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In team sports, the term home advantage (also called home field/court/diamond/ice advantage) describes the advantage–usually a psychological advantage–that the home team
Home (sports)
In sports, home is a term referring to both the city and stadium, arena, or field where an athletic team plays games at their venue, whilst when the team plays elsewhere then they are considered the away team. The home term can refer to either the sponsoring institution or the place where it is...

 is said to have over the visiting team
Road (sports)
Road game , more commonly known as an away game, is a reference to all cities and stadia/arenas/fields/venues where an athletic team plays games for which it is not the host. Most professional teams represent cities or towns and amateur sports teams often represent academic institutions...

 as a result of playing in familiar facilities and in front of supportive fans. The term is also widely used in "best-of" playoff format
Playoff format
There are several different Playoff formats used in various levels of competition in sports and games to determine an overall champion. Some of the most common are the single elimination, the best-of- series, the total points series, and the round-robin tournament.-Single elimination:A Single...

s (e.g., best-of-seven) as being given to the team that is scheduled to play one more game at home than their opponent if all necessary games are played.

In many sports, such designations may also apply to games played at a neutral site; as the rules of various sports make different provisions for home and visiting teams. In baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

, for instance, the team designated the home team bats second in each inning, whereas the "visiting" team bats first.

Advantages of being the home team


In most team sports, the home or hosting team is considered to have a significant advantage over the visitors. Due to this, many important games (such as playoff or elimination matches) in many sports have special rules for determining what match is played where. In association football, matches with two legs, one game played in each team's "home", are common. It is also common to hold important games at a neutral site. In many team sports in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 (including baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

, basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, and ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

), playoff series are often held with a nearly equal number of games at each team's site. However, as it is usually beneficial to have an odd number of matches in a series (to prevent ties), the final home game is often awarded to the team that had the most success over the regular season. In most sports, this tends to be a significant advantage which can be decisive.

A good example of home field or home court advantage exists in NBA basketball where the home team in deciding games has won 78 of 97 contests up until the second round of the 2007 Playoffs.(*CITATION NEEDED) Another example is UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 and UEFA Europa League home and away legs, with weaker teams often beating the favourites when playing at home. The World Cup victories of Uruguay
Uruguay national football team
The Uruguayan national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez...

 (1930), Italy
Italy national football team
The Italy National Football Team , represents Italy in association football and is controlled by the Italian Football Federation , the governing body for football in Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles , just one fewer than...

 (1934), England
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 (1966), Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

 (1974), Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

 (1978) and France
France national football team
The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation , the governing body of football in France, and competes as a member of UEFA, which encompasses the countries of Europe...

 (1998) are all in part attributed to the fact that the World Cup was held in the winner's country. A 2006 study by The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

found that in the English Premiership, a home team can be expected to score 37.29% more goals than the away team, though this changes depending on the quality of the teams involved.

In recognition of the difficulty in winning away matches, cup competitions in association football often invoke the away goals rule. Away goals can also sometimes be used to separate teams level on points and goal difference in league competitions.

Factors related to the location and the venue


There are many causes to home advantage ranging from crowd involvement to travel considerations to environmental factors. The most-commonly cited factors of home advantage are usually ones whose advantageous effects are difficult to measure and thus even their existence is debated. Most of these are psychological in nature, such as familiarity with the playing grounds, the ability for participants to lodge in their homes rather than in a hotel, less likelihood of travel immediately prior to the game, and the psychological support of the fans in attendance.

Other factors, however, are easier to detect and can have noticeable effects on the outcome of the game. In American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

, for instance, the crowd often makes as much noise as it can when the visiting team is about to run a play. This can make it very difficult for the visiting team's quarterback
Quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

 to call audible play changes, or for any player to hear the snap count. In basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, when a visiting player is making a free throw
Free throw
In basketball, free throws or foul shots are unopposed attempts to score points from a restricted area on the court , and are generally awarded after a foul on the shooter by the opposing team...

, home fans behind the backboard typically wave their arms or other objects in an attempt to break the visiting player's focus on making the shot. Environmental factors such as weather and altitude are easy to measure, yet their effects are debatable as both teams have to play in the same conditions. However, the home team may be more acclimated to local conditions with difficult environments such as extremely warm or cold weather, or high altitude (such as the case of the Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently members of the West Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

).

The stadium or arena will typically be filled with home supporters
Fan (person)
A Fan, sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band or a sports team. Fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fanbase or fandom...

