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Marching Band Should Be Considered a Sport

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 156 comments. Post your own now!

Track#1 said...
Sept. 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 o... (more »)
band geek replied...
Feb. 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm
Injuries do happen in marching band but aren't talked about because that injured player is expected to March the show anyway. If one player isn't there it is very noticeable in the entire form. As for action marching band has it and so do other sports it more depends on what a viewer considers action for example some people consider people running into each other action while others might find epic soundtracks and dancing or marching people action.
Maryk said...
Sept. 5, 2014 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
NHSBandGeek2252 said...
Jun. 8, 2014 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!
Karen said...
May 6, 2014 at 12:16 pm
I was a member of marching band in high school so I love your idea and I agree everything. I played alto saxophone, its very heavy and I used many mascles so I think marching band is a sport. Also I got some art credit in my school!  
emmamusic replied...
Jun. 20, 2014 at 11:48 am
Alto is not heavy at all, try a marching euphonium  16lbs held out in front of you for hours in those practices.  btw you spelled muscles wrong but whatever i agree that everything she said was true.
EmmaleeOsman replied...
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.
FlamingTrumpet1482 said...
May 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm
I'm in the Valley Center High School Jaguar Marching Band. I know just how difficult it is to be in a marching band. Trust me, I know. Being a freshmen in high school, and having been in two different marching bands, and not having gone to band camp. In fact, my school is preparing for the Western Days Parade to hopefully go to Disneyland this year. I think it should be considered a sport having in mind that golf is considered a sport when there is almost any movement. Sure you hace to conce... (more »)
Band is stupid said...
May 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm
legend_of_link replied...
Jul. 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm
did you even read the article, because now you are making yourself sound eneducated.
legend_of_link replied...
Jul. 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm
Laina Bear replied...
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. 
BelleMarie replied...
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.
IsaacCuomo said...
Mar. 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm
I agree it is hard to play an instrument and it takes a lot more effort than some other sports but I dont think it should be a national sport
Mankato 77 Lancers said...
Mar. 13, 2014 at 11:44 am
I am from Minnesota and we do our half time shows on the streets for competition. some times we have 2 parades a day and almost every week we have 4 or more parades to deal with. We do our show typically around 3 - 4 times per parade and parades typically last between 45 minutes to 1 and a half hours. shows last between 6 - 7 minutes, Plus we have to memorize another song to play in between shows. It is such a competition hear that we hve things called band festivals where instead of a parade, m... (more »)
BrookiepooThornsbury said...
Mar. 13, 2014 at 9:19 am
I'm in a SC marching band and I totally think we should be considered a sport.Look even cheerleading is considered a sport and they just jump around yelling at people
noneyobusiness replied...
Jun. 8, 2014 at 9:34 am
I am a marching band member and a cheerleader. Cheerleaders also work just as hard as any sports team, including marching band, does. They have to be able to hold up a 100 pound or heavier girl for any amount of time, and have to have so much balance and discipline! Try doing all that in addition to marching band!
TaylorWintryThis 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...
Mar. 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm
I'm in a Texas marching band. Way to represent!!! (: So many people say it's not a sport and I can never think of how to prove it to them that it IS. That ESPN thing really hit home! Awesome job.
Thomas_r2 said...
Jan. 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm
I am a member of a marching band in NY! I love your article and I agree with everything. We have more trophies than the football team and are told when we can and can't breathe
RoMojo said...
Oct. 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm
Hey, great article, I was wondering where are your these studies located? I'm writing a speech on why marching band is harder than people think,  and I need some sources. This is good stuff!
LegionOfLife said...
Sept. 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm
Yes! I am in the lincoln East marching band and i was having an argument about this with my football friends. lol i will print this out and show them.
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