An ecological dynamics rationale to explain home advantage in professional football

GAMA, José, DIAS, Gonçalo, COUCEIRO, Micael, PASSOS, Pedro, DAVIDS, Keith and RIBEIRO, João (2016). An ecological dynamics rationale to explain home advantage in professional football. International Journal of Modern Physics C, 27 (09), p. 1650102.

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Despite clear findings, research on home advantage in team sports lacks a comprehensive theoretical rationale for understanding why this phenomenon is so compelling. The aim of this study was to provide an explanatory theoretical rationale in ecological dynamics for the influence of home advantage observed in research on professional football. We recorded 30 competitive matches and analyzed 13958 passes, from one highly successful team in the Portuguese Premier League, during season 2010/2011. Performance data were analyzed using the Match Analysis Software—Amisco ® ® (version, allowing us to characterize team activity profiles. Results were interpreted from an ecological dynamics perspective, explaining how task and environmental constraints of a competitive football setting required performers to continuously co-adapt to teammate behaviors. Despite slight differences in percentage of ball possession when playing home or away, the number of passes achieved by the team, while in possession of the ball, was quite different between home or away venues. When playing at home, the number of passes performed by the team was considerably higher than when playing away. The explanation proposed in this study for a home advantage effect can be understood from studying interpersonal coordination tendencies of team sports players as agents in a complex adaptive system.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: p. 1650102
Depositing User: Margaret Boot
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2016 11:17
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 05:25

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