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Christian Unkelbach and Daniel Memmert

The home advantage is one of the best established phenomena in sports (Courneya & Carron, 1992), and crowd noise has been suggested as one of its determinants (Nevill & Holder, 1999). However, the psychological processes that mediate crowd noise influence and its contribution to the home advantage are still unclear. We propose that crowd noise correlates with the criteria referees have to judge. As crowd noise is a valid cue, referee decisions are strongly influenced by crowd noise. Yet, when audiences are not impartial, a home advantage arises. Using soccer as an exemplar, we show the relevance of this influence in predicting outcomes of real games via a database analysis. Then we experimentally demonstrate the influence of crowd noise on referees’ yellow cards decisions in soccer. Finally, we discuss why the focus on referee decisions is useful, and how more experimental research could benefit investigations of the home advantage.

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Kerry S. Courneya and Albert V. Carron

A home advantage in sport competitions has been well documented. The strength and consistency of the home advantage has made it a popular phenomenon in sport today. Very little systematic research has been carried out, however, and the home advantage remains one of the least understood phenomena in sport. It appears that much of the game location research has been arbitrary, and a clear sense of direction is lacking. The purpose of the present paper is to provide a conceptual framework to organize a comprehensive review of previous game location research and provide direction for future research. The review of literature indicated that the descriptive phase of inquiry has been completed, and it is time to address the underlying mechanisms responsible for the manifestation of the home advantage. Possible methodologies and areas of inquiry are highlighted and discussed.

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Kerry S. Courneya and Albert V. Carron

The present study investigated the effects of season game number, series game number, length of home stand, length of visitor's road trip, home travel, and visitor travel on the home advantage in minor league Double A baseball (N= 1812 games). Initial analysis indicated that the home team won 55.1% of the games (p<.001). Forced-entry multiple regression analyses determined that the combined main and interaction effects of the predictor variables explained less than 1.2% of the variance in win/loss outcome (p>.49). Chi-square analyses revealed that the variable of length of visitor's road trip produced the greatest change in the magnitude of home advantage. When the length of visitor's road trip was cross-tabulated with the length of home stand, me change in home advantage was statistically significant for the home team's later series (p<.05). The implications of these results for the various home advantage explanations are discussed, and future directions for home advantage research are offered.

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E J. McGuire, Kerry S. Courneya, W. Neil Widmeyer, and Albert V. Carron

Little research has been conducted on the role of various behaviors in contributing to the home advantage in sport competitions. The present study investigated whether player aggression mediated the relationship between game location and performance in professional ice hockey. Based on the subject-defined delineation between aggressive and nonaggressive ice hockey penalties established by Widmeyer and Birch, 13 measures were used on data collected from the official game reports and penalty records of the National Hockey League for the 1987–1988 season. Both macroanalytic and microanalytic research strategies and analyses were employed. Initial analysis revealed that home teams won 58.3% of the decided games. Further analyses showed a significant interaction between game location and performance. Home teams incurred more aggressive penalties in games they won whereas visiting teams incurred more aggressive penalties in games they lost. Implications for the potential role of aggression in contributing to the home advantage are discussed.

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Kerry S. Courneya and Albert V. Carron

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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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Contributes to the Home Advantage Christian Unkelbach * Daniel Memmert * 8 2010 32 4 483 498 10.1123/jsep.32.4.483 Interactive Effects of Different Visual Imagery Perspectives and Narcissism on Motor Performance Ross Roberts * Nichola Callow * Lew Hardy * Tim Woodman * Laura Thomas * 8 2010 32 4

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13 1 16 25 10.1123/jsep.13.1.16 Changes in Cognitive Strategies and Motor Skill in Tennis Sue L. McPherson * Karen E. French * 3 1991 13 1 26 41 10.1123/jsep.13.1.26 Effects of Travel and Length of Home Stand/Road Trip on tie Home Advantage Kerry S. Courneya * Albert V. Carron * 3 1991 13 1