The Surveyor

Are Show Choir and Marching Band Sports?

The+Warrior+Marching+Band+performing+Sep.+1+2017+at+a+football+game.+
The Warrior Marching Band performing Sep. 1 2017 at a football game.

The Warrior Marching Band performing Sep. 1 2017 at a football game.

Jordan Samllie- Monument

Jordan Samllie- Monument

The Warrior Marching Band performing Sep. 1 2017 at a football game.

Ben Janssen and Alex Slattery

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Yes– Ben Janssen

Marching band and show choir are two popular groups at Wash. They each have over 100 participants, but gather scorn from athletes at Wash. Students in show choir and marching band now get sports waivers while more traditional sports don’t. Athletes don’t understand why these activities are sports.

According to dictionary.com, the basic definition of a sport is “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” It is often debated if they do require skill and physical prowess.

While in marching band, the majority of members are playing an instrument and marching at the same time. This requires a significant amount of skill, not only are members required to memorize difficult music and perform it at a high quality, they have to march in a specific way around the field, in unison with others. Marching band is also physical.  Marchers spend up to 10 hours rehearsing the show, in Iowa summer heat. During that time marchers can march up to 12 feet per second or 8.18 miles per hour, while simultaneously playing their instruments, (which sometimes can weigh up to 35 pounds.) according to Austin Fit Magazine. Come performance time; the band has to act as a whole for at least 15 minutes in thick, hot uniforms, without a break.

Baseball, however, is considered a sport. A baseball game has no clock so the athletes could play for hours. However, every half inning everyone gets to sit down and take a break. When running is involved, it’s in short bursts, and once you stop running, you get a break. You could play an entire baseball game where the only physical thing you do is run from the dugout to your spot in the field.

Show choir is similar to marching band. They have to memorize difficult music and perform it at a high level while dancing and moving around the stage. That takes a tremendous amount of skill. The ability to be in constant motion while belting out notes takes a certain level of physical prowess.

Swimming is widely regarded as one of the most challenging sports. Swimmers are often only in the pool for thirty seconds then they can sit down and rest. Show choir, performers are on stage for around 20 minutes performing with little time to take a breath.

Ultimately, show choir and marching band are sports. They meet every day during school and are physical activities that require skill.

 

No– Alex Slattery, ’18

I’m going to make this short; I don’t care whether show choir and marching band are considered sports to you or not. I’m here to voice my opinion and my opinion only. I think that if someone wants to put singing and dancing around a stage in the same category as having a 250-pound linebacker run you over and have that happen numerous times a game, as happens in football, then I don’t know how to convince you to be rational with this topic.

I’ve been in both show choir and marching band as well as involved in athletics. Being in show choir and marching band never required having to wake up at 5 am, practice twice a day, condition, or even put in extra hours outside of scheduled practice. You will find those characteristics in most every single athletic sport.

Show choir is not recognized as a sport by any athletic association or national organization which makes it hard for me to give them a title as such. Since it is not recognized by the NCAA, that means there are no athletic scholarships for show choir. So the NCAA is telling everyone that show choir participants are not athletes but rather artists. The lack of recognition leads to show choir and music scholarships to be located under the “fine arts” category, not athletic.

Another perfect example is the fact that our own school is indirectly defending my argument. If you go to the Washington High School website, you will find both show choir and music bands under the “Fine Arts” tab. The rest of the physically demanding sports can be found under the “Athletics” tab. If the school and state don’t consider it a sport, it’s not a sport. While show choir and marching band are essential parts of the fine arts department and have both done well in competitions, they simply are not and never will be athletic sports and nor should be considered as such.

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Are Show Choir and Marching Band Sports?