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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 90 comments. Post your own!

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 »)

TYBASEDGOD replied...
Oct. 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm :
I feel like you are very right but also very wrong.... In my marching band and I'm sure in others too, we actually run.... As punishment, conditioning, ect.. So it not only requires different skills like memorizing a million things, doing 10 things at once, knowing EVERYTHING about music and the instrument you play, etc... But it requires a high level of physical fitness. Have you watched any college bands perform? They literally sprint all over the field while playing, roll stepping, e... (more »)
flutastic replied...
Nov. 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm :
in our mb, it's a good practice if less than 15 ppl pass out and/or throw up. 
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OneToughMuffin said...
Aug. 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm:
I would agree band takes some amount of skill, However football takes more skill then you credit it to be. You don't know this obviously, but a wide receiver does actually have to cout in order to catch the ball the wrong amput of yards and the defense is in your way. And another thing football players multitask way more than you say not just at catching but blocking as well if you block wrong the guy your blocking is up feild and making a tackle which in turn screws up the entire play. Defense... (more »)
ohokay replied...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 5:09 pm :
Interesting. I'm a football player and I'm also in marching band. I can tell you right off the bat that Marching band requires more skill and mental demand than football ever will. Physically football has it way harder. That I agree with, but to say football requires more skill is stupid. You don't know anything about marching band. This is coming from someone who knows BOTH sides of the issue. Don't say football requires as much OR MORE SKILL than band, because you just don't know.
drumminglulcat replied...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm :
If you're judging a "Sport" as something that takes a certain level of physical effort, why would Marching Band be discounted while curling and ping pong are both played in the olympics?
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ScreenName1 said...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm:

My opinion is that marching band is not a sport.

I am an upcoming high school freshman. I play baseball and I played the trombone and drumset in middle school. Sadly, I had to choose my first love, baseball, over band because of the demanding schedule.

First, let me credit all of those who have worked so hard in band. Marching band sounds extremely tough and must take a lot of hard work. It's hard enough making beautiful music while sitting down or standing still. It's also diff... (more »)

ScreenName1 replied...
Jul. 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm :

I forgot one more argument. The simple fact that you march competitively doesn't mean it is a sport. I entered a coloring competition when I was 6. I am not going to argue that coloring is a sport. 

Once art becomes more important than physicality, the definition of sport is moot. Physicality has to be the most important aspect to convince me that it is not a sport.

Ccclemmmer replied...
Sept. 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm :
Each of the comparisons you gave only had that in common. Coloring was a competition, coa mining was physical, and studing took skill. Marching band has ALL of the qualities, not just one.
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ZeeBYoung said...
Jun. 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm:
I do Colorguard, and I feel the exact same way. It takes a lot of strength to toss a rifle (Im on my Rifle line) in the air 4 times and catch it perfectly while still dancng and performing under all of that. Its not easy, and takes a lot of endurance. Im usually out of breath by the first minute of the performance...
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WestheMagicHobo said...
Jun. 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm:
I agree 100%. just today, i had a football player (in band in middle school) tell me marching band takes absolutely no skill, that ruined my day. I find it outrageous that so many people could be so niave about our sucess as marchers. We have so much to do all at once, and even those things by ourselves are difficult. Last year we marched to Saucedo's Persistence, the year before was Maynard Ferguson, and this upcoming year is a well known four movement peice by Robert W. Smith. There ... (more »)
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drumdrumdrumdrum said...
May 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm:

I am a percussionist at my highschool and i am also an athlete. i feel that i have a very unbiased opinion on this topic. I love marching band with all my heart and music is my passion. I can tell you right now from a musical athlete perspective that being in sports is harding than being in marching band. Is marching band hard? holy cow yes it is. But running miles and miles and miles upon end is so much harder than walking 4 miles with 50lbs on you. Does marching band require skills? yes of ... (more »)

Ccclemmmer replied...
Sept. 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm :
I spent 3 years playing the saxophone and marching, and now in my senior year, I am a percussionist. I also play basketball and run track. Percussion in no way compares to the other marchers, pit or drumline. (I do both)
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milyhomm said...
May 12, 2011 at 8:15 am:
I am in our Jr.-Sr. highschool marching band as a drummer, and I consider marching band a sport. We do competions just like any sport, we move around, and we multi task. How many sports do you multitask as much as a marching band.
drums/clarinet replied...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm :
thank you...someone tht really gets it....we do multi any other sports have to memorize music,drill,how to march,how to stay in step and the counts? no i dont think soo..
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englishbuddy21:6 said...
Mar. 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm:
I completely agree with this essay it is the truth and people dont kno what it is unless they try it this is my second year and i now understand it i love it and i will always fight for it! GO MARCHING BAND!!! :)
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Spence9316 said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm:
I been fightin' this same arguement for YEARS in my school. thank you so much for writing this.
Spence9316 replied...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm :
Oh and can i print this and show it to my bandmates? i won't claim it just think they should hear it
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nellie94525 said...
Aug. 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm:

really good, i just have a hard time thinking it's a sport. i keep hearing everyone say it is, but i cant seem to follow.

and dont think im just "hating" on band geeks, because im part of the gladstone gladiator alliance.

i consider marching band and colorguard, even indoor drumline, an art. a performing art.

yes, i know for a fact we practice more, longer, and harder than more than half of the sports teams at my scool, but we're still producing art. i love that so many p... (more »)

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DrummerGirl said...
May 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm:
Thank you all whou have commented.  Sorry it has taken me so long.  I didnt realized that people we commenting on my work.  Unfortunately, I can not figure out how to log back into my account.  It is truely an honor that my work has helped so many people.  Hopefully you can show this to all your peers and they will understand.  Keep marching and playing wonderful music.  It really inspires the people around you.
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Ananab said...
Apr. 27, 2010 at 10:02 pm:
This is a great article and very true! I am actually writting a paper on the same thing for my English class. Where did you get your stats and info?
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