Is Marching Band A "REAL" Sport?

I Say OF Course It Is!! No One Else Seems To Share This Opinion With Me. What Is A “REAL” Sport Anyway?

This doesn’t provide much of a handle to get a discussion started. You’d do better to provide your own definition of “sport” in this context, and explain how marching band meets it.

Marching Band is not a sport by my definition.

This did not prevent me from taking it an alternative to PE for the year that I lasted in High School, however. :slight_smile:

Does professional marching band involve a ball, a score, have offsides, penalties, an offense or a defense? Or … does it have geeks who crack bad oboe jokes to each other, while Typing With A Capital Letter At The Beginning Of Every Word While They’re Online??

I don’t think it’s a sport. Why? Well, for one thing, most sports have specific venues for them. Marching band plays on, what, a “football” field?

Just an addition. I’m trying to think of a sport that doesn’t have it’s own special place.

That’s not too hard.

Running? Rowing? Sailing (if you consider it a sport)? Cycling?

Nah, it’s not a sport. Nor is it an art. It’s … umm … one of those things that falls through the cracks. Done properly it’s dang hard work, a ton of fun and incredibly rewarding. And I hear it’s also a great way to get drunk…

Metacom, I have been corrected.

I can’t believe I didn’t think of that stuff.

run away and hide

Well, one time, at band camp . . .

For those who say it’s not a sport, could you provide a definition which excludes band and includes all the things we generally accept as sport? I think for something to be a reasonable definition, it would have to allow for, say, all the sports in the Olympics, and I think that it would be hard to come up with such a definition. But I’ll accept it there is one.

Here’s the first point from the definition in the Collins dictionary:

  1. an individual or group activity pursued for exercise or pleasure, often taking a competitive form.

Under that definition, band is in.

Yes, mrsam, I can -

Any activity that employs music as an integral aspect is not a sport - figure skating, rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, etc. These activities wouldn’t be possible without music.

Just because they are in the Olympics doesn’t mean anything - the Olympics just include them as entertainment. These events are competitive performances, nothing more, and certainly not sport. Any athlete or former athlete who has played real sports would not consider the above to be a sport. That’s reasonable.

Now, what would marching band be without the music? People walking around in formation wearing tall, dorky hats. Right? Sport? No.

Back in the early 80’s, when they starting giving varsity “letters” to the band, I knew someone would try this someday and claim marching band is a sport.

Under that definition, the following could also be construed as sports: NASCAR, showing dogs, bowling, quilting, growing orchids, and even masturbation.

I don’t consider any of the above a sport, although they may very well be enjoyable pastimes.

For what it’s worth, my personal, somewhat biased definition (which excludes some Olympic activities), would be something like “an individual or group activity pursued for excercise and pleasure, often taking a competetive form, and which raises the individuals heart rate above %70 of their maximum heart rate for periods of time longer then 15 minutes” :slight_smile:

Done right, it is a sport, and a very competitive one at that.

Drum and Bugle Corps Competition.

Is it on ESPN? That’s my litmus test.

I saw a Magic: The Gathering tournament on ESPN 2 once. Definitely one of the lowlights of the network, I’d imagine.

My take is that nothing with a subjective scoring system can qualify as a sport.

So diving is out, then?

So diving is out, then?



When I was in band, we spent 3 hours after school marching up and down the parking lot four days a week. We were out there LONG after the football players had gone home.

I was in the best shape of my life then.