, who are sometimes described as being as valuable as an extra player for the home team. The home fans can sometimes create a psychological lift by cheering loudly for their team when good things happen in the game. The home crowd can also intimidate visiting players by booing, whistling, or heckling. Generally the home fans vastly outnumber the visiting team's supporters. While the visiting fans may travel to attend the game, home team fans will generally have better access to tickets and easier transport to the event. In some sports such as association football, sections of the stadium will be reserved for supporters of one team or the other (to prevent fan violence), but the home team's fans will have the bulk of the seating available to them. In addition, stadium/arena light shows, sound effects, fireworks, cheerleaders, and other means to enliven the crowd will be in support of the home team. Stadium announcers in many sports will emphasise the home team's goals and lineup to excite the crowd.

Ryan Boyko, a research assistant in the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, studied 5,000 English Premier League games from 1992 to 2006, to discern any officiating bias and the influence of home crowds. The data was published in the Journal of Sports Sciences suggested that for every additional 10,000 people attending, home team advantage increased by 0.1 goals. Additionally, his study proved what many football fans already suspect, that home teams are likely to be awarded more penalty kicks, but crucially, this is more likely with inexperienced referees. So building referee profiles can clearly be a very telling refinement for HFA figures.

There are also factors having to do with players being accustomed to peculiar environmental conditions of their home area. The city of Denver, being a mile (1609 m) above sea level, has thinner air; enough so that it affects the stamina of athletes whose bodies are not used to it. Although baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 is less aerobically demanding than most other sports, high altitude affects that sport's gameplay in several important ways. Denver's combination of altitude and a semi-arid climate (the city averages only about 16 in/400 mm precipitation annually) allows fly balls to travel about 10% farther than at sea level, and also slightly reduces the ability of pitcher
Pitcher
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throwsthe baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the...

s to throw effective breaking ball
Breaking ball
In baseball, a breaking ball is a pitch that does not travel straight like a fastball as it approaches the batter. A pitcher who uses primarily breaking ball pitches is often referred to as a junkballer. A breaking ball will have some sideways or downward motion on it...

s. The low humidity also causes baseballs to dry out, making it harder for pitchers to grip them and further reducing their ability to throw breaking balls. Consequently, the Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1991, they started play in 1993 and are in the West Division of the National League. The team is named after the Rocky Mountains...

 have a very large home advantage, with a 30% better home than away record. This anomaly has been countered with Colorado's innovative use of humidor
Humidor
A humidor is any kind of box or room with constant humidity, and ideal temperature, used to store cigars, cigarettes, or pipe tobacco. For private use, small wooden or acrylic glass humidor boxes for a few dozen cigars are used, while cigar shops may have walk-in humidors, sometimes consisting of a...

s to keep the baseballs from drying out. http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_3961497 The national association football team of Bolivia
Bolivia national football team
The Bolivia national football team is the national team of Bolivia and is controlled by the Federación Boliviana de Fútbol. After playing in the 1930 and 1950 World Cups, they qualified just once—in 1994...

 also enjoys the advantage of playing at high altitude: at home during World Cup
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup, often simply the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association , the sport's global governing body...

 qualifiers
FIFA World Cup qualification
The FIFA World Cup qualification is the process that a national association football team goes through to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Finals. The FIFA World Cup is a global event, so qualification is required to reduce the large field of participants from about 200 to 32.Qualifying tournaments...

 at the even more extreme 3,600 m (11,800 ft) altitude of La Paz
La Paz
Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of the La Paz Department, and the second largest city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra...

 they have even been known to beat Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

, a team regularly ranked number one in the FIFA World Rankings
FIFA World Rankings
The FIFA World Rankings is a ranking system for men's national teams in association football, currently led by Spain. The teams of the member nations of FIFA , football's world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest...

. More recently, Bolivia beat Argentina
Argentina national football team
The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in association football and is controlled by the Argentine Football Association , the governing body for football in Argentina. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti and their head coach is Alejandro...

, who were ranked sixth in the world, 6–1 on April 1, 2009, Argentina's heaviest defeat since 1958.

