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 168 comments.


Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Nov. 7 2014 at 10:23 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

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. 

EmmaleeOsman said...
on Nov. 4 2014 at 12:13 am
Hey, the alto is physically challenging, we have the neck strap which cause a very bad kink and sore, and have you ever tried propping one of those bad boys up with just your thumb to get the correct visual effect. All instruments have their challenges so don't try saying that kind of stuff please.

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Nov. 3 2014 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

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.

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Oct. 27 2014 at 2:27 pm
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

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 diverse tatse in music.

BelleMarie said...
on Oct. 26 2014 at 11:02 pm
Would you care to explain your reasoning? Is it just because "Band is stupid?" I might point out that there's a hell of a lot more band kids than football players in AP classes.

BelleMarie said...
on Oct. 26 2014 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, it's not that they don't care so much as they know these students can push through it. And they do. Marching band kids generally do not complain much about these things; they just keep marching. Next, knee injuries. Once again, potholes are an issue, as well as marching improperly, among other things. Onto one of the biggest causes of injury in marching band: the color guard. That's me. When a member of the color guard is marching backwards, they cannot see the people behind them -- a bad concept when they're spinning 6-foot flag poles, or tossing rifles or sabres. Often, spacing will be tight as the guard marches backwards. You can assume the results of that. So yes, marching band members actually get injured quite often between potholes, flying poles, and the sun baking those metal instruments they have to hold for extended amounts of time.

on Oct. 24 2014 at 12:24 pm
CNBono17 SILVER, Rural, South Carolina
5 articles 0 photos 250 comments

Favorite Quote:
Lego ergo sum (Latin—I read, therefore, I am)
The pen is mightier than the sword—unknown
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity—1 Timothy 4:12

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?

Laina Bear said...
on Oct. 9 2014 at 10:38 pm
I am also a band memeber myself and I TOTALLY agree. Marching Band should be considered  a sport. We spend countless hours practicing, countless hours memorizing music. People say Marching takes no skill but actually it does. Not just anyone can walk on field and play music and march in step. It takes time to perfect it. Just like if you wanted to be in football, You have to practice to become good. Its the same way in Marching Band. So yes Marching Band is a sport. 

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Oct. 4 2014 at 12:38 pm
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

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

on Sep. 30 2014 at 10:33 am
cami_cook314 BRONZE, Bremen, Indiana
1 article 0 photos 8 comments
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

e.dalg SILVER said...
on Sep. 28 2014 at 4:40 pm
e.dalg SILVER, Boulder, Colorado
8 articles 11 photos 2 comments
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!

Taco pizza said...
on Sep. 23 2014 at 3:23 pm
It is not a sport because it is a music group

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Sep. 23 2014 at 11:36 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

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

apasco5 said...
on Sep. 21 2014 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's.

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Sep. 18 2014 at 11:48 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

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. I love my tuba and I love music and that is someting I will never quit-Mary K

on Sep. 17 2014 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 into by a guard member, he fell to the ground, and his tuba slammed on his head. Marching band has injuries (and I don't agree that that should be a qualification for a sport. I mean, let's look at golf. Golf is considered to be a sport, but how many people get injured there? Not nearlyas many that get injured in marching band.)
And granted that football players do have to remember some things; we have to remember a lot more than they do. We have to memorize out music, out sets, the way we get to our sets, we have to stay in step, following the hands of the drum major, fit our sound inside the ensemble, play with good sounds, not let our marching affect our playing, march with great technique, we have to cover down so that the form looks correct from above, and so so so much more than that.
As for action, there's plently of that. You obviously don't know much about music, because that's where all the action is at; in the music, as well as visual effects. I understand that some bands don't do visual effcts, or are usually in a time crunch, so they can't make it as visually compelling, but it is possible, and some bands do get this accomplished. Just go look online. If you look for the right stuff, it's there. It really isn't that hard to find. I would also like to encourage you to watch some stuff from DCI, because they have some of the best bands preforming.
And suspense? There is plently of that; once again, it's located in the music, and with visual effects. Everything that you said isn't there most certainly is there, I assure you.
The injuries happen usually on a daily basis, we have to remember a whole lot more than football players do (not to mention that marching band takes a whole lot more talent. I'm not saying any fool could waltz out on the field with a ball and be the next MVP, but it doesn't take someone with a whole lot of talent to figure it out. Marching band takes months of practice, and years of playing musically to be able to do it, and to do it great.), and the suspense and action is all on the field, you just have to know where to look and what you're looking for.

Track#1 said...
on Sep. 17 2014 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 one of the reasons why people watch them because of the action, and the suspense. In marching band there isn't that much action, as well as suspense. Therefore I do not agree that marching band should be considered a sport.

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Sep. 5 2014 at 11:31 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

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

on Jul. 5 2014 at 3:36 pm
legend_of_link, Marietta, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
uneducated*

on Jul. 5 2014 at 3:36 pm
legend_of_link, Marietta, Georgia
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
did you even read the article, because now you are making yourself sound eneducated.




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