What does it mean to be pickled in pickleball?

Pickleball is a popular sport not simply because of its easy-to-learn character, but also because of its catchy name. The sport was named after “Pickles”, the pet dog of Joel Pritchard, who invented the sport while vacationing at the Bainbridge Island in Washington back in the 1960s.

Pickleball’s scoring format is such that a player can win a point solely on their own serve. This means that by winning a point on your opponent’s serve, you are simply retrieving the opportunity to serve next. Apart from the scoring system, the non-volley zone and the ban on chainsaw serve has ensured Pickleball matches to have longer rallies and longer match time.

Local clubs that host Pickleball for leisure and amateur competitions jostled a jesting term in the Pickleball dictionary. The term was directed to a losing player or a doubles team who apparently got “pickled.” But a player who is pickled does not suffer from any ordinary defeat. Pickled is a term that is specifically used for a player who loses a match without scoring a single point. By scoring even one point in the entire match, the losing player can avoid the mockery of being pickled. Pickle is to pickleball what bagel is to tennis.

The derivation of this word can be attributed to one of the literal meanings of the word pickle. A person who is drunk is also said to be pickled. Therefore, a player who fails to score a single point in the entire match is postulated to be drunk during the course of the match.

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