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Is marching band more difficult than football?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/26/2013 Category: Music
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 18,442 times Debate No: 38170
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (19)
Votes (2)




I'll make this comparison simple
Marching band member's thought process in just 1 set (16 beats)*

Alright, Which direction do I need to be facing, and which do i need to be marching?, I also always need to look at the drum major, and keep my step sizes correct for this set, and watch my intervals. Oh, and cant let my marching tecnique go, but I also have to keep up with the tempo, and what was the dynamic (loudness) marking for this part? And what were my note styles and notes themselves? How Is my tone quality? Oh, i have to keep dressing to the form, and which way do I need to dress (look at to keep the form straight). Oh but i also have to remember to always look straight and use my peripheral vision to dress. Is there a horns up or turn in this set? Oh, the next set is coming up, which way do I need to step off for that again?
*note, in an average marching band song there are around 200-300 measures, where each measure contains 4 beats, or more or less depending on the time signature.

what is going through the quarterback's head in one (passing) play
OK, what play are we running? who is open? Is there anyone close to sacking me? How is my throwing tecnique?

Ok, now for the physical differences in a game of football
marching band:
we have to stand in the stands for 2 quarters playing a ton awhile in VERY hot uniforms (note: I am in GA so the heat may not matter to some), and quickely getting out of breath, and then after that at halftime we have to perform a 10 minute long show in which we all march constantly with no real breaks, while still in the burning hot uniforms and wasting precious air through our instruments while simultaniusly either marching on out toes or rolling on the backs of our heels at tempos as high as 160 (about 2 3/4 steps per second) while simultaneously doing everything stated above

football difficulty

Yes they run around a lot, but the average football game that only counts the amount of time the players are actively doing something is about 15 minutes, and the average player doesn't even play that often, which accounts to about 2-3 minutes of running, with a ton of breaks scattered through that.

So, it is fairly clear which is more difficult.


I have decided to accept your challenge. While I don't play football, I watch it frequently and will do my best to prove why football is more difficult than marching band.

Although marching band seems difficult, I would say football is much more difficult, and here are my reasons why:

1) Quick Thinking- This is one element of football I don't think exists much in marching band. Marching band members practice, practice, practice the same pieces over and over again. After all, a marching band performance is like a stage performance- rehearsed to perfection. This means that when the time comes, marching band members will go and do what they have been rehearsing for days. Quick thinking is not required in this activity. Everything is planned and drilled into your head beforehand. It's all a matter of repeating what you just did a day or so ago.
With football, it is different. Every play is a different thing, and you are going to have to be a quick thinker to be successful. You can practice the same play again and again, but you need quick thinking skills when you step out onto the field. You have to be able to adapt to different defenses and defensive players. A quarterback has to be able to make quick decisions in the pocket. If he doesn't, he gets sacked. Receivers have to adapt to different styles of play from different defensive players. Running backs have to decide where to go, and they have to do it in a split-second. Corner backs have to adapt to different wide receivers. Essentially, there is a quick thinking. Overall, I think this is an element of difficulty that just doesn't exist in marching band.

2) Physical Conditioning- This one is undoubtedly more difficult for football players. I know that carrying an instrument while being in a stuffy uniform while marching is no picnic, but they have it easy next to football players. No matter how well a play is written, often the success of the play is determined by the physical conditioning of the athletes. Football players go through intense training of all sorts, including weight training, running long- and short-distance, agility training, and all sorts of other kind of training. These players have to be at the peak of physical condition to be successful, but I doubt it's the same with marching band members (no offense).

3) Injury- I think this one belongs on the list because marching band members face very little fear of injury, while football players are at high risk. This makes physical conditioning even more important. Injuries make all parts of life more difficult-not just football. Therefore, I think it deserves a place on this list.

4) Memorization- In addition to the above, football players also have to go through lots of memorization, just like marching band members. They have to memorize every play, every position, and every rule of football. Forget a play, and you can ruin the drive for your team. Forget a position and you'll miss the action on the play. Forget a rule and you can be fouled on a play and potentially cost your team a touchdown. Football players have to cram as much information into their heads as marching band players.

