Why Do Basketball Teams Have a Home-Court Advantage? Natural Experiment During Pandemic Provides Some Answers

When the US National Basketball Association was forced to pause the season due to Covid-19 on March 11 last year, the fans were naturally devastated. When the season resumed five months later, with the top 22 teams bubbled together and playing every game in Orlando, Florida, this was great news for the sport, the fans — and a pair of researchers, who realised that the restart provided a perfect natural experiment to explore the effects of travel on play. Their study reveals some insights into causes of the well-documented sporting home-side advantage. Continue reading →

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