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9 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Marching Band is technically a Sport Attempt #3 (Please read the rules)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/27/2014 Category: Music
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,273 times Debate No: 53483
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




This is like my third attempt on this debate topic.

Warning: You must follow each and every one of the following rules. Many times, people don't follow these rules that I give out. It's important for you to read these rules. Failure to follow these rules will result in your chances of victory decreasing. Since, the voting style is just "choose winner", it'll be likely that voters will vote for the person who have executed the rules accordingly. Of course, these rules apply to me as well. If you don't know already, I can get very angry. It pisses me off when people don't know how to read simple instructions, then they slander you when they were the ones who infringed the regulations in the first place.

Debate Schedule Rules

Round 1: Acceptance and Greetings - Just simply say, "I accept." Do not state your thesis or any argument in this round. You do not have to exactly say "I accept." You are free to word your greeting to your desired interpretation. Notice that these are GREETINGS!!! Greetings are not the same as arguments. So many of my opponents have failed to follow this rule because they frivolously just state their arguments in the first round. I want you to become fully aware of that. If you don't know what an argument is, it's an exchange statement from two divergent sides.

Round 2: Thesis Statement and Initial Arguments - In this round, you are required to formulate a one-sentence thesis statement. Following this thesis, you are required to come up with at least 3 arguments supporting your thesis. Please list these arguments numerically and separate your thesis from your arguments. You are also required to post at least one source for each argument you state.

Round 3: Additional Arguments and/or Rebuttals - If you have more arguments that you forgot to state in Round 2 and want to state in Round 3, you are free to do so. But, the same rules for your arguments from Round 2 still apply. You are required to rebut your opponent's arguments in this round. The only rule for the rebuttals is that you must type a paragraph for each rebuttal. Also, separate your rebuttal statements from your additional arguments.

Round 4: Rebuttals ONLY - This is the same from Round 3 and the same rules still apply. It's basically rebutting the rebuttals from Round 3.

Round 5: Concluding Statements and Salutations - You are required to type only a paragraph in this round (3-5 sentences). In these 3-5 sentences, you must restate your thesis (in a different way) and say your good byes.

Additional Debate Rules
Rule #1: No insulting
Rule #2: I am allowed to change, add, or completely remove any of set rules I desire.
Rule #3: If you have any concerns or questions about the debate rules, ask them in the comments and we'll work it out there.

Debate Information
Time to Argue: 72 Hours
Argument Max: 8,000 Characters
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, sir, for following the rules that I’ve addressed. Now, we shall commence the debate.


Regulations Update

  • Your thesis statement can be more than one sentence.

  • You are required to come up with at least 2 argument statements instead of 3.


Before I affirm my thesis statement, I need to clarify that I do need to define what the term “sport” means. A sport has four things:

  • The involvement of physical exertion

  • Competition

  • Governed by a set of rules

  • Has to require some form of skill

Those are the basic requirements of what a sport should have.



Even though it’s not as much of a sport, Marching Band can still be considered a sport in general no matter which way you look at it.


Argument #1

Marching Band follows all of the fundamentals of sports that I’ve listed.

  • “The involvement of physical exertion.”

Marching Band, believe it or not, requires you to be physically fit and active for Marching Band. Marching Band is not about walking on a field. You also have to have physical stamina to get out there long enough. I mean, you’re going to be in the blazing sun, in that hot uniform, carrying a 60-pound instrument. Doesn’t that sound tiring to you?



  • “Competition”

Marching Band has a lot of competition going around. Bands all over the school district meet together and they compete to see which school has the best band? Who has the best Brass section? Who has the best Percussion section? Who has the best Woodwind section? Etc.


(A marching band is a group consisting of instrumental musicians performing outdoors for the purpose of entertainment, exercise, and sometimes in competition)

  • “Governed by a set of rules”

Marching Band has a lot of rules that you have to follow just as there are rules to Football, Basketball, and Soccer. I will list some rules

Rule #1: You can’t walk. You must march according to what your band director has instructed you to march.

Rule #2: You can’t move while your band director has called you to halt. If you’re not in your spot, pretend you are there.

