For the sports fans among us, it’s no secret that home matches often have a happy ending. By comparison, fans bite their nails in anticipation each time their team heads somewhere new. And, if the stats are anything to go by, that’s for a good reason.
In sports like NFL, studies have shown that playing at home gives teams around a 64.7% win advantage. That makes success a whole load more likely and suggests this home benefit is more than just a rumor. Even within NHL, where this discrepancy is famously less, home games bring a 55.3% winning rate.
So, those are the facts. But, they may leave us wondering why exactly home play is so often more successful. After all, the game is the same no matter where it takes place, right? In reality, though, home teams experience certain benefits which can affect their game. And, we’re going to look at the three primary ones here.
Never underestimate how much fan support can improve sporting performance. If your team hear plenty of support from the crowd, they’re going to work much harder to bring home the bacon. Of course, die-hard fans will travel across the country to catch games from their top teams. For the most part, though, we hold fire until our teams perform in our hometowns. As such, a home game could bring thousands more fans than one played away. And, the percentages speak for themselves about what that means. To make matters worse, the other team are liable to fill their stadium to the brim and thus boost their own performance. That ensures that even those few traveling fans won’t be enough to secure a victory for the away team.
A familiar pitch
On a basic level, playing from home also brings the benefit of a familiar pitch. Again, this can increase the quality of play no end. This is the pitch your team train on, after all. They probably know it better than they know their own homes. They’ll know every angle, every bump, and every slippery patch. They’ll also be accustomed to playing on that particular type of pitch. Some teams have artificial while others use real grass, after all. Both bring real differences, and those alone can unravel a performance. Even if another pitch has artificial grass in common, something as simple as a different turf infill could change the play altogether. That’s not something your team needs to worry about when they’re home and on familiar footing.
Home, sweet home
Last, home games have the benefit of being at home. Obviously. But, consider this from a practical point of view. Away games involve travel, hotel rooms, and a whole load of upheaval. In extreme cases, an away team may even need to play through jet lag. By comparison, a home game ensures players drive to the pitch within minutes of sleeping in their beds. That’s what we call a score. It’s certainly something which shows once those games get going.