The weather can also play a major factor. For example, the February average temperature minimum in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 is 50°F, while the average at the same time in Kazan
Kazan
Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,546 , it is the eighth most populous city in Russia. Kazan lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 is 10°F, with snow being common. This means that when Rubin Kazan
FC Rubin Kazan
FC Rubin Kazan is a Russian association football club based in the city of Kazan . Rubin won the Russian Premier League championship in 2008 and 2009.-History:...

 played at home to Hapoel Tel Aviv in the 2009-10 UEFA Europa League, Hapoel needed to acclimatize and were therefore at a disadvantage. Hapoel duly lost the match 3-0

Sometimes the unique attributes of a stadium create a home-field advantage. The unique off-white Teflon-coated roof of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, commonly called the Metrodome, is a domed sports stadium in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Opened in 1982, it replaced Metropolitan Stadium, which was on the current site of the Mall of America in Bloomington and Memorial Stadium on the University...

 traps and reflects noise to such an extent that it can become distracting or even harmful. This, combined with the color of the roof, can cause opposing baseball players to commit more errors in the Dome than in other ballparks. While this is no longer an issue for opponents of the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 with that team's 2010 move to the open-air Target Field
Target Field
Target Field is a baseball park located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the home ballpark of the Minnesota Twins, the city's Major League Baseball franchise. It is the franchise's sixth ballpark and third in Minnesota. The Twins moved to Target Field for the 2010 Major League Baseball...

, it remains important to the many college baseball teams that play games in the Dome today. The parquet floor at the Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Founded in 1946, the team is currently owned by Boston Basketball Partners LLC. The Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which...

' former home of Boston Garden
Boston Garden
The Boston Garden was an arena in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Designed by boxing promoter Tex Rickard, who also built the third iteration of New York's Madison Square Garden, it opened on November 17, 1928 as "Boston Madison Square Garden" and outlived its original namesake by some 30 years...

 contained many defects, which were said to give the Celtics, who were more likely to be familiar with the playing surface, an advantage. During the 1985–1986 season, the Larry Bird
Larry Bird
Larry Joe Bird is a former American NBA basketball player and coach. Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons, spearheading one of the NBA's most formidable frontcourts that included center Robert Parish...

-led Celtics posted a home court record of 40-1; this record still stands in the NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

. Memorial Gymnasium
Memorial Gymnasium (Vanderbilt University)
Memorial Gymnasium is a multi-purpose facility located in Nashville, Tennessee. Usually called Memorial Gym or simply Memorial, the building is located on the western end of the Vanderbilt University campus. It was built in 1952 and currently has a seating capacity of 14,316...

, the venue for men's
Vanderbilt Commodores men's basketball
The Vanderbilt Commodores men's basketball team represents Vanderbilt University in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference . The Commodores have won three SEC regular season titles . They have competed in ten NCAA Tournaments, making it to the Elite Eight once and the Sweet 16 six times...

 and women's
Vanderbilt Commodores women's basketball
The Vanderbilt Commodores women's basketball team represents Vanderbilt University in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference . The Commodores have won four SEC tournament titles . Melanie Balcomb is the current head coach of the Commodores.-Memorial Gymnasium:The Commodores play their...

 basketball at Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a private research university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1873, the university is named for shipping and rail magnate "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided Vanderbilt its initial $1 million endowment despite having never been to the...

, was built in 1952 with the team benches at the ends of the court instead of along one of the sidelines, a setup that was not unusual at the time. However, the configuration is now unique in U.S. major-college sports, and has been said to give Vandy an edge because opposing coaches are not used to directing their teams from the baseline.

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated is an American sports media company owned by media conglomerate Time Warner. Its self titled magazine has over 3.5 million subscribers and is read by 23 million adults each week, including over 18 million men. It was the first magazine with circulation over one million to win the...

, in a 17 January 2011 report, reported that home crowds, rigor of travel for visiting teams, scheduling, and unique home field characteristics, were not factors in giving home teams an advantage. The journal concluded that it was favorable treatment by game officials and referees that conferred advantages on home teams. Sports Illustrated stated that sports officials are unwittingly and psychologically influenced by home crowds and the influence is significant enough to effect the outcomes of sporting events in favor of the home team.

Factors related to the game rules


There also exist some advantages for the home team which are actually written into the rules of the game. In ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

, during stoppages of play, the home team is allowed to make player substitutions after the visiting team, allowing them to obtain favorable player matchups. This rule makes the home team designation important even in tournament games played on neutral ice. Also, when lining up for each faceoff, the away team's centre must place his stick on the ice before the centre of the home team. This gives the home team's centre the ability to time the faceoff better and gives him greater odds of winning the faceoff.

In baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

, the home team gets to bat last in each inning. If the game goes into extra innings, this can yield very real advantages when deciding strategies regarding base-stealing and sacrifice hits. In addition, in Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

, the home league's rules concerning the designated hitter
Designated hitter
In baseball, the designated hitter rule is the common name for Major League Baseball Rule 6.10, an official position adopted by the American League in 1973 that allows teams to designate a player, known as the designated hitter , to bat in place of the pitcher each time he would otherwise come to...

 are followed during interleague
Interleague play
Interleague play is the term used to describe regular season Major League Baseball games played between teams in different leagues, introduced in . Before the 1997 season, teams in the American League and National League did not meet during the regular season...

 games, including the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

. This puts AL teams at a disadvantage when they play in NL parks, as AL pitchers are typically not used to having to bat. NL teams at AL parks are at a disadvantage because a player who does not play often will have to bat an entire game, usually on consecutive nights. The NL team's DH is a pinch-hitter who bats perhaps once every two or three games during the season, or alternates in a platoon system with other players (such as a catcher who does not start because the starting pitcher uses the other catcher), while the AL team's DH bats three or four times a game throughout the season.

In baseball, there is always a psychological home advantage when the game is tied or close in the 9th or in extra innings
Extra innings
Extra innings is the extension of a baseball or softball game in order to break a tie.Ordinarily, a baseball game consists of nine innings , each of which is divided into halves: the visiting team bats first, after which the home team takes its turn at bat...

. The visiting team, if they are leading after batting in their half of the inning (the top), must face and record three outs against the home team in order to finish off and win the game. But the home team, upon scoring the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 9th or an extra inning, wins in sudden death without having to take the field defensively following their period at bat. If the home team is in the lead following the top of the 9th, the game ends at this point, and the bottom of the 9th is not played at all. There is no clear-cut, physical advantage because both teams are given the same number of opportunities (i.e. innings). The advantage is knowing how well you have to perform in the last inning, if at all.

For games at home, the hosting team will have the advantage of playing with their first choice uniform/kit, rather than their alternate colors. A team's identity is often partly or mostly based on its home colors (for example, the All Blacks of New Zealand). In Major League Baseball, by tradition a team's home uniform has the team name on it (i.e. "Twins", "Mets", "Braves") and is typically white in color, while its away uniform has the name of its home city, state or region on it ("Minnesota", "New York", "Atlanta") and is grey or is the "dark" jersey (features the team's colors), although the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

 and Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 have long followed an opposing tradition by wearing the team nickname on both the home and away jerseys. A recent innovation in baseball is the "Sunday" alternate uniform, which is the same color for both home and away games. Regardless, all members of a team wear the same uniform (home, away or alternate) in each game. In one early-season 2006 game, the Minnesota Twins, in the middle of a vicious slump, played in their batting practice uniforms.

Gaining or losing home-field advantage


During the regular season for a sport, in the interest of fairness, schedulers try to ensure that each team plays an equal number of home and away games. Thus, having home-field advantage for any particular regular-season game is largely due to random chance. However, in playoffs, home advantage is usually given to the team with the better regular-season record. One exception to this is Major League Baseball, which since 2003 has awarded home-field advantage in the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 to the team representing the league which won the All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

 that year, to help raise interest in the All-Star Game after a tie in 2002. Prior to 2003, home-field advantage alternated each year between the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 and the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

. In MLB's first and second round of playoffs, home-field advantage is given to the team with the better record if both teams are division champions, and to the division champion if one of the teams is a wild card
Wild card (sports)
The term wild card refers broadly to a tournament or playoff berth awarded to an individual or team that has not qualified through normal play.-International sports:...

. For the first round in the NFL and NHL playoffs, home advantage is given to the team with a higher seed (which may or may not have the better record). The NBA is the only league that has home-court advantage based solely on which team has the best record (using various tiebreakers to settle the question should the teams finish with identical records). Rugby union's Heineken Cup
Heineken Cup
The Heineken Cup is one of two annual rugby union competitions organised by European Rugby Cup involving leading club, regional and provincial teams from the six International Rugby Board countries in Europe whose national teams compete in the Six Nations Championship: England, France, Ireland,...

 also uses a seeding system to determine home advantage in the quarterfinals (though not in the semifinals, where the nominal "home" teams are determined by a blind draw).

In many sports, playoffs consist of a series of games played between two teams. These series are usually a best-of-5 or best-of-7 format, where the first team to win 3 or 4 games, respectively, wins the playoff. Since these best-of series always involve an odd number of games, it is impossible to guarantee that an equal number of games will be played at each team's home venue. As a result, one team must be scheduled to have one more home game than the other. This team is said to have home-field advantage for that playoff series.

