pick·​le·​ball | \ ˈpi-kəl-ˌbȯl How to pronounce pickleball (audio) \
plural pickleballs

Definition of pickleball

: an indoor or outdoor game that is played on a level court with short-handled paddles and a perforated plastic ball volleyed over a low net by two players or pairs of players Pickleball is a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. This team sport can be played indoors or outdoors and takes place on a badminton court using a perforated plastic baseball (similar to a wiffle ball) and small paddles. The pickleball net is lowered to 34 inches for game play, and each game is played to a score of 11 points.The Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal also : the ball used in this game The day started out fine but a blast of chilly air soon blew through. When the clouds lifted there were strong winds which played havoc with the lightweight plastic pickleballs. — Craig Garrett

Other Words from pickleball

pickleballer \ ˈpi-​kəl-​ˌbȯ-​lər How to pronounce pickleball (audio) \ noun, plural pickleballers
Other local pickleballers said they love how accessible the sport is whether you're a man, woman, youngster or senior. They said it's likely one of the reasons the sport has become increasingly popular … — Brian Arola

First Known Use of pickleball

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pickleball

pickle entry 1 + ball entry 1

Note: The game was invented in the summer of 1965 by a group of neighbors on Bainbridge Island, Washington, including then state representative Joel Prichard (1925-97), Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. According to one account, pickle was suggested by pickle boat, a boat in crew rowing made up of rowers not chosen by other teams (as pickleball was amalgamated from features of other paddle sports). Another account claims that pickle was inspired by a dog named Pickles owned by one of the neighbors (though it is also claimed that this dog was named after the sport). (See, among other sources, the website of the USA Pickleball Association, and www.pickleballportal.com.)

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The first known use of pickleball was in 1975

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Cite this Entry

“Pickleball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickleball. Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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