Did your high school allow football players to march in the band?

During football season, did boys who played football march in the marching band in their football uniforms, or did they just sit on the sidelines?

Please post yes or no, and post the city and state where you went to high school.

I have a theory about something, and I’ll reveal it after I get at least 40-50 responses or so.

We didn’t even have a football team. We had a soccer team, and no, I don’t think it would have occurred to anyone to let them march with us.

ETA, this was a small town in upstate NY in the late 70s.

I meant ‘during halftime at football games’. The point is that there are only two choices–you can either let them march in their football uniforms, or just not at all, because there’s not enough time to change uniforms.

Band was on the field at half time. Our team was in the locker room. So, No they didnt.

I submit that it would be difficult to do both for a couple of reasons.

I played JV football and was a drummer in the marching band. If I continued on to varsity which I’m sure I would have made, I would have had to choose one over the other. Reason? There’s no way as half-time approached that a player could quickly slip out of the football uniform, put on the marching band outfit, perform the routine and then get back into shoulder pads and cleats. It goes without saying that it would look ridiculous if you had the band with its emphasis on uniformity (in both contexts) to have a lone member participating in full football attire.

What’s more, the player would be missing out on the half-time routine of the football team presumably with coaches laying out some in-game strategizing to say nothing of the need for resting up a bit and re-hydrating to get ready for the second half.

I don’t believe that any football player in the history of the high school I attended ever asked if he could march with the band during halftime.

I don’t know if mine did. My husband’s did, and the football players did indeed make a quick change into their band uniforms to do the halftime show.

folks, what are your locations?

I have a friend from rural Illinois whose high school always let their football players march in the halftime shows, wearing football uniforms.

I’m from rural North Carolina, and I assure you that our band director would never have allowed such a thing, in fact, he told me specifically that he didn’t allow it because it looked tacky.

My hypothesis is that all of the high schools that allow football players to march are NOT in the South, especially the rural South.

My curiosity regards exactly WHERE the line is. The Midwest in general is known for loving the heck out of high school football, and the Upper Midwest specifically is known for not being as focused on appearances as other areas, like the South. So is rural Illinois the only place where this goes on, or what?

This didn’t happen at my HS (SE WA State), not only because of the difficulty in changing from one to the other at halftime but also the amount of practice that went into marching band wouldn’t be possible with the practicing that goes on for football. Too hard to find time for both.

Cincinnati, football players weren’t allowed in the marching band. You had to make a choice at the beginning of the year, football or marching band. Musicians who chose football could rejoin the band after football season (when all the marching was over).

I don’t think it was an issue of changing uniforms, it was more like what Bob Ducca said. Our band started practicing 3 weeks before school started, and had evening practices 2 or 3 times a week. Can’t do that and still practice with the football team.

I think this particular high school MADE time.

For whatever reason.

For that matter, we managed to learn almost all our routines during our 50 minute band class every day. We had a short 3-day band camp in August, and a 1 or 2-day band camp in June, and that was it.

Of course, we didn’t memorize our music, and our marching routines were pretty simple. Our band directors were too busy/old to really take us to competitions, work up complex/difficult routines, etc… I still like those guys, I just recognize that it’s possible to take marching band WAAAAY more seriously than they did.

My kid is currently in high school. Yes, the football players can and do march the half-time show, in their football uniform.

The football half-time shows are just for practice and for the parents anyway. The real show is during the contests, and there, of course, everyone is in the proper uniform.

Yes, northeast Ohio.

Our band was a competition band so halftime was a pittance of what we really did as a group. The football players were there for competitions on Saturdays and they marched on Fridays when they could.

I dunno. (BTW, from Maryland, went to high school in Maryland.) I don’t think there’s an actual line of demarcation and that this would fall more to the individual schools. If both band director and football coach are o.k. to the idea, I could see cases where a student could do both. For my individual school, we had band members who also played sports. In the summer time, the teams practiced during the day and the band rehearsed in the early evening. A student doing both might be a bit strung out but you could certainly do both.

If either band director or head coach isn’t keen on the idea then I imagine a player would have to pick one over the other. I can see this being the more common route –if not explicitly stated then at least generally understood: varsity football or marching band, you can’t do both.

What I can’t see is one lone member performing a half-time marching band routine dressed in a full football player’s outfit –no matter where you’re from. With a marching band’s emphasis on precision and uniform movement, to have one member sticking out like a sore –pick your body part- I just can’t see pulling this off without looking ridiculous.

And your location, please? :slight_smile:

And yet it happens every Friday night from August through November. :slight_smile:

My hypothesis is still that there’s a line of demarcation.


And furthermore, I’ve seen band members marching in football pads at schools all over Central Texas.

Upstate NY, players did quick change and marched in band.

I am utterly shocked. This is so inconceivable to me that I didn’t even understand the question.

“Why the hell,” I’m thinking, “would anyone ever think that the football players would march with the band? People came to see them play football, not just walk around the field in formation. Besides the fact that they want to rest, and strategize, and whatever the hell else it is players do at halftime.”

Then, I saw the comment about “not enough time to change uniforms”, and I still didn’t get it. “So, not only are they supposedly marching with the band, but they’re putting on band uniforms now? Okay, the OP is clearly from another country, or possibly, planet.”

Because I assumed this was universally true:

Then, the light started to dawn: “Waitaminute - are people implying that… the football players… are in the band?” Apparently so:

What the everloving cheese sandwiches?

Okay, in my high school - SE Michigan - football was king, all other sports were a distant second (with varying degrees of manliness associated), and any other non-sport activities (academic teams, music, art, etc.) were reserved for those who 1) were unathletic enough that they couldn’t get onto any team, and 2) apparently had no shame about 1). If you were on the football team, there was no way in hell you would be caught dead talking to someone in the band, much less actually joining.

Well, and even if someone had decided to commit social suicide, there was also the time-conflict thing. I suspect it was partly a point of pride on the part of the band leader. Band was already enough of an afterthought; I think he didn’t want to make it something you could do without a significant investment of time and effort. He wanted us to take pride in the effort we put in.

And yet half our repertoire was Beach Boys…

We only ever had one football player in the band during my 4 years of high school (french horn, marched mellophone). He didn’t march with us at halftime or sit with us in the stands (even for games where he was benched the whole time), but I never thought to question it. Halftime isn’t downtime for athletes.

Most of the athletes who were in band in middle school dropped it by high school because of time conflicts. It’s not possible to do after-school marching band and football practice at the same time. And we traveled a lot for competitions on weekends, while football players traveled a lot for games already.

This was in Indiana in the early 2000s.