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Should marching band be considered a sport

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2017 Category: Sports
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 2,537 times Debate No: 104494
Debate Rounds (4)
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Marching band should be a sport because of this article
The Rgister.
Is Marching Band a sport?
Julia Bielewicz, Staff Writer
FEBRUARY 27, 2015
When the average person thinks about the term "sport", they will think about football, wrestling, baseball etc. Why is marching band any different? The dictionary defines a sport as "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature." According to that description, marching band should technically be considered a sport.
As like football and several other sports, there is a high school league, a college league and a national major league association. You are to stretch before marching band, practice, and also have competitive exhibitions.
All sports have a certain "season" that they"re played in. Football takes place in fall and winter, track takes place in spring and summer and marching band takes place in fall, spring, summer and fall. Drum line"s typically practice all year round.
The difficulty is also equal to other sports. In marching band, participants have to hold a 20-40 pound instrument. In addition, they must walk and run in a precise way and keep time, maneuver around more than 100 other people and play your music correctly.
During competitions and practices, band members can"t run into anyone or anything else. There are also at least five judges evaluating every move you make and more than three judges watching you from other positions. People in marching band have to make several formations and complete everything in 10-15 minutes.
The difficulty is equal to any competitive sport. It is a physical activity as much as it is a mental one. During season, you have to memorize at least 100 different spots and go to them in a specified order, amount of time and amount of steps.
Most sports have specified practice times as well as camps to understand the game and routine. During the summer, highly competitive teams have camps that last more than eight hours straight. Even more relaxed bands practice for about six hours a day.
Marching bands also practice in all sorts of weather considering it"s hard to practice marching anywhere else that isn"t a football field. You can practice on 100 degree days and also below 40 temperatures. People are known to pass out from heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Another equally important part of band is color guard. Guard practices even more vigorously than band does to execute every dance, toss and move perfectly. They must have upper body strength while carrying the flags as well as be fit enough to mark spots and perform in a proficient way.
As a member, you must have skills just like with any other sport. If you are unable to march or accomplish the movements that you are given, there is no way you will be a successful member of the marching band.
Although many will argue, until you endure a marching season it"s very unlikely you"ll consider this activity a sport. According to the definition of a sport, marching band is able to be classified as a sport when looking at all the aspects of the activity. and the definitoin of a sport Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a sport as "a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other". Oxford Dictionary says a sport is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment". Marching band meets all of these criteria. The evidence is explained in the above article.


I accept. Please don't forfeit, as I would really like to finish this debate and am looking forward to it.

To begin, my opponent has essentially made someone else's arguments the majority of his, and used them as evidence as well. This does not leave me with much to directly counter, but nonetheless I will proceed.

As implied, I will be arguing that marching band should NOT be considered or classified as a sport. I would like my opponent to know that I am an avid musician myself, and I have nothing against the marching band program. I have been playing the piano for about 10 years, and the cello for about 8 years now. While I am not in marching band, I am well aware of the commitment that music requires. I am currently in my high school's chamber orchestra, and I perform with a youth symphony outside of school. That being said, I will now explain to my opponent why I feel that marching band is not a sport, nor should be classified as such.

The dictionary definition of a sport is, "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature". My opponent has provided some additional definitions from different dictionaries, however I will be basing my arguments off of this one. He has established that marching band involves skill and competition. I strongly agree with this. Playing a musical instrument is not an easy task, and often requires years of practicing in order to master. Marching bands compete all the time, just like sports teams do. So far, this satisfies the dictionary definition.

At this point I will deconstruct this and analyze. If, for a moment, we take out the "marching" aspect, we just have a band. Band, or orchestra for that matter, is not a sport. It is an art. Those who participate in this activity are not called athletes. They are called musicians. Now, we will be discussing the "athletic" category; essentially, adding back in the "marching" component. I'm sure my opponent would agree with this, and since we are debating on whether or not it is a "sport", I will make the assumption that we will be discussing the physical activities involved, and whether or not these justify qualifications as a sport.

