Game Location and Officiating Bias in English Club Cricket
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One potential contributing factor to the commonly observed home advantage in competitive sport is that officials may be biased in favour of the home team as a result of pressure from spectators. The present study examined officiating behaviour and home advantage, defined as home teams winning over 50% of decided games in English Club Cricket, a sport virtually devoid of spectator influence. Records of game outcomes, as well as dismissals requiring a decision by the umpire, were analysed. The relative frequency of umpiring decisions did not favour either home or away teams. However, a home advantage was found, with the home teams winning 57.1% of decided games (n = 1.449). Considered together, the results suggest that in sports with little or no spectator influence teams may win more often at home for reasons other than biased umpiring decisions, such as familiarity with their home ground or a visiting team's fatigue following travel.
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