Marching band is harder than football. (High School)
Debate Rounds (4)
The argument will be set up, for simplicity sake, in sections of factors that make up the whole of "More difficult". The first round Will be for opening statements only and the last 3 will be rebuttals.
These categories may be divided as seen fit.
My opening Arguments:
Marching band requires a vast array of mental abilities all at the same time. During the halftime show a marcher must be acutely aware of the following: Step size, tempo, marching technique, direction, horn angles/direction, notes/rhythms, dynamics, and your body positions (attention/marching positions). This is all going through a marchers head during the performance and it changes from set to set, of which there are upwards of 50. If any one of these things are off then there is a break in the form, or a wrong note, or one person sticking out musically or physically even if he is in form. People don't notice the people doing everything right so long as there is one person wrong in a performance, which defeats the entire purpose of the show.
Additional responsibilities are added depending on where you are in the band. Each of brass, woodwind, colorguard, percussion and drum major positions all differ drastically which makes teaching them a nightmare and also slows the process down significantly.
Most people tend to underestimate this aspect of marching band because the average marcher is less muscular than the average football player. While marching band is a very taxing activity as well, the real physical difficulty comes in different places.
One things most people don't notice is the way we march sideways, while our chest is parallel to the sideline. This is an awkward position to anyone and puts pain on the back. This pain is furthered for people with instruments resting on their shoulders causing the spine to be crushed and twisted. this also cuts off airflow significantly. The use of muscles that are almost never used by the average person, such as standing on your toes and your heels for long periods of time, are a difficult feat to master. Building brand new muscle is a painful process and has to be done for a clean performance. Each performance is also performed at halftime, meaning that the band has all been standing and playing for half of the game before putting on the show.
Airflow is the main cause marching band surpasses football physically. While marching you are wasting your air supply on your playing and this causes inexperienced marchers who may have been playing their instrument for years to pass out because there was not enough to fuel both at once. The splitting of air gives marching the sensation of sprinting, and wears down a marcher far faster than just marching or just playing alone.
The individual responsibilities of every single marcher are key. Each member of the marching band must memorize an 8-12 minute show along with an extensive packet of a couple dozen stand tunes. Each member must also know what they are doing wrong or not good enough during each practice and constantly work on improving every aspect of their marching and playing technique.
the time frame for learning everything is about the same amount of time it takes the average concert band to prepare an important musical performance. Marching band of course throws in a lot of extra stuff as mentioned, which results in a massive amount of rehearsal time. Most marchers would refer to the band room as their second home and everyone else as their second family because of how often they met. The dreaded band camp consists of all day practices either at the school or at a nearby college. This is not only the longest week of rehearsal, but it is also the first big one of the year, meaning the rookies have no developed muscles and the vets may be out of marching shape. During the average school week bands generally meet 3 times a week for standard rehearsal, which range from 2-3 hours, and another all day practice or competition every couple of weeks. This, coupled with the all night football games leaves a marcher very little free time.
I apologize for the length and I appreciate anyone reading this and am looking forward to a long and rich debate with my opponent
Everything you mentioned is a physical aspect not mental and I will tell you why. That was all either foot movement, body movement or muscle memory which is physical. You also said that everyone only will hear the one person who messed up? also wrong, the roar of everyone else gives that person an out, unlike football where if the running back fumbles the ball or the quarterback throws an interception there is not a single person who doesn't know that. The mental part of football comes when you are losing late in the game and you don't panic, but you have the mental strength to focus on the job at hand. That is what 2 a days are for the weed out the mentally weak ones, when I would be doing 110 yard wind sprints in 100 degree heat, it wasn't hard but my mind wanted it to be over. Common saying footballs 10% physical and 90% mental. Oh and do you know how it feels to look your opponent in the eye after a loss and say good game?
There is no comparing any sports workout regimen and what you do in the band. 3 hour morning summer workouts Monday through Friday, building new muscle everyday is hard when you are having to meet certain lift standards and when you run having to meet new times each week. Then having to hit someone else running full speed at you for 60 minutes (48 in high school). Most football games I couldn't move for 2 days after my body was so sore. Has that ever happened to you in the band?