Rule #3: You can’t move and not “mark-time march.” You ALWAYS have to mark-time march first.

Those are just some of the rules I’ve listed. There are many more, and some marching bands march differently than others.

  • “Has to require some form of skill”

Obviously, you need to be a good musician to be out there to march. As a matter of fact, Marching Band is said to be harder than football mostly because you have to multitask. You have to memorize your music because you can’t stare at your music, look at the conductor, and use your peripheral vision to detect where you should be in the formation all at once. If you can do that, well, good for you. All you’re doing is making it harder for yourself when you can just memorize your music. Not only you have to play music on a field, you have to march correctly, look at the conductor, and memorize your spots. There is so much to do in Marching Band physically and mentally. You can’t do all of that in one day. It takes weeks and months of practice.


Argument #2

Almost every band director out there can agree that Marching Band can be a sport. Yes, this is a subjective argument, but that doesn’t mean that the majority of personal opinions can’t prove something correct. Ask any band director and it’s very likely that they’ll agree that Marching Band should be a Sport.



Argument #3

I mean, Fishing is a sport.

Yes, fishing is a sport. If fishing can be a sport, how can Marching Band not be a sport? I know this argument is kind of irrelevant in terms of Marching Band, but think about it.

Fishing is a sport, but Marching Band is not. How does that make sense?






In order for Marching Band to be considered a sport, it must follow all four requirements, not just three of the four. Therefor if the con side can prove that one of the requirements is not in Marching Band, the con side wins the round.

Contention 1: Marching Band Has No True Physical Exertion

When we see physical exertion as it is defined in the definition of sport, we see that it means during the competition. Of course training for Marching Band season can be intense and very demanding, but during the actual competition not all members of the Marching Band have it as hard as the others. Those who carry tubas that way up to or over 60 pounds have a very hard time. Those carrying flutes though? Or much lighter instruments? They have a considerably easier job and all they have to do is march and play. This is not true physical exertion. Many people believe Marching Band is a sport because of how hard the people participating much train [1], but during actual performances or competition it's not that demanding of a job. They are not constantly on their feet for long periods of time, and they do not need a lot of stamina to march. Marching Band cannot be considered a sport because physical exertion is not presented when competing, but instead when training.

Contention 2: Marching Band Has No "Set of Rules"

In the definition of sport, a governed set of rules must be presented. With Marching Band there are rules that must be followed, but those are dictated by the certain competitions and circuits. [2] In order for it to be considered a sport, there must be a set definitions of rules, and for Marching Band there are simply not. One Marching Band may have different rules as another. There's too much flexibility and no concrete definition of the set of rules. In NFL, there are rules that ALL teams must follow. In the NBA, there are rules that ALL teams must follow. In Marching Bands, it depends on certain areas of where you are, and not every single Marching Band in the world follows the same rules. Marching Band cannot be considered a sport because of the fact that there is too much flexibility with rules, and there are no rules for ALL teams.

Contetion 3: Marching Band Is More Of An Art

The definition of Marching Band is "An ensemble of musicians that march in time to the music for entertainment at events and in parades".[3] The purpose of Marching Bands are not to show how athletic the people are participating in them are, but rather to entertain. If you're for the purpose of entertainment more than in competition, such as with Marching Bands, you are considered a traditional art, not a sport. Of course there are competitions that Marching Bands can compete in, but the purpose of Marching Bands are to perform and entertain during a homecoming parade or when a real sport, such as football, has it's intermission.[4] No one is advocating that Marching Bands are not a legitimate academic activity that requires skill, but instead that it cannot be considered in an art based on it's purpose.


