Sport definition creates debate of colorguard

According to the dictionary, a sport is ‘an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.’

“To me, a sport is an athletic endeavor that is competitive,” head football coach Jason Filbeck said. 

Along with cheerleading, dance, and more, a constant debate is whether or not colorguard should be considered a sport. 

“It’s not fair that people put down colorguard as a sport because it’s just as hard as any other sport,” sophomore Kaylee Dugger said.

One reason people tend not to believe colorguard could be qualified as a sport is they do not fully understand what colorguard requires.

“[Colorguard is] people who throw flags around, and people who don’t want to do a legitimate sport,” senior Marti Merz said. “[To make it a sport] I would send [the team] to state like the cheer team.”

This is a popular opinion among students, but colorguard members say there is more to it.

“We do different routines with flags, rifles, and sabers, and occasionally ropes, streamers, and hoops,” senior Kristy Milbourn said.“We’re about as active as the dance team and the cheerleading squad.”

Those who participate in colorguard have to attend morning practices every other day, after school rehearsals and need to practice at home in preparation for competitions. 

For 33 years, Renee Burggren coached the colorguard; she was considered one of the best colorguard coaches in the state due to her time as a coach for Winterguard International (WGI). 

“Colorguard has sport aspects in that strength, endurance, and good body and spatial awareness are crucial for an impressive performance,” Burggren said. “The creativity of colorguard is subjective and lends more toward a pageantry activity.”

Since there is a more creative aspect to the colorguard, people tend to consider it unathletic; however, this is not the case.

“Colorguard is athletic because you’re twirling, catching, and doing things that take physical skill and if you’re in a competition against other colorguards with a judge, then it’s competitive too,” Filbeck said. “I don’t see why it wouldn’t be a sport.”

Despite meeting the criteria of a sport as stated by the dictionary, some people do not agree.

“If it did more running, if they did stunts with the flags and their people and [made it] kind of like cheer-ish,” junior Maycee Logan said. “It’s more considered a hobby.” 

Members of the guard know the stereotype that surrounds the group itself.

“Dance team or cheerleader wannabes is what I feel like people think of us as,” Milbourn said. “The more popular girls are on the dance team and cheerleading squad while there aren’t very many popular people on the colorguard, which is a shame because it’s really fun.”