In football you have 11 guys on the field and like it or not they all have to know their jobs too. Memorizing an 8-12 minute show is a thing in its self, but you don't have another marching band trying the up stage you either you do your thing and go back to the the stands. Football we may have a perfectly drawn up game plan but they throw us a curve ball we call a run play and they blitz. Reacting on a dime to figure out the new blocking assignments and running backs finding a new hole to run through. Also I have seen members of the band with sheets of music, we don't get any help every play is memorized to a key. Band camp one week, summer work outs all summer from 6 am-930 am Monday though Friday, plus camp which is all week full contact, usually 3 practices a day, then 2 a days. Talk about free time, you have none. Let me tell you my school football schedule:
545 am- Wake up
620 am early morning workouts
800 am school starts
245 pm school is over
300 pm practice starts
600 pm practice is over
630-730 get home, eat and shower.
then when ever homework was over I would do an hour of film study and repeat.
800 am injury check
keep in mind it was hard to move all day
1200-400 pm game review and study session
900 am-300 pm homework
330-600 pm film on next week.
There is no comparison here.
First off things such as musical memorization and direction changes along with keeping tempo are not at all physical. And while it is true some of the things you mentioned turn into muscle memory in time, learning them is where the mental difficulty lies. Every person's sets are completely different, meaning the only generalized exercise we can do to improve the show as a whole is to run the show over and over again. This means that each person has to think about every single one of these things. and that is where the mentality of this lies. During the average practice/performance and during the average set a marcher must be aware and fixing every one of the things mentioned above. This requires a marcher to have to split his mind a dozen different ways. If one of these things gets more focus than it should, then all of the others start to falter, yet you need to focus on one of these things at a time in order to improve it. Each of these things must also be changed completely from set to set. This does not even compare to football's playbooks. first off, a playbook does not change drastically from year to year. Maybe minor changes at best. A marcher must learn a brand new show every year. Second, there is a chasm between the acceptable margins of error. A football team can run a play 7 times, and have it work only 3, and that is acceptable. If a marching band had that kind of accuracy it would fall apart completely halfway through the first set.
You also say that if someone misses a note that no one can tell. The only time that would have any validity is if it was a clarinet player in a large band at a football game where the crowd was roaring during a show. Any other instrument, however, would most definitely be heard because each instrument section plays unique parts which are all important and heard in the piece, and if one person, which may be 10% of the section misses a note, then the entire part that section was playing is momentarily ruined. Also your example of a QB fumbling does not compare with any of my examples of noticeable error. That is a massive mistake and of course would never go unnoticed. It takes a large event for that mistake to occur. In marching band a mistake of that magnitude would cause the band to fall apart, which is why mistakes like that seldom do happen in a band.
You also say that the mentality comes from losing a late game and still focusing on the task. Most football teams lose games all the time and are used to it. The pressure of performing well during a lost game is nothing compared to the pressure a marcher feels when he knows he just missed that step off, or he was half a beat behind on the horns up. Every single eye of the audience is now drawn to that player who is well aware of it, and has to get back in the form, and continue with all eyes staring. No matter how much you have your sets memorized you are never prepared to be able to find your way back into the form and blend back in. That requires very quick thinking because if you aren't back in by the start of the next set you could find yourself completely lost in the middle of the field.
The audience also will have little knowledge of what actually may be going wrong on the field for a football team. A player may have taken a completely wrong path but that player wasn't important to the play therefore no one notices or cares. In fact the audience is only watching one thing, the ball. anyone who doesn't have their hands on the ball or is threatening the ball carrier is just background. a marching band performance is a form of art and the audience studies it as such. Their eyes are darting around the field as formations change and they view it as a whole instead of separate players. Each marcher knows this and adds further pressure to perform perfectly, because again if one gets out of form it is the same as putting a random streak on a beautiful painting.
Also you have worry about more than just yourself. A high school marching band accepts anyone who pays. This means that that one tiny kid with no muscles is he center of attention during practices as everyone around him assists him in learning his sets. This makes marching band the ultimate team sport because everyone in the band must help the weakest link in order to improve. In football you just bench or reject anyone having a bad game or just isn't cut out for it.
Also to answer your question yes I very much do know the feeling of saying good game to the team that beat you, but worse. After a marching competition, when all the leadership in each band go out onto the field in groups for the awards, and the rest of the band is waiting eagerly and exhausted in the stands, the awards are called out. Everyone knows they gave it their all and all they can do is hope it was enough. Then the announcer calls out the band next to you. The leadership on the field and everyone in the stands are expected to clap out of respect as their band erupts with roaring applause next to your band as they clap half-heatedly.