Debate Round No. 2


Rebuttal #1 (Contention 1)

First of all, you can't just win a round automatically just because you say so. Second of all, I just proved that Marching Band has involvement with "Physical Exertion." Physical Exertion is the activity of exerting (use strength, ability, etc.) your muscles. Of course, most of the physical exertion will be placed at the feet and ankles. Plus, what is your definition of "True" physical exertion. There is only ONE definition of physical exertion. It seems your definition of "True" physical exertion is doing 20 push-ups, run 5 laps around a football field, or something of that extent. You see, your insight of physical exertion is extreme like I stated before. Physical Exertion is ANY type of using physical strength. This argument is a good argument. I'll give you credit, but you've forgotten that it doesn't matter how much physical activity is taken place. Physical activity is physical activity, insignificant or not. Speed walking is physical activity and that is what we do all the time in Marching Band. Also, speed walking is also a sport. Speed walking doesn't have "True" physical exertion, but it has some form of physical activity taking place. As a matter of fact, there are some sports out there that have defied the physical fundamental of being a sport because there is little physical activity being shown. Archery is a great example. ("As well as being a sport in its own right, it can be used to improve the techniques and abilities required for bowhunting in a realistic outdoor setting.") Marching Band is a sport in its own right. It is true that most of the physical activity shown is at training, but you have forgotten that there is still physical activity in place in competition. As a matter of fact, physical activity doesn't even have to be shown to the observer. Physical activity can be only felt and present to the person who is executing the activity in the first place.

Rebuttal #2 (Contention 2)

But, you've forgotten that there are still rules that are governed in the Band in general. Yes, different bands have some different rules, but those rules only apply to style. There are rules in the Marching Band that apply to ALL bands. For example, you can't move when you're told to halt. You can't do that. Nor can any other band do that. Marching Band comes from the Military tradition, and in the color guard, you have to follow instructions. I'm pretty sure that there are strict rules in the military tradition that you have to follow. (Look at the list for Music and Dance Competitive Sports. What is in that list?)

Rebuttal #3 (Contention 3)

Now, this argument is not valid for 2 reasons:

1. The NFL and the NBA's purposes are the exact same thing. They're there to entertain. How else would they make money? You see people viewing a basketball or football on TV all the time. Like I said, Bands from all over compete to a set of judges to see who is the better band? It's the same case with football and basketball. Marching Band being a traditional art doesn't exclude it from being a sport. It can be both at the same time. Marching Band does have breaks. There are breaks between band performances. Who said that a sport had to have breaks?

2. You're basically saying that a sport, in your perspective, is something similar to sports like football and basketball. Who said that a sport had to be very similar to football and basketball? You've failed take in the generalization of what a sport is because there are many sports out there are that are different in their own ways. You're basically saying that every sport is the same. I've also noticed that you're implying that Marching Band is not a "real sport." You're definition of "real sport" is ambiguous and sounds biased because you're saying that every sport should be just like football and basketball.



So in this round I'll be going over the opponents case explaining why it falls, and defending the attacks the opponent has made against my contentions.

Firstly On The Opponent's Side

As proven by my contentions, Marching Band does not fit the criterion of 2 of the 4 requirements in order to be considered a sport. Marching Band does not require physical exertion when competing, and it varies from one person to the next. One person can have a much harder time than the other, causing a disbalance of who is actually putting in physical effort and who is not. Considering most instruments in a Marching Band are not heavy, we can say that only a small majority of musicians actually experience physical exertion. Since that being the minority and not the majority, it does in deed fail. Also a quick note with competition, not all Marching Bands compete. Of course most do, but saying they all do is simply invalid. Some Marching Bands are strictly for entertainment at schools, which would mean that those Marching Bands are not sports. And finally a set of rules. As proven also in my contentions, Marching Band does not have a set of rules. Saying anything different is a joke and should be thrown out. There is not a set of rule for ALL Marching Bands, which means there is not a set of rules. This also addresses your second rebuttal.

Secondly On The Opponent's Side

Of course band directors would say Marching Band is a sport. They are the leaders of it. Of course I agree that a majority of personal opinions can't prove something correct, but in this sense it absolutely does not because of a very common sense approach. The band directors would be bias! What you're advocating is that we ask the directors of a activity if what they do is physically demanding enough to be considered a sport. Of course they'd say yes! That way they make everyone who participates in them, including the directors themselves, look better. This contention should be completely thrown out because a biased source is not a credible one.

