Captain (sports)

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Lionel Messi, as captain of the Argentina national football team, wearing a captaincy armband on his left arm Messi vs Nigeria 2018.jpg
Lionel Messi, as captain of the Argentina national football team, wearing a captaincy armband on his left arm
Connor McDavid, as captain of the Edmonton Oilers, wearing a captaincy patch on the chest of his jersey Connor McDavid 2-FEB-2022.jpg
Connor McDavid, as captain of the Edmonton Oilers, wearing a captaincy patch on the chest of his jersey

In team sport, captain is a title given to a member of the team. The title is frequently honorary, but in some cases the captain may have significant responsibility for strategy and teamwork while the game is in progress on the field. In either case, it is a position that indicates honor and respect from one's teammates – recognition as a leader by one's peers. In association football and cricket, a captain is also known as a skipper. [1]

Contents

Various sports have differing roles and responsibilities for team captains. Depending on the sport, team captains may be given the responsibility of interacting with game officials regarding application and interpretation of the rules. In many team sports, the captains represent their respective teams when the match official does the coin toss at the beginning of the game.

The team captain, in some sports, is selected by the team coach, who may consider factors ranging from playing ability to leadership to serving as a good moral example to the team. [2] Coaches may also choose to change team captains from time to time, or to have a rotation of team captains. [2]

Some of the greatest captains in history are the ones with the most subtle of traits that are required for success. From Sam Walker in his book The Captain Class he states that a captain is "the most important factor for a team's success". [3]

Responsibilities of a captain

The responsibilities of a captain vary from sport to sport, but overall help determine the game. In sports like cricket or volleyball, the decision for the two teams to be on either defence or offence is determined with a coin toss and a decision made by the captains. This decision is crucial for the captain because they will decide the beginning of the game and quite possibly how it all plays out.

A captain is also the first one a referee looks to while explaining the results of a play or giving a foul, or flag. Oftentimes a referee will not discuss these matters with any other player than a captain or a coach. This is important because the reaction of the captain may or may not determine how the referee will proceed. A captain must stay calm and cool headed when talking with a referee to ensure the most accurate determinants of the game.

Depending on the sport, a captain will have different responsibilities. For example, a captain of a basketball team must be the one to conduct the offense and be one the most verbal on defense. In the NBA a captain will be the one to talk during interviews and also be the first one to be looked at after a poor performance. In basketball the captain can be substituted out of the game and there does not need to be an active captain on the court at all times, but in soccer a captain must be on the field at all times. Usually the "Captain Band" will be passed to a player with similar seniority to the team when the captain is substituted out of the game.

Although these most responsibilities throughout different sports vary, most responsibilities stay the same. When a teams performance is poor, one of the first individuals fans, analysts, and other teams look at are the captains of that specific team.

See also

Captains of specific sports

Related Research Articles

Canadian football Canadian team sport

Canadian football is a sport played in Canada in which two teams of 12 players each compete for territorial control of a field of play 110 yards (101 m) long and 65 yards (59 m) wide attempting to advance a pointed oval-shaped ball into the opposing team's scoring area.

Handball Team sport with two teams of seven players each

Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball using their hands with the aim of throwing it into the goal of the other team. A standard match consists of two periods of 30 minutes, and the team that scores more goals wins.

Referee Official in a variety of sports

A referee is an official, in a variety of sports and competition, responsible for enforcing the rules of the sport, including sportsmanship decisions such as ejection. The official tasked with this job may be known by a variety of other titles depending on the sport, including umpire, judge, arbiter (chess), commissaire, or technical official. Referees may be assisted by umpires, linesmen, timekeepers, or touch judges.

Coin flipping Practice of throwing a coin in the air to choose between two alternatives

Coin flipping, coin tossing, or heads or tails is the practice of throwing a coin in the air and checking which side is showing when it lands, in order to choose between two alternatives, heads or tails, sometimes used to resolve a dispute between two parties. It is a form of sortition which inherently has two possible outcomes. The party who calls the side that is facing up when the coin lands wins.

Manager (baseball) Someone who manages a baseball team

In baseball, the field manager is the equivalent of a head coach who is responsible for overseeing and making final decisions on all aspects of on-field team strategy, lineup selection, training and instruction. Managers are typically assisted by a staff of assistant coaches whose responsibilities are specialized. Field managers are typically not involved in off-field personnel decisions or long-term club planning, responsibilities that are instead held by a team's general manager.

Captain (association football) Team captain of a football team

The team captain of an association football team, sometimes known as the skipper, is a team member chosen to be the on-pitch leader of the team; they are often one of the older/or more experienced members of the squad, or a player that can heavily influence a game or has good leadership qualities. The team captain is usually identified by the wearing of an armband.

