New UIL Rule Requires Band Physicals

Xena Duly , Writer

As band students sat down last May, they were given unexpected news: they were now required to have physicals in order to fully participate in marching band. Every other school in the MISD district had already implemented this rule; however, it was only as of Aug. 1 that UIL made physicals mandatory in Texas.

“We’re just as active and outside, if not more so, than any other sport,” Assistant Band Director Peyton Lee said. “So, it’s good that kids are getting checked up on and made sure that they’re medically cleared to perform.”

Sophomore Alexa Coronado Becerril said students were excited about the new requirement.

“Everyone was saying ‘now we’re a sport,” Coronado Becerril said. “We had the right to call ourselves that.”

Even though the rule states that only first and third year participants must have a physical examination, since it’s the first year, all students are required to have one.

“Everyone just thought of it as something to do, an expectation,” Lee said. “We gave everyone their forms in May so that, over the summer, it was their job to take care of that. We sent out monthly reminders so the majority of our students came to summer band with physicals”

Drum Major Endurance Badejo tried to help by locating physicians. 

“One thing that we did was pass around information on where you could get a physical for a relatively low price so that it wasn’t too much of a hassle for everyone,” he said.

Badejo said he understood why UIL was enforcing the new rule.

“There are some people who should get physicals because marching band is a physically taxing thing,” he said. “It’s always super hot and we’re marching for two to three hours straight. It’s really important that we know that people are healthy enough to participate.”

After being side-lined last year because of an injury, Coronado Becerril had to miss the first two weeks of marching because of complications with her physical.

“The biggest fear was not being able to march (again) this year,” Coronado Becerril said. “I want to feel how it is to be successful and to march out there.”

It took Coronadao Becerril longer to get her physical because she had to undergo multiple tests before her doctor would pass her.

“My family has heart problems so I had to go and get an MRI,” Coronado Becerril said. “They didn’t even want to pass me off by the end. It was definitely a hassle to get that physical.”

Her physical took almost two months to complete.

“While filling out the physical, I wrote that my heart would go too fast and leave me unable to breathe,” she said. “After reading this, they sent me to the cardiologist and conducted multiple tests on me.”

She was forced to sit by and watch as the rest of her peers began practicing.

“The day we had to turn it in there were a few people sitting out because they forgot it,” Coronado Becerril said. “But two days after that, I was the only one sitting there for a while. I was kind of tired of it.”

Though it may have added an extra burden on the students, Lee said the new rule received positive feedback.

“It gets some potential injuries out of the way earlier,” he said.

Badejo said that many students would disregard their health had these physicals not been in place.

“They’re so enthusiastic to march that they would risk their own personal health to be out on the field,” Badejo said. “It’s important for the staff to know the health of our marchers so we have a general idea of how much each individual, and the group as a whole, can handle.”