There is a crisis of leadership in sport. Leadership as an athletic excellence is under threat from the deepening influence of coaches on in-game decision- making. To appreciate what is being lost in this shift of responsibility, it is necessary to understand the challenge of athlete leadership. Captaincy is the quintessential on-field leadership role. However, the role of captain, and athlete leadership more widely, remains philosophically untheorized. This paper initiates a discussion of leadership in sport by providing the first normative account of captaincy. Rugby union is used as a case study, as this sport preserves an especially demanding and complex form of captaincy that may provide a rough template for the revival of athlete leadership in other sports. A virtue theoretical analysis of the role is developed based on a functionalist conception of virtue. It is argued that discharging the responsibilities of such captaincy requires two key virtues: ‘sporting judgement’ and ‘responsibility’.
Keywords Leadership  Captaincy  Virtue Ethics  Judgement  Rugby Union
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DOI 10.1080/00948705.2020.1848435
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Are Rules All an Umpire Has to Work With?J. S. Russell - 1999 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 26 (1):27-49.

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