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Topic Originator: RhinoPars  
Date:   Thu 18 Feb 19:08

There was some discussion earlier in the season as to whether or not playing without fans would reduce home advantage - I think a thread on this was started by GG Riva.

Lack of fans may have helped Scotland at Twickenham (Rob Wainwright said this was one of the two most hostile grounds he had played at - the other being Ellis Park in S.Africa); but so far this doesn`t appear to have been the case for the Pars this season. We have had a much better home record this season. To date we have averaged 2.29 points per home game (losing only once) but only 1.00 points/away game (winning only once). If we could have replicated our home form away, and had played the same number of games as Hearts (1 more) we would have 36 points (36.57) which is almost as many as Hearts` 37 points. If we can just improve our away form..

Looking at the Championship overall, for the first 73 games played there have been 34 home wins, 18 away wins and 21 draws giving average points per game 1.68 (home) and 1.03 (away). Thus we have an average away record but above average home one. Only Hearts has a better home record (2.63 pts/game). It therefore seems that home advantage still counts.

Out of interest I compared this to the average over the previous four seasons we have been in the Championship. This season the average points per game or the home side (for all sides) is 1.68 compared with 1.03 for the away side. The home advantage this season actually appears slightly greater (not smaller as originally hypothesised) when compared to the previous four seasons when fans could attend games. Over the previous four seasons the avg points per home game (all sides) were 1.55, 1.41, 1.53 and 1.49 (averaging 1.49/game over all games over the four years). Avg points per away game were 1.22, 1.32, 1.23, 1.18 (averaging 1.24/game over all four years). Using a Chi Squared test this difference in results frequencies this season compared expected results based on the average of previous four seasons was however not statistically significant (but with limited sample sizes power to detect small differences in frequencies will be limited). Therefore lack of statistical significance here doesn`t mean there is not a real effect. Still makes one wonder whether the lack of critical home fans getting on players backs when they make mistakes at home or the team has a dip in form may be helping some players leading to this possible (although not statistically significant) slightly greater home advantage this season.

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 Re: Home Form
Topic Originator: Parsfangaz  
Date:   Thu 18 Feb 21:05

Wish I had as much time on my hands.

Post Edited (Thu 18 Feb 21:05)
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 Re: Home Form
Topic Originator: Rastapari  
Date:   Thu 18 Feb 22:13

Quote:

Parsfangaz, Thu 18 Feb 21:05

Wish I had as much time on my hands.


I can't remember what that kind if time felt like...

Carole Baskin fed Rasta to a tiger.
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 Re: Home Form
Topic Originator: Socks  
Date:   Thu 18 Feb 23:20

Well I thought it was interesting. I never understand why people bother to reply to a longish post but just sneer contemptuously without contributing anything to the discussion.

The sample maybe isn`t big enough to prove any effect, as the change isn`t huge compared to the variability in values for recent `baseline` seasons. Interesting nonetheless. I wonder if there`s any bias introduced by not being able to consider the run-in? Intuitively it feels more likely to me that teams will get nervous and drop points at home towards the end of the season, but I have no idea if that is proven by actual results or not.

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 Re: Home Form
Topic Originator: RhinoPars  
Date:   Fri 19 Feb 06:43

Quote:

Socks, Thu 18 Feb 23:20

Well I thought it was interesting. I never understand why people bother to reply to a longish post but just sneer contemptuously without contributing anything to the discussion.

The sample maybe isn`t big enough to prove any effect, as the change isn`t huge compared to the variability in values for recent `baseline` seasons. Interesting nonetheless. I wonder if there`s any bias introduced by not being able to consider the run-in? Intuitively it feels more likely to me that teams will get nervous and drop points at home towards the end of the season, but I have no idea if that is proven by actual results or not.