-Football usually takes place in the fall/winter season. I find it unlikely that it would be "very hot" in the uniforms. I could be wrong depending on what climate you live in, but most of the time it is cool on the football field. Also, football players are just as geared up as band members, so they go through the same temperature woes as the band.
-Football players run more than 2-3 minutes a game. They are on the field for a good chunk of the game, approximately half for first-string players. They do have some breaks, but the action is much more intense.
-During the part where you talked about what is on each person's mind, you under-estimated what goes on the mind of a football player. A quarterback needs his eye on EVERYONE on the field, not just the defense and the receivers. They need to consider every option for the play and pick the best one all in the matter of a few seconds.

Thank you. I hope you now see my arguments for why football is clearly more difficult than marching band.
Debate Round No. 1


Like you, I only know what I watch from football, which makes us even on that standpoint, but I think you are overestimating slightly what a football player has to be thinking about. It is a little bit difficult to argue this either way because the players' responsibilities vary from position to position. For instance, I would agree that a quarter back has to think a lot and have quick thinking, but then you also have defensive/offensive linemen that make up a fair portion of the players on the field during a play, and they don't have to think much at all to do well. Also the receivers really don't have to think that much; yes, he does have to watch the quarterback while running full speed which is difficulty, but that requires more physical aspects than mental. In marching band, everyone does the exact same thing with similar difficulty. For instance, a clarinet player has no weight on the instrument, but players very difficult parts, and the tuba has easy parts but is very heavy.

To get back on track though, I still don't think that any football player thinks even half as much as a marching band member, and while you say we have our show practiced and played to the point of near perfection, there are still things you always have to be thinking about while on the field, like for instance where you are in relation to the people around you; yes we have already memorized where to go, but it is impossible for everyone to get to the exact spot every time, so each member has to adapt their spot to whatever mistake was made and they have to notice it quickly so the form doesn't suffer. Also, in large marching bands there will almost always be at least 1 person absent from the show, so everyone that ever goes near that missing person in the show has to adapt on the spot to the hole, and make sure the intervals stay the same.

As for the physical challenges; yes a football player goes through heavy conditioning, but the marching ban does as well, however it just doesn't show. This is because we use muscles located in the center of the leg around the bone, which are used to stand on our tip-toes while backwards marching, and the muscle above the ball of the foot, which is used to land on our heels as we forwards march. The backwards marching is particularly difficult because it uses muscles you wouldn't normally use, while football players just grow muscles they already use a lot. Also, the drumline and color guard have to be almost as physically fit as a football player to be able to do what they do for 10 minutes straight each week.

So, even though a football player is more physically fit (although not by much), that only makes up for some of the difficulty, if you combine the 2 together than I think the mental difficulties of marching band do more than make up for the physical difficulties of football; They make it harder.


You make a lot of good points. This is great debate so far.

I think you are right in saying that not all football players have difficult thinking roles. Linebackers have a more simple job than, say, a quarterback. But a lot of things are still on their minds. They have to know their plays and how exactly to execute them. This is definitely more simple than roles like quarterback. Quarterbacks also have a lot of positioning on their minds as well. They need to be able to make sure that everyone is in the right spot to maximize the plays effectiveness. They have to think about the opponent's defensive strengths against their teams offensive strengths. They have to know what to do in chaotic situations. A lot of thinking goes into leader-type roles like quarterback.
For other roles, there is probably less, but still a decent amount of thinking required. Receivers need to know where to go, but they also need to study up on the defense to learn how to get past defenders. They need to know which situations the ball will be coming to them. They have a decent amount on their minds as well. Running backs have to study up on where the holes are in the defense. If they don't, they won't gain a single yard. They have to learn how to play different roles in different situations. They have to know exactly what to do when a defender is coming at them. That requires a lot of both physical conditioning and quick thinking. When it comes to thinking, you can say some players on football teams have simpler jobs than others, but some have quite a lot on their minds when they are on the field. You say that no football player thinks half as much as a marching band member, but I think quarterbacks think at least as much as a member of the band.

