The Roar
The Roar

Avan Stallard

Roar Rookie

Joined February 2014

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Avan is a freelance writer, and Aussie Rules enthusiast. For more of his musings head to https://nolearningnohugging.wordpress.com/

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Yes, Brian I think you’re right that the real take-home here is that, as you say, “We are conditioned to fight harder to protect what we have then attain what we don’t”.

The Hawks' nest: The science behind home ground advantage

While that’s possible, even just tallying total free kicks for/against Freo would not prove that, as, for instance, team aggression and style of play influences free kicks awarded/received. It comes down to tallying errors. Would be a great topic for a postgrad sport science or economics researcher…

The Hawks' nest: The science behind home ground advantage

Here’s a pie -in-the-sky theory that could be tested: umpires who travel long distances for games are subconsciously more unsettled the further from home they are, which makes them even more susceptible to crowd influence (and hence unconscious bias)…

The Hawks' nest: The science behind home ground advantage

Yes, Rick, I am aware of research that indicates travel effects can exist, but in modern times they are often ameliorated by the speed and luxury of travel, and when research controls for other variables, the effects can appear negligible (though common sense suggests that extreme travel will remain a factor). For instance, Moskowitz and Wertheim discuss the NBA–lots of games, lots of travel–but found that the sort of effects one would expect from travel just didn’t exist. Referee bias did and accounted for most of the advantage/disadvantage.

The Hawks' nest: The science behind home ground advantage