More than three-hundred serious injuries and five fatalities were reported at this year’s Lancaster Senior’s Dutch Blitz tournament. Event organizers, however, say that the results are “typical.”
“This is just as we expected. Every year it’s like this,” said event organizer and three-time Dutch Blitz champion Cornelius Gladfelter. “With all that frantic energy and hand slapping, people are bound to get injured.”
Gladfelter said he is now retired from competitive Dutch Blitzing after a twisted wrist and broken thumb sidelined him during the 2003 season.
“It’s a rough game,” explained Gladfelter. “We do everything we can to prevent injuries, but when you play Dutch Blitz, you have to accept certain risks…and permanent bodily disfigurement is just one of them.”
Dutch Blitz has been popular among the historic Peace churches for decades and, for many, it’s the only acceptable method to release some of that pent-up frustration.
“Around here Dutch Blitz is a blood sport,” said Gladfelter. “It’s too bad that some people get hurt, but given that Dutch Blitz is the only non-sinful card game, I guess we’ll just have to put up with some level of injury.”
At current rates, Pennsylvania will have lost more than 40% of its population due to Dutch Blitz injuries by the year 2020.
(photo credit: christopdesoto/CC)