When it comes to physical difficulty, I don't marching band comes very close to football. While marching band members have to train muscles that they normally wouldn't use, I still think all the training that football players is way more than any marching band member typically has to go through.
Football players have to go through so much training for their sport. Weight training-they have to be some of the strongest people. Running-they have to be some of the fastest people. Passing-they have to be some of the most accurate people, as well as being able to through long, short, over defenders and into the hands of the intended receiver.
Injuries are another part of the physical difficulty of football. Get injured, which is easy to do, and your life changes for a while. It becomes much harder to do everything you normally do. Football is a tough sport, and I think all the training and injury players go through shows that.

In the end, I'd still say football players have a more difficult job than marching band members. While not all football players have as much going on in their minds as others, they all have to be thinking on the next play and completely focused on the game. And I think football players go through much more difficult physical training that isn't matched by marching band members. So, I still think football just edges out marching band in difficulty.
Debate Round No. 2


I definitely agree this is a good debate, and you also bring up a lot of good points, however the one difference between the thinking aspects of a football player and a marching band member, is that there is quite a bit of room for error for a football player; They can stand to not be perfect on the play and it might still go on just as normally. For instance, if one receiver makes an error on the play, the quarterback has many more to choose from. If the quarterback messes up a throw, he still has a few more plays (most likely) to make up the lost yards. And if they let the other team score, they still have all game to make it up. In marching band there are no such luxuries, we have to be perfect always and have almost no room for error, and if we ever get to the point in which enough people mess enough things up, the entire show is ruined, leaving us with the options of restarting or walking off the field while everyone laughs. If this happens to the football team they just lose a game and maybe have a few angry fans. Also, for your arguments about the mental difficulty of a football player, you only mentioned the difficulties of an offensive player, and only a few at that, the defensive group is half of the team and they hardly have to do any thinking at all, they just have to either get to the QB or cover their man. These positions don't require any advanced thinking, and it makes up for half of the team.
As for the QB thinking as much as a marching band member, I disagree; while he has to adapt quickly, those adaptions are the result of quick decision making and judgemental skills, which is something every human being develops thoroughly throughout life. The only thing that comes close to marching band thinking is memorizing plays, which as I said before still don't have to be perfect. Even his throwing skills, which is one of the hardest parts of being a QB, don't have to be perfect, because his receiver has plenty of time to follow the ball and react to error. This is why I say football players don't have to think that much, because even the hardest position doesn't really even come close to what a marching band member has to be thinking about every single second of the show, and I think my description of a football players thoughts in my first statement was fairly accurate.
For the physical standpoint, it is nearly impossible to argue that a marching band member is as physically fit as a football player, however it is also nearly impossible to argue the same for mental difficulty against marching band. So, I think what this argument will come down to is which activity closes the gap in it's weaker part better. I believe marching band closes the physical gap better than football closes the mental gap for these reasons:
1: We don't get to use all of our oxygen during the show because we blow them into our instruments, and if you don't have lungs of steel you will likely pass out if you try to play a show (Especially true for Bar sax, flute, and tuba). This means we tire out as easy as if we were running, or playing football ourselves (I would know considering we play matches of football in marching band before games without taking breaks or substituting).
2: We do this in uniforms that increase the temperature by about 15 degrees, and while temperature may not seem like a big deal in some places, down in the south where football and marching bands are most popular, it is a huge deal because when we are at our least conditioned point, the temperature is at its highest, and it is the hardest to play.
3: Football players only play in short bursts, and not all at once. They have the luxury of sitting someone out if they are tired and/or playing poorly. A marching band has to play everybody, and play them after they just spent 2 quarters tiring themselves out in the stands, and doing so after a full day of mentally exhausting school.
4: Going back to one of my first points; you have to factor in the fact that even the best football player may only play for about 7 minutes of the 15 minutes of game time football has, while again the worst marching band member has to play the entire 10 minute long show, and play in the stands for the rest of the game.
5: Now I do not know how much a football player practices, however I know a marching band on average practices 3 days a week for 2 hours during the season, and they have varying setups for summer practice. Mine is 5 days of 5-9pm practices followed after the weekend by 5 days of 8am to 10pm, and 1 all day Saturday practice a month during the season. If anyone wants to post a football practice schedule in the comments that would be helpful but I imagine this is somewhere in the ballpark of what a football player practices.

