Is marching band a sport? The best answer

It can be a sport but it is not always one.  We have to look further at the definition of sport to give a more detailed answer.

Marching is generally not considered a sport. It’s more seen as an activity or club you have to be in a club or school for. But if you think about it, marching band isn’t all too different from other sports. In some broad definitions, it can be considered a sport as it requires skill and has a physical element. What is missing is the competitive element that is required according to more narrow definitions of the word sport.

Marching band is physical and requires physical exertion, just like any other sport does. You have to practice hard in order to be good at it, just the way athletes do when they are training for their sport. Finally, when you’re on the field performing in front of hundreds of people, your adrenaline rush will feel just like the one you get during games! So though marching band may not seem like the most athletic thing out there, there are plenty of ways to make it one!

It has to be noted that there are marching competitions. Teams score points for their performance. So in some instances, marching can be seen as a sport according to more narrow definitions as well. Some people argue that marching doesn’t have a physical element as players don’t have to move fast. They argue that because of its lack of speed and endurance requirements, this activity would not be considered an actual sport. I don’t agree with this as coordination and endurance are required to do this. So while there is some discussion about this, I would say that marching band is a sport. 

What is marching band?

A marching band is a type of music that comes from marching and playing instruments. Marching bands play in parades and during football games. Marching band requires you to practice hard to be good at it, just like athletes who practice hard for their sport.  

Marching band is a very physical activity. In fact, it requires more physical exercise than most people realize. You have to use your muscles and coordinate them with the rest of the band in order to get the desired sound. The same goes for any sport you play: you have to use all your muscles to get the desired result.

The same goes for any sport you play: you have to use all your muscles to get the desired result.

Another similarity between marching band and sports is that they require dedication and practice in order for someone to be good at it. Athletes spend hours practicing their sport in order to execute it perfectly, and marching band members do too!

This activity has a rich history and there are several variations. These include forwards, sidewards and lateral marching. You also have several styles, including traditional and civilian styles. All this makes it an engaging activity as there is always more to learn. 

Marching band is not in the Olympics so i hasn’t been recognized by the International Sports Committee as an Olympic activity. 

So while we think it may be possible to make marching band into a more athletic activity with some changes (making it faster-paced and requiring more endurance), right now what happens on your average football field is much different than what happens on your average parade ground.


Why we think marching band is a sport

We think marching band is a sport because it’s a physical activity that requires practice and hard work in order to be good at it. You can also compare the adrenaline rush you get from performing in front of hundreds of people to when athletes compete in front of a big audience.

There are several roles in the band and also several styles. This can be seen in other sports as well. For example, in volleyball, you have attackers and defenders. In marching band, you also have players that focus on different aspects of their performance. 

 In competitions, each routine is judged based on objective criteria. These include synchronization of moves, difficulty, and artistic representation. This is quite similar to how scoring works in gymnastics. This makes it possible to rank the performance of the bands. Afterward, the winners get a medal or cup. It is a big honor to win a competition.

Travelling is quite challenging for band members as they have to bring a lot of instruments. This is why most competitions are quite local and there are not a lot of national or international competitions. 

A uniform is worn by players in marching bands. This clearly shows who is part of which team. This is also similar to other sports. For example, in basketball, each team has its own colors. 

While it is not really supported by the NCAA, which is responsible for sports in colleges in the USA, marching band players can get a scholarship. 

Given all of the above, marching has all the elements that other sport has. There shouldn’t be any reason why it is not considered to be a sport. People often think that music is the main element of marching but it also involves a lot of movement and physical action. Instruments are very heavy and moving around with them can be very intense. It will be interesting to see if marching can become part of the Olympics in the future. 



Marching band is a sport if it is done in competition and should be recognized as such. Marching during a football match doesn’t make it a sport according to more narrow definitions as it lacks a competitive element. Recently more and more competitions started to pop up and bands started to compete. It will be exciting to see if it will get recognized as a sport.