If you want to make it as a member of our neighborhood’s high school marching bands, you’ll have to work all summer to master the music, attend practice each morning and march the team’s intricate choreography under Friday night lights.

Beginning this fall, you’ll also need a doctor’s permission.

New University Interscholastic League rules, which go into effect Aug. 1, require students in seventh, eighth, ninth and 11th grades to see a doctor for a physical before participating in marching band activities. Musicians in 10th and 12th grades must turn in a medical history form.

“Marching band is no longer just get out there and walk up and down the field a couple of times,” Pine Tree band director Aaron Turner told the Longview News-Journal. “It’s truly an athletic endeavor.”

Physicals have long been required for UIL athletes, and Houston ISD has required them for marching band students since 2015.

“Our biggest concern is dehydration in the heat,” cardiologist Michael Liu told Austin’s NBC affiliate, KXAN. “If you get too far behind in your fluids, you can have dizziness, fainting, cramping, and in extreme cases, you can have heat exhaustion or heat stroke.”

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