I assume with you saying that football most all mental that the majority of your argument will take place in that area as mine has because a similar percentage is used to describe the marching band.
I would first like to say that the length of a football game, in the sense of actual activity, can be cut down to about 15 minutes of actual playing. the average player is on the bench more than half of that time. meaning that not only is a football player playing far less than a marcher during a show, but he also gets a massive amount of break time just standing there while the marching band is blasting in the stands and wearing themselves out even before the show.
To answer your question yes that has happened. I play sousaphone in the band (marching tuba) and the pain after 5 days of 14 hour long practices with a 57 pound instrument on one shoulder causes a similar feeling at the end of each day. While the sousaphone is the most difficult, similar feelings in different parts of the body are felt all over the band. During practice for a warm up the band just marches up and down the field at increasing tempos. If you were to march the band at 140 beats per minute while playing a scale even the most muscular player would be passed out in 15 minutes.
You also say you have 11 guys on the field doing their jobs. An average marching band has around 100. Every single person is doing completely different things to make up the whole so this argument has no merit. And a marching band moist certainly does have another band staging us up. The other band of course. Most people don't realise but lot of what a band plays in the stands is either putting a bit more insult to a very successful play by your team or a one up of whatever the other marching band just played. At the end of halftime the two drum lines even face off to show off. And during the show it may be all about entertainment for the audience but both bands are carefully watching the show being put on and very well know when they have been one-upped by the other band. Now, let me tell you my weekly hours spent. besides school there are 5 hours total spent practicing marching music along with any other music I happen to be playing. Homework of course which varies. 6 hours of non-stop show rehearsal with sparse and short breaks. 2 hours of fundamental training, 2 hours of musicality rehearsal, 1 hour of sectionals, an entire Friday worth of practicing before the football game and playing at it. and a twelve hour rehearsal and/or competition every other week or so. Also during the summer there are scattered fundamental and rookie training sessions along with the 14 hours a day band camp. This combined with school leaves around the same amount of free time as you. None.
I appreciate that you read through this long argument and I eagerly await your detailed rebuttal and a great debate.
Being aware of where you are and fixing all your mistakes is what everyone from dance company to the chess team does, it is not very hard. Yes you are right in successful programs the playbook doesn't drastically change each year, but that doesn't make it any less as challenging, ask anyone who has played football, a successful offense is an art to master. " A football team can run a play 7 times, and have it work only 3, and that is acceptable". No its not acceptable, no where is a 42% rate acceptable someone was not doing their job for those plays not to work so that is where practice comes in and you keep on mastering the play book. "If a marching band had that kind of accuracy it would fall apart completely halfway through the first set" How would anyone know what a successful marching band is? They do not take score, there is one band. Accuracy of what? the notes no one can hear? We are talking about high school too I do not know of a single high school whose band does anything like college bands. Maybe move parallel and horizontal which we all should have the basic motor functions to do that, regardless if you have a measly 50 pounds on your shoulder. In a weight room the bar weighs 45 lbs and that is extremely easy to carry around. I did not say the quarterback fumbling, I said he throws an interception, which does compare. When a quarterback throws an interception it is a miscalculation of the vicinity of where he thinks the ball will end up.. much like the miscalculation of missing a key.. even though, when 50-100 how many band members there may be, there are a lot doing the same thing, so one miscalculation will not be noticed. The football teams that are used to losing are quitters. No one who is a true competitor can take loses well. "nothing compared to the pressure a marcher feels when he knows he just missed that step off" That is from a lack of practice, confidence and trust in team to feel like that. Bad mental conditioning, a kid like that who is a step behind would be sitting the bench because like every athlete knows a step behind is all it takes to lose the game."Every single eye of the audience is now drawn to that player who is well aware of it, and has to get back in the form" Wrong there is too much going on to notice one person of many with all the moving parts. "The audience also will have little knowledge of what actually may be going wrong on the field for a football team" wrong every dad knows what is going on. You watch the game and you can put it together.
