Does lettering in Marching Band count as a varsity sport?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Jondolar, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Jondolar

    Jondolar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    10
    I see that somewhere around 85% of USNA offers go to applicants with a varsity sport letter. My daughter does not have any other letter. Will the Marching Band letter help her chances similar to other sports?

    Thanks,
     
  2. brovol

    brovol Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    556
    This question comes up fairly regularly, and I believe the consensus is that it does not count as a sport. It gets considered in a favorable way, but not as a sport, so it does not fulfill that criteria.
     
    Maplerock likes this.
  3. time2

    time2 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    268
    Band is considered an ECA by the SA's, it does not count as a sport.
     
  4. Class2020Dad

    Class2020Dad Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    66
    My DS was a Drum Major so his AC informed us he received extra points for leadership in that role.

    GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    If you aren't a varsity athlete (and especially if you're not involved in organized athletics period), pay particular attention to your CFA as it will count very heavily in terms of your "physical" qualification.
     
  6. goforspaatz

    goforspaatz USAFA c/o 2020

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2015
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    209
    Although band is not a sport, in one of the SA applications (my memory fails me here) they had a spot under athletics that said something like "Other physical activities like marching band". Otherwise, it's just an ECA.
     
  7. dakine

    dakine Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    36
    I'm not sure if a band letter helps - but I've heard there are many former HS Drum Majors at USNA. USNA has an impressive music program given its size - so my guess is that band experience must be seen as a good thing. I'd encourage your daughter to go for Drum Major since it is usually a peer-nominated leadership position.
     
  8. Jondolar

    Jondolar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thanks for all the replies. My DD was section leader in band. She is Deputy Corps Commander of her AFROTC unit as a junior, hoping to get Corps Commander next year. She is working very hard on her physical training which sounds like the right place to put an emphasis since she has not played organized sports since she was 12.
     
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  9. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    345
    Doe she know how physically demanding a service academy is? Just curious; why no sports after age 12? There will be regular fitness testing throughout the academy, then throughout the military career.
     
  10. RedDragon

    RedDragon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    100
    DS was drum major this year in addition to captaining two varsity teams. He has been fortunate to receive appointments to USAFA, USMA and USCGA as well as 2 ROTC scholarships. We think leading the band did set him up well...
     
  11. time2

    time2 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    268
    ^^ I assume being captain of 2 varsity teams means he actually played those sports. Doing that in addition to band is a completely different resume than the OP who started this thread.
     
  12. Jondolar

    Jondolar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    10
    DD focused on music, academics and volunteer work in junior high. It wasn't until high school that she became interested in the military. It wasn't until her sophomore year that she decided she wanted to get into Annapolis. She has been working hard physically ever since. Her mile is down to 8:10 and she is close to doing 1 chin-up. She is going to NASS and Norwich this summer. I think she'll continue to improve and her CFA should be reasonable by end of summer. I'm hoping that having no sports won't hurt her if her CFA is near the average scores.
     
  13. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    345
    You never know. They're looking for well rounded kids. The band will help, but having no sports will stand out unless there are significant other achievements. Most applicants will have lots of eca's including volunteer hours, sports, student government, music and a boatload more. The academy wants kids that can prioritize their responsibilities.
     
  14. Class2020Dad

    Class2020Dad Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    66
    My DS was in the same boat, had band all 4 years, Drum Major and his senior year was in Varsity Swim and Water Polo. He really pushed himself to get into varsity sports and it has been a grueling schedule with band schedule every day varsity marching practice and jazz band. This also shows they are good at time management skills, something they will need at USNA! Hope it worked, he is still at CPR and no TWE yet! She may want to try at least one varsity sport her senior year and excel in that! GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!
     
    Maplerock likes this.
  15. FalconsRock

    FalconsRock Parent

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2015
    Messages:
    772
    Likes Received:
    537
    Jondolar, there is an excellent stickie at the top of the USAFA forum page by Christcorp that addresses sports and an academy application. It would be worth you while to read.
     
  16. time2

    time2 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    268
    While everyone can have an opinion about the value of sports, the fact is that SA's value sports for a LOT of good reasons (and they don't consider band as one of them).
     
    Cerberi likes this.
  17. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    For the OP, not doing organized sports since age 12 isn't fatal but it puts your DD very much behind the 8-ball. I won't quibble with her decisions to date b/c what's done is done and I'm sure she is extremely successful in her chosen path. But you're now looking at being competitive in applying to a SA.

    SAs view sports are about more than just physical prowess. SAs view sports as being about teamwork, striving to a goal, sacrificing for others -- and that, to at least some extent -- the athletic "field" is a model for the battlefield. There is a reason that 92% of admitted students were varsity athletes. That does't mean the other 8% didn't participate in sports, only that they weren't varsity athletes.

    As a poster above noted, sports are VERY much a part of all four years at USNA, and Admissions tends to be wary of someone who hasn't been involved in sports -- what if they don't like it? What if they can't maintain physical fitness on their own for 4 yrs? [As an aside, without organized sports, your DD should be running a 7:00 or better in the CFA -- where, as you know, the mile comes at the end of a series of events; she really needs to approach the max score in every event].

    If your DD's heart is set on USNA, I strongly suggest she take some time this summer and participate in organized sports. There are all sorts of summer leagues and sports camps, etc. I'm sure she's very busy with other things but it all depends on how much she wants USNA. Even better, do it in the fall as well, whether in school or outside of school.

    No doubt someone will post that "I got to into USNA" or "my kid did it" with no sports. I've also no doubt there are such individuals at USNA. But you're probably talking a handful in each class. The question is, do you want to be competing for one of those handful of spots or one of the 1125+ spots taken up by athletes?
     
  18. Jondolar

    Jondolar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thanks for the info usna1985. I absolutely understand and agree with the value of sports and why the SAs would want varsity athletes. When we started this journey about 1.5 years ago, we started doing research. Once I realized the huge emphasis on sports participation, I explained to my DD the uphill battle and she made the decision to go for it anyway. She runs on her own at 6:00 about 3 or 4 days a week as well as weight training. She is so driven. However, she still has a long way to go and a short time to get there. Trying to make up 5 years is pretty tough, though. You have confirmed my thoughts that sports are very important in the admissions process and she's been trying to patch that. She ran cross-country last semester and improved her run but is not even close to competitive against the superstars on the team. I know she'll focus on Plan A but it sounds like Plan B (ROTC at a senior military college) or Plan C (ROTC at state school) is much more likely. However, if anybody is going to get in to a SA without playing varsity sports, it will be my DD. I knew I should have forced her to keep playing soccer :)

    Thanks for the info, everyone.
     
  19. Jondolar

    Jondolar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thanks, FalconsRock. I'll check it out.
     
  20. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    The fact she ran XC will help, even if she wasn't a standout (your words, not mine). This whole topic may be something she wants to discuss with her BGO, largely the way you have above. She started on a path w/o sports, realized she wanted a SA and would need sports/fitness, did what she could in the intervening time to "catch up," including self workouts, etc. It can be a very positive story. One other suggestion. If you can afford it and haven't already done so, consider hiring a trainer to help her focus her workouts and be more productive. If you can't afford one, maybe a school coach/gym teacher can help.

    Best of luck to your DD!
     
    Jondolar likes this.

Share This Page