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Variations in Home Advantage: Evidence from the National Hockey League


  • Doyle Joanne M.

    (James Madison University)

  • Leard Benjamin

    (Cornell University)


We study two important aspects of the home advantage for ice hockey. First we study team and season level data to uncover systematic variation in the home advantage across teams and over time. We find no systematic variation in home advantage across teams. Secondly, we use six seasons of game-level data to uncover sources of the home advantage. Our results show that additional rest for the home team has no impact on the win-loss probability. We find evidence that the home teamâs rule advantage with regard to stick placement during face-offs helps to explain the home advantage, but that the home teamâs rule advantage with regard to last line change opportunity does not. We find that the home advantage varies over the progression of the season, being the highest at the beginning and end of the season, and very small in the middle of the season. We also find that the home advantage is larger at the end of the season when the two teams are high in the standings. Some of these results are consistent with referee bias, but we are unable to show a causal relationship between referee bias and these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Doyle Joanne M. & Leard Benjamin, 2012. "Variations in Home Advantage: Evidence from the National Hockey League," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-27, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:8:y:2012:i:2:n:8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fiona Carmichael & Dennis Thomas & Robert Ward, 2000. "Team performance: the case of English Premiership football," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 31-45.
    2. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2005. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 208-216, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Priks, Mikael, 2010. "Behavior under social pressure: Empty Italian stadiums and referee bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 212-214, August.
    5. Jones Marshall B, 2008. "A Note on Team-Specific Home Advantage in the NBA," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 1-15, July.
    6. Benjamin Leard & Joanne M. Doyle, 2011. "The Effect of Home Advantage, Momentum, and Fighting on Winning in the National Hockey League," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 12(5), pages 538-560, October.
    7. 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.
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