" A high school marching band accepts anyone who pays" That, right there, proves everything.. nothing else matters because that means everyone from little jimmy who has never played an instrument to a present day Niccolo Paganini can join! there are no requirements, experience or anything but your money needed to join! its not selective at all, so therefore its nothing like football or any sport in the world. You can quit at anytime because there is no commitment, you have not gone to morning work outs all summer, dedicated yourself school or the weight room. One week of what you make it seem,"band camp from hell" then that is it. Its not your money it is your parents, so therefore when the only commitment you have is a monetary commitment you can leave anytime you want, no one depends on you and that is just how it all goes for the band. You may have friends and call yourself tight nit but until you feel like you are going to die from heat exhaustion in the middle of July you find out who your friends are, and the dedication you are making no to yourself, but to one another that through all the hell our coaches have put us through as long as we have the will and dedication with in ourselves and teammates to not only win but to become brothers for life, nothing will ever compare to football.
Your whole argument is based off the notion that all things are equal. To compare football and the band as a whole (which you did) means they would have to be on the same playing field. They are not, no sport would compare to the band but if you wanted to compare character aspects you can do that, but you did not. You compared them in 3 vague categories which you state what you do, I state what I do and nothing crosses at the middle. But where you messed up is where you said its physically tougher. No one in American, but you, has ever seriously said the band is more physically challenging than football because its not.
This was a season where our show suffered severely because of many problems that affected our director and staff. This is an example of what a bad marching band looks like. And I will make further references to it during my argument. And this is only one example of quick thinking. As you move around to different parts of the field you must make sure you're either ahead of, behind, or in front of the beat in order for the entire band to stay together from the audiences perspective. And throughout the performance the drum majors or percussion may get slightly off tempo and the entire band must adjust to that while still staying on the correct part of the beat, and do it quickly or risk getting off beat, which is noticeable. Also what most people don't know is that the individual marchers rarely lad exactly where they are supposed to during a performance. what keeps it together is every person watching everyone around them and keeping the intervals perfect. you may hit your set perfectly but if the rest of the band is half a yard off then you are the one that is wrong. The choreographed/scripted part of the show only tells the marchers where they are supposed to be at the beginning and end of each set. Getting there is up to the marcher.
As for precision, I don't see how I am incorrect in saying that if a play only gains yardage 3 out of 7 times it is acceptable. You did not even really argue the point. You just said I was wrong and moved on. Now if you remember the show, you would see that the show generally looks pretty sloppy. This is because this was one of the first times we had put on the entire show at once, and everyone was more worried about where they were supposed to be rather than how they were getting there. Even in that case though you could look individually at most every marcher and they would probably have 97% accuracy in nailing the "script" and yet the show suffers drastically.
This brings up another point. As a football team you guys play your first game in the first month of school or so. By that time the marching band only has maybe half of the show put on, and the majority of what was learned was learned in band camp. It takes another month and a half to even put on the entire show. There is absolutely no way we would be ready to play the entire thing by the time the football team is ready to play their first game. Even with the similar practice times it takes far longer for the marching band to prepare it's performance which is fairly clear evidence of its increased difficulty.
You compare the miscalculation of a throw with the miscalculation of a missed key. While they both may be caused by just a fluke in the brain or muscle they do not compare. A throw from a QB is never perfect. In fact he has a fairly large margin of error with his throws, because it is up to the receiver to position himself to catch. No one in the audience ever notices if the ball is thrown a few yards off as long as the receiver catches it. It takes far more of a fluke to throw it out of the area where the receiver can catch it. A missed note is far smaller, yet in some cases just as noticeable. If the trumpet section is blasting along and one of them blasts an Eb instead of an E, you can hear it very well. And there is no margin of error for missing a note. you either miss it or you don't. And you say everyone is all doing the same thing. That is completely false. As I mentioned earlier every section is playing a unique part, and every part is heard. this breaks the band down into sections. Each section has different types of instruments in them, which can also all be distinctly heard. And even if the band was playing a part in unison the note can still be heard. if it is supposed to sound like one note and someone is playing a different note the entire sound is tainted.
