Is Marching Band a Sport?

Staff Writer: Selene Gomez 

Many people have always argued on whether marching band is a sport or not. People on both sides of the argument feel passionately about their choice. So, to be as fair as possible you must first look at the definitions of a marching band and a sport. 

Marching band is a group in which instrumental musicians perform while marching, often for entertainment or competition. Instrumentation typically includes brass, woodwind and percussion instruments. 

A sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. 

After hearing these definitions band members were interviewed to see what their thoughts about marching band being a sport were. 

Although many people argue that marching band isn’t a sport, Abisai Bocanegra, junior, a marching band trumpet, says, “I would consider marching band as a sport because we practice three days out of the week from 4-7 pm, and we improve techniques to make ourselves better just like any other sport would. We also go to competitions to compete against other bands across the state and neighboring states. However, before we go to competitions in October we preform our show when it is half time at varsity football games to entertain the crowd and show them all our hard work.” 

Technique

The Marching band performs at half time during football games

Just like soccer it takes skill and agility to score, in marching band it takes skill and agility to hit the right points on the field and play their instruments at the same time. 

Jazlyn Saucedo, sophomore, former Color Guard member, also agrees that marching band is a sport. “It is a sport because you practice long hours during the summer and after school outside on the hot blacktop, it isn’t easy to spin a flag, rifle or sabre when the sun is hitting you with all it has. You need to constantly stay hydrated and bring at least a half-gallon jug of water to practice every day, if not you can pass out from heat exhaustion. If marching band wasn’t a sport you wouldn’t see kids having to sit under a tent to cool down and feel better. It requires a lot of effort physically and mentally. The whole show is about nine minutes long and it takes months to nail our goal it definitely is a sport.” 

Practice

The Marching Band practices long hours outside throughout the summer and fall

Senior, David Maddox, a contra player in the marching band, argues that marching band is not a sport. “For starters it is not physical enough I have seen kids who run a lap around the student parking lot and have to sit down to cool down, you can’t consider marching band as a sport if the physicality level is so low that anyone could do it. Scoring is not based on who wins, it is based on the opinions of judges to see who wins. When It comes to football you can’t argue that this team scored more points than the other in marching band you can argue which band is better than the other. You are not directly affecting the outcome of other players like in baseball football, and basketball you are directly trying to stop the other team from scoring. In marching band there is no direct contact with the other opponent. It is solely based on how well you do.” 

In the spring you are able to sign up, you do not need to try out, however the color guard does, and they are part of the marching band. To try out there is no need to have experience however one must be able to prove that they are committed and ready to put in 110 percent of their effort and time into this hardworking activity. 

The marching band runs a lap around the student parking lot every day to get ready and warm up for the long days practice. They spend about 20 minutes working on techniques and then apply them throughout the day.  

Laps

The Marching Band runs a lap around the student parking lot everyday

Bob Loerh, Marching Band Director says.  “If we look at the definition of sport, it says an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. Physical activity? Yes. Team? Yes. Competing against others? Yes (Competitions) Entertainment? Yes.  That being said, we are absolutely a sport! It appears to me we have met the four criteria stated in the definition. 

Based off the opinions on the band members and band director you can conclude that the majority of them believe that marching band is a sport.

Band

The Marching Band is always asked if it is considered a sport

All pictures taken by Scott Brandenburg.

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