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Band participation requires commitment

Commentary

April 6, 2014
The Altoona Mirror

The definition of sport, according to Google is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment."

Dictionary.com defines sport as "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature."

Marching band fits both of these definitions with excellence, so why isn't it a sport?

Have you ever thought of marching band as a sport? If you have participated in marching band, you know how physically and mentally demanding it can be. According to a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, the physical challenges and demands of participating in competitive high school marching band are similar to those experienced by athletes who compete in sports.

With the Penn State Blue-White game set to unfold on Saturday, many fans will focus on the athleticism of the football team while overlooking the challenges of the Blue Band.

Both marching band and football require practice to become good at it, although some participants may be naturals.

The practice for marching band can be as physically demanding as football practice can be. Hours and hours of playing instruments while going through drills and memorizing field shows are much like the experience of football players practice drills and memorize plays.

When it comes to sports, most of the teams have one goal in mind - to win. With band, there is so much more than just winning. The band must play with the highest quality of sound and visibly be on point.

Band members memorize field routines just as football players memorize plays, but the band members have more to worry about than being at the right place at the right time.

When band members perform a halftime show, they must move with perfect precision, at the exact right moment, the correct amount of steps, and be playing an instrument with memorized music.

One of the most important aspects of marching band is that member of the band is a team player and each of the team members will get to be on the field. Each member of a team getting to play and be on the field is not something that most sports can promise.

By definition, marching band fulfills the qualifications of being a sport. If this bothers you or other sports fans, get over it. The UrbanDictionary.com an online source states, "Marching band is a sport."

Melanie K. Swartz, Ginter

Lady Lions face uphill struggle

If fans are happy the Lady Lions made the Sweet 16 and then bombed out, well, OK.

There is a pattern that has developed, and that is they are functionally inconsistent. They are either hot or cold, and it doesn't take long to see which one takes hold.

It will be difficult to defend the Big Ten title next year with Rutgers and Maryland joining. Maryland men's and women's teams are very good.

With Maggie Lucas and three other seniors gone after this year, it could be anybody's guess who will replace the Lady Lions at the top.

Les Hart, Duncansville

 
 

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