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An Unlikely Sport

by Brilee Carey

Winter Sports. Most people think of the main sports such basketball, wrestling, or an indoor version of an outdoor sport such as soccer or field hockey. For me however, my mind goes to an indoor version of another activity that many people do not even consider a sport, marching band. One form of indoor marching band in indoor color guard, or indoor guard. Before you dismiss it, hear me out. Indoor guard requires immense skill, endurance, and effort to do correctly. When one looks seriously into this activity, they can see that indoor color guard should not be taken lightly.

        Indoor guard. Now, if you think of color guard as you see in a regular high school marching band, depending on how big your high school is, it may be something that just seems like a bunch of pretty people running around with colorful flags on a field. At some schools, students can join a color guard without an audition process as long as they are willing to learn and work at improving. For other more rigorous color guards, there may be an audition process before someone can join. The toughest schools may have two indoor teams, one for students who are ready to compete and a second team that is for students to learn and improve their skills. However, no matter what kind of team a person joins, it requires a lot of work, just like any other sport.

        Skills. Ever sport requires them, but what is so special about the skills used in indoor guard that it can be considered by some to be a sport? To be an active member of an indoor guard, a person must be physically fit. Many members do strength training outside of the guard to stay fit for the season. This helps them to be able to toss 6’ flags and rifles or sabres high into the air with precise control of how many revolutions the object is doing, and with exact control of how high the object is going. Many guard members also do endurance training, which can help them to perform for up to ten minutes without becoming tired, or flexibility training, which is sometimes necessary to be able to do certain tricks and tosses. Another underrated yet very important skill for an indoor guard member is to be able to portray the emotions of the show through just facial expressions and body movement. A guard member must be an actor almost as much as a member of a play. So if you’ve read this and think indoor guard might be for you, what else should you know?

        Just like any other sport, indoor guard is definitely a serious commitment. Many guards practice at least three times a week and have at least three competitions during their season. Also like many other sports, indoor guard has a risk for injuries. Bumps and bruises are not uncommon for members of a color guard, and concussions, while unusual, are always a risk. Color guard also requires more muscles than most people think, so if you decide to join, don’t worry if you’re sore for a few days. It should go away soon.

        Indoor guard is a wonderful activity to participate in. Not only will it build a person’s endurance and muscle, but it is quite possible that a person could meet quite a lot of new friends at an indoor guard. Don’t just take my word for it, go try it out for yourself!

Image by Brilee Carey