I believe I have covered all of the main points in this argument well enough, and I am curious to see your counter-argument.


While you say that the marching band is dissimilar to football in the "people messing things ups department", I think they are actually quite close to each other. For example, you say that if one football player messes up on one play, they still have some time to make it up. I think it is similar in marching band. Marching bands are usually large, and they have several people on one instrument. If one person misses a note, does it detract from the overall performance quality? Yes, but not too much. I don't think many people walk home from a football game saying, "Man, did you see that flute player during halftime? Can you believe he was back by a whole (insert music time period here because I don't know this stiff well)? He totally ruined the performance!"

Meanwhile, in football games, one bad play can ruin a game and leave everyone disappointed. If a kicker misses an easy field goal that would have won the game, the whole team's efforts are essentially lost. One bad play changes the game for the worse. This is why everyone on the football field needs to be totally in sync and in top shape to play. I know that on marching band people also have to be in sync, but does everyone have to be perfect for the performance to go well? Not always. And marching band players don't go through clutch situations like football players, where one play can turn the tide of the game, and everyone has to be working together perfectly to pull of that one play. Just like you said with marching band, if enough people mess up in a game, the whole game is ruined for the paying, devoted fans.

I'm sorry for neglecting to add the mental responsibilities of a defensive football player, as well as the special teams. But both of these groups require lots of quick thinking. The defense needs to study up on the other team every time they play, and they need to know every play in the book. Every time the play begins, they need to know exactly what's going on. They need to have a plan for every situation. They need to take the things they studied and be able to apply them in a matter of seconds. They need to know everything they could get fouled on, and keep that penalty threat in the back of their minds as all the chaos unfolds. A lot is still going on in their minds.

The special teams have a more streamlined job, but they have to be thinking too. They need to know the all plays, positions, and penalties of football, and how to do their job the best. The kicker has a simple job-but like marching band members, he needs to rehearse it hundreds of times to make sure it is done right every time. The holder, too. He has to catch the ball, get it down, and turn it just to get that best angle for the kicker. The holder and kicker have two jobs that need to be practiced endlessly to be able to do them right every single time, even when the pressure is on.

While you are right in the sense that the quarterback does not have to be perfect in his memorizing of plays, he has to be pretty close. And, he needs to be able to execute them all properly. That's a lot of plays! All of them have to be set in his mind and ready to go when he steps out onto the field. However, I don't agree on what you said for a quarterback's room for error-because there is pretty much none. Not only does the quarterback have to determine where the receiver is going and where he is going to be when the ball comes down (more thinking!), but he also has to work around the defenders. He has to guide an arm-powered missile past determined defenders into the hands of the best receiver possible- usually several times a game. Each pass has to be perfect or it'll go too far, too short, too far left, too far right, or into the hands of the defender. The passing needs to be perfect.

I think you are right when it comes to the differences-that marching band has to think more than the AVERAGE football player, and you are also correct in saying it is nearly impossible to compare most marching band members to football players. I know a tuba is heavy, but even the skinniest, fastest, smallest kid on the football team often needs more weight training than Tuba Dave on the marching band.

For your last arguments, I present my counters:
1) Football players sprint, run, and wrestle with huge linebackers. Breathing is another training component for football players. Maybe not quite as much as the brass section, but a decent amount.
2) Football players have MOUNTAINS of pads on. as well as their uniforms. They've got a lot of sweat going too. Combine that with the bursts of energy needed for football, and you've got one steamed team.
3) True, but marching band players don't play for full games. They play for the beginning, in between quarters, at halftime, and at the end, but I've never seen a game where the marching band was playing the whole time. Football players get breaks between plays, but not long ones. Then, it's right back into the frantic action.
4) First, most football games typically are around 15 minutes a QUARTER, so let's just say 7 minutes a quarter for a player. That's half an hour of on-the-field go time. Marching band members, who, as you said, have less physical expectation, and play a few times a game. They get long breaks, as well.
5) I believe at my school football practice is every weekday with extra practice on Saturday. I think these practices take around at least two hours each. That's a lot of practice time. Also, remember, to stay in top shape, a football player needs to be practicing all year, sleet, hail, snow, or shine. That adds up to a lot of time over the year. I know band members such as yourself probably keep practicing at their instrument all year, but I don't think they march around the block with their trumpet and uniform in the snow.

