The sporting Amishman, part 2

Amish also enjoy competitive team sports. This photo, taken by Holly in Mount Hope, Ohio, illustrates one of the most popular.

Amish typically play sports as children and as members of the youth. On marriage and having kids, participation in sports tends to drop off markedly. It’s also worth remembering that different groups of Amish may have differing opinions on the matter of sports.

Generally though, Amish do enjoy playing sports and even following pro teams. Softball is particularly popular, as an entertainment for children during breaks at school, and also with Amish teens, who play against non-Amish teams in competitive leagues.

You’ll find a decent amount of Bears fans in the Amish settlement at Arthur, Illinois, though not too many that actually play football. One Amishman in southern Indiana has built a gymnasium on his property for pick-up basketball games in a nod to a sport that’s particularly popular in his settlement.

Holmes County baseball fans tend to pull for the Tribe, though some may be tempted to root for the Pirates just over the state line in Pittsburgh. Lancaster County Amish enjoy hockey, skiing, and in warmer months, croquet. I haven’t been able to find any Amish snowboard enthusiasts yet but I’m sure there must be some out there.

Most Amish who do follow sports manage to keep up with their favorite teams through the paper. But do the Amish ever get a chance to watch games?

An outing to the ballpark is uncommon, but does happen. Amish may also catch a game on the tube–perhaps at a non-Amish friend or relative’s.

But don’t expect to see too many bearded Plain guys crowded around piles of chicken wings at the local sports bar. You have to draw the line somewhere.

Get the Amish in your inbox

Join 15,000 email subscribers. No spam. 100% free

    Join the Amish America Patreon for bonus videos & more!

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    1. Is one of the girls not wearing a prayer capp? I looked at more pictures from that photographer and lots of the girls weren’t wearing them. Is it because they aren’t members yet? I still thought they had to, I thought it was shameful for anyone but the women’s husband to see her hair.

    2. Mike

      In recent years the Old Order Amish bishops in Lancaster ruled out all softball games with only one loophole as far as I can tell – family reunions, which now always seem to be held at ballparks. 🙂

      My uncle is an Amish minister and after enjoying an afternoon of playing softball at our family reunion last summer I think he felt a bit guilty for indulging. “Well at least if you play ball you don’t have so much unnecessary talking” he said to a few of the onlookers in PA Dutch!

    3. Cindy

      Amish America, very interesting photo! I guess it’s difficult to dampen the human spirit. BTW, can Amish girls marry the non-Amish?

      Ps. I haven’t yet managed to get an answer to my earlier query:

      How much fuel (wood, coal, diesel, propane …) does an Amish family/group/settlement use annually both at home and for business?

    4. Midwestern Amish more permissive of sports?

      Mike that is interesting to hear. I think the midwestern settlements are generally a bit more liberal when it comes to certain things such as sports

      Lisa it’s possible, I have not looked at all the photos but I suppose that not all the girls in the photos are Amish.

      Hi Cindy, as a rule Amish cannot marry non-Amish, the other party must either be baptized into the Amish church or the Amish person must choose not to be baptized or leave if they are already a member.

      As far as fuel, I really cannot give you the numbers–this is one thing I should have asked in Lancaster but it got lost in the mix–at Daniel’s, they used a coal burning stove in the basement, while Abe uses a wood-burning one…he burns old scrap wood from sawmills in addition to regular logs.

    5. I just found your blog. This is absolutely fascinating!!

    6. That was quite interesting! Thank you for that photo. I don’t imagine the amish in the part of Missouri where I live would indulge in any sports. They are very reserved and very much stick to themselves.

    7. Dave Carrig

      I can’t figure the Amish fascination with volleyball around here. Everywhere you look on Sunday afternoons are Amish kids playing volleyball. It seems to be the sport of choice among the teenagers. Another big thing seems to be trampolines. Every other Amish farm seems to have one in my neck of the woods.

    8. Thanks a bunch michelle and welcome Jen! Michelle I believe what you say about the Amish in your neck of the woods, I have heard similar.

      Dave the kids love those trampolines, don’t they–they seem to be quite big in all three of the major settlements.

    9. Duke

      Peace be with the Amish.

      The time has come, the harvest is
      ripe. I am here to bring judgment to the living and the dead.

      The Faithful Witness

    10. Duke

      Peace be with the Amish.

      The time has come, the harvest is
      ripe. I am here to bring judgment to the living and the dead.

      The Faithful Witness