Lastly On The Opponent's Side

The fact that this is even an argument upsets me. We're debating if Marching Band is a sport, not fishing. And furthermore, at least fishing follows all four of the requirements of a sport. It has physical extersion to real in large fishes, there are fishing tournaments, the rules would be the fishing laws, and it is a very tough sport that does require skill. Just because fishing is a sport and Marching Band is not, that shouldn't mean we mention it in today's debate. What doesn't make sense is that for a Marching Band debate you brought up fishing.

Now I will be addressing arguments my opponent has made against my case.


What we're debating is if Marching Band is a sport. If, as the con, I can prove that in some way shape or form that Marching Band does not fit the entire definition, I should win the round.


True physical exertion is the activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to keep fit[1]. Marching Band simply does not do this when you're competing. The training before hand sure, but that's you yourself putting in the effort in order to better yourself. When you're competing, though, this isn't happening. You're muscles are not being exerted in multiple ways, and it's not helping you stay healthy. It does in fact matter how much is being exerted, because it has to keep you fit. In order for it to be physical exertion, muscles must be exerted in various ways and must KEEP YOU FIT. When you're competing, simply put, Marching Band is not helping keep yourself fit.


There purpose is to entertain, but it goes much deeper than that. The original purpose of football and basketball was to allow people to prove that there team was better than the others. Of course they do entertain, but their purposes expand way beyond that. With Marching Bands, they have one single purpose. To entertain, nothing else. Also, I used those two sports as an example because of how popular they are. In no way am I saying that all sports are similar to those two, but I am saying that all sports have similar qualities. A sport must include ALL four of the parts mentioned earlier, and as proven, Marching Bands do not.


Debate Round No. 3


Rebuttal #1

"it varies from one person to the next. One person can have a much harder time than the other, causing a disbalance of who is actually putting in physical effort and who is not."

That statement doesn't prove that Marching Band isn't a sport because, in soccer, the goalie just sits there and waits for the person to try to kick the ball into the goal. Plus, Con is trying saying that Marching Band doesn’t require any physical exertion when we just established that there is physical exertion taking place in general. Just because there’s little physical activity taking place, doesn’t mean that’s not physical activity overall, and that doesn't mean that physical activity isn't there. Just because some Marching Bands do not compete doesn’t derive the entire Marching Band activity from being a sport. Who said that every single band had to compete? All I said from my definition is that there needs to be some form of competition in place. Did I say that every team needs to compete? So, that in itself, is completely invalid. You did not give any explanation or reasoning of rebutting my argument about set of rules. I clearly stated rules that ALL bands must follow, therefore that implies that you are leaving that argument unchallenged.

Rebuttal #2

No, they say it’s a sport because they know it’s a sport. They know that Marching Band fits the requirements to be called a sport. Just assuming that they are saying it’s a sport just because they’re band directors is invalid and illogical. This source has cited Band student’s/director's opinions and they say it’s a sport not because they’re band students and directors. This source has more students than just one.

(“Madeline Buehlmeyer, who has been in Foothill’s marching band for two years, considers marching band a sport based on the physical activity and dedication it requires.”)

Tha'ts just one of them.

Rebuttal #3

Fishing is a sport, but marching band is. What I’m trying to tell is that it doesn’t make sense that fishing can be a sport, but marching band can’t. I used fishing and other sports as an example and to make a point. In fishing, most of the time, you’re going to be sitting there waiting for a fish to be lured to the bait. The only time where you will use physical exertion is when you pull out the fish. Now, pulling out a fish is physical exertion, but marching at fast tempos while carrying instruments that you have to keep steadily in a still position constantly isn’t? Where does that begin to make sense? You’ve basically just indirectly proved my point. Insignificant or not, physical activity is physical activity. Isn’t that what I said in my arguments? Fishing barely shows physical activity because, most of the time, you will just sit there, but yet, you considered fishing a sport. It's the same case for Marching Band. You’ve basically conceded and admitted to my arguments. Thank you, sir.

Rebuttal #4

“What we're debating is if Marching Band is a sport. If, as the con, I can prove that in some way shape or form that Marching Band does not fit the entire definition, I should win the round.”

