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In team sports, 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.
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.
Various sports have differing roles and responsibilities for team captains.
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".
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 defense or offense 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. Often times 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.
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