This study substantiates the notion of a home advantage for the sport of basketball. The findings indicate that home teams win 66% of their games and this advantage is as important for game outcomes as team quality. However, the advantage varies according to the quality of home and visiting teams. The paper provides a review of the Durkheimian perspective, which views the home team as a representative of the home collectivity that draws support from its fans. Additionally, the home advantage may be seen as an expression of Goffman, whereby the players are highly motivated to respond in a manner that will maintain their proper demeanor and self-esteem.
A portion of this paper was presented at the NASSS meetings, St. Louis, 1983. We appreciate the assistance provided by the sports information directors of the Mid-American Conference.
Direct all correspondence to Eldon E. Snyder, Dept. of Sociology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403.