Great debate so far; this one's making me think. I never really considered the difficulties of marching band before, and now all of them are right up in my face. Thanks for debating with me!
Debate Round No. 3


You say that a defensive player's job requires a lot of thinking, but does it really? Again I play street football with the band all of the time, and it is mainly just cover your man, and watch the ball. I know the players have to memorize the plays, but other than that all they seem to do is run along side their man, and watch the ball. The planning and scrutinizing of the field is generally done by the coach to call out the right play.

As for the play memorization and execution, that is just at the difficulty of marching our show without playing anything. The only difference would be the improvisation by the football player, of which the difficulty is balanced out for the reasons stated in my first argument. And again, this doesn't include the playing we have to do, which increases the mental difficulty by quite a large amount, and the air we are wasting makes it feel like we just sprinted the entire show, especially during the closer of most shows, which usually takes the speed of around 150-160 beats/steps per minute. This not only tires us out, but it makes us think almost twice as fast as certain other parts of the show like the ballet, and we have to do this after having just marched any number of other movements.

As for the QB difficulty, his throws do not have to be absolutely perfect. In the time it takes for the ball to go from the QB to the receiver, that receiver can cover a lot of ground. This means that the QB has a certain radius around the receiver of which he can throw it in and still have the receiver catch it. He also doesn't throw the ball any more than half of the time, and doesn't even play for the entire game usually. (Oh, and sidetracking a bit here, but where I got the 15 minutes game time was when the players are performing a play, and not counting when the clock is going but the play hasn't started yet. Sorry if that wasn't made clear before).

Going back to the margin of error. Yes, people may not notice a flute or clarinet miss a note it isn't a big deal, but people will hear a missed note from most other instruments, and that is pretty much the edge of our margin of error. If the drums get even slightly off tempo, then the tempo will spiral out of control as the drummers and band speed up slightly. Then the drum major plays catch-up, which then the band, who will perceive that as a slight tempo increase, then speeds up, along with the drums, causing mass chaos and disaster, and that could be caused by getting off by even one bpm. While it is true that a few missed notes will not cause much trouble, something like just keeping tempo can kill the performance, and if that ever happens then the consequences are far worse than that of a football player, who has it easy.

A football player, while screwing up a play at a key moment can kill a game, doesn't have to worry about messing up a ply anywhere else. If the team is dominating, a bad play wont hurt, and the same if a team is getting dominated with little time left. Even if both teams are tied in the 4th quarter than the offence still has 4 plays per 10 yards to advance down the field, and if they still fail, then they get yet another chance during the likely overtime that would result. Only a very small number of plays in a football game would cause disaster if failed, while any missed step-off, tempo change, horn movement, or step size could ruin the image of that form, and sometimes even the entire show, and even something as small as a missed note can still disrupt the fluidness of the show.

One final clarification: I am almost positive that my football team does not practice nearly that much, so I would just like to clarify that I was and am referring to high school marching band and football. This doesn't really make too much of a difference with most of my points, but it does affect things like practice times and set/play amounts.

I am also enjoying this debate very much. You have brought up things I has not previously considered, and it is challenging and fun to come up with counter-arguments. Thanks for an awesome debate.


I agree with you when you say that defensive players typically have less on their minds than offensive players. However, i don't think that takes away from the fact that defensive players still have a lot going on in their heads. They have to take everything the know and apply it.

Also, I think that the way these people have to think is different. I don't think there is as much pressure on marching band members as football players. I do think it must be a lot of pressure to stand up and play in front of so many people, and, as you said, a lot can go wrong and you'll be booed off the field. The worst thing I can imagine happening to a marching band player who doesn't think is ruining a show and being kicked off. With football, people can die. People can get life-threatening or life-changing injuries. Or, they can even give these injuries to someone else. Not only can they ruin a game and get kicked off the team, but they can also ruin their or someone else's life.

