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07-31-2012, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Jevo View Post
The book Scorecasting, which is a very interesting read, concludes that the biggest part of home-advantage is ref-bias, because the refs subconsciously are less likely to make a judgement call against the home team because they don't want to feel the wrath of the home crowd. This was consistent between several sports, I remember them analyzing soccer, baseball, basketball and hockey in the book. There are of course also other factors, especially in hockey where there are rules that favour the home team, and the fact that you usually play many games in many cities in a short amount of time during a road trip.
A very interesting fact that they pointed out in the book, is that in situations where it's all up to the players and the refs have no influence, like free throws in basketball and penalty shots in hockey. The players perform equally well at home and away, indicating that players don't perform differently, but there are other factors like the ones mentioned above that drives home-advantage.
That is a good point. I've always suspected this myself.

There is more to it though. Being able to get the last line change, the slight faceoff advantage, and travel fatigue are three factors (maybe not after just one night of traveling, but most road games tend to be part of a "road trip" so it adds up)

And still, there is the "energy of the home crowd" which is at least something. Maybe it doesn't show up in "free throw" or "penalty shot" situations, but in situations where that added burst of intensity might make a difference, I think it does.

Those four things probably account for 80% of that apparent 5% advantage teams tend to have at home compared to being on the road.

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