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HOME FIELD DISADVANTAGE?!?!

PHOTO CREDIT: GARY LEININGER

On the heels of a World Series where neither team has won a game at home, It seems compelling to thoroughly examine whether or not a fiery crowd going nuts for the home team helps to alter the outcomes of games in modern-day sports. You can argue that certain teams have an advantage because of the field they play on, Look at Boise State football and the blue turf they play on at Albertsons Stadium. They have a record of 186-39 (14 Conference Championships) since THE BLUE surface was installed before the 1986 season. The program has lost only nine times on its home field since the start of the 1999 season. Or simply because of fans roaring and shaking the stands at any soccer match! Soccer has the best home-field advantage of any mainstream sport. The home team wins 49% of the time, and the away team only wins 29% of the time. Draws make up the other 22%. To get more specific in an article published by www.latimes.com the website states that Denver athletics has the top home-field advantage in every sport [Except hockey. In past seasons the Cleveland Cavaliers broadcast team said that playing in Denver would be a challenge even if you only consider just the altitude alone. But just because a few stats or stories say that having hundreds or thousands of fans cheering for one team or individual is a definite advantage, Certain trends are taking place in particular on the high school level during in-game action that says otherwise. while doing some digging for this story I found that thirteen area football programs from four different conferences in 2019 have a combined home record of more than ten and in some cases more than twenty games below the break-even mark, (500.) at home with some schools already suffering with as many as five home losses. The schools I looked at are from the (All-American Conference) (Austin-town Fitch) (Boardman) (Crestview) The (Buckeye 8 Conference) (Beaver Local) (East Liverpool) and (Edison)

the (Eastern Buckeye Conference) (Salem) and the (Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference) (Columbiana) (East Palestine) (Leetonia) (Lisbon) (United) (Wellsville) Most of the programs have more home losses than they do wins. Also, multiple teams have a better road record than the home record. During 2017 at one point in the NHL postseason. Home teams were just (33-33) exactly .500 on the road which at the time was the combined home team’s worst playoff record since 2012 when teams had a losing record at home at 39-47. Just to play Devil’s Advocate and even up the arguments that are for and also against the home field being a serious game-changer, The final example I give in this story is the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals, football team. I’ve attended a Mooney game for seven of the last eight years and Mooney has one of the most passionate fan bases I’ve seen on the high school level, a collection of fans that I feel relate to the Cameron Crazy student section at Duke University, but on the high school level. I see similarities to Duke and like to call them the Cardinal Crazies! But with all that being said Mooney has a losing record at home where they are 1-3 and a winning record of 3-2 on the road. Some may argue that Mooney has played better teams at home. But Mooney plays top-shelf opponents every week, So I don’t buy that.

Anyway, all of this begs the question. Is home field advantage still a major factor in sports or more of a 2019 myth??! You the reader can be the judge. However,  Browns fans beware. The debate is very real!

 

*Story by YSN’s Scotty Mincher

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