This debate has been going on for years, if not decades. The marching band has been a great part of the High School dynamic and an avid hobby for countless students at Lone Peak, but is it considered a sport? It is true that Marching Band members stand on fields for long periods of time, plan, and practice, similar to sports such as football and soccer, but does the physical activity even compare? The results are arguable.
We should start with the fundamental definition of a sport. What is a sport? How does an activity classify as a sport?
The Oxford Dictionary states that a sport is, “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment,”
According to this definition, marching band should be considered a sport. They do involve physical exertion and they do compete against teams for entertainment.
We talked to an unnamed member of the staff here at Lone Peak who mentioned that a sport needs to contain an element of spontaneity, which means that the result of your performance is directly affected by the performance of the opponent. Another point that they made was that a sport can’t be routine, such as dance or Marching Band. They mentioned that those activities have a routine and based on the opponent’s performance, the only thing they could do to win is to perfect their routine and make it better than the competitor. They have also said that activities that fall into that category are called fine arts.
We then asked about the definition of a fine art, to which they replied that a fine art is a performance-based activity where they can’t deviate their performance because of their opponent, but rather perform their set routine perfectly.
We talked to a current member of the marching band, Sami Mower (‘21), a percussionist in the band, to ask about her opinions. She stated, “Yes, I do think that it is a sport. We compete against other teams, and we actually do have a lot of physical exertion. We carry heavy instruments around the field for long periods of time, and we have to march perfectly,” After asking about her response to those who think it is not a sport, she mentioned, “There’s good reasoning for both sides, and people can have their own opinions. Marching Band is really fun, you get to meet new people, play amazing music, and exercise at the same time. Even though it takes a lot of sweat, it makes exercise really fun. Fight me.”
All in all, we don’t have a set conclusion to this question. You can decide what marching band may mean to you: A sport, fine art, or nothing at all. If you are a member of the marching band, you may say that it is a sport, but if you are a football player, you may think otherwise.