Varsity Letter Question


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Aug 5, 2008
What qualifies as a varsity sport letter?

At my school, we can receive a letter for participation various band activities. The points are awarded based on what group you are a part of and any other extra band activities you participate in such as Marching Band (me 4 years), Pep/Basketball band (me 3 years, but 4 later on this year), Jazz band (me 1 semester), Honor band auditions, (me 2 auditions), and other leadership activities (field crew coordinator and attendance manager this year.)

I have done a lot to earn this letter, and hopefully a second one later this year, and even though it isn't a sport, I feel that I have put just as much if not more effort into it than some of the sports players. (During marching season, we usually put in close to 30 hours per week) Does this qualify as a varsity sport letter even though band isn't technically a sport? Also how does the Academy figure in Academic letters?
Band is not a sport.

Doesn't matter what you think, it's what they think.

However, participation in band is a positive thing.

It's just not a sport.
Yes, band is an example of a extracurricular activity, NOT a sport.
All very good information here. This is definitely a topic of discussion that comes up a lot. "Other activities like band that requires just as much dedication and hard work as sports do".

There is no argument here, so don't take it as though the academy thinks "MORE" of sports than they do band. They don't. The truth is, trying to compare the two is comparing apples and oranges. You might as well be comparing football to Boy's State or JrROTC. Or comparing Band to the IB program. If you try to compare sports and band, you're just going to give yourself a headache.

So, that brings up the whole "LETTER" issue. The reason a "Letter" in sports is relative, is because one of the prime requirements of the military; any branch; is to be physically fit. The basic concept behind lettering in sports is that you were MORE involved in the sport than others on the team, and thus MORE physically "capable". Thus, a good indicator that you are probably physically fit for military service. Also, realize that most schools have numerous types of letters for different activities. Sports are "usually" a common standard around the country. Again, it's a way of demonstrating that you were "More" involved on the team than another player. In my son's school, they had letters for sports, band, cheerleading, academics, IB program, and a number of other activities.

Now, in your application, there are areas where you can mention "Advanced" stature in band or any other activity. Including receiving a "letter", all state, accolades, and awards. This is how the academy knows that you weren't just someone "In the Band", but someone who excelled compared to their peers.

So again, don't look at it as though sports is everything and band is nothing. It doesn't work that way. But the hard truth is; Academics and being physically fit for "ALL" military requirements is the number 1 priority for military service and the academy. After that; extra curricular, volunteering, scouts, CAP, JrROTC, etc... come into play. With academics; you have gpa;class ranking; and SAT/ACT to judge you. For sports; you have Varsity letters; state championships; all state nominations; and other accolades to judge you. Being academics and physical fitness are the most important, accurately measuring those accomplishments is equally important. later... mike...