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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 92 comments. Post your own!

FluteGirl445This 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. 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm:
I just want to give people that arent in marching band a taste of how it really is. Marching band is like the mariens but we do it with out a gun. 30 seconds late to practice laps. Goof ofc laps. Out of step 15 push ups. Forget your part push ups. Talk back push ups. We have to learn in one month how to march, about 20 different commands, 8 minutes of music memorized, exact postitions about 70 memorized, special moves, pep band music, and parade works. This all happens during our summer and w... (more »)
 
lilflute14 replied...
Jan. 17, 2013 at 11:48 am :
Dont forget how we have to get to the exact spot that your next set is supposed to be in. athletes can change their mind and do whatever they need  to do to get their job done they have  many options we have to make sure we do everything THE specific way there is no free styling you have to be in step dressed and covered why playing your music PROPERLY. What do foot ball players get to do during their game......... drink water. What do we do when we are thirsty or tired during a p... (more »)
 
Pish replied...
Aug. 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm :
I don't think you're being fair to other athletes and yes, I have survived band camp and yes, I am a varsity athlete. Football, soccer, baseball, these are all land sports and no, they can't always free style it, there are tactics that go into the game play which the entire team comes up with. They remember that play and try to follow it through best they can, plus keeping in time? Honey have you ever heard of Crew/Rowing? The oar movement is all in sync, if not the boat will turn/flip and you d... (more »)
 
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OceanStorm said...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm:
Woo-hoo!  Someone who agrees with me!  Marching band is TOTALLY  a sport!  I play the flute.  How about you?
 
TARDISdriverThis 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. 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm :
Being a band kid myself, I agree. But there is one flaw that I would like to point out that ESPN isn't just a soprts network. If you actually knew what it stood for, yyou would get it. ENTERTAINMENT and Sports Network. Just because they show bowling on ESPN doesn't make it a sport. IT falls under the entertainment category
 
OceanStorm replied...
Nov. 3, 2012 at 11:13 pm :
That's true, good point.  Love your username by the way.  What instrument do you play?
 
TARDISdriverThis 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. 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm :
thanks! I play clarinet    
 
TARDISdriverThis 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. 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm :
THanks! I play clarinet
 
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MusicBoy_Salvation said...
Sept. 18, 2012 at 7:32 am:
I Agree whole heartedly! We don't get the recognition we deserve. I am in the pit but I march per game...that just 5 mins. If that! I couldn't imagine the whole show. Great topic! Great points.
 
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Student said...
Sept. 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm:
I am doing an essay right now about marching band being a sport. there are many medical journals and scientific journals proving that marching band causes the same injuries as other sports. Marching band, Like other sports has it's season, but we pratice year round (typically sometimes this varies). Band in no way, shape or form is easy. 
 
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Arnold26Harriett said...
Jun. 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm:
One knows that today's life seems to be not very cheap, nevertheless people require cash for various stuff and not every one gets big sums cash. So to get some personal loans or collateral loan should be a right way out.
 
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ScreenName said...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 11:38 am:

Your argument can't be validated by word of mouth. You have to have actual studies that show that marching band members exerting something measurable that can be compared to other sports. I did a paper on this and I found a case study that said marching band shouldn't even be allowed to replace a regular Physical Education credit. 

Strand B, Sommer C. Should Marching Band be Allowed to Replace Physical Education Credits: An Analysis. Physical Educator [serial online]. Fall2... (more »)

 
DGH Music replied...
Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm :
She's not trying to make a professional approach. Through her own research and personal edurings, she's concluded that she believes marching band should indeed be considered a sport. And she didn't just say it was on tv, Drum Corps International events are broadcasted annually on the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN). So, that completely supports her statement and nullifies yours. It's a simple article she wrote about how marching band, with or without stati... (more »)
 
Jon H. replied...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 11:15 am :
Are you even in a marching band? No? I didn't think so either. You really have to be in it to understand why it's a sport.
 
Ella-Loba replied...
Nov. 5, 2012 at 8:41 am :
The point of the article was that it is not validated by just word of mouth. The author has experienced whis first hand as have many people posting on this article. Please tell me, have you ever been in a marching band? Or even a concert band in high school or after? To not have been in one is to critcize and call those who have been liars without ever having faced it yourself. I have personally been a part of many sports throughout my life including basketball and the amount of physical work an... (more »)
 
Ella-Loba replied...
Nov. 5, 2012 at 8:44 am :
Also I did my own research on this subject as well. "(Reuters Health) - The physical challenges and demands of participating in a competitive high school marching band are similar to those experienced by athletes who compete in sports like football, according to research presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting in Seattle." I found this on the website http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/06/02/us-marching-sports-idUSTRE5514O420090602?feedType=RSS&fee... (more »)
 
Nechochwen replied...
Apr. 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm :
I appreciate the study that you conducted and I looked it up. However, there is one MAJOR flaw in your analysis: you studied university marching band members. How can you suppose that high school students are not qualified for a PE credit when studying a completely different sample? High school marching band is completely different than college. High school requires much more time (2-3 hours, not 1 per day) and physical activity (more aerobics, stretching, calisthentics, etc) than college band. ... (more »)
 
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dyeom said...
Jan. 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm:
I do marching band and I played a variety of sports and now I am playing rugby. I do think marching band is a sport. You have to memorize 80 plus pages of drill and about four to five sheets of music. While you're doing that you have to make sure you are using proper marching technique which is not easy at all. The amount of hours put into practice exceeds all other sports iv been in and in about a month I'm pretty sure we had clocked almost 200 hours. Marching band demands focus and precision l... (more »)
 
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redsox3465 said...
Oct. 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm:
you do realize that espn televises the world series of poker...
 
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drums/clarinet said...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 3:12 pm:

alright...soo...im in 8th grade and we can be in marching band and i have to say MARCHING BAND IS A SPORT because lets see we go to band camp for one week in the summer and do nothing but drill..and we do box drills...and we stand at attention for like a couple mintues..do football players go for 8 hours during the summer for one week and get up at like 5 am...no...do they have to memorize music plus drill plus how to stay in step? or where to stop...what points u make ur next drill point...u... (more »)

 
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student said...
Sept. 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm:

I can honestly say that this is a good article...but you're proof is very biased and very opinionated. There are no statistics to prove your point.

Before anyone goes to rag on me, I will tell you I am involved in my band, I am a field hockey player. Unfortunatley because of my schedule, I had to drop marching band(at my school it is an eca, not a class...i don't know about other schools). I did not drop band for my sport, I am involved in alot of different things, but I will say this,... (more »)

 
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