Marching bands make it look easy when they perform their precision routines, but everyone knows that what they do requires innumerable hours of practice. During practice sessions, many band directors are at a loss about the best way to mark the practice field to help band members learn their routines. Some identify locations in the practice area using poker chips or spray paint.

“What should I use as spot markers for a marching band?” a questioner asked on the Yahoo Answers website. “Last season I used dive sticks, but they sometimes were disguised in the grass on the field.” She added that she was not able to use spray paint because “my school considers it ‘vandalism’ :(”

The Yahoo post received numerous responses. The “Best Answer” as designated by Yahoo was “Tupperware lid wrapped in duct tape, small dollar store Frisbees, hockey pucks, etc.”

Other responses included: “I’ve seen people stick pencils in the ground with colorful duct tape ‘flags’ on them” and a similar comment about yellow sticky notes. One response mentioned using miniature orange cones. Spray paint was a popular answer. One person recommended golf tees painted different colors. Other answers suggested that many band directors use poker chips, although the small plastic chips are easy to lose, some people said.

We would be interested to hear your thoughts! What is the best way to mark a marching band practice area?

We’ve also heard that some band directors use plastic road reflectors—like the ones that are embedded in roadways. These small reflectors, a few inches wide, are available in a variety of shapes and colors and are durable enough to withstand the weight of a car driving over them. Also, they’re not terribly expensive.

Some Marching Band Directors use plastic road reflectors for practice

Some Marching Band Directors use plastic road reflectors for practice

The reason we mention road reflectors, honestly, is because our company sells road reflectors, generally to customers in the construction industry. Discovering that some marching band directors use these extremely sturdy little reflectors piqued our curiosity. We wonder whether you think they can serve usefully as drill markers or field markers. We’re interested in your comments!

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