Marching Band Should Be Considered a Sport

April 15, 2008
When the average person thinks of sports they think of football, soccer, baseball, hockey, or basketball. Yeah those are all great sports, but what about those sports that aren't sports, but should be? Marching band should be considered a sport for many reasons. Marching band fits all the definitions for a sport (and it follows them to perfection). There are many statistics to reveal marching band is a sport and how hard the members work. As a member of the FMHS Wildcat Marching Band, I know we put forth an asonishing amount of time and practice to become he great athletes we are today.

One of the most commonly accepted definitions of a sport activity is: "a physical activity which involves propelling a mass through space or over coming the resistance of a mass." In marching band, the color guard (the girls with the flags, etc.) toss flags, rifles, sabers, etc. into the air. And those instruments! Some can weigh fifty pounds or more! The one I had was at least twenty pounds. That's definitely more than football gear!

Another definition is, "a contest or competition against or with an opponent." There are many competitive marching bands out there that compete against countless opponents at each show. One of the best competitive marching band shows is the World Championship Finals, publicized each year on ESPN (a sports channel), just like other sports. There are more than 400,000 fans at each live event.

There are many studies evaluating how much marching band members perform. One study shows one marching band member, during a parade, works harder than a football player does during a game. When conmpared to a parade, a marching band member works about twice as hard in a field show.

Another study shows that marching band members actually NEED skills! One member needs to work every part and muscle of their body. A member needs to know how to properly march, have their music completely memorized, count, move, play, and remember what to do before and after the show, all at the same time. How many football players can count and catch a ball at the same time? Sure they have to remember the play, but that's just one thing. Football players need skills too, but they don't need as many. Marching band members have to remember at least six things all at once. One member can multi-task better than any other athlete in another sport.

As a member of a marching band, I know how hard we all work. In one season, I drank four times a much water then when we weren't practicing. I also lost ten pounds in one season. We practiced daily for hours upon end. I can lift heavier things now then I could before,

In summary, is marching band a physical activity? Yes. Is marching band undertaken competitivley? Yes. It fits all the definitions of a sport, right? Yes! There are more definitions and statistics but I don't want to bore you. So, the next time you are walking down the hallway and you see someone with a lettermans jacket that says "Band" don't think "What a band geek," think, "What a great athlete!"

Join the Discussion

This article has 167 comments. Post your own now!

