Students who participate in marching band in Texas are now required to undergo physical exams.
The University Interscholastic League recently approved the new rule requiring students who enter their first and third year of high school to see a doctor before they can participate, as well as any seventh- or eighth graders who march in band.
All paperwork is due to students’ respective school districts by Aug. 1, according to the UIL. For this year, students who start marching band this month can still participate in the activity without a physical as long as they turn in their paperwork by the deadline.
For years two and four of high school, students are only required to give the district a medical history form, according to the UIL. In the coming years, students must be in compliance before preseason activities.
Cleburne High School head band director Jason Jones said they have been working with district trainers to include physicals among the requirements for their students for the upcoming school year.
“Prior to the end of school, we worked with several Cleburne physicians in making physicals available to band students, along with those who will be participating in athletics,” Jones said. “We have, and will, continue to remind parents of this new requirement in preparation for summer band camp and the start of marching season.”
Several residents voiced their opinions about the new rule on the Times-Review Facebook page.
As a current Cleburne High School Golden Pride band mom, Kimberly Love Crawford said she thinks the rule is a great idea.
“Our band practices [are] so many hours a week all year long, and then add in Friday night football games and numerous marching competitions, they are doing just as much as a person in football would do just in a different form of practice,” Crawford said.
Resident Callie Diane agrees.
“Marching is no joke in this Texas heat,” Diane said. “I remember being told to not stand straight up ... you can pass out a lot quicker. The uniforms we wore heavy wool ones ... you could easily lose 10-15 pounds a marching season.”
Resident Tim Cook agrees with the new rule as long as it doesn’t cut out allowing a student with a disability to be excluded.
“I have been a life long supporter of our band program and was so impressed with making accommodations a few years back for one of the students that was wheelchair bound,” Cook said. “I have seen several other band programs since do the same. I just hope the physicals have a standard that continues to allow this to happen.”
For information about the new rule, visit uiltexas.org,