You say that the feeling of missing a step off is like the feeling if you don't have enough practice with a game coming up. There is no pressure if you are in the team with less practice than you should have. There is a bench. Not much pressure is felt there. And lack of trust seldom exists because any untrustworthy player would again be on the bench. And you say we aren't true competitors. That is 100% false. Everything we do with our show is so that we can be competitive during competitions. The football games are just a way we can get everyone used to a performing environment. entertainment is generally our second priority. And you say losing a football game is harder because we aren't true competitors. Wrong again. The average football player hasn't given his all in any football game. He is sitting on the bench watching half the game. He doesn't have the same connection to the game as a marcher does to a show, and the loss isn't as bad because he hardly even contributed to it. In a marching band show. Every person on that field is equally important for the final show. if someone is missing you can see it the entire time, as I'm sure you are able to in that video. Each person knows how important they are and they know that every mistake they make hurts the bands score at competitions. So there is nothing worse than knowing you and everyone else gave everything, and then hear the other band in your class get called out as the winner, because you know you contributed to the entire performance, and that you nailed everything you should have. It just wasn't good enough. Marching competition winners almost always come down to half a point or a point out of 100. And the winners always score near perfect scores, because marching band is about perfection. There is no margin of error at competitions because while an audience may only be looking at the ball and not caring about everyone else, the judges see everything. they hear every wrong note and that is what sets marching band apart. A football player can make loads of small mistakes during a game and no one notices or cares. A marcher cant.
You say every dad knows what's going on. So? Most everyone at a high school football game are highschoolers. Parents only come if their son/daughter is in the marching band or the football team. So that is a very small part of the audience that actually knows what's going on. Most of the highschoolers are too busy chatting with friends and see it as a social event. But while it isn't hard to ignore a football game if one team is getting destroyed, you can't really ignore a marching band. as was stated it is a work of art. Eyes are drawn to it. And every single person in that stadium can tell what a straight line looks like. They can tell if one person is out of the form. For you to say they cant is ridiculous. Every instrument has metal on it which loves to reflect light. That is why it is so easy to tell if horn angles are off and if people are off on their movements. Once they miss a step off that horn lets everyone know what happened and if you see a perfectly curved line and one person isn't so perfect, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
You say it is everything that we accept anyone. That only further proves my point. A marching band has to work so much harder because of these people. Anyone could also be on the football team as well. The football team would just then have to practice more to build up the muscles in little jimmy so he can sit on the bench half the game. Anyone can build muscle and learn to throw and catch a football, just as anyone can learn an instrument and be in the band. And either way the marching band does limit its players, just in a different way. A rising freshman cant just say, hey I want to be in the marching band band but I don't know how to play. Most everyone in the marching band has been playing since Elementary school, and that kid would have to take a year of concert band classes in order to join, just as everyone else has to be in concert band to stay. And you say a marching band member can leave whenever he wants. There is the exact same amount of dedication because as said everyone feels important to the show because they are. Little Jimmy on the bench ever game doesn't feel important. He can leave when he wants and no one will miss him, but if any marcher leaves there is a hole in the show for the season. Friendship is also unrelated to difficulty.
Now, you may say that I made a mistake saying that. All I needed to prove was that there was physical difficulty involved and I have. YOU made the mistake in saying it was 90% mentally. I don't need to prove physical difficulty based on that, because football isn't even on the comparable level to marching band mentall. And according to you that's Where the majority of football difficulty, and argument is.
-Competition pressure in which dozens of other marching bands watch and criticize along with judges
-Unending pressure of staying in form while a crowd watches
-Pressure to perform perfectly or risk being seen
-Pressure that your pitch will falter hurting the sound
- Pressure of how easy it is to see the slightest mistakes
-marching band members are general smarter than the average student so increased work loads http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
these can be further broken down however I believe I have already stated most. But you say marching band cannot be compared to a sport, so if you wish to accept I would like to propose a new argument with you to prove that marching band qualifies as a sport, which would then in turn put it on the "same playing field" as football and others. This would allow my comparison arguments some merit, because while I have already proved similarity, this would put them into the same category
Here are some bigger x factors.
-The stress of letting your whole town down after they voted to build your team a new 60 million dollar stadium.
-wanting to play football in college but not getting any offers. 1.1 million high school football players, 67,000 college. That is a 16% chance to play and for quite a few that is their only way to college.
-Having to go above and beyond in the weight room to compete with the rest of the nation.
-Having to fight for your position everyday, knowing that there are 80 other kids who are ready to play at any time.
-Dealing with your school after you lose and everyone asking you what happened and you know you have to win the next game.
-Competing with the movie Friday Night Lights.
-The media attention and being 17.
-Putting on the homecoming dance, fun but stressful.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins mental: More to learn, new each year. Con wins physical: Harder workout. Pro wins misc.: Failure is worse than in footbal.
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