n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Home ground advantage - fact or fallacy? A comment on the 2004 Super 12 rugby competition : original research article

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



<I>Objective :&lt;/I&gt; The aim of this study was to determine whether there was an advantage to playing at home in the 2004 Rugby Union Super 12 competition. The question was relevant because this unusual competition involved travelling across time zones during the competition, potentially negating any home ground advantage caused by fatigue from travel and changing time zones. <br><I>Main outcome measure :&lt;/I&gt; The mean points difference (points for the team minus points against the team) for 'home' and 'away' fixtures was calculated for each team before the semi-final stage of the competition. <br><I>Result :&lt;/I&gt; Combined results for all 12 teams showed that the points difference was positive and significantly greater at 'home' than 'away' fixtures (7.4 &lt;u&gt;+&lt;/u&gt; 6.9 points v. -7.4 &lt;u&gt;+&lt;/u&gt; 7.9 points, home v. away) (p < 0.05). <br><I>Conclusions :&lt;/I&gt; The combined mean positive points difference at home indicates a home ground advantage, and that on average teams scored more points than their opposition when playing at home. This has implications for the 'fairness' of the competition as 6 teams had 6 home matches whereas the other 6 teams had 5 home matches in the 2004 Super 12 competition.

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