This is why, although they might have to be thinking about less, I think that football players have the same kind of mental difficulty as marching band players. Maybe they are thinking about less, but they have to make quick decisions, and, if they make a bad decision, they can cause an injury, either to themselves or to someone else, that can change their lives forever.(sorry for all the commas) So, I think this pressure and quick thinking evens out the mental playing field for football players and marching band members.

When it comes to the margin of error for quarterbacks, I still stand by my previous statement saying that a quarterback has to be near perfect in his throwing. Yes, it takes time for the ball to get to the receiver and there is a lot of margin for error-in practice. During a game, a defender is going to be on the receiver like glue, and the quarterback has to be able to think out where that receiver is going to be, how hard he needs to throw it, how far left and right, how high or low he should throw it. He needs to guide the ball past the receiver every time, or the whole drive can being ruined. He many not play the whole game, but each play he does play, he needs to be very focused, quick, powerful, smart, and accurate.

It makes sense saying that a big instrument messing up can throw off a whole show. However, how hard is it to recite what they've practiced tons of times? I'm not saying it's easy. It just seems like your brain would do what it does at practice every time.

So, I think that football players still have the tougher activity. The margin of error is often slim, and even when the mess up on 1st down or something, they can still shift a game's momentum with one play. One bad fumble or interception and you can knock down your team's advantage. Even when you get tackled for a loss, you still have to hold onto the ball. Getting nit by a bunch of strong players and trying to hold onto the ball is difficult. All it takes is one slip to put seven points up for the opposing team.

Thanks so much for this debate. I'm learning a lot. The final round approaches!
Debate Round No. 4


Final round for a great debate! I am disappointed and exited at the same time.

Counter arguments

1: Again, the threat of injury doesn't add any difficulty to the game itself, and while the threat of injury is serious and high, it is irrelevant as to the actual difficulty of playing it.

2: I think you are giving too much credit to the difficulty of a defense player. The one and only thing that is going through most of their minds is "get to the ball". The only ones that have something different on their minds are the ones down field, who just have to watch the ball and make sure the ball doesn't reach their man. Their really isn't any quick thinking involved in this because most of the time they are running in a straight line and again the ball takes time to reach the receiver. There isn't much skill involved in this engagement really at all; it just depends on who is faster.

3: I do agree that the offence has it more difficult, but again not by too much. Like in the defence, the majority of their players have one thing on their mind: "Stop the guy in front of me". And again, the only people who don't are the receivers and the QB. As a receiver, you just have to follow the line that you practiced loads of times, and then watch for the ball. When the ball flies toward you, which might only happen a couple of times per game, you have to be faster than the guy on you, and you have to adjust to the error amount of the throw, and then it is left to luck as to if he catches it, or the defender stops it. This can be proven not difficult by the fact that people play football with their buddies all of the time, and in street football, everyone is a receiver, and everyone else is defending the receivers or being a QB. Even with all of that chaos it is still relatively easy to throw and catch the ball while playing with people around your skill level. You cant go out and play street marching band with your buddies.

4: Yes we do the exact same show every time from memory, but we still have loads of other things we have to be doing while marching the show that we learn from practice, but are mainly improve. We have to balance our vision between watching the drum major to keep tempo, or watching the form immediately around us to keep shape. we have to balance our thinking priorities of keeping our individual physical responsibilities (I.E. posture, marching technique, horn angle, etc...) to keep up our ability to be indistinguishable from the group, with our mental responsibilities (I.E. checking over memory of show, keeping sound quality. Keeping good tone, dynamic, and articulation qualities etc...). We have to make sure we are keeping all of these things balanced in our head every second of the show, and know when we need to fix one up a bit to improve our individual image.

