Pickleball Magazine 6-1 | Page 42

He reflects , “ In the summer of 1968 , I was 10 , and so was the Pritchards ’ daughter Jeannie . I remember the day we got the dogs . Jeannie and I walked a mile or so to Lynwood and came across a flea-ridden puppy litter ( outside the Oligario house ). We brought two home . Later that day , we were in the cabin and we named our dog Lulu . The next day I saw Jeannie and they had named their dog Pickles . That dog was overfed her entire life .”
Frank recalls , “ I will say that I had a sixth sense that the name was going to be Pickles since we were actually on the pickle ball court at the time when Paul and Jeannie brought the puppies home , and my mother ’ s mind would run in those channels . Sure enough , she named our puppy Pickles and the Browns named theirs Lulu .”
To further correct the record , he added , “ I can ’ t tell you how many times I ’ ve heard of the dogs referred to as cocker spaniels , and several other breeds , but they were cockapoos . So , the family didn ’ t decide to get a dog — my sister just came home with one . That girl could get away with murder !”
Where Did the Dog Rumor Come From ?
Sometime between 1969 and the early 1970s , Joel was interviewed by a reporter from a national publication who was going to give the game some large-scale publicity . Joan and some of the neighbors were in attendance . Joel was asked where the name “ pickle ball ” came from . He told the reporter the true story about Joan ’ s naming the game from the pickle boats . He then proposed , as a
Bill Bell fun story , the idea of writing
One of the first handmade that the paddles game was named after the dog ( by then a few years old ). The reporter paused and said to go with the dog story since it was cuter and more memorable , and because the true story was a bit of a mouthful for the readers . The meeting was most likely the catalyst for the memories shared by neighbors who recalled being in the room when name discussions were being tossed around .
When other Bainbridge pickleball locals heard about Joel ’ s cute dog story with the reporter , they weren ’ t happy and let him know it . His legendary response was , “ Don ’ t worry , it ’ s just a funny story . It will never stick .”
Frank says , “ Barney and my dad agreed that this was the tale they would tell — and they told it for years . You can imagine how upset my mother was about that decision ! Later in life , as the game grew , my father would admit in other interviews that the game was not named for the dog , but Barney to his dying day ( a year ago ) held that the naming was due to Pickles the dog .”
He concludes , “ I feel strongly about giving my mom credit for naming the game — it ’ s her little piece of pickleball ’ s history , and something she ’ s never been given enough credit for .” •
Joel and Frank Pritchard
The Kitchen Line Originally there wasn ’ t a limitation on how close you could get to the net . When 6 ’ 4 ” Dick Brown dominated the net game , it was time to make a change : a non-volley line placed 3 ft . from the net . The area in front was called the penalty zone . With additional experimentation , the line was moved a couple of times and ended up at 7 ft . from the net . To this day , no one knows how the “ penalty zone ” name changed to the “ kitchen .” We only know that it was not a term used in the early days of the game .