Are Marching Band and Color Guard Sports?


Brooke Wachter

Are marching band and color guard sports? Most people would say no. For a while, I would have agreed — until I went to some of my older sister’s practices. Seeing how hard they worked at ridiculously long practices — seriously, is a four-hour long session in the blazing sun really that necessary? —made me change my mind. Now that my younger sister and some of my friends have joined one or the other, I had to wonder if either should be considered a sport.

 

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Unidentified marching band members stand at attention.

 

At school, I hear differing opinions. I hear marching band members laughing about how they work harder than the “dumb football jocks”; football players mocking the marching band “nerds.” Frankly, both groups work hard.

At school, I hear differing opinions. I hear marching band members laughing about how they work harder than the “dumb football jocks”; football players mocking the marching band “nerds.” Frankly, both groups work hard.

Google defines a sport as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Thank you Google. Anyway, let’s see if marching band and color guard fit that description.

First, are they “activities”? An activity is “a thing that a person or group does or has done.” Thank you again, Google. I can definitely say that both marching band and color guard are groups of people doing something. Next, do they involve physical exertion? I believe marching, doing flips, and running all count as forms of physical exertion. Do either require a certain amount of skill? After seeing marching band members meticulously practice their choreography for hours on end, some carrying instruments as large as tubas, I’d have to say yes.

 

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Marching band and color guard members practice.

 

I’ve seen the excitement and terror on my friends’ faces as they prepare to go against other bands at competitions. Marching band isn’t just marching around and playing instruments — just like football isn’t just running around throwing a football. Anyone who can’t see the hard work and determination that goes into either sport need to take the time to notice it.

Marching band isn’t just marching around and playing instruments — just like football isn’t just running around throwing a football.

 

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An unidentified marching band student prepares for an upcoming competition.

 

There are countless clubs and sports that don’t get recognition for their hard work. Next time you see someone from a club that you think is lame, why don’t you ask a member why they enjoy that club? Most will tell you that they do it because that club or sport is worth it. Isn’t that why we do anything?

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