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Should band be considered a sport?

By , Reno, NV
Sports. Growing up every kid gets in their minds that there must be one thing that they will be good at and will be expected to do to keep them busy and in shape. These kids go on and try to find that one activity they can do during a season in which they have a lot of down time. Some of these activities include: snowboarding, swimming, football, baseball, basketball, etc. However there is one activity that goes nearly year around that never once pops into kids heads: band.
According to some critics, band is to not be considered a sport because it is more based around mentality and art than it is based around what one is physically able to do ( People don’t go to school events to watch people play instruments (Deford). They go to watch sweaty males run after, and fight over, a ball to watch people hit balls with objects, trying to catch someone else off guard, or to see people simply trying to show off who is stronger by trying to pin their opponent down. These activities do not have a class that the student has to be in, it’s all about who can pay, who can make the cut, and who can do it all after school. These activities always leave its members worn out and tired afterwards, where band members are only tired if they put in 100% at all times. Sometimes there are some people that you simply can’t teach how to do something for a given sport. As my band teacher himself would say, “You can teach a monkey to step off in time with their left foot by giving them a banana,” (Shifferdecker).
All of these arguments do have a valid point. However, can’t you teach nearly everyone how to run and throw a ball? Even though teenagers playing things like football does take skill and can be very entertaining, can anyone truly say the band’s halftime show can, in no way, be as skillful and entertaining as a football game? The definition of a sport is “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature,” (dictionary) which is marching band in a nutshell. The band spends as much time as the football team does at school practicing (Toh and Yip). Marching is physically demanding, builds muscle, and there is a great risk of injury. There is a big group of people tossing and spinning flags and weapons after all. Have you ever walked backwards, spinning and tossing a flag when it’s windy and caught it at the right time in the right place? It’s harder than it looks.
Some people argue that it is not a sport because there is not a bond or a family type of feel between members. However most members, ones who are very involved anyways, do feel that bond and are very close to other band kids, after all, you do have to change in front of each other and spend all summer and fall together. Due to the amount of work and time we put in (we do about 90% of the stretches and exercises that football players do) some schools even offer P.E. credit for band. Believe it or not, but colleges even look for people in band to give scholarships to, just like there are scouts looking for football players to recruit.
For any kid who plays a sport, they know how physically demanding it can be. They have to stay after school, come before school, they go to school on breaks and weekends. If they miss one rehearsal there can be no makeup work. In some ways band is very similar to sports. We even attend sporting events, not by choice, but because it is part of what the band does. The band is expected to go to football games just like cheerleaders are expected to attend and boost the watchers spirit. Don’t some people think of cheerleading as a sport? They do compete and attend games and do a lot of physical activity with their team. It is the same thing. I understand band is not cool enough to be a sport and that no kid dreams of dressing in a uniform to perform at half time for 8 minutes, but in what way is it not a sport? If you were a band kid, would you hate to not be considered an athlete because you’re in the band program? In some ways it should be a sport, give band kids praise for the amount of time and work they put into being a team, they deserve it.

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