5 Reasons That Drum Corps is a Model Sport
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5 Reasons That Drum Corps is a Model Sport

Yes, you read that right, it's a sport.

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5 Reasons That Drum Corps is a Model Sport
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The Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championships finished up this past Saturday, and while I watched them, I had a thought: Drum Corps is a model sport. Now, you may think it isn't a sport, and you may be wondering how I could ever think this; but I would argue that there are 4 aspects of Drum Corps that make it a sport.


1. Athleticism

If you've ever seen a Drum Corps performance, you know how much athletic ability it takes to perform. Players move around the field while carrying heavy drums, playing brass instruments, dancing, or spinning a variety of things like rifles. It can’t be easy to have enough breath to move around an entire football field while also playing notes with a brass instrument, a drum, or while dancing. Many of the brass players’ faces turn red from the amount of breath they use to play the notes in the succession and volume that they have to, and all of the players work up a sweat. As a drummer who marches in parades I can attest that the equipment can get heavy, and I’d imagine that keeping your drum up while moving around during a twenty minute performance in a stadium must be a challenge; yet everyone moves speedily and in perfect time. As a matter of fact, many athletes have the same heart rate while playing their sport as Corps members do while performing in their show.

2. Coordination

Besides having the athleticism to move in synchronization, the musicians also must memorize music and play it. Then, once you do this, you have to be able to play while marching. My biggest challenge in marching band this year was getting used to playing rapid and synchronized (notes that are off beat) notes while marching. The Drum Corps drummers and brass players have difficult music and they also have movements that are more than just marching in a straight line. They have to sometimes move like an interpretive dancer or run and jump. The dancers and flag twirlers usually move to the music being played, and act beside the musicians, so they must make sure they time the spinning just right, and that when they throw the rifle, it reaches their hands in time. The pit members don't move around like the marchers do but they also have to have coordination. Some have to play a few different instruments like bass drum, cymbals, and tambourine. Even if they don't switch instruments, it still takes coordination to play any instrument like a piano or drum set.


3. Teamwork

Drum Corps undeniably require team work; every single member of the Corps must work together to achieve excellence. When you watch a show it is similar to synchronized swimming -- everyone moves as one body and tells a specific story or interprets the music. The pit members are stuck in one place playing their instruments, but they still move and act along with the theme as seen with the “possessed keyboard player”. In addition, before the Corps is even ready to step onto the field, they must practice and work hard together. They help each other to learn the music, the movements, and everything that goes into a performance. In order to have a successful show everyone must work together.

4. Dedication

Members of a Drum Corps are dedicated to their performance and their work. They put in countless hours to make sure that their part sounds right and their movements are exact so that they can perform to the best of their ability. Many of the members have fun playing, but they also act with great professionalism mixed with ferocity in order to place high in the DCI World Championships. Even if they aren’t playing for a DCI Band and they are in high school or college, you will still see that they put a lot of passion into what they do like any other athlete would.

5. Acceptance

When you look at the roster of a Corps you'll notice that there are a lot of people, and that they are usually diverse. Firstly, in this sport, males and females can participate. If you're a male who wants to twirl a flag or a female who wants to play snare drum, you won't get a second look. As long as you audition, and know what you're doing, you are free to do what you want. It doesn't matter your gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or even your age; if you get into the Drum Corps you can do what you auditioned for. Everyone will see you as nothing less than their awesome teammate.


Given the athleticism, coordination, and dedication of the players it is already easy to argue that Drum Corps is a sport. When you look further and see the teamwork of these teens and young adults and the fact that anyone can join it becomes a model. Sports should be accessible to all and should have teamwork as their most important quality. When Corps compete you can tell that they really work together to achieve the score that they do. I hope someday Drum Corps will be recognized by more people as an amazing organization that combines music, dancing, and theatre with athletics. And, who knows, someday we could have major sports teams that allow females as well as males.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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