Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Home-Field Advantage and Disadvantage
Harry M. Wallace
The home-field advantage refers to the tendency for sports performers to win more often when competing at their home facility. Studies of professional, collegiate, and high school sports have consistently found that home performers defeat visiting performers in more than half of total games played. The aggregated winning percentages of home performers vary between sports and across eras, but they typically range from just above 50% to as high as 70%. Home-field advantage effects are common in team sports like baseball, basketball, and football as well as in individual sports such as tennis and wrestling. Although performing at home is clearly an advantage more often than not, the home-field advantage can be eliminated or reversed in some situations. Some studies suggest that competing at home can actually handicap performers during crucial, high-stakes contests. Such home-field disadvantage effects—when home performers win fewer than 50% of games—have been found in high-pressure contests ...