Marching band is a physical activity as much as a mental one. You have to memorize about 100 to 200 specific spots on a football field, and go them in a specific order in a specific amount of time and in a specific number of steps (that are evenly spaced as well), all while playing memorized music in time. This is all mostly mental exercise, however it is also a physically demanding sport. The marching band at my school has band camp for two weeks during the summer. The first week we practice from 8:30am to 6pm (it usually runs a bit later) every day with about two hours (maximum) for water and food breaks. So this means that we have about 7 and a half to 8 hours of practices everyday for a week. Then the second week, the band goes to a college (its about 2 or 3 hours away) and we stay there for the week so we can practice every single day and get the maximum amount of practice time in (not a whole lot of bands that I know of have a sleep away band camp like this, but it is very efficient). The hours are a bit longer this second week, and we are still outside in the hot sun. When school starts, we have 2 to 4 practices a week, not including games. We do exercises to build up strength and stamina (they once had us march back and forth across the field in block formation for 5 minutes at about 180 to build stamina. And another time, we had to jazz run across the field for about 3 minutes at about 150). People have vomited, passed out, fallen, and basically had mental breakdowns because of dehydration and from being overworked (I'm not saying its torture, it's just physically taxing), and they require us to drink at least two cups of water every water break which are anywhere from every 20 minutes to every hour depending on how long the practice is, how hot it is, and what we are doing at practice. It takes extreme focus and agility to be able to do marching band and while some may argue that marching only a learned activity not a sport, I disagree because while you learn how to hold your body as you march and the proper ways to step and such, you are learning the technique, the rules, the dos and don'ts of marching. You also learn your drill and which paths you need to take to get to your dots. However, just because you are taking much of the spontaneity out of the sport and removing a bit of the guesswork that another sport such as baseball might have, it doesn't take away from the constant physical activity taking place. Marching is not only a sport, but arguably, it is more of a sport than a few of the more widely recognized sports (such as golf for one). (cont below)
As defined by the Merriam-Webster international dictionary, Sport: physical activity engaged in for pleasure. When engaged in marching band, you are to do around 90% of the stretches and exercise that you do in football. And seeing as I played football for 3 years, this is knowledge I have experienced personally. As like football, there is a high school league, a college league, and a national major league association. And to add to it, the argument is made that more kids are out of shape in marching band, yet when you look at the linemen and the full defense of any football team, they are "out off shape." So to use the argument that marching band kids are out of shape is invalid. Finally, foot ball takes place primarily in part of fall and most of winter, where as in marching it takes place in a fall, spring and summer. Drumline's generally play all year-round. This is a behavior that you will not find in any other physical activity. Imagine this, you just made the football team. You are first string running back. But when you catch the ball, you find that it is 40+ pounds. So while running with this heavy ball, you have to run in an extremely precise way, while trying to keep in time with about 200 other people, and having to play a tune correctly. Oh, and you cant run into anyone or anything else. Plus you have about 5 judges standing right next to you critiquing everything you do and another 3 judges about 60 feet away. And you have to do that for 10-15 minutes straight. Think about that one for a little.
It's made up of blood, sweat and tears. Don't want to leave the field with a broken jaw or bloody nose? Watch out because color guard is coming through! Swollen ankles but they make you March anyway, injuries or not? Welcome to guard and horn line(and drum line). The instructor yells at you in front of everyone because you came in too early? Percussion, watch your timing! Marching band is sprained thumbs, crying when you KNOW you did bad after competing with that other group because your instructor is screaming at the top of his lungs claiming that it's all your fault. Marching band is feeling like you're about to faint from the heat inside your uniform in the summer and like you have hypothermia in the winter because it's so cold. It's lack of sleep because you have rehearsals for so long one day after the other and it's working so hard for months and hours and days just to perfect 12 minutes of music and work. Don't you dare tell me Marching Band isn't a sport. It is.
Physical activity? YES! Scoring points? YES! It fits perfectly. My whole family thinks it isn't a sport, but they've never been to a rehearsal to see how it is a sport and all of the hard work marching band is. So yes, it is a sport. Concert band isn't though
Those who say Marching Band isn't a sport has clearly never tried to properly march across a field. It takes many hours to learn to march the show, and even more to learn to play the music and combine the marching and playing. I'm not saying the marchers are better than non marchers, I'm just saying those who don't march shouldn't say marching band requires no physical effort before they actually try doing it.
Physical activity, yes. Competition, yes. Teamwork, yes.
Most people who say that it isn't have never marched and play another sport. They don't like it when "a stupid thing like band" is considered to be similar to their sport. They just just don't understand all the work that goes into a 10 minute show.
Marching band is a sport. Id like to seed a foot ball player put his feet into some marching shoes. DCI Teams run a mile or more a day also they work all day to create a perfect show. They work harder than any football team. The physical demand is almost unreal in comparison
The people who participate in marching band put in more time than people who work as mechanical engineers. They have to be fit so they can march an entire show and put practice time outside of regular rehearsal to memorize the music. If you think that they put no work into marching band or that is is too easy, go to one of their rehearsals. I am in a high school marching band and we practiced from 8am till 9pm every day for 3 weeks. After that we practice every morning before school at 7 then go straight to school at 8 and practice again after school at 4 till about 6 or 7.
Marching bands do as much practice as football, if not more, holding weights of up to 45 pounds for hours at a time, keeping their legs perfectly straight, and moving exactly in sync. In addition, marching band has a league, DCI, and world championships in wich participants are judged rigorously on every subject. Marchers can't take breaks in the middle of a show, and many shows run up to fifteen minutes or more, meaning marchers are spending more time on the field without a break than any other sport. In addition, band requires talent. You must be good at playing, memorizing, and matching, and willing to work rigorously for hours to have hope of being the best.
IM so done with athletic players who argue that. That definition of sport is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment." Which is EXACTLY what we do and actually harder than most SPORTS like??? How is golf harder than marching band please explain to me. Yes, I see golf as a sport too, but they do less physical exertion than us.
Marching Band definitely takes up as much time as most sports do and you do have to have a lot of talent to do it, however, falling under the athletic category, I'm gonna have to say no. I respect the Marching Band and love the school spirit that they bring to games but they are not physically doing anything athletic. I think it's great that they get lettermen jackets because they totally deserve them for the time they put in, but marching and playing an instrument is a talent, not a sport
It is more of a performing art than a sport. I am in a state champion/nationally recognized marching band and I also run cross country and track. Yes, marching band is somewhat physically demanding and yes we do compete but looking at my band I can not call them "athletes." They are musicians. It's main purpose is to entertain. It is a great activity but a sport? No. Just like I think ballet is an art, not sport.
Marching Band is not a sport. While I would be the first to say that Marching Band is extremely difficult, the physical difficulty of marching is nonexistent. There is no skill required; everyone can learn to march. Many would argue now, that not everyone can learn to play an instrument; however, the instrumental play is not the part in question of being a sport. When divided into two subsections marching band consists of the following: marching and instrumental play. Instrumental play in itself, would not be considered a sport under any circumstances; marching, however, is the element in question. A very basic synonym for marching is simply walking in pace. "Walking in pace" is not considered a sport under any situation, and therefore marching would not be either. Now, if marching and instrumental play is not considered a sport, then marching band can not be a sport either.
I am certainly not saying that is isn't physically demanding, i'm only saying it shouldn't be in the same section as soccer, tennis, or lacrosse. It just isn't comparable to and other sport in any way whatsoever. Those who DO participate in marching band are good at what they do, and i respect that, but it just isn't the same as other REAL sports.
I've been in marching band for four years and actually plan on being in it in college too. I've also grown up playing every sport available. Marching band is in a completely differnt catagory of activities than sports. Marching band is part of the arts. It is in the same catagory as choir and drama, not football and track. I think most people, when calling marching band a sport, are simply trying to give credit to the fact that it does involve physical activity, and it does. It involves more physical activity than golf or bowling, but that doesn't make it a sport any more than the physical demands of construction work make it a sport. Construction work is a job and marching band is an art. Also, the physical demands of marching really aren't that bad. Sure, you sweat through your shirt in no time, but in the summer heat where I live you sweat through your shirt if you stand outside long enough. The physical activity is really just walking in tempo. It involves a little endurance being out there in the heat for hours holding up an instrument, but not so much that it's hard to do. The only thing that was hard for me was carrying the tenors, because they really do weigh maybe 40 pounds. I did have to wear a back brace for my back when I played them, and the harness will make your shoulders sore. It wasn't anything compared to real physical training though. Soccer, was physically demanding with 6 AM practices twice a week of straight up sprinting drills for conditioning. Cross country was physically demanding running several miles every day. Can marching band be an art and a sport? I just don't think there's enough physical activity in it to stretch it into that title. Maybe if you want to, even though I guess dancing and cheerleading are considered sports now, you could put it into a category with those two activities which really do kind of merge the worlds of sports and art. Still, I wouldn't call marching band a sport myself. To me, it is an art. If anybody actually read through this whole post, kudos to you, because it's really long.
First of all, marching band is not physically demanding, you may lose weight while doing it, but mostly because it is hot out side, similar to how you lose weight in a sauna. Also marching band is not considered a sport on http://theamerican.org/# a website for information on American sports. Band may be difficult, but so is yard work and no body is trying to argue that as a sport.
Both sports and marching band require a great deal of training and practice, though marching band involves more of a mental form than say running or lacrosse. Being in the marching band myself for four years, I know what it was like. Yes, it was difficult, but it wasn't physically exhausting. I played the sousaphone, and I know what is like to lug around a 40 pound instrument for hours on end. This was no where near as tiring as track and field, which I joined in my last year of marching band. In track I would run for a little more than a half hour and be completely drained of energy, while band left me with little more than chafe marks from the uniform. In fact, I would go from marching band practice to track practices and be completely ready. The point is, marching band doesn't physically drain a person enough to be called a sport. Walking in step while carrying and playing an instrument is not physically demanding enough.
Marching band requires much practice and physical activity. There is no denying that or the respect they deserve for doing what they do. However a sport requires competition by two or more parties where they earn a point system or earn a sort of ranking based on a set list of rules. Therefore, if it were implemented, a computer would be able to track the achievements of all parties down to a T. Marching band competitions are judged and can be manipulated by a judge's bias or personal preference. Sure, marching band competitions may have to have certain scientific criteria met during a performance to earn more points such as certain steps or moves or beats or musical changes. But if that was all it was judged on as it would if judged by a computer, marching bands would just use the system to earn points, losing the style and art form that makes it marching band. So no, marching band cannot be a sport because in the end, it simply isn't a science.
I'm sorry, I completely respect the hard work and dedication, but it's no where near a sport.
You all complain about physically exerting practices and injuries. Part of the reason this is is because you aren't physically fit. One who does not have strong muscles or bones will get injured. Have a runner or soccer player do your training, I'm sure it will be slightly taxing on them but nothing extreme.
Marching Band does no compete in leagues/districts. There is Major League Marching Band, no records dedicated to it, nor is a physical needed to participate in it.
Sure you guys compete and score points.. In shows. I'm sorry call it an activity, art, show, whatever. But no way is it physically taxing as a sport. Let me see you guys run a sub 2:20 half mile and a sub 5:20 mile.
Our band got the best rating this year and our guard is extremely unfit. In order to stay fit over the summer, I run two miles every day and work out intensely every day. Our high school band does not do enough physical exercise to be considered a sport. Although, I have been thanked by the directors and drum majors for my hard work and dedication, marching band is not a sport. I also swim for the varsity team in our high school.