5: Yes, it is true that not many people care about the band at football games, even if they still will take the time to laugh at big mistakes should they occur, but at competitions it is a different story. we have a judge for almost every single aspect of the show, and they will judge the performance based on what they se or hear coming from the individual players. if a judge sees just one person with bad posture, then even if the rest of the band is perfect, he/she may count off points of our score. And something as big as someone missing a step off because he got his sets mixed up could mean disaster for that person, who is now trying to get back to his right spot, and the band that is trying to dodge him/her to get to theirs. So at a
competition, you never know if you are the one that the judges are looking at, and if you make even the smallest of errors, the entire band suffers.

New arguments

1: In football, you can turn away people that aren't good enough to be on the team, however you will seldom hear of a marching band that holds tryouts. the only requirement is usually that the student takes a band class in the school. This means that every student that joins, no matter how bad they are at marching or playing, has to be just as good as the very best marcher and player because, as stated before, every individual has to be perfect or the entire band suffers, so the band is only as good as the worst member. To make things worse, that person can't go home and practice marching their part of the show unless they have a spare football field lying around somewhere. They can only practice the playing half. In football, the worst player was still good enough to make the team, and he can go home and exercise or practice throwing/catching. and he can do this almost wherever he wants, and if he is still bad, then the coach can just sit him on the bench for the entire season if he chooses to.

2: You can hide in a football game depending on your position. If a lineman screws up chances are not too many people in the stands will notice or care. If the QB screws up his throwing technique and the ball still lands fine, no one will notice or care. pretty much anyone that doesn't have their hands on the ball is not even being looked at. However in a marching band, a 5 year old can tell if one person looks even slightly different than the others. if you are half a second late on a horn movement, everyone will notice the late flash of your instrument. If everyone else has their chest to the stands, and you have yours at a slight angle, people will notice, and while most football watchers wont care too much, they will still notice it, and at a competition these things affect the performance.

I very much enjoyed debating with you, and I look forward to your final statement.


Final Round: I've had a great debate. May the best debater win!


1: While you can say injury doesn't add any difficulty to the game, it becomes a problem in every part of your life, and I think it should be considered part of the difficulty.

2: They still have quick thinking decisions to make, like considering whether to break off from their man to cover a larger threat and things like that. Not as much quick thinking here, but there still is some, compared to the fact that there is very little quick thinking in marching band.

3: As you said, offense players have a harder time with quick thinking. Marching band doesn't really have any quick thinking, Offense players have a lot. Also, I still think passing has to be accurate. It may seem easy, but that is because quarterbacks and receivers practice a ton, and they have to know what the other is thinking all the time. It still is a difficult job.

4: I may be wrong, but this none of this stuff seems to be stuff you don't do in practice, except for performing in front of a crowd. If you practice enough, which it seems like you do, you can just do the thing flawlessly most of the time.

5: Football is similar to this. At big games, each player is being watched, and if one player falls apart, the whole team can and often does. I think this is pretty similar between the two.

More counter-arguments:

1: I think the tryouts are what makes football more difficult. Not only do you have to be good, you have to be top percentage. And you're competing against serious people for spots on the team. If there is no tryout for marching band, that takes away a serious competitive factor. In marching band, you can only play a song to perfection. Once you've reached the top, where do you go? With football, you've got to be better than everyone else. If you don't put in a ton of effort, you'll be left in the dust. You can't slack off because the sport is always getting harder because the players are always improving.

2: I disagree. In a football game, you'll see the effects of a screw-up everywhere. If a lineman messes up, the quarterback almost always will get sacked. He can fumble for a game-winning touchdown for the other team. He can break something and be out for the season, and all of a sudden you lose a player who is key to your offense. If one player messes up, you'll see it. However, in band, I think it is less noticeable. Of course, you see stuff about one player tripping and the whole band going falling down, but that's used for amusement. If a guy misses a beat, it's hard for people not involved in music to notice. Some people could not even play, just put the instrument to their lips a pretend, and many people wouldn't notice. But no matter how small the role may seem, no football player can be caught napping on the job.

