UIL requiring band members to get physicals for the first time

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LUBBOCK, Texas — The University Interscholastic League is requiring members of the marching band to get physicals, with the last day to submit a physical on Aug. 1.

Rodney Gurley, director of bands at Monterey High School, said marching band is physically demanding.

“Band is as physical as athletics now. Our kids are athletes,” Gurley said.

Gurley said members of the band are out practicing at the same time as the football team.

“They may make one move with a tiny step size and then immediately move in the other direction at a large step size so they have to be prepared for just about anything, all while playing!” Gurley said.

Andrew Babcock, the executive director of fine arts for Lubbock ISD, said UIL’s requirement is a step in the right direction.

“We wanna make sure that they’re not only in shape, well enough and healthy enough to participate but they’re gonna be able to come off the field under their own power and their own strength,” Babcock said.

Both middle school and high school students will have to get them.

“We want to make sure we don’t miss anybody in the process,” Babcock said.

Babcock noted marching band has transformed so much physically, and said Lubbock ISD is requiring band students to get their physical every year, instead of every two years, as UIL rules require.

“Marching band has evolved into not just an athletic sport if you will, but it has a number of physical requirements,” Babcock said. “Students have to be in shape.”

Gurley said students getting physicals is helpful for band staff as well.

“Their medical histories allow us to help take care of them if we’re out on a performance somewhere and something bad happens, we have good information to give to the emergency people as well,” Gurley said.

A spokesperson with Lubbock ISD said students in band will be able to get their physicals during band camp. If students do not get their physicals, they will not be allowed to participate in band.

RELATED CONTENT: Texas students now need to pass a physical to participate in marching band

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