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!

Band is stupid said...
May 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm
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!
TaylorWintry 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.
cliffie11 replied...
Sept. 30, 2013 at 9:46 am
it is not a sport it goes through the music program not hte sports program  
TaylorWintry This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm
It counts as a PE credit at my school.
Le Pish said...
Aug. 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm
Hi, I've been reading through some of the comments and really I just have to say, Marching Band is a sport, but it is not like a registered(physical like football etc.) sport. You see, many things are registered as a sport which can be argued about it's validity, like chess and NASCAR, and all that good stuff. Speaking as a band kid(alto/tenor sax) and as an athlete(varsity Rowing), the amount of physical work in band does not compete with the amount in rowing. Now, I'm surely going to get some ... (more »)
TheSkyOwesMeRain This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 28, 2013 at 2:20 am
Very inspirational and convincing! Great work!
Emmy~Char said...
May 16, 2013 at 12:03 am
At my school Marching band is our phys ed. And I play trumpet, it doesn't weigh that much, but holding it in the position hurts sometimes. I don't really understand why people think band geeks are weird.? We work almost as hard as the football players. It isn't the football field, it's the marching band field.
botdfvanitylover replied...
Jun. 26, 2013 at 6:45 pm
I agree, at my highschool we have 4 blocks, and marching band countgs as my phys ed too
svage29flee said...
Apr. 19, 2013 at 11:34 am
what i really want is for ESPN to feature DCI again ...
lala1016 replied...
Jul. 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm
DCI needs to be on ESPN.
emmamusic replied...
Jun. 20, 2014 at 11:54 am
It totally does!
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