Pickleball, pickleball, pickle ball, PickleBall or pickle-ball? How do you correctly spell pickleball?
Why? Because I see a lot of new, energetic players on social media sharing this awesome sport (love that!) – yet they are spelling the word wrong (not so good). This made me recall an article–from my time as the volunteer publisher of the USAPA newsletter–below written by the Laymons. I think it’s time to dust it off and share again. So here is a refresher course for everyone:
We all love pickleball no matter how we spell it, but there is a right way and several wrong ways. When referring to the sport the correct term is “pickleball.” It is one word, not hyphenated and not capitalized. In the past we may have capitalized the name to give the sport the implied significance of a proper noun. Today, however, pickleball has grown enough to be considered part of the English language and therefore standardization is most important. As we have grown, so has the number of companies selling pickleball paraphernalia. Most of these use some form of the word pickleball and some have even copyrighted their names. The simple term “pickleball” is generic and cannot be copyrighted.
Got it? Now you know how to correctly spell pickleball.
A portion of this article is a reprint from the USAPA newsletter, June 2012, with permission of course!
5 comments on “Spell Pickleball”
You just helped a lot of us pickleball writers out Jennifer….?
I am a retired English teacher with forty-two years of experience. The English language is a living, morphing organism, and correct spelling evolves over time. Jennifer is right: “pickleball” is the current standard spelling.
Thank you for your interest in the spelling of Pickle-Ball/pickle-ball/pickleball. First I’d like to say that I am an employee of Pickle-Ball Inc. so I do have some knowledge on this and will do my best to keep my own biases out of my response.
When our company, Pickle-Ball Inc. was founded in 1972 by Barney McCallum the name of the game and name of our company were one in the same; Pickle-ball. Both the game and the name of our company were spelled using a dash. As far as I can determine this was the case throughout the 1970’s.
You are correct that the spelling using a dash is trademarked which is likely why the spelling of the sport shifted to Pickleball/pickleball. I have found the use of this spelling as far back as the 1981 Nalley’s Pickleball Championships. I also found evidence of the ‘pickleball’ spelling without the dash in the 1987 U.S. Amateur Pickleball Association (U.S.A.P.A) Rulebook.
I know it’s spelled pickleball, but why does pickleball.com spell it pickle-ball?!?! Is it because that spelling is TRADEMARKED to them? And they have sole rights to that spelling?
Great question Scott!