Captaincy and The Coin Toss

Captaincy and the coin toss.

We’ve all got one, they head the team up, pick the team and call or toss the coin. Most Aunt Sally Captains once they attain the rank stay there for years. I don’t know why. My theory is that most people think it doesn’t matter who it is, only that you have one. That’s a fair enough point. The only real pressure is who to pick and who to drop. If the team is running the ‘lowest score of last week is out’ then even that is taken care of.

You’re wrong though. Why?

Here’s how it breaks down.

Teams like setting, teams like chasing. Some love to chase big scores, and the pressure that comes with it. Some can’t do pressure at all and fold. Your Captain needs to know what type of team you are and what the opposing team prefer.

A few years ago my Captain and I made a note of who we were playing, who won the toss, the choice that was made and then who won the leg.

The results were surprising, not for us, we suspected this was the case but needed to prove it.

Some teams (read Captains here) are unable to read the situation. They go first every time they win the toss, every time no matter what. So prevalent is this trait or foible that we gave it a name. The Oxford call. During years of playing in various Oxford league and competition matches it’s where we first noticed it. Not that they do it anymore or less than Abingdon.

Now if you’re the Cricketers (Ox) or the Spread ‘A (Ab) this doesn’t apply to you.

These rules work 90% of the time and are tried and tested. They work if you have a team of eight or you are on your own in a singles competition.

When to set When to chase
Team your playing love to set so you set instead Team loves to chase. So you chase
Competition – After 2 draws and you’re throwing one stick. ALWAYS GO FIRST You’ve just chase a big score and got it. You need a break. NEVER EVER go straight back in. You’ll set an embarrassingly low score
Your at home and it’s raining or windy, so much so it’s affecting everyone’s game When your clearly the better team
Evenly matched teams but with a lot on the line. Playoffs or competition finals

The rules always have exceptions. But you can play some real mind games with some Captains and totally psych them out. Always be unpredictable and always be prepared to take a risk. I know of at least one Captain who really takes this as far as you can take it and will actively psych out the other Captain during the toss. He’s good at it too, I’m pretty sure no one has cottoned on yet.

Remember the toss is all about being in control. It gives you the opportunity to make a choice that gives your team the best chance of winning the leg/match.


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