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!

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...
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
IDontDab replied...
Mar. 27, 2016 at 1:10 pm
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.
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.
batmanforever replied...
Mar. 9, 2015 at 11:24 am
told you @Maryk
Maryk replied...
Mar. 10, 2015 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.
Thor replied...
May 15, 2015 at 9:57 am
I suppose baseball, track, basketball, and volleyball will be sports when they "Have 200 pound lineman chasing them down" as if that makes something a sport. Sure.
Maryk replied...
May 21, 2015 at 9:23 pm
You are a Roman if you even think Marching Band is a sport, shame on you and your assumptions and lack of information of the psychology and sociology of this issue and its impact
Susan replied...
Aug. 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm
you've obviously never been in Marching Band
Xenos replied...
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
tye1468 replied...
Nov. 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm
@Maryk obviously you have not seen one practice so shame on you
ScarletCity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 20, 2015 at 10:31 pm
@Maryk which side are you on? you are defending both sides...
bandgeek15 replied...
Jan. 11, 2016 at 12:02 pm
ballroom is a sport and you still don't have linemen chasing you then
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