Is Marching Band a Sport?

The Oxford Dictionary defines a sport as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” However, the debate over marching band’s classification remains.

Marching band, by definition, is a sport.

The difficulty is equal to any other competitive sport. During season, you have to memorize at least 100 different spots and go to them in a specified order, amount of time, and steps. 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.

Marching bands also practice in all sorts of weather. You can practice on 100 degree days and also below 40 temperatures. People are known to pass out from heat exhaustion and dehydration. These practices are extremely taxing, both physically and mentally, having to remember each set position and the coinciding music. Physically, marching band easily matches any sport.

In competitive marching band, bands come together to perform their choreographed shows lasting anywhere from seven to 11.5 minutes. Each show has a theme, and teams are judged on all aspects of their performance, from whether or not they are stepping at the exact same time as every other performer, to how well they perform musically. Teams are given a final score out of 100. While it might be played entirely independently of the other team/band, at the end of the night, the side with the more points wins. Sounds like a real game to me.

Although many will argue, that marching band is a performing art it self, because it involves the playing of an instrument that relays a artistic expression. Marching band can be considered a sport and a art combined. 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.

Instead of bullying band kids for their uniforms or for being in band, ask them how much work they put into it. When going to a football game, admire the art that took a lot of work and sweat to create.