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Thread: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

      
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    Default Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    I referee a lot at schools and unversity level, U14 upwards. I'm increasingly struck by the lack of ability of captains to fulfil the important role of the liaison between their team and me as the official. It's often the case that the captain is just picked on the day, or at the very best is chosen because he/she is the loudest/bossiest/best player in the group. But I really feel that it's a gap in the coaching lexicon, that captains often don't know how to talk to me (or indeed that they are allowed to have an intelligent conversation with me about a particular decision or area of the game). I talk to my son's club regularly about 'how to work with the ref', and it's reduced their penalty count massively, but I'm afraid they are in a minority

    As an example, in an U18 game today I had two contrasts. One captain spoke to me respectfully, asked me to clarify decisions, kept his players in order and worked with me all the way. The other was mouthy, didn't have his players on board, called 'bullsh*t' to his players about one of my decisions, complained directly to me that I'd got 5 or 6 decisions wrong in a row, and consequently his team went to pieces and lost heavily. I don't think it was his fault necessarily (he was obviously the wrong choice, his 9 was, unusually , much more level-headed) but was a result of a lack of training as to how to work with referees. Some top level pros have it (e.g Warburton, Read), others are more confrontational (Biggar, Sexton), but there's no consistency in how it's 'taught' at junior level

    What does everyone think?

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    Default Re: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    I completely agree

    I have been to only one school where the captain was allowed/expected to play the full role. The master who met mer me at the gate took me over and introduced me to the captain, not the coach, and all my normal pre game routine (studs PMB, etc) was arranged with him.
    The coach said hello of course, but then stayed out of my way.
    During the game and at half time the same, it was the captain who asked me for any feedback for team and later came to discuss some point, not as is normal the teacher.

    The school ? Eton. I got a little insight into how they manage things.

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    Default Re: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    when I do my PMB I specifically ask for the captain, introduce myself to him/her and ask him/her to get the boys/girls in a line for stud check, etc. I purposely avoid dealing with the coach.

    This gives me a good insight into what I can expect on the field. Alarm bells ring when all the players look at each wondering whose turn it is to be captain today.
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    Default Re: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    When I was doing Youth , either in Cambs or Hampshire, it varied.

    From the sublimely good - Kings Ely was SUPERB - to the...not so much, it varied. I did tend to find that U16 and above in Schools, the quality was generally better.

    The Kings Coach told me specifically - he's the captain, I'll see you after the match.
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    Default Re: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    It's definitely age-related as well; at U14 you have more of an adult-child relationship, U17 is generally more equal, and there can be some rocky adolescent years in between. I always offer to give youth captains tips after the games if things aren't going well, but sometimes they're stuck in the eye-rolling, tutting, you're-not-my-dad mode of communication

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    Default Re: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    I have to say I don't find that at BUCS level. Indeed discipline at that level is usually first class.

    Youth can be hit or miss. Generally the captains are good. However, a bad one can be relly bad. One a few weeks ago was told Complain about one more call and you'll be watching the game for 10. He calmed down.

    Since I started using a counter to record penalties I find, in general, reaction is better. Call the captain across, pointedly looking at my counter and: "Captain, that's 4 penalties in the first 20 minutes. I need to see an improvement or I'll have to consider my options". Seems to carry more wait than appearing t opick a figure out of the air.

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    Default Re: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    Quote Originally Posted by FourOaksBookworm View Post
    The other was mouthy, didn't have his players on board, called 'bullsh*t' to his players about one of my decisions, complained directly to me that I'd got 5 or 6 decisions wrong in a row,
    U18 game. At the Bullshit remark i'm thinking a good bollocking and a severe warning, possibly yellow depending on what else has gone on previously. At the you got it wrong stage i'm going definite yellow, maybe even red (again depending on other incidents). I'm not giving up my valuable time and experience to be spoken to like that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dickie E View Post
    when I do my PMB I specifically ask for the captain, introduce myself to him/her and ask him/her to get the boys/girls in a line for stud check, etc. I purposely avoid dealing with the coach.

    This gives me a good insight into what I can expect on the field. Alarm bells ring when all the players look at each wondering whose turn it is to be captain today.
    Same here. I also cover what I expect from the Captain in a little bit more detail at the Captains' brief, than I would do at adult level. I also get their buy in for what I am trying to achieve, maybe explain the consequences of not working with me (less advantage, more whistle, less rugby).

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    Default Re: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    I coach U13 and we pick the captain game by game, it's not an expected role in and around the laws of the game they play to. However next year the new rules of play will require decision making (kick for posts, kick for touch, other options around penalties etc) so that's probably the point we'll introduce the captains role formally and put expectations around it, and the relationship with the ref.

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    Default Re: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flish View Post
    I coach U13 and we pick the captain game by game, it's not an expected role in and around the laws of the game they play to. However next year the new rules of play will require decision making (kick for posts, kick for touch, other options around penalties etc) so that's probably the point we'll introduce the captains role formally and put expectations around it, and the relationship with the ref.
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    Default Re: Role of the captain in schoolboy rugby?

    I don't see this as a uniquely school player problem. Many captains of senior teams act as your second example, challenging decisions etc. as I agree this does feed back into team behaviour. I find the more aggressive, confrontational captains have less disciplined teams, and they suffer because of it (more likely to throw the ball away, dissent, wind up opposition players, late hits etc).

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