B Natural – Honest Anonymous

Marching band is a sport. The dictionary defines a sport as “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” Conforming to that definition, marching band should be considered a sport. It meets all of the criteria. Most of the people that disagree are those who do not consider these activities to have any specific competition, but some bands do. There are strictly entertainment bands, but there are also competition bands.
There are many points to be made to classify band as a sport. Before the school year most bands, The Marching Tornadoes in particular, go through a three week period of band camp where they prepare for their first show and learn/teach new and old marchers the fundamentals of marching band. Each band camp day is 4 hours long, 8 AM to 12 PM. During the football season there is practice every day Monday-Thursday after school. On Monday, practice starts at 6:30 PM and ends at 9 PM; then for the rest of the week, practices start at 2:15 PM and end at 4:15 PM. These practices are additional responsibilities for members on top of school work and jobs. Marching band members perform a new show every home game and are constantly working to perfect their shows for maximum entertainment for the audience. This is a major time commitment.
The hours and hours of strength building and exercise every day is the equivalent of, if not more than, a competitive sport. Especially if one plays a bell-front brass instrument or a percussion instrument, the strength it requires becomes painful. The woodwinds have it ‘easier,’ but it’s still uncomfortable. Throughout the summer the band members are training their bodies and strengthening their core muscles to be able to withstand the season. The physical exertion put in during band is enough to allow students in the class to receive a P.E. waiver. Not only is it a mass amount of energy required, but also fortitude. One cannot go into band rehearsal with a negative mentality. There’s no time to do that. No breakdowns are on the schedule.
Along with the physical aspects of marching band, there also is a wide variety of skills that range from memorizing notes and rhythms to precise movements, field dots, and coordination. Band members are required to spend many hours practicing and are expected to perform at a level of expertise. Another “perk” of being in marching band is the time constraint from Friday to Friday. There is no time for cancellations or delays for rehearsal; they practice how they perform, and they perform well. There is practice rain or shine, in extreme heat or with a slight breeze. Additionally, playing an instrument requires specific skills. One needs to have stamina and to be dedicated to continue practicing every day and reliability and flexibility when working around long hours and different schedules. There is also a need for dexterity just like any other sport. The inability to march, complete the sets that are given, or play the tunes means there is no way one can be successful in band.
Although many will argue and disagree, until a person has endured a marching season, it is unlikely that he or she will give it the recognition it deserves or consider it a sport. Marching band may never officially be called a sport, but there is absolutely no doubt that the band members are hard-working people who deserve recognition for the physical and mental work they put into their performances and rehearsals.