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!

gymnastics said...
Apr. 18, 2013 at 12:02 am
GYMNASTICS TAKES MORE MULTITASKING THAN MARCHING BAND WILL EVER HAVE. they can actually defy gravity and do cool things, while also keeping time to music
Emmy~Char replied...
May 15, 2013 at 11:58 pm
Gymnastics may be tough at times, but you don't have to play an insturment do you? unless you're doing rhythmic gymnastics, which btw isn't that hard, I would know. And you're not in a heater (Uniform) like marching band uniforms. Lol.
UltimatePowaaa replied...
Jun. 5, 2013 at 7:38 pm
Band kids have to hold up their instrument properly (horn angle), AND watch the drum major, AND count, AND keep intervals with the people around them, AND have seven or more minutes of music memorized and accessible in their brains (not to mention the players that have solos), AND march correctly (roll step), all while playing their instrument. All of that would be impossible for a normal person to manage without the months of training it takes to achieve, not to mention the years of practice it... (more »)
music11 replied...
Aug. 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm
I would love to see you try to hold a 20-40 pound instrament for 30 minutes (AT LEAST). While actualy PLAYING music, and its so much more than that. UltimatePowaaa did'nt even explain 1/12th of what we have to do. I don't know what your even talking about. Gymnastics... You have to twirl yourself around, watch where your hands, and feet are, and maybe you have to count music, but we do too. Seiriously. try not even looking at your hands and feet. Come on.
cosmopaige said...
Mar. 20, 2013 at 10:25 pm
I have a daughter in Colorguard/Winterguard/Marching Band, and her team is never recognized and never considered in a local newspaper or any sports article. It is BS that it's not recognized more. The kids totally deserve the recognition.
simmerssc said...
Feb. 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm
Hi, i am also in marching band and i was writing an essay to give to my school board to get marching band to count as a gym credit/sport and i wanted to know where you found "As a study shows, football players"...
palor replied...
Feb. 24, 2013 at 8:44 am
My school counts marching band as a fine arts credit and a sports credit. I'm sure you can do it!
cloudninja said...
Jan. 30, 2013 at 6:18 pm
I am marching band too and I say this is a true statement.
Marchingbandperson said...
Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm
I almost fainted twice this year, once last year. In gym, during the summer, when it was 90 degrees, the football players couldn't take it, but thanks to band camp, it was too easy...
flutastic said...
Nov. 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm
in our school, if someone says "mb is easy" then they have to go thru a day of band camp and a practice with us.  
ThePinkFlute replied...
Jul. 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm
I wish my school would do that then everyone would have to go to one of our practices. Us marchers work a lot and they don't appreciate us.
FluteGirl445 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm
I just want it to be recognized as asport so we can get tbe funding we need to get new uniforms. My school realky forgets the arts ingeneral and gives all the money to sports if we were seen as a sport then wwe would get thesame treatment
FluteGirl445 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 11:34 pm
Marching band doesnt just take a toll on yourbody. Youhave to be in good shape to do it right and marching band is equal parts tbe moving as it is playing mess either up and you will have one angry director on your case
FluteGirl445 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 »)
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?
TARDISdriver 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?
TARDISdriver replied...
Nov. 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm
thanks! I play clarinet    
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