New UIL rule require physicals for marching band members


Provided by the Ford Center video production

With marching band being counted as half of a P.E. credit, all members must have their physical. Marching band may not be as physically demanding, but the conditions they practice in aren't ideal.

Maddie Aronson, Managing Editor

Physicals aren’t just for athletes as far as the UIL is concerned. Starting this year, all marching band members entering the first and third years of high school, as well as seventh and eighth grade marching band students, must get either a physical or provide their medical history in order to participate. 

“For marching band, kids can actually get PE credit, it’s like an athletic event,” band director Jamie Weaver said. “You’re out in the sun, and the last thing you want to happen is for a kid to get hurt, so to put them through the same process. It makes perfect sense.”

Weaver is glad for the new requirement, and believes that getting these physicals will ensure the safety of students in the program. 

“There is always an elevated risk of problems when you add heat and physical exertion,” Weaver said. “As a director, if you don’t know the medical history of somebody, and you ask them to do something physically demanding, and it’s hot outside, something could happen to them. We’ve never had an incident here, but there’s certainly a precedent for physical exertion, and heat and just knowing what kids can and cannot do.”

Marching band is being held to a similar standard to other physical activities on campus, and sophomore Sumedh Potla believes that these precautions should be taken for an activity this strenuous. 

“[Marching Band] probably isn’t as physically demanding as football and other sports but the many hours spent in the heat can cause some people to pass out so you need to be able to withstand it,” Potla said. “It is important to maintain and start with good health and so that it’s easier for yourself and the entire program. 

Having to provide medical history or getting a physical is worth ensuring the safety of all band members according to junior trumpet player Hannah Louallen 

“Some kids might think that they are able to march, but they might not be able to march, and they just need to be checked by a doctor, because in other cases they might not be checked by a doctor,” Louallen said. “Trying to make sure out band is as healthy as possible with as little health risks as possible so people aren’t passing out all the time is definitely important.”