During the course of these playoff series, however, sports announcers or columnists will sometimes mention a team "gaining" or "losing" home-field advantage. This can happen after a visiting team has just won a game in the series. In playoff series format, the home-field advantage is said to exist for whichever team would win the series if all remaining games in the series are won by the home team for that game. Therefore, it is possible for a visiting team to win a game and, hence, gain home-field advantage. This is somewhat similar to the concept of losing serve in tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

.

As an example, suppose that a blue team and red team are about to play a best-of-seven series against each other. Four games will be played at blue's venue, while three will be played at red's venue. If the home team were to win each game, then blue would win four games, red would win three games, and blue would win the series, so we say that blue has the home-field advantage. However, suppose that the first game is played at blue's venue and the visiting red team wins. Red now has one win, and there are three games remaining at each venue. If the home team wins each of the remaining games, then red will have won four games, while blue will have won three. Since red would win the series in such a scenario, it is said that red has taken home-field advantage away from blue.

In some cup competitions, (for example the FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 in all rounds prior to the semi-final), home advantage is determined by a random drawing. However if the initial match is drawn (tied), home advantage for the replay is given to the other team.

Neutral venues


For certain sporting events, home advantage may be removed by use of a neutral venue. This may be a national stadium that is not a home stadium to any club (for example Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium
The original Wembley Stadium, officially known as the Empire Stadium, was a football stadium in Wembley, a suburb of north-west London, standing on the site now occupied by the new Wembley Stadium that opened in 2007...

 hosts the FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 Final and semi-finals). Alternatively the neutral venue may be the home stadium of another club, such as was used historically to stage FA Cup semi-finals. If the venue is chosen before the start of the competition however, it is still possible for one team to gain home field advantage: in the 1984 European Cup Final
1984 European Cup Final
The 1984 European Cup Final was an association football match between Liverpool of England and Roma of Italy on 30 May 1984 at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy. It was the final match of the 1983–84 season of Europe's premier cup competition, the UEFA Champions League. Liverpool were appearing in...

 for example, the Stadio Olimpico
Stadio Olimpico
The Stadio Olimpico is the main and largest sports facility of Rome, Italy. It is located within the Foro Italico sports complex on the north of the city. An asset of the Italian National Olympic Committee, the structure is intended primarily for football...

 in Rome was chosen as the venue well in advance of the start of that season's competition. Thus when AS Roma reached the final they were able to play the match in their own stadium.

Neutral-venue matches may arise out of necessity, if the home team's normal stadium becomes unusable. For example, on December 12, 2010, the roof of the Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

' stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, commonly called the Metrodome, is a domed sports stadium in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Opened in 1982, it replaced Metropolitan Stadium, which was on the current site of the Mall of America in Bloomington and Memorial Stadium on the University...

 collapsed due to a snowstorm. The Vikings were supposed to play against the New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 at the stadium the next day. The game was moved to the Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League , and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.Originally based in Portsmouth, Ohio and...

' stadium, Ford Field
Ford Field
Ford Field is an indoor American football stadium located in Detroit, Michigan, USA, that is the current home field of the NFL's Detroit Lions. It is owned by the Detroit/Wayne County Stadium Authority. It regularly seats 65,000, though it is expandable up to 70,000 for football and 80,000 for...

. The following week, the Vikings' Monday Night Football
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Football is a live broadcast of the National Football League on ESPN. From to it aired on ABC. Monday Night Football was, along with Hallmark Hall of Fame, and the Walt Disney anthology television series, one of the longest running prime time commercial network television series...

game against the Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 was moved to the University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

's TCF Bank Stadium
TCF Bank Stadium
TCF Bank Stadium, sometimes referred to as either "The Bank" or "The Gopher Hole," is the football stadium for the Minnesota Golden Gophers college football team at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota...

.

See also

  • Major League Baseball (All-Star Game)
  • Major League Baseball (World Series)
  • Major League Baseball (postseason)
  • Circadian advantage
    Circadian advantage
    Circadian advantage is a term that refers to a sporting team's advantage over another by virtue of its relative degree of acclimation to a time zone versus their opponent. While this concept was explored by researchers at Stanford in 1997, and at the University of Massachusetts, the term was...


Sources


Further reading

  • Repanich, Jeremy (January 27, 2011). "Scorecasting Tackles Sports’ Biggest Myths". Playbook: The Wired World of Sports (wired.com). Condé Nast Digital. Retrieved 2011-02-21. (Interview with L. Jon Wertheim, about his and Tobias J. Moskowitz's book, Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports are Played and Games are Won, including "notions of home-field advantage".)