Is Marching Band A Sport?

Our High Schools take on this highly debated topic. Is marching band a sport?

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Is Marching Band A Sport?

The GLHS Marching band perform at an exhibition on Oct. 10th. They formed a house as they played the song,

The GLHS Marching band perform at an exhibition on Oct. 10th. They formed a house as they played the song, "Master of the House."

Photo by Matt Faccio

The GLHS Marching band perform at an exhibition on Oct. 10th. They formed a house as they played the song, "Master of the House."

Photo by Matt Faccio

Photo by Matt Faccio

The GLHS Marching band perform at an exhibition on Oct. 10th. They formed a house as they played the song, "Master of the House."

Matthew Faccio, Social Media Editor

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  A sport is defined as a competition that requires physical exertion and is performed for entertainment, but I don’t think it is that black and white. The Comet’s Tale questioned students and staff at GLHS to hear what they thought. 173 students were asked in a poll if they thought marching band was a sport and a percentage was gathered from that data. Matthew Perron strongly believes, as a junior on the marching band himself, that marching band should not be considered a sport at all. 

Illustration by Jonathan Callison

   “Band camp is definitely harder than actual marching band,” Perron said. “And marching band doesn’t really feel like, in my opinion, it is physical enough to be considered a sport. Band camp is definitely exhausting but alone I wouldn’t consider it a sport and soccer is far more physically demanding than marching band.”

   Perron is in marching band and has attended band camp for three years, but he also does soccer.

   “Along with tryouts and soccer camp,” Perron said. “Soccer is way more physically demanding than band camp and marching band.”

   This deepens Perron’s reasoning for not considering marching band a sport. Because he plays soccer, which almost all people would consider a sport, he is able to compare the two and reach a sound conclusion using his own experiences.

   However, statistics would say otherwise. 173 GLHS students were polled asking “would you consider marching band a sport?” Out of all the people that were polled, 58% (101 people) said, “yes I would consider marching band a sport,” and 42% (72 people) said, “no I would not consider marching band a sport.” Many were surprised to hear the results of this poll, assuming that many people would say no.

Band camp is definitely exhausting but alone I wouldn’t consider it a sport and soccer is far more physically demanding than marching band.”

— Matthew Perron

   Whenever this question is brought up, it always sparks a debate. When some were persuaded to change their opinion during these debates, it would almost always be to the side that marching band is a sport. Some of the most valid points for the yes side of the argument were that it meets the two critical criteria for something to be considered a sport. One aspect that met the criteria for marching band to be considered a sport was the physical aspect. While in Perron’s opinion marching band does not feel physical enough to be a sport, others believe that due to the weight of the instruments, and how much time band members have to march while holding such heavy instruments, marching band deserves to be classified as a sport. This aspect of the argument is probably the most debatable due to the fact that some instruments are lighter than others, and that there are many other sports or physical activities that are more physically demanding than marching band. However, that is not saying that marching band is not physically demanding, just less than some activities.

   The more concrete criteria that it meets is the competition factor, because it is undeniable that marching band has competitions. After all of that, the answer can truly only be based on individual opinion. If I have to be completely honest, I would say that marching band is not a sport, but my reasoning is completely different from the topics others have brought up prior. I believe marching band falls under the category of art due to the fact that it is mainly music. In my opinion, rating music objectively or using music as a competition defeats the purpose of listening to music for its artistic value. Now, in no way do I seek to discredit the physical requirements needed for marching band, but I view music as an art and not a competition. So, with everything considered, I would not say marching band is a sport. However, a majority of the GLHS student body would argue otherwise.