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Scholastic hoop study shows no homerism
December 10, 2009 - Neil Rudel
With the start of high school basketball season this weekend, I thought this would be a good time to present some data that reader and friend Ed Adams, formerly of Tyrone now of Bellefonte, presented to me.
It concerned the perception of officiating and how it may or may not favor the home team.
Here's the interesting data, and I thank Ed for his interest.
From January 20, 2009 to February 5, 2009, I conducted a blind survey of public and parochial boys and girls varsity basketball games. The emphasis of the survey was to determine the number of free throws that were shot by the home and visiting teams. The main source of the results input was the Mirror coverage, with a smaller number of games reviewed in the Centre, Clinton, and Lycoming County areas. 100 games were utilized in each category.
In the boys games, in three games both teams shot an equal number of free throws. In the other 97 games, the visiting team shot the most in 51 games (52.6%) and the home team in 46 games (47.4%). The net averages shot were: visitor (15.8) per game and home (14.4) per game. The success ratios were: visitor (.641) and home (.633).
In girls games, three games also had both teams shooting the same number of free throws. In the games with a variance, the home team shot more in 53 games (54.6%) and the visiting team in 44 games (45.4%). The net averages were: home (15.5) per game and visitor (14.6) per game. Success ratios were: home (.619) and visitor (.610).
In this study, the number of free throws attempted and converted is fairly comparable and, overall, does not seem to reflect a significiant physical or administrative home court advantage for the home team.