Amish Children’s “Winter Olympics” (10 Photos)

Our contributor Ed shares some photos from last week in Lancaster County (note: these photos date to 2013), where local versions of the Winter Olympics are happening all around the community. Ice hockey is a popular winter activity among Lancaster County Amish. These first two shots were taken by the Strasburg Railroad Yards:



Amish children, teens, and sometimes adults play ice hockey. Natural frozen surfaces like ponds are common, though a friend in a Lancaster sister settlement shared that he recently played on a specially created outdoor rink. Youth also compete in organized leagues (more on Amish & sports).



In this next set we see something like hockey, but with moving goals.




Ed writes that “The longer distance ice hockey shots were of a “rink” along Irishtown Road in Gordonville; the kids or family had flooded a low field to create a shallow pond, and set it off with hay bales. It looked as though they might have set down a number of tarps to somehow keep the water from soaking into the ground before it froze.”

Next, sledding events.



This looks like snow soccer, or something like it.

No medals needed to have some winter fun. It’s nice to see the cold stuff put to good use.

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    1. Robert Gschwind

      Brings back a lot of memories. Doing the same thing with my friends. About the same results. But we loved it.

    2. Alice Mary

      Ahhh, ice hockey on frozen ponds, fields, etc.! My husband, son and son-in-law are BIG hockey fans. I didn’t realize the Amish were into it, too. I’ll guess Amish hockey isn’t as violent as English hockey…or am I fooling myself?

      A local frozen pond in back of a Walgreens here is a favorite spot for kids & adult hockey enthusiasts.(Luckily, the Fire Dept. is a few blocks away, and they have firefighters who specialize in ice & water rescue—they’ve been called a few times over the years!)

      Alice Mary

    3. Claire

      This looks like so much fun!

    4. J T

      Amish winter activities

      I’ve never seen them play hockey but you can see the kids skating on frozen ponds and frozen standing water in fields all over Lebanon, Perry and Synder counties right now. There is lot’s of sledding as well and snowmen abound. It was so cold that school was suspended a couple of times lately. There is no sign of whooping cough in the communities I visit.
      I took three just-starting-to crow roosters and traded them for three quarts of vegetable soup. Yummy.

    5. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      Tuna Fish, Ice Hockey (we assume it'll be ice and fish)

      As a Canadian I am a little blasphemous, I don’t watch hockey all that regularly, and when I do watch a hockey game on TV its going to be an important Team Canada (Men or Women squad) International Event like the squeaky but legit victory of Canada’s Women over USA Women in Sochi during the Olympics.

      These pictures of the Amish playing hockey make me think of my father’s tales of growing up on the farm and, I would imagine his entire family getting together to play another family on someone’s pond “even my mother played” but she sounded good at baseball too. On a farm in those situations you just do what the weather throws at you and if you can play hockey you’re out doing that, unless your religion restricts it as sometimes might be the case with certain Amish.

      I found my way back home, to Amish America, after a several day odyssey, and you guys where busy with some interesting stuff.

    6. john

      amish hockey

      I remember as a kid playing pond hockey or as it was called in Canada shinny in Canada . Reminds me of the song they play at hockey games good old hockey the best game in the world