IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Adjusting Winning-Percentage Standard Deviations and a Measure of Competitive Balance for Home Advantage


  • Trandel Gregory A

    (University of Georgia)

  • Maxcy Joel G

    (University of Georgia)


One measure of sports league competitive balance uses a ratio: the standard deviation of team winning percentages is divided by the so-called ideal standard deviation, which assumes a game between evenly-skilled teams is equally likely to be won by either team. In fact, a team is more likely to win when playing at home than when playing on the road. The extent of this advantage differs across sports leagues. Home advantage reduces the variability of season-long team records. Ignoring home advantage biases upward the traditionally measured ideal standard deviation and bias downward the ratio of standard deviations. The authors derive a balanced league standard deviation formula that accounts for home advantage, use it to recompute the ratio of standard deviations for major sports leagues, and consider how the adjustment affects comparisons of competitive balance across those leagues.

Suggested Citation

  • Trandel Gregory A & Maxcy Joel G, 2011. "Adjusting Winning-Percentage Standard Deviations and a Measure of Competitive Balance for Home Advantage," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:7:y:2011:i:1:n:1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allen R. Sanderson & John J. Siegfried, 2003. "Thinking about Competitive Balance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 4(4), pages 255-279, November.
    2. Rodney Fort, 2007. "Comments on ``Measuring Parity''," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(6), pages 642-651, December.
    3. Marques António Cardoso, 2009. "Estimating Quality in Home Advantage and Competitive Balance in the Portuguese Football League," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 5(3), pages 1-19, July.
    4. Entine Oliver A & Small Dylan S, 2008. "The Role of Rest in the NBA Home-Court Advantage," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 1-11, April.
    5. Craig Depken, 1999. "Free-Agency and the Competitiveness of Major League Baseball," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 14(3), pages 205-217, May.
    6. Ray Fair & John Oster, 2002. "College Football Rankings and Market Efficiency," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2377, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2007.
    7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:26:y:2007:i:3:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ray C. Fair & John F. Oster, 2007. "College Football Rankings and Market Efficiency," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(1), pages 3-18, February.
    9. Smith Erin E & Groetzinger Jon D., 2010. "Do Fans Matter? The Effect of Attendance on the Outcomes of Major League Baseball Games," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-24, January.
    10. Daniel Mizak & Anthony Stair & John Neral, 2007. "The adjusted churn: an index of competitive balance for sports leagues based on changes in team standings over time," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 26(3), pages 1-7.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dorian Owen, 2014. "Measurement of competitive balance and uncertainty of outcome," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 3, pages 41-59 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Andrés Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco Gónzalez-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola Wanden-Berghe, 2011. "Referee home bias due to social pressure. Evidence from Spanish football," Working Papers 1119, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    3. Fort, Rodney & Maxcy, Joel & Diehl, Mark, 2016. "Uncertainty by regulation: Rottenberg׳s invariance principle," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 454-467.
    4. Rockerbie, Duane W, 2012. "Exploring inter-league parity in North America: the NBA anomaly," MPRA Paper 43088, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. P. Dorian Owen & Nicholas King, 2015. "Competitive Balance Measures In Sports Leagues: The Effects Of Variation In Season Length," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 731-744, January.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:7:y:2011:i:1:n:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.