You shouldn’t win the round because, first of all, I’ve already proven that Marching Band fits in the definition of a sport. Second of all, who wins the entire debate is dependent on the voter's votes. I’ve noticed that you said that “Marching Band does not fit the entire definition.” What is the “entire definition?” What you’re debating is that Marching Band does not fit in a certain piece of the pie of sports. However, I’ve clarified that “certain pieces” of sports doesn’t exist. If a form of activity is doing those 4 things I’ve listed which I’ve proven already, then it should be a sport. You’re just adding rules and fundamentals that NOBODY said that gives it the name as a sport.

Rebuttal #5

You’ve still forgotten that there are sports out there that are still considered sports, but doesn’t require “true physical exertion.” You said that there is physical exertion taking place in training, but not in competing. That statement is completely ambiguous because, if you don’t know, the same formations that you’ve been doing in training will be exactly the same as you will do in competition. So, if there’s physical exertion in training, how can there not be physical exertion in the competition itself. Yes, in training, you will go through the formations repeatedly, but that doesn’t mean that there isn't still physical exertion being taking place in general while competing. The statement you’ve posted is biased because, in fact, you don’t know if the person marching is actually experiencing physical activity or not. As a person who has actually been in marching band for a year (actually a year and a half.), I’ve had some physical exertion. It’s apparent that your definition of physical exertion is extreme. Who said that in a sport, physical activity has to be really significant and extreme? Don’t base physical activity from looks. People are performing physical activity by just simply walking swiftly. In case you don’t know, cardiovascular activity is a part of overall physical activity. Marching Band increases you cardiovascular fitness significantly for two reasons:

  1. You’re constantly blowing air into your instrument.

When you’re constantly blowing tremendous amounts of air, you’re working out your cardiovascular system and respiratory system. Your heart is a muscle. Muscles near the lungs like the diaphragm, intercostal muscles, and abdominal muscles help your lungs expand or contract the volume, so the air can circulate. If you exercise these muscles, you're entire respiratory system will work more efficiently. So, remember about that definition you gave me about physical exertion is exerting muscles? Working out these muscles has been shown to decrease your chance of stroke, heart disease, heart attacks, etc. So, technically, that is physical exertion.

(“This type of fitness is a health-related component of physical fitness that is brought about by sustained physical activity”)

  1. Adding to that, you’re increasing your stamina.

Adding to that, you’re blowing lots and lots of air through your horn for minutes and marching at tempos of 180 bpm. That increases stamina.

(“Stamina - the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort.”)

(“Marching band is a sport of endurance and if you want to stand a chance of making it through rookie camp, you need to stay build stamina and endurance.”)

(“First things first, marching band is an endurance sport and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Endurance, endurance, endurance.”)

(“Everyone in the band will be using their arms in some way in addition to marching. Arm strength will make this easier and make you a better performer.”)



MaxTheDebateChamp forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Rule Updates
- There is no sentence minimum or maximum
- You must provide a Positive Criticism and a Negative Criticism
- You don't have to re-state your thesis, but you can. If you're going to, you can provide some more detail to your thesis to make it clear. Well, I'm doing it just to clear things up. Notice I said "you can" meaning you have a choice to do it or not. So, either way, you're not going to be penalized depending on the voter.
- You still have to state your goodbyes
- You can rebut if you still want to.
Con has forfeited Round 4, therefore my rebuttals has been left undisputed. Also, Con can't state any further rebuttals and I have proven his statements fallacious.
Thesis Restatements
Yes, I can agree that Marching Band is not a "professional" sport, but what people don't realize is that a sport does not to be in the professional league. You see, when people think about sports, they think of Soccer, Basketball, Football, Baseball, and sometimes Hockey. It's those sports that they see on TV that they perceive as a sport. This sort of thing obscures the true definition of a sport which is "
an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment." I've already clarifed that a sport must have:

1. Competition

2. The involvement of physical exertion. Now, notice I said involvment. That means it's associated with it in general. I didn't say that the scale of physical exertion taking place had to be very significant, apparent, and extreme. I didn't say that. So, don't just take this notion of just because it doesn't have a certain piece of this, it doesn't make it a sport. These certain pieces don't exist. I mean, Golf is a sport. All you do is swing and walk. You don't even have to walk, you can just bring a golf cart. The only physical activity that's taking place is when you swing. The key thing that makes golf a sport is precision. You have Polo which is an Equestrian sport (usage of horses). The horse is doing all of the physical activity, but did it say in the defintion that a human being had to do physical activity?

