National Forum

Home Advantage

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Looking at the top 3 league divisions this year in football and roughly the same amount of games are won by the away team as the home team, similar happened last year. In hurlings top division this year more games were won by the away team than the home team. This is in contrast to most other sports where having home advantage is statistically a huge factor. I wonder if there is any logical reason for why GAA would be different? When the fixtures come out most teams will target wins in their home games but the statistics say they are as likely to win away from home.

Soma (UK) - 05/04/2017 11:49:48    1975947

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Replying To Soma:  "Looking at the top 3 league divisions this year in football and roughly the same amount of games are won by the away team as the home team, similar happened last year. In hurlings top division this year more games were won by the away team than the home team. This is in contrast to most other sports where having home advantage is statistically a huge factor. I wonder if there is any logical reason for why GAA would be different? When the fixtures come out most teams will target wins in their home games but the statistics say they are as likely to win away from home."
Interesting. I'd wonder though if the last few years have been a bit of an anomaly maybe?

MesAmis (Dublin) - 05/04/2017 12:29:31    1975968

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Maybe teams are experimenting a bit more in home games as they're considered more bankable. Add a bit of complacency to that too.

Breffni39 (Cavan) - 05/04/2017 12:41:25    1975975

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In Division three the top three teams all lost two matches each and all at home. Louth lost in Drogheda to Armagh and Sligo. Tipp lost in Thurles to Sligo and Louth and Armagh lost in the Athletics Ground to Laois and Tipp. Louth usually play better away from home.

OLLIE (Louth) - 05/04/2017 13:07:56    1975989

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Can't really speak for other counties but I've done a bit of research on Donegal myself because of what felt like a terrible record in Letterkenny that we have. I went back to 2009 because that's as far as Wiki had a breakdown of matches and venues! I only included the standard fixtures, so no semis or finals. So since 2009, Donegal have played 63 matches in the league: At home Played: 31 Win: 17 Loss: 7 Draw: 7 Win %: 55% Away: Played: 32 Win: 12 Loss: 19 Draw: 1 Win %: 38% So on the face of it, we have a much better record at home than we do away. Coupled with that, you can see we're much more likely to actually lose away from home whereas we have a higher number of draws within the county. The interesting bit for Donegal is when you look at the different "home" matches we actually play. Ballybofey Played: 13 Win: 10 Loss: 1 Draw: 2 Win %: 77% Ballyshannon Played: 8 Win: 6 Loss: 1 Draw: 1 Win %: 75% Letterkenny: Played: 8 Win: 1 Loss: 5 Draw: 2 Win %: 13% Our sole win in Letterkenny came against Monaghan in 2014. We have a fantastic record in Ballyshannon with our loss there coming against the Dubs in 2009. And our loss in Ballybofey came in 2010 against Down. So overall for Donegal, I'd say home advantage is a huge plus for us, as long as it's not Letterkenny. The record there is pretty shocking.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - 05/04/2017 13:45:30    1976000

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Replying To MesAmis:  "Interesting. I'd wonder though if the last few years have been a bit of an anomaly maybe?"
In the last 3 years there have been 40 home wins in Division 1 and 35 away wins. In Division 2 there have been 37 home wins and 34 away wins. In the previous 2 seasons of Division 3 there were 36 home wins and 16 away wins but this season it was 14/12. More away wins than home wins in 1A hurling this year does seem to be an anomaly alright looking back.

Soma (UK) - 05/04/2017 14:02:20    1976003

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Simple answer there is no such thing as home advantage. How could there possibly be any physical advantage? It's grass ,two sets of 15 players and two sets of posts in every pitch. It's all a mental issue teams have with this tough place to go malarky. What makes it tough supporters? How can supporters physically do anything? In soccer it's a mindset thing as you have home and away legs which give you an advantage to score away from home other than that it's all a mentality.

hill16no1man (Dublin) - 05/04/2017 14:36:52    1976013

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Replying To hill16no1man:  "Simple answer there is no such thing as home advantage. How could there possibly be any physical advantage? It's grass ,two sets of 15 players and two sets of posts in every pitch. It's all a mental issue teams have with this tough place to go malarky. What makes it tough supporters? How can supporters physically do anything? In soccer it's a mindset thing as you have home and away legs which give you an advantage to score away from home other than that it's all a mentality."
Seriously disagree with this. If you play enough matches on one patch you become very comfortable on it, you know where the posts are instinctively, you understand how the ball bounces on the pitch, how the wind will operate, that sort of thing. It's not worth 10 points or anything but it does add an extra small advantage and every little bit counts. For example, I don't think we are ready to take on the Dubs in Croke Park necessarily, however we battled away to a draw in Ballybofey this year. Without home advantage, or even if it was in one of our other grounds, I think we may have lost that game.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - 05/04/2017 15:15:35    1976033