Captain (cricket) Member of a cricket team

The captain of a cricket team, often referred to as the skipper, is the appointed leader, having several additional roles and responsibilities over and above those of the other players. As in other sports, the captain is usually experienced and has good communication skills, and is likely to be one of the most regular members of the team, as the captain is responsible for the team selection. Before the game the captains toss for innings. During the match the captain decides the team's batting order, who will bowl each over, and where each fielder will be positioned. While the captain has the final say, decisions are often collaborative. A captain's knowledge of the complexities of cricket strategy and tactics, and shrewdness in the field, may contribute significantly to the team's success.

Toss (cricket) Coin flip to determine which team bats first

In cricket, the toss is the flipping of a coin to determine which captain will have the right to choose whether their team will bat or field at the start of the match.

Goalball Team sport designed for athletes with vision impairment

Goalball is a team sport designed specifically for athletes with a vision impairment. Participants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball that has bells embedded in it into the opponents' goal. The ball is thrown by hand and never kicked. Using ear-hand coordination, originating as a rehabilitation exercise, the sport has no able-bodied equivalent. Able-bodied athletes are also blindfolded when playing this sport.

American football rules

Gameplay in American football consists of a series of downs, individual plays of short duration, outside of which the ball is dead or not in play. These can be plays from scrimmage – passes, runs, punts, or field goal attempts – or free kicks such as kickoffs and fair catch kicks. Substitutions can be made between downs, which allows for a great deal of specialization as coaches choose the players best suited for each particular situation. During a play, each team should have no more than 11 players on the field, and each of them has specific tasks assigned for that specific play.

Ejection (sports) Removal of a participant due to a rules violation

In sports, an ejection is the removal of a participant from a contest due to a violation of the sport's rules. The exact violations that lead to an ejection vary depending upon the sport, but common causes for ejection include unsportsmanlike conduct, violent acts against another participant that are beyond the sport's generally accepted standards for such acts, abuse against officials, violations of the sport's rules that the contest official deems to be egregious, or the use of an illegal substance to better a player's game. Most sports have provisions that allow players to be ejected, and many allow for the ejection of coaches, managers, or other non-playing personnel. In sports that use penalty cards, a red card is often used to signal dismissals.

A substitute in the sport of cricket is a replacement player that the umpires allow when a player has been injured or become ill, after the nomination of the players at the start of the game. The rules for substitutes appear in Law 24 of the Laws of Cricket.

In games and sports, a tiebreaker or tiebreak is used to determine a winner from among players or teams that are tied at the end of a contest, or a set of contests.

Player-coach Condition where a team player is also coach

A player-coach is a member of a sports team who simultaneously holds both playing and coaching duties. A player-coach may be a head coach or an assistant coach. They may make changes to the squad and also play on the team.

Penalty card Reprimands issued during various sports matches

Penalty cards are used in many sports as a means of warning, reprimanding or penalising a player, coach or team official. Penalty cards are most commonly used by referees or umpires to indicate that a player has committed an offence. The official will hold the card above their head while looking or pointing towards the player that has committed the offence. This action makes the decision clear to all players, as well as spectators and other officials in a manner that is language-neutral. The colour or shape of the card used by the official indicates the type or seriousness of the offence and the level of punishment that is to be applied. Yellow and red cards are the most common, typically indicating, respectively, cautions and dismissals.

Unsportsmanlike conduct Penalty or foul caused by poor behavior by an athletic participant

Unsportsmanlike conduct is a foul or offense in many sports that violates the sport's generally accepted rules of sportsmanship and participant conduct. Examples include verbal abuse or taunting of an opponent or a game official, an excessive celebration following a significant play, or feigning injury. The official rules of many sports include a general provision whereby participants or an entire team may be penalized or otherwise sanctioned for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Captain (Australian rules football) Leader of an Australian rules football team

A captain of an Australian rules football team, sometimes known as a skipper, is a player who, during the course of a match and off the field, has several additional roles and responsibilities over and above those of a regular player.

Rugby league match officials

Rugby league match officials are responsible for fairly enforcing the Laws of the Game from a neutral point of view during a match of rugby league football and imposing penalties for deliberate breaches of these Laws. The most senior match official is the referee. They may be assisted by a range of other officials depending on the level and rules of the competition.

Rugby union match officials

Rugby union match officials are responsible for enforcing the rugby union laws of the game during a match and imposing sanctions on individuals who do not follow the rules. "Every match is under the control of match officials who consist of the referee and two touch judges or assistant referees." Further officials can be authorised depending on the level and form of the game.

Touch match officials are responsible for fairly enforcing the Playing Rules of Touch during a match and imposing penalties for deliberate breaches of these rules. The most senior match official is the referee, they may be assisted by a range of other officials depending on the level and rules of the competition.

References

  1. ""skipper" Definitions". Wordnik. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Oy, oy captain! Picking captains can give coaches headaches". USA Today. August 19, 2017.
  3. "Forget charisma and skill — the captains of the best teams in sports history shared 7 subtle traits". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-05-01.