REFEREE BIAS AND HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE.

REFEREE BIAS AND HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE. Dick Weisfelder called my attention to an article in Sports Illustrated (January 17) which attributed the home field advantage in sports events to referee bias. I can’t find the Sports Illustrated article on line, but it apparently is derived from a new book—SCORECASTING by Tobias Moskowitz and Jon Wertheim. The book applies statistics to sports just as sabermatricians apply statistics to baseball. Moskowitz is a prominent professor of finance (he has won the prize for the top finance professor under 40) and Wertheim is a sports writer for SI, so the the empirical findings should be taken seriously. A review of the book by Jeffrey Anderson in the Wall Street Journal (January 22/23) says that the best part of the book is the analysis of home-field advantage, which the authors attribute to the influence of fans on referees. This review by Brian Louis in Bloomberg cites the evidence that: “In the NFL from 1966 to 2009, the home team has won 58 percent of the time, according to the book. The research found that home teams are assessed fewer yards per penalty and fewer penalties per game.” Of course, many people have believed this without doing any statistical analysis.

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One Response to REFEREE BIAS AND HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE.

  1. Pingback: THE PERSISTENCE OF THE HOME TEAM ADVANTAGE. | Pater Familias

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