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "Seriously disagree with this. If you play enough matches on one patch you become very comfortable on it, you know where the posts are instinctively, you understand how the ball bounces on the pitch, how the wind will operate, that sort of thing. It's not worth 10 points or anything but it does add an extra small advantage and every little bit counts. For example, I don't think we are ready to take on the Dubs in Croke Park necessarily, however we battled away to a draw in Ballybofey this year. Without home advantage, or even if it was in one of our other grounds, I think we may have lost that game."
Oh seriously you know what the wind will be like haha that's impossible as the wind changes every single day no matter what pitch your on. Donegal got the draw because they got two goals at right time, they also got goals in 2014 in of all places croke park at the right time and got the win, it's all psychological

hill16no1man (Dublin) - 05/04/2017 15:59:55    1976052

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Only a tiny fraction of football matches are decided on away goals. Before the away goals rule was even introduced home advantage was always a major factor. There's a lifetime of stats to disprove your theory Hill but sure I don't think anything will sway you.

Breffni39 (Cavan) - 05/04/2017 16:10:46    1976061

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "Can't really speak for other counties but I've done a bit of research on Donegal myself because of what felt like a terrible record in Letterkenny that we have. I went back to 2009 because that's as far as Wiki had a breakdown of matches and venues! I only included the standard fixtures, so no semis or finals. So since 2009, Donegal have played 63 matches in the league: At home Played: 31 Win: 17 Loss: 7 Draw: 7 Win %: 55% Away: Played: 32 Win: 12 Loss: 19 Draw: 1 Win %: 38% So on the face of it, we have a much better record at home than we do away. Coupled with that, you can see we're much more likely to actually lose away from home whereas we have a higher number of draws within the county. The interesting bit for Donegal is when you look at the different "home" matches we actually play. Ballybofey Played: 13 Win: 10 Loss: 1 Draw: 2 Win %: 77% Ballyshannon Played: 8 Win: 6 Loss: 1 Draw: 1 Win %: 75% Letterkenny: Played: 8 Win: 1 Loss: 5 Draw: 2 Win %: 13% Our sole win in Letterkenny came against Monaghan in 2014. We have a fantastic record in Ballyshannon with our loss there coming against the Dubs in 2009. And our loss in Ballybofey came in 2010 against Down. So overall for Donegal, I'd say home advantage is a huge plus for us, as long as it's not Letterkenny. The record there is pretty shocking."
We beat Kerry in the league in Letterkenny in 2007

gunman (Donegal) - 05/04/2017 16:18:27    1976065

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This may come as a suprise to you Hill but the wind often blows in the same direction in the same location. In Donegal you get weather fronts coming in from the west so the wind blows for there and it is often strong. Having that knowedge instinctively having played in the location does help. The more things you can do instinctively in any activity frees up your brain for making other (time-pressured) decisions. Its like learning to drive around your town for the first time versus doing it after 10 years. After a while you don't need to concentrate on timing the clutch and the gear change right so you are able to chat/sing/wave at people while doing it. Obviously not to the same extent but the small things do help in the long run.

benjyyy (Donegal) - 05/04/2017 16:33:35    1976075

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Replying To hill16no1man:  "Simple answer there is no such thing as home advantage. How could there possibly be any physical advantage? It's grass ,two sets of 15 players and two sets of posts in every pitch. It's all a mental issue teams have with this tough place to go malarky. What makes it tough supporters? How can supporters physically do anything? In soccer it's a mindset thing as you have home and away legs which give you an advantage to score away from home other than that it's all a mentality."
That comment is ridiculous, home advantage is observable in practically every sport across the world. The largest reason for home advantage gets attributed to referees. It's been shown that marginal decisions tend to go with the home team. In professional sports the size of crowd has a bearing on the extent of home advantage. Maybe explains why it's less observable in GAA.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 05/04/2017 16:40:49    1976077

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There's no such thing as home advantage, nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die.

