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Peter Fowler, Rob Duffield, and Joanna Vaile

The current study examined the effects of short-haul air travel on competition performance and subsequent recovery. Six male professional Australian football (soccer) players were recruited to participate in the study. Data were collected from 12 matches, which included 6 home and away matches against the same 4 teams. Together with the outcome of each match, data were obtained for team technical and tactical performance indicators and individual player-movement patterns. Furthermore, sleep quantity and quality, hydration, and perceptual fatigue were measured 2 days before, the day of, and 2 days after each match. More competition points were accumulated (P > .05, d = 1.10) and fewer goals were conceded (P > .05, d = 0.93) in home than in away matches. Furthermore, more shots on goal (P > .05, d = 1.17) and corners (P > .05, d = 1.45) and fewer opposition shots on goal (P > .05, d = 1.18) and corners (P < .05, d = 2.32) occurred, alongside reduced total distance covered (P > .05, d = 1.19) and low-intensity activity (P < .05, d = 2.25) during home than during away matches. However, while oxygen saturation was significantly lower during than before and after outbound and return travel (P < .01), equivocal differences in sleep quantity and quality, hydration, and perceptual fatigue were observed before and after competition away compared with home. These results suggest that, compared with short-haul air travel, factors including situational variables, territoriality, tactics, and athlete psychological state are more important in determining match outcome. Furthermore, despite the potential for disrupted recovery patterns, return travel did not impede player recovery or perceived readiness to train.

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Brian Cunniffe, Kevin A. Morgan, Julien S. Baker, Marco Cardinale, and Bruce Davies

This study evaluated the effect of game venue and starting status on precompetitive psychophysiological measures in elite rugby union. Saliva samples were taken from players (starting XV, n = 15, and nonstarters, n = 9) on a control day and 90 min before 4 games played consecutively at home and away venues against local rivals and league leaders. Precompetition psychological states were assessed using the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory−2. The squad recorded 2 wins (home) and 2 losses (away) over the study period. Calculated effect sizes (ESs) showed higher pregame cortisol- (C) and testosterone- (T) difference values before all games than on a baseline control day (ES 0.7−1.5). Similar findings were observed for cognitive and somatic anxiety. Small between-venues C differences were observed in starting XV players (ES 0.2−0.25). Conversely, lower home T- (ES 0.95) and higher away C- (ES 0.6) difference values were observed in nonstarters. Lower T-difference values were apparent in nonstarters (vs starting XV) before home games, providing evidence of a between-groups effect (ES 0.92). Findings show an anticipatory rise in psychophysiological variables before competition. Knowledge of starting status appears a moderating factor in the magnitude of player endocrine response between home and away games.

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Brendan H. Lazarus, William G. Hopkins, Andrew M. Stewart, and Robert J. Aughey

matches involving teams that have their own stadiums, there is a clear “home” and “away” team. However, in matches where the ground is shared, the fixture designates the home and away team. Home advantage was examined from 1980 to 1999 involving 16 teams. 3 From a total of 2299 matches, 1372 (∼60%) were

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Jordan L. Fox, Robert Stanton, Charli Sargent, Cody J. O’Grady, and Aaron T. Scanlan

R , Vaile J . Effects of simulated domestic and international air travel on sleep, performance, and recovery for Team Sports . Scan J Med Sci Sports . 2015 ; 25 : 441 – 451 . doi:10.1111/sms.12227 10.1111/sms.12227 30. Pollard R . Home advantage in football: a current review of an unsolved

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Kathryn E. Phillips and Will G. Hopkins

prestigious tennis tournaments. The authors concluded that home advantage was greatest when the pressure and rewards of winning a match were high, highlighting a supportive crowd, lack of travel fatigue, acclimatization, and familiarity with the environment as potential mechanisms for the improved

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Mohamed Saifeddin Fessi and Wassim Moalla

.1080/02640414.2012.709265 10.1080/02640414.2012.709265 22852843 22. Carré J , Muir C , Belanger J , Putnam SK . Pre-competition hormonal and psychological levels of elite hockey players: relationship to the “home advantage” . Physiol Behav. 2006 ; 89 ( 3 ): 392 – 398 . doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2006.07.011 16934844

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Ralph Beneke and Renate M. Leithäuser

from the Handball World Championships because they ran out of healthy players and/or members of the support teams. Furthermore, it remains uncertain whether there is still something like a “home advantage” with no spectators in attendance. In winter sports, athletes have to adapt to unusual event

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Rafael L. Kons, Kai Krabben, David L. Mann, Gabriela Fischer, and Daniele Detanico

: 29619792 doi:10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08232-4 Morley , B. , & Thomas , D. ( 2005 ). An investigation of home advantage and other factors affecting outcomes in English one-day cricket matches . Journal of Sports Sciences, 23 , 261 – 268 . PubMed ID: 15966344 doi:10.1080/02640410410001730133 10