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American Quoits 4 Pound Competition Weight Steel Quoits

 

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The Pitching Dutchmen Quoit Club 

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Among the beautiful farmlands of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the soil is rich and fertile, and excellent for growing crops.  But another favorable feature of this ground below our feet, at least to local quoit enthusiasts, is the large amount of naturally occurring clay soils.  This clay was formed from sedimentary deposits of the Susquehanna River on the western edge of the county, and other large creeks that flow though the county on their way into the river.  Water is a natural producer of fine silt and clay, so many locales near these waterways have soils composed almost entirely of clay.  This makes Lancaster County a natural place for the game of Quoits to flourish; to play it properly, you need a good supply of clay for the pits!

Quoit clubs, leagues, and tournaments were abundant in Lancaster County before World War II.  But the game has lost ground over the last half- century, and today organized quoit competitions between communities here are a thing of the past.  The game is still popular in the county, played informally at family gatherings and company picnics, but even here horseshoe pitching is a more prevalent sight than quoits.  Almost everyone in the U.S. is familiar with pitching horseshoes, but there are large areas throughout the country where people have never even heard of Quoits.  This one fact is the entire driving force behind the creation of this web site and the formation of a new quoit club!  The Pitching Dutchmen Quoit Club has been formed to promote the game of Quoits as an interesting alternative to horseshoe pitching, and perhaps once again bring it's popularity back into the limelight.

 

This leads us to one question:  What is a Pitching Dutchman?  Well, a brief local history lesson is in order here.  Lancaster County is well-known for the large concentration of Amish and Mennonite populations who immigrated here from Germany (Deutschland) in the 1700's and 1800's.  These people called themselves "Deutsch", the German word for German.  Many other people of the time mistook "Deutsch" for the word "Dutch", and soon these immigrants came to be known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch" even thought they were not Dutch nor did they come from Holland.  So, in this area, a Dutchman is not a Dutch person, but an Amish or Mennonite of Germanic descent.  Quoit pitching is still popular to this day among the Pennsylvania Dutch, and is the main reason quoits are still hand-made here, either by the Amish in their blacksmith shops or in some of the local metal foundries.  They can be found for sale in most of the local hardware stores in the Dutch areas of the county.   The Pitching Dutchman Quoit Club arose as a result of this local heritage.  The club carries over the Pennsylvania Dutch theme by adding a little local humor - even though none of the members are really Dutch, the club requests each of it's members to adopt a common, local Amish or Mennonite "Dutchy" nickname to be used during all Quoit Night Out events.  We even try to speak to each other with a Dutchy accent to make the evening a little more entertaining!  Listed below are all the club members, along with their Dutchy nicknames and proper Dutchy pronunciations (nah wunst!)

 

Pitiching Dutchmen Club Members         Proper Pennsylvania Dutch Pronunciations

 

Troy "Clay Stolzfus" Frey       Klay Shtults'-foos

 

Brad "Edam Smucker" Kramer        Ee'-tum Shmuk'-gur

 

Randy "Levi Good" Flick        Leaf'-hi Guut (like 'foot')

 

Greg "Ivan Zook" Sollenberger        Eye'-fin Tsuuk (like 'book')

 

Gene "Geney Butersnips" Shaiebly        Chee'-nee Bew'-ter-shnips

 

Dave "Ezra Hochberger" Callis        Ess'-ruh Hahk'-burk'-gur

 

Chris "Jay Martin" Lutz        Chay Mart'-n

 

Dick "Ira Bomberger" Parsons        Eye'-ruh Bomp'-burk-gur

 

Kevin "Amos Lapp" Bowers        Eh'-mis Lap

 

Craig "Ezekiel Sensenig" Greenholt        See'-kee Sens'-nik

 

Jared "Jebodiah Heffelfinger" Hess          Chep'-uh-die'-uh Hef'-ul-fink'-gur

 

Rick  "Jakey Stoltzfus" Noll        Chay'-kee Shtults'-foos

 

Amy "Edna Smucker" Harding        Et'-nuh Shmuk'-gur

 

Ken "Jonas Fisher" Wiggins         Choe'-nus Feesh'-ur

 

Kyle "Eli Mellinger" Mabry        Ee'-lye Mel'-ink-gur

 

Belinda "Sadie Mellinger"Mabry        Say'-tee Mel'-ink-gur

 

Fred "Jeremiah Wolgemuth" Rowe        Chur'-uh-my'-uh Volk'-geh-mooth

 

John "Johnny Diffenderfer" Kroplesky        Chun'-ee Deef'-hen-durf'-hur

 

Joshua "Abe Zimmerman" Curtis        Eh'-pee Tsim'-her-min

 

Dave "Isaac Fasnacht" Lechlitner        Eye'-sik Foss'-not

 

Jay "Jay Martin" Martin        Chay Mart'-n

 

Jeff "Jeffrey Weaver" Weaver        Cheff'-ee  Vee'-fur