Is it a sport? The marching band debate

Mykenzi Doran

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Kenzi Doran

Performing at their last official football game, the band cheers on both of the elementary teams at the annual AFL Championship. Both teams played the game well with the support of the band.

In marching bands across the world members must do many things at one time, so it’s best if they have amazing multitasking skills. The hardest part is playing some kind of woodwind, brass or percussion instrument…while marching and reading music. People may not think of this as a sport, and it is not a sport like football, but it is indeed a sport. 

Most people who believe marching band isn’t a sport aren’t even in marching band or a part of the band at all. Some of those people play more active sports like basketball, football, soccer, etc. However, there are a lot more sports like this that aren’t that active like badminton, wrestling and much more. All of these things including band are sports because of the definition of sport which is: an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

The activity the band is participating in is very difficult. Each marcher has to march how he or she has been taught (glide step, military style, corps style, etc.), they have to play their instrument while they’re marching their rehearsed routine (or drill) and they have to remember all the crazy and tricky flat/sharp notes…while reading their music. Parts of this can get pretty hectic and stressful themselves. 

A band is not just one person competing but is also not considered a team. A band is more of an organization or whole group of musicians. To compete against other schools’ bands, the group must be organized. Most schools do this at places close to them and get scores back from the judges; this is called adjudication. 

Those few elements right there force others to consider this a sport. Also like sports, each band rehearses or practices. The football coach wanting to rerun a play during practice because she/he thought it was great or needs improvement is just like the band director wanting to rerun a part of the drill during practice because she/he thought it was great.

The band is not an extreme or very active sport, but for so many reasons it can be considered a sport just like football and basketball.