The aim of this investigation was to examine the underlying mechanisms of the homefield advantage within professional English football (soccer). Study 1 examined soccer players’ retrospective perceptions of the homefield advantage. Results to this first study revealed that the players had significantly higher retrospective perceptions of their confidence, t(4) = 2.24, p<0.05, and their positiveness towards the forthcoming game, t(4) = 2.89, p<0.05. when playing at home. Study 2 investigated players’ psychological and mood states immediately prior to competing at home and away using a shortened Profile of Mood States (POMS) within a semi-structured interview. Quantitative and qualitative measures were used to analyse the data from these interviews. Although no significant differences were found between the players’ actual mood states prior to playing at home and away, data did show the players to have significantly higher perceptions of the team’s confidence at home games, t(4) = 2.82, p<0.05. Qualitative analysis highlighted the following themes as major factors contributing to their strong belief in a homefield advantage: physical and mental preparation, sleep, crowd factors and referee bias.
Waters, A., & Lovell, G. (2002). An examination of the homefield advantage in a professional English soccer team from a psychological standpoint. Football Studies, 5(1), 46–59.