The functionality of the role of captain is to be the line of communication between the bench and the officials. In minor hockey, this likely ends up in a game of broken telephone between young players, officials and coaches. Having officials directly explain why they made certain calls on the ice can help players understand what they did wrong.
In the end, it comes down to having an open dialogue between all three parties.
“This really goes to that whole relationship on the ice – the player, the coach, the official,” said Ian Taylor, Executive Director of the OMHA. “The best officials are the ones that communicate openly. The best coaches are the ones that don’t stand on top of the bench ranting and raving, they’ll come down and they can talk… to me, those are good communications between the referee and a coach and I think the best officials do that.”
With the focus in minor hockey being skill development on the ice and personal growth off of it, rotating the ‘captain’, whether it’s simply taping a ‘C’ on a jersey, can serve as a tool for this.