocketed is because of the association’s ambassador program, which has reached over 1,000 volunteers all over the country. They are responsible for recruiting players, introducing them to pickleball, and spreading the game. However, even without this, pickleball can actually sell by itself. Perhaps it is the fact that the sport is so beginner friendly or can be played socially. Regardless of what the reason is, pickleball tends to breed more enthusiasts.


Pickleball is a combination of what three sports? Generally, it is a combination of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. It is good to know what each of these sports is all about. However, knowing the difference between them is the best since it can help you improve your mental and physical abilities.

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