According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
This definition, unfortunately, is not reliable. Society dictates what is and isn’t a sport. Ice skating, boxing, soccer, softball, and especially football, are all considered sports.
Recently, I have had discussions with individuals about whether or not marching band is a sport.
Marching band is more of a physical thing than society tends to believe. In marching band, we do many exercises throughout our five-hour practice. People like to think that marching band is not physically demanding. However, the people that tend to think this have never attended a marching band practice. The marching band has many cumbersome instruments. We attempt to make these instruments as portable as we possibly can to be able to travel towards audiences. These instruments are often strapped to a kid’s back, who marches and walks for a decent amount of time. Often we have been in parades that last for hours.
What most people do not know is that our marching band competes.
The only difference between marching band and common sports is that we play instruments while we do it instead of having some form of a ball.
You’d be shocked by the kinds of conversations I’ve had with narrow-minded people. For whatever reason, whenever I bring up this topic, no one seems to listen to me. Usually, they mention something about the marching band having little physical activity (though they have never been to a marching band practice) and refuse to continue with the conversation.
Some people treat marching band as if it could never be a sport just because they believe that it is underneath them. The sports that they love could never be classified with marching band. Despite knowing very little about marching band, they make preconceptions based off a bias that they have.
I urge anyone who believes this to come meet the band. Volunteering to learn more about our organization will help you to learn more about marching band. This will make you be able to experience what it is like to be a marching band member.
Before making judgments about a group or organization, it is best to attend the organization’s meetings or practices.
Annie Blakeley is a student at Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy, is a band and chorus student and a member of First United Methodist Church in Hamlet.