Skip to content
Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 3, 2011

The Intra-Match Home Advantage in Australian Rules Football

Richard Ryall and Anthony Bedford

The existence of home advantage in Australian Rules football (AFL) has been well documented in previous literature. This advantage typically refers to the net advantage of several factors which, generally speaking, have a positive effect on the home team and a negative effect on the away team. However, this practice excludes the in-course dynamics of home advantage throughout the match including the interrelationship between pre-game and in-game team characteristics. The aim of the present study is to calculate the intra-match home advantage for each quarter in AFL by incorporating the interaction between team quality and current score. Archival AFL data was obtained from seasons 2000 to 2009 which consisted of year, round, quarter, (nominal) home team, away team, home team score and away team score. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) on margin of victory was used to determine if there was a distinct difference between team quality (favourite/underdog) within current score (ahead/behind). Since the in-game team characteristics (current score) are likely to be caused by pre-game characteristics (team quality) the margin of victory is adjusted for team quality. The results provide marginal evidence that home underdogs in the third quarter irrespective of whether they were ahead or behind at half time receive a greater advantage than home favourites. Furthermore, home advantage is greatest in the final quarter when there is a high level of uncertainty about the outcome of the match.

Published Online: 2011-5-3

©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston