The Instigator
randomdepressedhuman
Pro (for)
The Contender
JessicaCapers
Con (against)

Marching Band is a sport!!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2018 Category: Sports
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 673 times Debate No: 109913
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randomdepressedhuman

Pro

Marching Band is a sport. The definition of a sport according to dictionary.com is "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc." In marching band participants (usually) march around a football field for approximately 8-10 minutes to perform a halftime show. They also have the option to dance and maybe even groove. Members are also carrying instruments that they are playing and memorizing the music, aka severely multi-tasking. So therefore, Marching band DOES require athletic activity and skill, that would consider it a sport.
JessicaCapers

Con

The question of whether or not marching band is a sport does not come down to the athletic characteristics of marching band, but instead, how we define a sport. Now, most dictionaries will tell us that a sport is something along the lines of an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others. However, this definition is flawed for two key reasons, and we must seek to redefine. Firstly, the claim of physical exertion is far too broad to reach any decisive conclusions about what counts as a sport. Under this definition, virtually anything can be a sport because almost everything requires physical exertion. Secondly, the competitive aspect of this definition is not sufficiently limiting. Again, almost anything can become a sport under this definition, since anything can become competitive. By using this definition, for example, watching youtube can be considered a sport because it could be competitive and it requires physical exertion to focus one's eyes on a screen and type with one's fingers. This obviously is an exaggeration, but it still applies, and under this definition, things like cooking and violin-playing would be sports. Clearly, such activities are not sports, so we must seek to redefine what qualifies a sport.

To account for the flaws in the common definition of a sport, I propose a new definition. A sport should be defined as "an activity requiring physical exertion and skill where one or more individuals compete objectively." Defining a sport as an activity where competition must be objective essentially means that any activity that is a sport must not be influenced by any matter of personal opinion. For example, a ball must decisively pass through a hoop, or a person must complete an activity in a measurable amount of time. This eliminates activities that are subjectively scored, where a judge views a competitor and then ranks them based on that judge's analysis. This may seem unfair at first, however, by using this definition, we are able to maintain the necessity for physical exertion while eliminating activities that clearly are not sports. Certainly, many activities not covered under this definitions require extreme physical exertion and are athletic. However, for the sake of maintaining a clear boundary between sport and not-sport, they should not be considered sports.

Under this definition, marching band cannot be considered a sport because individuals competing in marching band are not scored objectively. At competitions, scoring is based on a judge's ranking of competitors- a subjective system. Yes, performers in marching bands are athletic, and the activity requires strength and endurance, but it is not a sport. If we use the "standard" definition to consider marching band a sport, then we rely on a definition that defines every single activity as a sport and are unable to create distinctive boundaries. Because of this, we cannot consider marching band nor similar activities to be sports.
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