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Marching Band Should Be Considered a Sport

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 156 comments. Post your own now!

_ambyKThis 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. 9, 2015 at 1:05 pm
I'm in marching band, I can relate... it's definitely 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 »)
20caweisThis 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. 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.
DizzyPotato202This 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. 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.
Maryk 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?
Maryk 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?
Maryk 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 »)
Maryk replied...
May 21, 2015 at 9:17 pm
But what about the show Blast, is not theater of this kind an art? because if what you are saying it true James Mason would of never made this endeavor and so would Canadian Brass the forerunners of making instrumental music more theatrical and humorous. Sure it takes physical and mental work, but the creativity of making such entertainment is also hard work visually and musically. Marching Band to you is a sport because that is what every director bows down to so he can make money for himself a... (more »)
MagicWolf replied...
Jun. 29, 2015 at 12:03 pm
It matters that its a sport because every Marching band member is made fun off and laugh at. It's not theater art. Cheerleading and golf are consider a sport, you wanna tell me why MB isn't. It's not about sounding pretty or art like, it's about the amount of blood and sweat we lay down. About the hard work we do and are never recognized for that. All the credit is giving to Cheerleaders and football players. Our Band director doesn't even get paid extra for the hard work she puts in, she does i... (more »)
marchingbandISasport replied...
Aug. 11, 2015 at 5:02 pm
It matters if it is a sport because the people who are in band can then be qualified as a varsity player and when taking classes and receiving credit we don't have to waste our time taking another gym class when we could be focusing on real and important classes
Maryk replied...
Aug. 28, 2015 at 9:22 am
No it's should be a form of community service, because when you make it a sport you lose out of the creativity and musicianship these people have and focus on wining, wining, winging. Art of any kind is not a sport and marching bands are combinations of many forms of art music, dance, performance, theater, and drill design. Appreciate all these factors not just the athletic side.
Axela17 said...
Mar. 19, 2015 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. :)
Maryk replied...
Mar. 21, 2015 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, 2015 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 »)
Maryk replied...
Mar. 1, 2015 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, 2015 at 1:47 pm
Marching band can be a sport when you have 200 pound linemen chasing you down.
Maryk replied...
Feb. 21, 2015 at 4:55 pm
Good point! I rather have a marching band go hit the stage than go on the field.
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