As the article stated, "the difficulty is [...] equal to other sports". Marching while holding a heavy instrument is undeniably difficult. However, just because the difficulty may be similar to sports does not mean that it automatically should be called a sport. By the logic of this article, we could call construction work a "sport", because they do physically exerting tasks and compete in some ways. Yet, construction work is not a sport.

The physical activity done in a marching band is in the name: marching. Marching is essentially walking in a set pace, direction, and rhythm. Holding a heavy instrument while doing this is not physically exerting in the context of sports. Therefore, I cannot find myself calling people who walk in such a fashion "athletes". All they are doing is walking in tempo. While you may be sweating a lot, it is not an action that is highly physical. Therefore, the physical activity involved in marching band is not really enough to categorize it as a sport.

To conclude, marching band is an amazing art that I have enjoyed every time I have seen it. Very skilled musicians are coming together and pushing themselves further in the realm of an art that has the capability of changing your soul. They face the difficulty of playing the instrument and marching with it at the same time. This is by no means an easy art. However, the physical elements that are involved in this amazing art do not provide it with the qualifications to become a sport.

I would like to wish my opponent the best of luck, and I look forward to hearing her responses!
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to say that I am happy to have you as my opponent and my the best man or women ( I see you stated me as a male) and 1st I would like to say that marching isn't " walking to tempo" it has a special technique to it depending on which way you are marching you got slides which are your side to side backwards which is backward marching and forward which is forward marching you as got Jazz walking and Jazz ruining. Then the instruments depending on what instrument you play. A sousaphone is heavier than a piccolo and sousaphone weighs less than a base drum but fells like more because it is on one solder and is the biggest instrument you marching on the field ( pit dose not count in this argument as they are just on carts in the back of the field.). This the website to the band's contest info that I have been in the past two years as I was in it's first year of existence and we made top 10 in every contest we were in over the summer and the website to the actual band


I am sorry that I addressed my opponent as a male, I don't know why I did that. I looked at her profile to make sure that I knew what her gender was, and I knew that she was a female, but for some reason forgot and addressed her as a male.

I also feel that I may not have clarified well enough what I meant by marching in this context. As my opponent has stated, marching in this case has special directions and uniformity. But this is essentially "walking in tempo" because the musicians are performing the choreography to the structure of the piece as well. Nonetheless, my opponent did not counter my arguments as to why marching band is not a sport, so I really don't have much else to write.

I will finish by reiterating a point from earlier that just because carrying a band instrument may be physically exerting while marching, as hard as it may be, cannot qualify it to become a sport.

I look forward to hearing my opponent's responses.
Debate Round No. 2


In marching band we do a lot of drills before a competition in my band we have a dance block, stretches, balance, traffic jam and work on keeping or upper body facing the front side line, back side line(or side only when directed) we also do choreograph in which we did for 1 minute of our show which was only 6 minutes the max in our circuit. we also do not walk we can't bend our knees the band ( color guard has a differnet technique).


Again, my opponent has not countered anything I have said, nor has she tied any of her arguments into why she feels they justify marching band becoming a sport. I am glad that she is providing information on what kind of things they do in marching band, but unless she connects it to why these justify it being classified as a sport, this information is extraneous.

In order to continue this discussion further on the topic that it was intended for, that is, why we feel marching band should/should not be considered a sport, my opponent must counter what I have said AND tie in her arguments in order to further advance her point that marching band should be considered a sport. She has not done this yet.

I will not add in any other arguments or rebuttals, as I have already done such. I will revisit what I have established for those who missed it, and so hopefully my opponent will begin to connect her claims to the prompt. Marching band, although physically challenging, cannot be classified as a sport just because it requires such dedication.

I look forward to hearing what my opponent has to say, hopefully addressing the things I stated above.
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Arganger 3 years ago
The real question should be, "Is marching band a cult?"
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