I really had a great debate. As I said, let the best debater win!
Debate Round No. 5
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MRH 1 year ago
Well I play football and I am in marching band. In my opinion football is plenty harder. My reasoning is, that after you've been in band a year or more you don't have to think about the marching part hardly at all. Also in class after I have memorized the song I am able to play the song without putting too much thought into it. Then you have football where you always have to be mentally into the game because you could run the same play twice but get a different result based on how mentally and physically prepared each player is. In my band we have plenty of kids that couldn't run or jog a mile but in football you may way 200 to 250 pounds and still be able to at least jog a full mile because of the physical exercise they go through every day. So I beleive that football is a lot harder.
Posted by ovillescas 3 years ago
time for field practice so of course the school let the football players take our time slot and we had to go up to the field at noon instead of 5. we would work out such as push ups planks and other ab work outs and i remember getting horrible burns from the turf and the dreadful time of marching on the burning field. when i asked why we had to go at noon now i was told that the football coach requested it because noon was too hot to be up on the field ( temperatures on the field at noon were 110-115 degrees due to the turf). so all in all i believe that marching band is often discredited for all of the hard work and time the members put in.
Posted by ovillescas 3 years ago
i know that the football guy won and it was an extremely intellectual debate. If I started this debate with a football player at my school he would call me a pathetic geek and laugh while saying marching band isnt even a sport so how could it be harder than football? The Con brought up some very good points about the difficulty of football and The Pro brought up excellent points of why marching band is difficult as well, sadly he left out a huge reason why marching band could be more difficult. When we preform we go on whether it is 100 degrees or its 40, just like football, but in football the cold could affect their playing by possible muscles aching or by excessive sweating and or dehydration. but all of those could occur to a marcher as well. but on top of that the temperature does not control how a kicker will kick the ball, how a QB will throw or how a receiver will catch the ball. the temperature does how ever affect the tone quality of a marching band player drastically. if its hot they are expected to sound sharp and when its cold they sound flat. in simple terms they can sound dreadful. this can affect points and also crowd reaction at both football games and competitions. just thought id mention that. also i think this debate can vary from schools and location. for instance my school is in southern California so we dont get hail too much or snow in our approximite location. but we do get plenty of heat and some cold. the football team at our school is pretty good for their division but they failed to make CIF's this past year and out band (which im in) is pretty good as well but we have failed to make championships as well this past year, so id say we are about equal to debate. The only real problem is that there are some very dedicated football players but then there are some that just barely make it through practices much like marching band. we practice mostly at the same times during summer and i recall multiple times when the team requested our normal
Posted by ironknight47 3 years ago
And so it ends :). Good debate!
Posted by ironknight47 4 years ago
I appreciate anyone who took the time to read all 5 argument rounds. That must have been an endurance. :)
Posted by CircularLogic 4 years ago
sorry that must have been my fault, this is my first debate. So... uh... See you next summer.
Posted by ironknight47 4 years ago
wait they have 180 DAYS to vote?!
lol i should have read the rules first.
may the best debater win!
Posted by thetallest1 4 years ago
Okay, both marching band and football are sports, right, so in their own ways they are equally difficult.
Posted by CircularLogic 4 years ago
Plesae note that neither of us in this debate have played football, so if we give any misinformation please tell us.
Posted by lydia_mae19 4 years ago
Have you ever experience playing in a marching band or a football game?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ian159 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is one of the toughest votes so far; both of you brought up valid points. Being a marching band member, I tried to be objective. Con provided many good points, as well as pro. Great job! I hope you two debate in the future. I believe that both football and marching band contain difficulties that the other doesn't have. Once again, you two did a fantastic job.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a good debate, although reading five rounds required a lot of endurance. Pro did a very good job of pointing out the difficulty of performing in a marching band. Ultimately, I think Pro conceded the fitness requirement to football (Con). From what was argued in the debate, I came away thinking the average mental difficulty was greater for band, but that the requirements for the skill positions in football, like the QB, were probably greater for football. Pro also had the burden of proof. I think Pro could have won by setting up in the challenge what "more difficult" means, but as the debate played out the grounds for "more difficult" weighed to greater requirements for average fitness and the mental requirements for high-skill positions in football. I think Pro would have benefited from breaking mental abilities into categories that included musical abilities. A good, interesting debate with points well carried back and forth.