Marching Band Should Be Considered a Sport

April 15, 2008
By Elizabeth Richardson, Grand Junction, CO

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 167 comments.


BandGeek116 said...
on Feb. 2 2017 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.

Basketball12 said...
on 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.

dude34 said...
on 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

on 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.

on Sep. 23 2016 at 7:59 am
Willowgirl BRONZE, Sterling Heights, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
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

on 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 thing is losing seniors you love them and look up to them the fact that they leaving breaks you a little inside but it hurts them more I think that was the last time they got to play a show last time to make band pun last time to put on a uniform the. Suddenly realize they have to go to the bathroom really bad I know some people hate that but your going to miss it I love Band and all that it stands for I am a total band nerd and most of my life is about band band gives me purpose it gives you a safe kind of high from being with your friend until 3:00 am but it takes a lot of work to be in band and I can vouch for that but I love I wouldn't rather anything else
From a sophomore trumpet player who doesn't have a big ego but loves her instrument and would change sections for the world who loves her high school band and cares about the sport of marching

Doy143 BRONZE said...
on Apr. 26 2016 at 7:43 am
Doy143 BRONZE, Columbus , New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
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.

on 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.

Bandislife said...
on 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.

on Mar. 27 2016 at 1:10 pm
ColdplayForever BRONZE, San Jose, California
1 article 0 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Coldplay fans are the best in the world. If you like Coldplay, then you're obviously very intelligent, good-looking, and all-around brilliant."
~Chris Martin

Not really. Figure skating, for example, is one of the events in the Winter Olympics. What does figure skating involve? Music, Dance, Form, Choreography, and Creativity. If figure skating is classified as a sport, marching band should be as well.

on Feb. 22 2016 at 11:01 pm
Dogodie123 BRONZE, Winona, Minnesota
4 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Never give up!

I'm sorry I repeated a word twice!

bandgeek15 said...
on Jan. 11 2016 at 12:02 pm
ballroom is a sport and you still don't have linemen chasing you then

_ambyK SILVER said...
on Dec. 9 2015 at 1:05 pm
_ambyK SILVER, Paris, Tennessee
5 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'm not following anyone else's tracks, I'm making my own."
-Picabo Street

I'm in marching band, I can relate... it's definitely a sport!

on Dec. 3 2015 at 2:16 pm
alexandrianicole16,
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
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 and Varsity both won about 2-3 games apiece, yet they try to degrade us. We always place really high at competitions, I couldn't tell you off the top of my head last time we placed first, but in 2013 we got 2nd at our state competition, last year we placed 2nd at lower state, and this year we placed either 4th or 5th out of 17 bands. May not seem great, but that's a good accomplishment to me. I don't think we should argue about whether it's a sport or not. We should try to raise more awareness for how amazing marching band is. All the hard work, skills, and talent we have. Most people say "anyone can do it". Anyone can play football, or basketball. They might not be good at it, but they can do it. Anyone can do anything, so that argument is completely invalid. Instead of worrying about it being a sport, try to raise awareness. I'd love to see some of the people that put marching band down try to practice with us once. They'd appreciate and respect us MUCH more. That's a promise.

on Nov. 24 2015 at 11:46 pm
dizzypotato_202, San Bernardino, California
0 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Your anger is like the bubbles in a can of soda. The more you're shaken, the more you want to let it all out. The longer you keep it in though, the greater the size of the eventual explosion- and the flatter the drink at the end." -Linkin Park

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.

20caweis said...
on Nov. 23 2015 at 10:27 am
20caweis,
0 articles 0 photos 7 comments
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.

on Nov. 20 2015 at 10:31 pm
ScarletCity PLATINUM, High Ridge, Missouri
41 articles 4 photos 69 comments
@Maryk which side are you on? you are defending both sides...

tye1468 said...
on Nov. 17 2015 at 12:37 pm
tye1468,
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
@Maryk obviously you have not seen one practice so shame on you

Xenos said...
on Aug. 29 2015 at 10:08 pm
Maryk, what the hell have you been unleashing on this comment section? Would you tell me Ballroom Dancing is more of a sport than Marching Band because it's on the official sports list and marching band is not? Give me one unarguable reason why it cannot be a sport and I will stop while I'm ahead

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Aug. 28 2015 at 9:22 am
Maryk PLATINUM, Waterford, Michigan
22 articles 1 photo 66 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The ability to learn is greater than the ability to teach." - Arnold Jacobs
"He who slays monsters will become a monster himself"-Nietzsche
"UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better its not"-Dr.Suess
“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.”-Arnold Jacobs, Teacher and Tuba Player

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.


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