So we can say that the various movements that take place in the ‘independence’ of (top) sportsmen and sportswomen offer great opportunities, but also challenges! I am very curious how you see this (top) sports culture and where it will lead to? With the enormous challenges that the sports associations are currently facing and of which this women’s squash team is the perfect example. Talk to us via #sportnext on Twitter or leave your comment under this post.
This article is written by Quality Squash Stores, an online squash store.
Both squash and badminton teams play competition at all levels. In squash, three single games are played in the Men’s League, and four single games in the other classes. The player who wins first three games wins the match. At the end all games are added together. The team with the most games gets three extra points. In case of a tie, the score within the games is decisive. So there is always a team that wins. The men’s league has seven different classes, the women’s league five. The badminton competition is mixed. Eight games are played, two men’s singles, two women’s singles, and four (mixed) doubles. The winner receives no extra points, so it can also end in a draw of 4-4.
On www.toernooi.nl you can find all results for the 2015-2016 season. In the squash competition, 2579 team games were played. Only games without any additional remark on the result, such as the failure of a team to show up, are included. Among the men, the home team won in 58% of the cases. The chance that this is based on chance if there were no home advantage is almost zero. The advantage at home can even be seen in all classes, except in the Eredivisie. In the ladies there is a small home advantage of 53%, but statistically this can also be caused by chance. This difference between men and women can be caused by several things. The competition of the women is a lot less big than the competition of the men. The fewer games are played, the more difficult it is to statistically demonstrate home advantage. You can also often see that the difference in level is greater in women. The bigger the level difference, the smaller the chance that home advantage makes the difference between winning and losing.
Check out https://www.qss-squash.com, an online squash webshop.
In the badminton competition 1763 team games were played last year. Each team match consists of 8 individual matches. On an individual level, the home player won 54% of the matches. At team level, the home team won 47% of the times and the playing team 35%. The remaining 18% of the matches ended in a draw. Again, the effect is statistically significant for all classes except the Eredivisie. Also for non-professionals there is such a thing as a home advantage!
Badminton home advantage2
The five factors of home advantage
So it’s a fact that there’s a home advantage, but what’s causing it? A lot of research has been done on this subject, both by statisticians and psychologists. In 2013, three Spaniards wrote an overview in which they identify five causes: Supporters, familiarity with the field/circumstances, travel time, the referee and territoriality.
When we think of home advantage, we often think of the support of supporters as equal. There are almost always more supporters of the home team present. But even without supporters, there appears to be a home advantage. Niels van de Ven of Tilburg University investigated this by analysing football matches with and without supporters, and matches between teams that have the same stadium as their home base. In fact, supporters can even have a negative effect on performance, for example when a player has to take a penalty. This is a well-known phenomenon in social psychology. For easy tasks it increases performance when people are watching (social facilitation), for difficult tasks it decreases performance (social inhibition).
Familiarity with the field:
Every field or job can play differently, and you are used to your own field the most. That can be an advantage. For example, one squash court plays much faster than another, and the lights in badminton hang differently everywhere, so that you look at the light in a different way. One study shows that the effect is limited, another shows that the home advantage decreased by 24% when a club was given a new pitch. In fact, scientific research always focuses on top athletes. But this factor could be more important for amateurs. A professional squasher or badminton player plays and trains in many different places. But the average club player usually plays and trains at his own club, and is less used to different circumstances. This may be the reason why we don’t see the advantage at home in the Premier League, but in the lower classes of badminton and squash.