It’s game time. The team has already assembled and warmed up; now they are taking the field. Weeks of drilling and executing countless formations, comes down to this – the championships. When all is said and done, the team’s performance was just about flawless. Even with the inadequacies, they walk away with a victorious first place in States. More than pleased with themselves, they load their buses and return to their town with a trophy in hand. Upon arriving, they are not met by the traditional parade through town of the victorious; they simply continue on their way to the school. Met only by the smiling faces of their parents (usually), they return home and go to sleep. In the morning, no praises will be uttered over the announcements or the radio – life will simply continue as it has. What kind of State-wide winning team receives this kind of recognition? The answer is simple – the Marching Band.
I believe that marching band deserves to be classified as a sport at both the collegiate and high school level. By definition, a sport is “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” To most people, and subsequently those who have never participated in band, do not see marching band as such.
Thousands of students assemble every August on hundreds of campuses across the nation. They spend ten to twelve hour days out in the scorching sun and in the blistering heat to prepare a seven to fifteen minute performance with timed precision and accuracy. At California University of PA alone, eight students out of a 125 member group were taken to the infirmary for sprains, dehydration and fatigue.
So what makes a marching unit any different from football or cheerleading? What is it that keeps many high school seniors from receiving a letterman jacket because they are in band and not baseball or tennis?
Look back to the beginning scenario which was set out for you. Is band truly any different from any other activity that is socially accepted as a “sport” or are we withheld from the realization of prejudice by our ignorance and lack of a want to change said ignorance.
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