BandGeek116 said...
Feb. 2 at 1:15 am
I was wondering if you could share those statistics you meantioned about a parade marcher does twice as much work as a football player? It's one thing to make a bold statement like that, but it's another to have the proof.
dude34 said...
Oct. 24, 2016 at 1:35 pm
liked what you said im also in marching but you mispelled a few things. im an the avon lake marching band
Anonymous Pitter said...
Oct. 21, 2016 at 8:23 am
Being called a sport would be degrading. Our varsity football team has won 2 games. But our Marching Band at UMHS won it's entire last season, the Hershey Cavalcade, and the entirety of what we have done this season.
Willowgirl said...
Sept. 23, 2016 at 7:59 am
and we wonder why the band has more trophies than the football team. it's because we work harder! i totally agree with this article and it was well written
Basketball12 replied...
Dec. 12, 2016 at 11:01 pm
The only reason band might have more trophies is because there is 3x as many competitions as football games. And I'm football, to get a trophy, you have to win the championship game. And for marching band. There's trophies for 1-3 places. So it's way easier to get trophies. And the only people who think that marching band is a sport is the people in marching band with no physical talent whatsoever, and the parents, and the uneducated people who do nothing.
Doy143 said...
Apr. 26, 2016 at 7:43 am
I've been in Marching Band and in Track and I worked harder in Marching Band this is why our track always loses but still.
Dogodie123 said...
Feb. 22, 2016 at 11:01 pm
I'm sorry I repeated a word twice!
_ambyK said...
Dec. 9, 2015 at 1:05 pm
I'm in marching band, I can relate... it's definitely a sport!
MarchingBandISaSPORT replied...
Apr. 22, 2016 at 3:10 pm
I can also relate because I am in marching band /percussion\ and we carry much heavier items (but I would rather say "breakable objects that isn't full of helium"). Marching band SHOULD be a sport.
alexandrianicole16 said...
Dec. 3, 2015 at 2:16 pm
I myself am in marching band at Swansea High. I've been doing this for two years, so I'd say I have experience. What I know is that we shouldn't be considered a sport. Why? Not because we don't deserve it. Because that title would be degrading. This doesn't go for everyone, but where I go, our marching band is more superior than football. We place higher and do much more than the football team. We have more practices, and work much harder and longer than the football team does. This season, JV a... (more »)
20caweis said...
Nov. 23, 2015 at 10:27 am
You don´t need to be fit for marching band. It should not be a sport cause anyone that can play an instrument can do it. For any other sport that´s not the case. I totally disagree.
DizzyPotato202 replied...
Nov. 24, 2015 at 11:46 pm
You see the thing is, not just anyone can play an instrument. It's a very hard, but very beautiful thing to learn and not everyone can grasp that concept. Plus the fact that they have to march while playing is a different setting. They have to adjust their breathing and regulate themselves to march on the field while they perform, and some instruments can be heavy.
Bandislife replied...
Mar. 28, 2016 at 5:54 pm
There's fat people in football. There's pudgy men in baseball. You don't need to be fit going into a sport. A sport should leave you more fit then when you started.
BandNerdAndProudOfIt replied...
Jun. 21, 2016 at 3:05 pm
I agree 100%. I am also in marching band my freshmen year by the end of summer band I want to crawl in hole and die but I loved every minute of it I was surrounded by people with can do attitudes who inspired me and told me not to give up and the worst thing about marching band for me is not that it isn't considered a sport people can say that all day your always going to have haters it is all relative but on that note do I think that marching band is a sport yes I do but for me the worst t... (more »)
MarykThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 16, 2015 at 8:43 am
Working on a new essay called The Audition Room which is based on a quote about audition committees from Tuba Player and Teacher Arnold Jacobs “They are poor, especially for the player, I think it is very difficult to have auditions and find a suitable way to judge, because we have a great many talented players to choose from. This means a lot of heartbreak for the people who are very capable.”
great This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 7, 2015 at 9:27 pm
I'm just wondering, why does it matter if it's a sport or not? It being a sport doesn't make it any better or worse. One or both of these definitions can include wine tasting contests, college admissions, janitorial duties, publishing a book, loading a truck, playing the violin, etc. Why is it assumed that proving an activity is a sport suddenly makes that activity better, more justified?
MarykThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 9, 2015 at 10:16 am
I agree with you, just because it's a physical activity does not mean it's a sport. Imagine trying to make Ballet and Musical Theater sports it would be a disaster not just for the viewer but the performers. It would put them under pressure and destroy the creativity and individuality of the art form. This is a HUGE issue for Brass Corps and Marching Bands and I think the competition needs to stop and the creativity should begin.
Ano... replied...
Apr. 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm
You think we should stop having marching band competitions all together?
MarykThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 18, 2015 at 1:18 pm
Yes because it is very degrading and repressive for any art form to be judged by people that are too wealthy,too demanding, and think of marching band as a place where they can find and audition young musicians to become pawns for their own gain and satisfy their delusions of grandeur.For some musicians an auditioning is there only opportunity and their only option and even if they do get in even their own self worth and individuality is crushed for the sake of getting a high score, a trophy, an... (more »)
Thor replied...
May 15, 2015 at 9:55 am
Marching band is less abour art and more about discipline and activity. If you want that kind of art go watch a concert band. Marching band origionated in the military and was origionaly used to help with troops on the battle field. Something with that kind of origion is definitely less about art. Yes we play beautiful music but its more PHYSICAL. Not even the major sports have that kind of origion. It is hard, it is demanding, it is brutal, and it should be a sport because we compete. Without c... (more »)
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