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Marching Band Should Be Considered a Sport

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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!"



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This article has 139 comments. Post your own now!

great said...
Apr. 7 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 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 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...
today 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 »)
 
Axela17This 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...
Mar. 19 at 5:06 pm
At my school marching band is considered a sport and if you take it for two years, you don't have to participate in gym class. It's nice to be recognized for all the hard work we do. :)
 
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...
Mar. 21 at 9:23 am
That is good if it is a credit for a school, what concerns me is the hyper competitors who want marching bands to be so sport-like you loose site of the creative and artistic side of the art form. Even brass corps have this same issue on a very high stake. Drum Corps International is like the N.F.L or N.C.A.A of the brass corps which means trouble for independent marching bands and corps indoor or outdoor. Every time a band or brass corp does a show that they worked hard on, they get judged and ... (more »)
 
Airplane1000000 said...
Feb. 25 at 6:17 pm
I think Marching Band should be considered a sport. I'm not saying it's better than football or it's brutal or whatever, but we work hard too! Our coach makes us run laps around the school and has us do push-ups, planks, stretches, etc. Plus, we work in the hot sun 8 hours a day, every day. And I get very tired from it. What's with Marching Band that makes it NOT a sport? It's very underrated. That's why everybody talks about how it shouldn't be a sport. What do they know about it? And BTW, I kn... (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. replied...
Mar. 1 at 10:03 pm
Music, Dance, Form, Choreography,Creativity that is what separates marching band being a sport. It is a art that is always innovating and changing just like any other genre of art
 
Tanner N. said...
Feb. 20 at 1:47 pm
Marching band can be a sport when you have 200 pound linemen chasing you down.
 
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...
Feb. 21 at 4:55 pm
Good point! I rather have a marching band go hit the stage than go on the field.
 
batmanforever replied...
Mar. 9 at 11:24 am
told you @Maryk
 
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...
Mar. 10 at 9:59 am
Therefore we finally know that musicians are way more intelligent than the Romans. Who had terrible ethics when it came down to rules in sports, and a plenty of hazing in their own army. We have come far as musicians and anyone who claims hazing, competition, and harassment as tradition they are clearly a Roman.
 
mnmband29 said...
Feb. 3 at 9:17 pm
This essay is amazing. I am in marching band at my highschool. I am a freshman but was invited to join in the seventh grade. I never understood what members of a marching band endured during band camp. daily practices, Friday night football games, and Saturday morning competitions. I am about to start writing an essay with the same point as this. Marching band fits every definition of sport.It is most definitely in need of more support. Memorizing music, counts, rests, horn flashes, visuals, and... (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. replied...
Feb. 7 at 10:01 pm
Before you make your essay I advise that you talk about the artistic and creative aspects that make marching band not a sport but an art-form and the consequences of trying to make it a sport. I have found evidence of the fact that some organizations like Drum Corps International and even collage marching bands want to put the creative part on the side and market bands and brass corps like sports teams.However the flip side of the coin is the show Blast which makes the marching band have a more ... (more »)
 
8th Grade Marcher said...
Jan. 5 at 11:52 am
Thanks! Marching Band is a sport and it IS the hardest sport. I don't understand what people don't get about that. Memorizing music AND memorizing marching sets is harder than running down a field or court with a ball.
 
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...
Jan. 7 at 12:03 pm
My concern with the idea of marching band even being a sport is that the artistic and musical creativity of being a musician gets overtaken by competition and over perfection. Imagine if your a really creative and compassionate person that worked really hard and instead of your group getting credit and phrase, the director that has more money, harasses students, and let's others get away with bulling and name calling gets all the credit. In these situations of competition and sport, the power an... (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...
Dec. 21, 2014 at 9:47 am
I have seen many great and thought provoking opinions in this essay about marching band being a artistic and creative instead of a competitive sport. I would like it if you replied to my forum The Marching Band Has Issues, I made it in response to the firing of the marching band director at Ohio State for his harassment, hazing, and degrading of band members. There are many musicians that feel victim to this culture of bulling and crushed creativity. Please Comment Mary K
 
FateRunnerThis 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...
Nov. 11, 2014 at 4:28 pm
I am a member of a marching band and even I don't think marching band is a sport.  It is an art form. I also play soccer and run cross country and i never get tired marching.
 
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...
Nov. 15, 2014 at 9:56 am
It's good to know the difference between an art and a sport, yet sadly some people like to combine the two things that do not go well together. Art deserves aprication and love not a plack on the wall or a trophy. The compition and the juging needs to end so that all people can have their opinon, not just the guy at the table. 
 
PianoKeys97This 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. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 10, 2014 at 9:32 pm
This is the truest statement I have heard all day... As a member of a marching band myself, marching band has been the hardest thing (though also the best thing) I have ever done in my entire life. I feel we work jsut as hard, if not harder, as any other sport out there. What's funny is that if you look up my school on Google Earth, you can see the marching band practicing in the parking lot and not one sports team is out on the football field, soccer fields, track, etc.
 
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