It absolutely is a sport, to the highest degree if I do say so myself.
There's no higher degree of danger and risk in the musical world when compared to marching band. The physical stress it compounds to on the players amounts to the same, possibly (most likely) even more stress, when compared to sports of the general public. Brass players who don't use gloves are prone to burning their hands on the metal. All players who hold their instrument without a strap are prone to injury in their arms if they mess up.
Percussion players are the most prone to needing hospitals after a performance. This is a bit of an exaggeration, but when someone with a giant drum strapped to their front by the will of their back trips and injurs themselves, it will mostly likely end up in them never being able to play for the season.
Haha carpal tunnel am I right
The mental stress it builds up in a weak, scrawny little high schooler and an experienced college student are one and the same.
-"I HAVE to succeed or everyone will be disappointed."
-"If I mess up this part I think I'm going to starve myself tonight."
-"I'M SORRY DRUM MAJOR PLEASE STOP YELLING AT EVERYONE IN MY SECTION IT WAS MY FAULT"
-"If I miss practice today everyone will hate me, even if I have every reason to miss practice"
Competitions all throughout the year, practices each and every day depending on how gung-ho your director is
There's a sweet little video somewhere that uses technology to scan the physical stress on a percussion who plays for the show. Turns out it to have been extreme enough to be compared to your typical basketball player, except what if that player was wearing weights as they played????
Marching band IS a sport and I have trouble understanding the other side.