Breffni39 (Cavan) - 05/04/2017 16:59:57    1976082

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Hill, of course home advantage is real. Even If it is a psychological thing. Its very black and white to say its 15 v 15 on grass and the goalposts are the same, But preparation is totally different for a team based on whether they are at home or away. That's why Dublin playing in Croke park is an advantage to Dublin, Its why playing in Ballybofey in an advantage to Donegal. Stuff like sleeping in your own bed the night before a game, Having the same dressing room all the time, the same end to warm up, the same surroundings, Them little things work in a teams advantage no matter how small or insignificant the advantage may seem, its sometimes only something tiny that makes the difference between two evenly matched teams and things like knowing a place like the back of your hand can be an advantage. Case in point:- If I'm desperate to go for a barry white, I'll sure as hell try and avoid doing it in someone elses gaff or a public jax. Because I prefer the comfort of my own jax. Just another example of home advantage, when I'm at home simple things are easier to do than if I where away from home....

waynoI (Dublin) - 05/04/2017 18:02:18    1976107

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So every team sport in the world emphasises and rewards good play with home advantage (see Champions League, American Sports in particular) yet somehow in the GAA* it magically doesn't exist * if we ignore Davy Fits refusal to play Tipp in Thurles in the League Semi Final on Sunday week or Derek McGrath last year's Munster Final link

KYTotalFootball (Kerry) - 05/04/2017 18:36:28    1976117

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Replying To Breffni39:  "Only a tiny fraction of football matches are decided on away goals. Before the away goals rule was even introduced home advantage was always a major factor. There's a lifetime of stats to disprove your theory Hill but sure I don't think anything will sway you."
Well please tell me what these so called advantages are physically on the field of play in all ears ????

hill16no1man (Dublin) - 05/04/2017 18:45:19    1976127

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Replying To benjyyy:  "This may come as a suprise to you Hill but the wind often blows in the same direction in the same location. In Donegal you get weather fronts coming in from the west so the wind blows for there and it is often strong. Having that knowedge instinctively having played in the location does help. The more things you can do instinctively in any activity frees up your brain for making other (time-pressured) decisions. Its like learning to drive around your town for the first time versus doing it after 10 years. After a while you don't need to concentrate on timing the clutch and the gear change right so you are able to chat/sing/wave at people while doing it. Obviously not to the same extent but the small things do help in the long run."
Oh seriously come on and while your waving to someone across the road driving What happens if somebody knew to the town drives throug and you didn't spot them bump bump bump so the wind is predictable hahahaha I have heard it all What happens if the wind dies down when shooting are you that familiar with its patterns on the HOME PITCH that your freed up microseconds make you able to kick it harder more to the right or a little to the left. seriously it's all in the mind

hill16no1man (Dublin) - 05/04/2017 18:49:28    1976129

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Replying To Whammo86:  "That comment is ridiculous, home advantage is observable in practically every sport across the world. The largest reason for home advantage gets attributed to referees. It's been shown that marginal decisions tend to go with the home team. In professional sports the size of crowd has a bearing on the extent of home advantage. Maybe explains why it's less observable in GAA."
Again that's hearsay and a mentality issue NEXT PLEASE!!!

hill16no1man (Dublin) - 05/04/2017 18:50:52    1976130

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Replying To waynoI:  "Hill, of course home advantage is real. Even If it is a psychological thing. Its very black and white to say its 15 v 15 on grass and the goalposts are the same, But preparation is totally different for a team based on whether they are at home or away. That's why Dublin playing in Croke park is an advantage to Dublin, Its why playing in Ballybofey in an advantage to Donegal. Stuff like sleeping in your own bed the night before a game, Having the same dressing room all the time, the same end to warm up, the same surroundings, Them little things work in a teams advantage no matter how small or insignificant the advantage may seem, its sometimes only something tiny that makes the difference between two evenly matched teams and things like knowing a place like the back of your hand can be an advantage. Case in point:- If I'm desperate to go for a barry white, I'll sure as hell try and avoid doing it in someone elses gaff or a public jax. Because I prefer the comfort of my own jax. Just another example of home advantage, when I'm at home simple things are easier to do than if I where away from home...."
Again no physical advantage whatsoever all psychological. staying in your own bed haha please what if you have a bad mattress or the dog next door barks all night for some reason? Your child is up all night crying,Then maybe the five star hotel room bed might actually be more of an advantage to your sleep. Seriously all these are is Excuses, you do realise the reason they warm up before the game right? Once that's done you could have been in the jacks and doing your Barry white all night long like Lionel himself but hey presto the balls thrown in its grass 15v15 and no matter what the colour jerseys are in the crowd they can't do a single physical thing to add to the scoreboard

hill16no1man (Dublin) - 05/04/2017 18:58:01    1976132

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