Thanks Socks - i didn’t think the negative posts merited a reply. Always enjoy your considered longer posts. I found it interesting how much better we have done at home this season. I hadn’t appreciated just how great the difference was. It actually didn’t take much time to sum a few win and draw numbers (and for last year loss as for all other years away wins can simply be calculated as 180-home wins and draws) for only 10 teams/season (useful mental arithmetic practice) and enter the totals into Excel and use it to do the calculations copying equations for different years. Not a lot of work in my book. I share your concerns and agree the analysis is very preliminary, and sample sizes are too small to come up with anything conclusive. As you rightly point out there is quite a bit of year to year variation and with only n=5 seasons just by chance the current season has a 20% chance of having highest home win % (if there were no effect). Could run away league leaders some seasons also boost average numbers of home wins in some seasons. To properly look at whether home advantage may be greater without fans would require a much bigger sample from more leagues and unfortunately I don’t have the time for that right now (hence my quick and dirty look at this). Probably would be desirable to look back many more years to get a better handle on levels of year to year variation to help better gauge how out of the ordinary this season actually is (and it may not be). Your run in hypothesis is interesting and could be tested using past data if you could find lots of league tables for the three quarter stage of the season as well.

Post Edited (Fri 19 Feb 08:37)
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 Re: Home Form
Topic Originator: GG Riva  
Date:   Fri 19 Feb 07:10

Yes, I thought it was interesting, too, but then I've also got too much time on my hands. 🙂

The analysis I carried out, was for the first and second tiers of the so-called top 5 European Leagues; England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, for the period without fans, last season. There were some startling variations, but overall it evidenced an above average number of away wins. I suggested that the lack of fans may have contributed to this difference.

It would have been interesting to see if referees awarded less penalties, free kicks around the box etc to home teams as a result, but I wasn't that keen. No doubt, OPTRA, or some similar data collector will have done so.

Maybe a similar study for all games played on both sides of the border this season, would provide more reliable evidence? I think Gary Lineker, on MOTD, suggested that away teams in the Premiership had gathered more points per game this season, but I'm not 100%.



Not your average Sunday League player.
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 Re: Home Form
Topic Originator: RhinoPars  
Date:   Fri 19 Feb 07:47

Would be interesting to look at this in more detail GG.

I also wonder if there is a difference between the very top leagues and teams with more accomplished players who have put in much more focused practice over the years (think Jinky, Cantona, Beckham, Ronaldo etc. who all worked so hard doing many many hours of extra practice to hone their skills) and perhaps as a result have more confidence in their own ability than the average and less consistent player in lower leagues. The latter may be more negatively influenced by abuse from fans.

I did look at the SPFL tables again and they show home and away in the Championship for only another three seasons with average points/home game of 1.64, 1.48 and 1.61 (rounded). If one assumes a normal distribution here the standard deviation of the sample is 0.0811 and average home points/game over the previous seven seasons with fans was 1.530 pts giving 95% confidence intervals for a single season in range of 1.371 - 1.689 points/home game. Thus this season`s average 1.685/Championship home game - while 10% higher than average of previous seven seasons (and the highest for the last eight years) - is just within these confidence levels.

Post Edited (Fri 19 Feb 09:51)
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 Re: Home Form
Topic Originator: alwaysaPar  
Date:   Fri 19 Feb 09:34

Quote:

Parsfangaz, Thu 18 Feb 21:05

Wish I had as much time on my hands.



Says the guy who took time out to reply...............
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 Re: Home Form
Topic Originator: Stanza  
Date:   Fri 19 Feb 15:30

" ....... the average and less consistent player in lower leagues. The latter may be more negatively influenced by abuse from fans."

There is another possible reason why lower league players are more adversely affected by abuse from home fans (if indeed that is the case.)

When there is a big crowd at a match, shouts and abuse from individual spectators are less significant, as they will merge into the totality of crowd noise. Where there is a small crowd, an individual spectator (or small group of spectators) can target a player or team mercilessly and every word they say will be heard by the player (or team) and personal abuse will seem even worse.

On the assumption that at least some players are adversely affected by criticism of their performance, especially if they think it`s unfair, playing in front of a small crowd that includes some disgruntled fans is likely to be more damaging than playing in front of a large crowd. (I accept that if most of the crowd is boo-ing, the crowd size won`t matter much.)

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