I’m certain I don’t have the answer to what is good for players. But I’m terms of atmosphere, inclusion, and enjoyment I think I have a bit of an idea.
There seems to be two distinct approaches 1) Capo led - The obvious benefits are coordination and potential to be the loudest for the longest. But there are clear drawbacks as well. First the chants tend to be disconnected from the game. If there’s a particular play that could use a response (singing a players name after a good play) it’s a regular thing that the opportunity is missed. Finally, chants can get a bit ‘vanilla’ as games go on. After the fifth time doing Allez Les Rouges, it doesn’t have quite the same jump.
2) Spontaneous/no Capo - Similarly there are good and bad features. It’s super fun to invent something and have the rest of the section pick it up. You can be very plugged in and responsive to the play. Occasionally people can stumble on some real gems that become instant classics. But the coordination suffers as does the pure level of sound.
I think the idea we should try is a HYBRID of these two ideas.
Have a Capo. But have the Capo go forward with the understanding that if they hear something started spontaneously that they pick up on it and translate it to the rest of the supporters. It would give others a chance to lead a bit, be spontaneous, and have fun. But it would also mean that the Capo and supporters would need a different understanding of how to operate. Supporters would have to understand that if you hear something (from somewhere else but the Capo) to try and pick up on it, join in, and support it. The Capo would need to be on their toes too. But then we all would still have to be willing to pick up on something the Capo starts too. It simply wouldn’t be all on that email Capo to lead and everyone else follow.