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March 20, 2007

Amish in the penalty box

Taxes, puppy mills, cream-cheese muffins--I just looked down the list of posts for the last couple weeks and realized that the Amish have been the subject of a good bit of controversy recently.

Most of it fairly tame.

But this one made me do a double-take.


Apparently tempers got hot at the championship game of the Regency Hockey League in Lancaster County last night.

According to this Lancaster New Era article, a 20-year old Amish player for the all-Amish-and-Mennonite Phantoms delivered a half-dozen punches to a referee in the closing seconds of the match.

The team was upset over what they felt was unfair officiating.

It's likely this was an unbaptized youth, but still represents a very rare instance of violence by an Amish person.

Amish take differing stances on sports--some feel that adults playing sports is unbecoming, while others participate in softball and basketball matches with one another.  Shuffleboard is a hit in Florida's Pinecraft community, which I've covered a lot recently. 

Amish teachers also often join in the games at recess.  One Amishman I met in southern Indiana had a full gym in one of the buildings on his property.

It's probably fair to say that differences in most Amish games are settled a lot more peacefully than in this case!

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Comments

That's disheartening.

Not long ago, 60 minutes did that story on the Amish and it really bugged me/made me sad.
This is as Rhea says, disheartening.

I should not hold the Amish to a different standard than the English, but coming from a small, quiet community I guess I do.

Yes it really shocked me to read it, it actually sounded like a made-up article or something, but that wouldn't be the case seeing its source.

The comments at the bottom are actually the most surprising to me because the writers make it sound like there's an underlying problem of uncivilized play, not just an isolated incident of a hothead kid blowing up.

Maybe it is. Maybe these are people that just had a bad experience and that's coloring their remarks. Or maybe rough hockey is some sort of outlet for plain people in this community. I have no idea. But there's a few of them that commented negatively so you wonder if it's not a chronic thing.

If it's a hothead kid, I would just say, whatever, it happens, but if it's a symptom of the way the plain teams here generally play then that does tarnish the image a bit, at least for this community, and I would agree--disheartening.

Melissa do you mean that abuse story, or was it something else I missed?

I mean the numbers of negative situations--from the abuse to the puppy mills to this article (and given the comments, I wonder as you do if it's a common thing) that have surfaced lately.
It always pains me to hear any negative press on the plain people because 1) I'm not sure they always get a fair shake from the English press (many of whom don't understand them), and 2) all the Amish we know seem to be so incapable of any form bad behavior, it always surprises me to hear anything negative.

Yea I know what you mean about not getting a fair shake.

Since I have huge respect for the Amish I sometimes feel bad about covering these issues but try to do it by pointing out that they are often aberrations and how they relate in the context of larger Amish practice and thought.

I was actually curious what you meant by the 60 minutes story, because I think there was one a few years back on abuse in a community--is that the one you meant, or was there another one out?

It was that one. It was a tough story to watch, because I believed the victim was telling the truth and the abuse was over a long period of time by her brothers.

On a happier note, did you see the story on the Holmes County Amish going for the world record of largest buffet?

Yeah that is a cool story, I hope they get it.

I don't know how many Amish are directly involved cooking or whatnot but I myself would definitely love to help out with the eating part! yum

hi,
I would like to comment on this story... my brother in law plays for the Phantoms and we were just discussing this story the other night, the story told here is very one-sided.The team has actually switched along with several other teams to another rink because of difficulties with the refs... the refs seem to have issues with anyone one who is even close to being amish. My broinlaw isnt mennonite, but plays for several local teams.
Dont beleive everything your read especially not in the Lancaster Newspapers.

Thanks for sharing, RAE. I can imagine a lot of these articles have a certain slant to them.

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