There is nothing like taking the first step onto the field or court and looking into the stands and seeing your fan base. Having your friends, family, school, and community all gather around in one location, with one common objective as they cheer for you is one of the most rewarding feeling for any athlete. These fans have spent their time, money and energy into rooting for you so why not give those fans what they came to see.. a win! I know from personal experience I always loved playing a game at home. Being able to walk from your own locker room onto your field as people are chanting your name and team makes you want to perform better and guarantee a victory not only for yourself but for them. Now as a fan of the Penn State Nittany Lions there is nothing better than screaming until your voice gives out after defeating a team at Beaver Stadium. So far this season we have greatly benefited playing at home as we have an 4-0 home record opposed to an 0-2 road record. So does this means home field advantage works?
Home field advantage in sports gives the hosting team leverage over the team that travels there to compete. Statistics can prove this theory correct because teams who compete at home tend to win 60 percent more of the contests. According to Tobias J. Moskowitz and L.Jon Wertheim In soccer home teams win at an outrageous 69.1 percentage, NBA teams win at home around 62 percent and home teams in the NFL win at a 58 percent rate. These numbers provide huge data that reveal the importance of playing a sporting event at home. According to John Bois in all sports home field advantage plays a big role in the outcome of the game. After his research he discovered that playing at home will give teams in the NBA and NFL the biggest advantages. His findings show that if the Utah Jazz played all their games at home they would have won over 22 percent of the games they ended up loosing. He takes into consideration the distance in plane travels and fan base. After he focuses his attention to the NFL where he sees that from 2008 to 2010 the San Fransisco 49ers could have won up to 18 percent of the games they lost if they played on their own turf with their own laud crowd cheering in their favor..
There are a great deal of factors which display the advantages a home team has during the sporting event. The most influential factor is the crowed. Every player wants the crowed to be energetic as they chant the team and players names. This motivates the players to play better and play with more confidence. In an article posted by the North American Journal of Psychology, it is evident that cheers have a positive effect on competitors where as jeers or “boo’s” have a negative effect on performance. It shows that pitchers in baseball are effected greatly when they are getting booed. The crowed plays a huge part of the game because they count as an extra or “12th” man because they have the power to get into the opponents head. Fans play physiological warfare with other teams players and when it works it freaks the players out. It causes players to act irrational as they may commit stupid penalties, unnecessary fouls, greater risks and sometimes not even hear the play because it is so laud inside the stadium. The art of distraction is one of the most powerful actions a fan base can display. The more cheers the home team has the more they want so they will do whatever it takes to win and please their home crowed.There is nothing worse than being embaresed at home and losing by an opposing team. Player testosterone actually increases as cheers are lauder and this causes them to play better and harder. Image 4
Another factor is the venue the game is played at. The fact that the home team doesn’t have to travel helps out big time. For example going into different time zones throw the body and their sleep schedule off. Also the environment plays a role because some teams are used to play in the hot, cold, wind , or rain while others aren’t. For example playing football in Denver is more difficult because the stadium is over 5,000 feet above sea levels so altitude is higher making it hard to breath and can lead to mile high sickness. This may be why the Broncos have the best home record in the past 32 years. Similarly ,the GreenBay Packers are used to playing and practicing in the cold so when temperatures drop to below freezing it is no shock to them. But compared to the Miami Dolphins who practice in the heat all year round, they wouldn’t be mentally and physically ready to compete in that type of weather.
Playing at home gives the hosting team an advantage as they have the crowed on their side, they are more aware of their environment, and more comfortable when they play on their own field. It is obvious talent does play a bigger role in the outcome of the game, but the more evenly match the two teams are, the home team will have all the factors helping lead to a victory because of home field advantage.