3. Governed by a set of rules

I've already clarified that Marching Band has rules that every band should follow did I not?

4. Has to have skill

Everyone knows that you must have knowledge and skill in music to march and play at the same time.

Also, look at all of the sources I have that further proves my case. I haven't even used the YouTube videos that proves Marching Band being a sport. I'll paste them at the end of my conclusion.

Positive Criticism

Even though, your arguments were erreneous, I have to give you credit. You are probably the most surprising opponent I've met. I honestly didn't expect some validity to come from your arguments. Before I started the debate, I originally thought it was nearly impossible to oppose me, but you proved me wrong about that. But.....

Negative Criticism

Your biggest downfall of the debate is you didn't really follow the definition of what a sport is. Also, you didn't take in the generalization of the definition of "physical exertion." Your connotation of "sport" was kind of unclear because you kept adding fundamentals that you declare defines a sport when it really doesn't. You said that a sport must have intermission which are timeouts and breaks. Where, in the definition of sport, says that sports must have intermission? It's like your insight of sports are professional sports. Yes, Marching Band is not a professional sport, but that's not what we're debating about. We are debating if Marching Band is just a sport. There are different kinds of sports. Electronic sports, Equestrian sports, Mind sports, Shooting sports, etc. Every sport is different. Physical exertion means just using and improving your muscles. Like I said earlier, cardiovascular fitness falls into this category and there's a lot of cardiovascular activity going on in Marching Band.

All of that being said, you were a good opponent. I wish you good day, and a thank you for participating in this debate. It was nice debating with you.

To all of the voters, please vote on a winner based on who made the better argument because I know some of you will vote on the person you just agree with. That is an absurd way of voting.

YouTube sources:
Every other source I've used whether it was in the debate or not:
There's still some more sources out there that proves that Marching Band is technically a sport. I would also use what my Physical Science teacher and my mother said about Marching Band being a sport. I will not directly quote them because I don't remember exactly what they said. My physical science teacher is a Golf coach and she is well-informed of the definition of sport. My mother knows about my school district.
38. Marching Band follows the Triple A guidlines for being called a sport. - Teacher
39. The school district classifies Marching Band as a sport.
I know I didn't make it to 40 sources, but who cares?


MaxTheDebateChamp forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Dishoungh 2 years ago
How can you not give me points for sources when I literally used nearly 40 sources.
Posted by marinaspins 2 years ago
i think that you actually have to march to really be able to understand why it is a sport. Maybe why you think that fishing and golf is not a sport is because ther isnt much of a physical part of it. However, you are gaining muscle. I do not have the same muscle as a golf player because I dont play golf everyday. I do support both sides, but more of that it is a sport. I personally do march and it is a lot of hard work. Our school starts the end of June, about a month after school gets out and Nationals are the second or sometimes first week in November in Lucus Oil Stadium. Not a lot of people realize how it hard and challenging it really is because they have never marched before. Its all just experience.
Posted by Dishoungh 2 years ago
I just proved that it is. How can you possibly still come to this conclusion unless if you didn't read my arguments?
Posted by hd1997 2 years ago
Marching bands are not a sport
Posted by Dishoungh 2 years ago
Oh, now I see what happened. Con's account is no longer of use; therefore, I win the debate.
Posted by Dishoungh 2 years ago
You have 2 hours remaining. I expect there to be a conclusion when I get back from watching Spider-Man 2.
Posted by Dishoungh 2 years ago
I forgot to add the fact that golf has a little bit less physical exertion involved than Band itself because all you do is swing and walk. If sports require "True Physical Exertion", then what the hell is Golf? In Golf, all you do is swing and walk.
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
loling I'm just teasing you. I would say more but the debate just started.
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
0.o You make a sound argument, but in the real world: no
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Mhykiel 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF and convincing arguments that indeed marching band meets requirements to be called a sport.
Vote Placed by marinaspins 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: .