Should Marching Band be considered a sport?

Elliot Tritto

Central Bureau Chief


“You know, if I can survive marching band, I can survive anything,” said Nellie McKay, singer-songwriter.Without marching band, I would not be the young man that I am today. Why is that?

When you’re under the flaming hot Florida sun, under constant surveillance and directionof instructors andcommunicating with your fellow marchers around the field by only movement, you definetly learn how to adapt under enormous stress.

Marching band exists as an activity where everyone works as a team. It truly is a team effort and there is no I in “team.”

Marching band has no LeBron James saving us to win a championship. Everyone has an equal share of responsibility that can make us or break us winning a competition. You ever heard of the phrase “One Band, One Sound?” That’s the gist of it.

One of the benefits of participating in marching band involves the healthy balance of a slow mental and physcial upbrining.

First off, both attributes can go hand in hand. When the band runs two laps around the football field, completes exercises of how to stay in a line alongside carrying and playing your instrument can get tiresome. Multitasking is the secret weapon on how to keep in line, literally.

Moving onward, the mental aspect requires a lot of sleep and patience. Memorizing music, visuals and the various movements across the field wears you down. Oh yeah, we don’t play in marching band.

Nevertheless, the question does stand: Should marching band be considered a sport?

This is an easy yes.

The training process involved never really reaches the discussion table about what is the hardest sport to train for? Usually, 8-10 hours are a minimum number of hours put into a Saturday or summer practice.

Two hours of physical training, 3 hours of learning visuals/learning formations across the field, 3-4 hours of practicing music, and whatever time was left, we spent on what needed the most work. So, there’s the physical aspect.

In comparison to the MMA, it’s merely more of a mental game than a physical one.

“Half of this game is 90 percent mental,” said Tim Sylvia, a mixed martial arts fighter. You need to know what your path lies ten steps ahead of you before you take that first step.

Marching band exists as acollaborative sport that is based on sorely on communication with only our bodies and ears. Learning how to listen and observe canfurther develop skills on and off the field.

Overall, creating music and executing a combination of poses and choreography, paints a beautiful picture on the football field.

Sports and the Arts are vital to society and Marching Bandcreates a bridge point between the two. With the performers spinning a flag orplaying a harmonic piece while having that domnant physical presence, will sure do the trick.
Photo: An example of a marching band at Ohio Northern University. Photo Courtesy of