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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 112 comments. Post your own!

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 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...
today 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. 
 
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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. said...
Nov. 10 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.
 
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. 11 at 9:56 am :
That is amazing I like bands that do not compete and enjoy what they are doing. Your coment definaly proves a point, marching bands don't have to be sport teams but just be themselfs. I fact bands that do not compeate perform better and it does not matter where you practice. How you treat you musicans and accomidate for others in the band is what makes a band amazing
 
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CNBono17This 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...
Oct. 24 at 12:24 pm:
SOOO TRUE!!!!!!! As a clarinetist in my high school band, I totally agree with that! And is it just me or do bands seem a bit underappreciated?
 
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...
Oct. 27 at 2:27 pm :
Band members are verry underapricated especaly when it comes media for children and tweens. However turning an art into a sport is not a solution, the soulution is creating role models kids in band can relate to and also make it entertaining and diverce when it comes to music. One day I want to make a show for middle schoolers called Star of Indiana Show that is like a mix of Glee and Big Bang Theroy for band geeks, about real band geeks that have different intrest, instruments, problems, and di... (more »)
 
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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...
Oct. 4 at 12:38 pm:
Have any of you seen the show Blast, I think if you watch or go see the show at a theater it will change your mind about marching band being a sport. Just a option to enlighten you MaryK
 
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cami_cook314This 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...
Sep. 30 at 10:33 am:
I agree with this article, Color Guard and Marching Band are a sport. I am in color guard and we do more work than cheerleaders and football or baseball players do, so that's why I agree that Color Guard and Marching Band are a sport
 
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e.dalg said...
Sep. 28 at 4:40 pm:
I'm in marching band, too, and let's not consider the fact that while you are walking or running, you can only breathe about 1/4 of the time. Imagine a football player running to get to a certain place on a field and then having to hold their breath for 15 seconds!
 
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Taco pizza said...
Sep. 23 at 3:23 pm:
It is not a sport because it is a music group
 
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. 3 at 9:22 am :
Marching bands are not just one music group there are many forms of marching bands not only in the Americas but in Europe where marching bands are actualy a benifit for many comunities and bring all kinds of people togeather to make music not just an art but verry visual exsprience.
 
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apasco5 said...
Sep. 21 at 4:54 pm:
A girl in my section last year fractured her ankle, (she just thought she sprained it) and she still marched the full show. if that doesn't show you dedication, than i dont know what does. when someone gets hurt, theres not another person waiting to go in for them. marching band is a sport that shows kids how important it is for each and every person to be a part of the team and work together. there's not any "heros". everyone's position is just as important as someone else... (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...
Sep. 23 at 11:36 am :
It's a sad fact that some marching bands treat their performers like their army men or football players. It is a terible mentality that needs to be changed along with hazing and sexist coments about colorguards being "the shiney thing". Musical creativity is deminshed and so are the musicans social and mental well being when bands are run this way. You can't force talented people to become an army, you have to guide them and help them develop their skills
 
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Track#1 said...
Sep. 17 at 9:13 am:
I do not agree, I don't see marching band being a sport at all. Not once in that article did I see anything about injuries. If you have forgotten athletes do get quite a few injuries. I've heard about a lot of athletes being injured, but I never heard about a marching band member being injured. Also in football they don't just have to remember the game. They have to remember their position, and what they are supposed to do. There is a whole bunch of action in sports, that's o... (more »)
 
damienpengu2211 replied...
Sep. 17 at 9:41 pm :
As a member of marching band, I will speak for myself and most likely everyone else. I have lost count on how many people have gotten injured so far this season, and we haven't even made it to our first contest yet. Injuries are extremely common in marching band, especially injured knees, pulled muslces, bruises, scrapes and scratches, rolled ankles (this is happens pretty frequently), and things of that sort. I recall one time that we had someone get a concussion because when he got rammed ... (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...
Sep. 18 at 11:48 am :
I love your coment because this is pure evedence that marching bands and brass corps should focus on music and creativity than on numbers and points like the NFL. By the way I'am also a huge fan of the show Blast and I want to be a sociologist that studies music education and marching bands so that they can help people with mental and cognitive imparments. When I was in Marching Band they put me in the pit due to poor deph perception and I had a Sousaphone, it was so hard on me that I quit. ... (more »)
 
BelleMarie replied...
Oct. 26 at 10:59 pm :
That is a fair point, but quite untrue. The number of people who get dehydrated, who throw up, who sprain ankles, break bones, get cuts and bruises are astronomic. The most common injuries in sports include sprains and knee injuries. Have you ever tried getting a hundred people to march backwards in a pothole-ridden field? I can assure you, all does not go smoothly; there are quite a few ankle sprains. A huge reason that this is not well known is, quite frankly, the staff doesn't care. Well,... (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...
Nov. 7 at 10:23 am :
Please respond to my forum The Marching Band Has Issues, I made it because I heard that the band director of Ohio State got fired for hazzing, harassment, and sexulization of band members. I don't want anyone to ignore this issue I want you to speak out in my forum. I need someone to stand up for these victums that have no voice in the band communty. 
 
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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...
Sep. 5 at 11:31 am:
As a musican I feel as if marching band being classified as a sport takes away the artisty and creativity and replaces it with too many rules and points. When the brass corp the Boston Cusaders did a show that had a disatster/rebilding theme they got a lost point for puting baby powder on the field. Marching bands should be more like Blast and less like the NFL, and its ok to speak out-Mary K
 
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NHSBandGeek2252 said...
Jun. 8 at 9:38 am:
I am in a marching band in Pennsylvania. My band may not be a competition band or a particularly good band, but we still work just as hard as any other athlete. Great job on the article! These reasons for marching band being a sport are phenomenal!. I have been trying to tell people for years that marching band is a sport, so I am going to use this as one of my article reviews in the classroom! Love it!
 
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