This study examined the performance of men's basketball teams playing on their home court and away from home. In order to counterbalance playing sites and team ability, the performance of 10 league schools using a round-robin schedule was studied. Home teams won significantly more often than their visiting opponents. As predicted, home teams significantly outperformed their opponents in terms of functionally aggressive behavior, such as rebounds, steals, and blocked shots. Also, as predicted, visiting teams displayed significantly more dysfunctional aggression, such as fouls. There were no significant differences between home and away teams with respect to fine motor movements, such as field goal and free throw percentages. It appears that the salient behavioral dimension differentiating home and away play is aggressive behavior. Several theoretical models were explored for explaining the present findings and promoting future research.
This research was supported by the Louisiana State University of Department of Athletics and Coach Dale Brown.
The author wishes to thank the Sports Information Directors throughout the SEC for their assistance in data collection, and Sidney Rosen for his comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
Reprint requests should be sent to Philip E. Varca, Psychology Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.