|| Guidelines for the
The Team Captain is a very important part of the team. The captain needs
to have a good knowledge of the dogs in the team, how they act in different
situations, and how they interact, as well as knowing the individual and
collective goals of the people in the team. The captain has the very important
role of developing the strategy to achieve a number of often conflicting
goals. A team can win or lose due to decisions made by the captain, and
people in the team can feel happy or disgruntled based on how the captain
manages the team.
Some of the goals of the team may be to:
win or place well
give dogs an equal number of runs and a fair opportunity for points
maximise the number of points earned
give new dogs experience
The role of the captain is to:
attend the captain's meeting at the start of the day, and report back information
to the team members
decide which dogs will run in each heat
fill in the time sheet and deliver it to the steward's table
decide on the running order
adjust plans to allow for unexpected problems
change the time sheet if dogs are changed (before heat is run)
represent the team in any disputes
Suggested ways to achieve the above:
Become involved with the team before competition day, so you know the dogs
and handlers well. Know which dogs can or can't cross with each other,
who can or can't run first or last, and who has whatever problem and how
to deal with it.
Listen to your team. Make sure you know what they expect or would like.
Find out how everyone in the team feels about balancing winning races with
getting even runs for each dog.
Decide before the day begins (together with the instructors, and based
on the wishes of the team members) how you will deal with issues
if a conflict arises between the various goals (e.g. equal runs vs winning).
Know how inexperienced dogs will be included in the team (equal runs, practice
only, few runs if successful in practice etc).
Talk to your team. Tell them how you will run the team, so that they know
what to expect and can have some input into these type of choices. Tell
the team members well before they are called for a race who will be running,
and under what circumstances (e.g. dog A is in all heats of this race,
unless he makes a mistake, in which case dog E will replace him).
Watch each race your team is in, and review your choices based on how the
dogs run, and how the other team is running.
Be prepared to explain why you have made a particular choice. You are acting
on behalf of the team and the team members have a right to understand your
choices, but at the same time they must also respect your decisions.
Work together with the captains of the other Croydon teams. Ask for suggestions
if unsure how to solve a problem, and possibly cover for each other if
you are running your own dog and can't act as captain for one race. If
you are unavailable to captain for a race, make sure the team knows who
will make decisions on your behalf.
Plan ahead to ensure even runs and pace dogs that might not cope with a
lot of runs in a row. Know if there are clashes with dogs that shouldn't
run against a particular team (e.g. handlers with 2 dogs in different teams,
dogs that are very distracted by a particular dog or breed). Tell your
team what your plan for the day is, and if the day doesn't run to plan,
tell them when things change.
If you have new people in your team, make sure they understand how the lights
work, where the stewards are, not to talk to the stewards, where to stand etc.
Organise people to help with jump height changes before racing or between
heats, to evaluate crossovers or record
statistics from the timing gear if necessary. Most people are happy to
help if you just give them a few minutes warning and explain what is
If you make a wrong choice, learn from it and do it differently next time.
Nobody's perfect, just do your best.
If you respect the people in your team, take into account their opinions,
make decisions with thought and keep your team informed, they are much
more likely to respect you and your choices.
Unexpected problems and possible solutions:
A dog makes a mistake - decide how likely you think the dog is to repeat the mistake
based on your knowledge of the dog and the circumstances at the time, and
decide whether to a) leave the dog in the next heat, or b) pull the dog
for this race and try to fix the problem in practice before the next race,
or c) pull the dog completely from racing.
A dog continually interfering with the other team - you could continue
to run the dog, but run it last and hold it until the other team have finished.
(Tell the judge if you are doing that).
A dog not wanting to cross with a particular dog (e.g. missing last jump)
- advise the handler of the second dog to do a late crossover, or adjust
the running order or which dogs run together.