research shows crowds hold the cards in referees' decisions
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A team of university researchers have found that football crowds are influencing referees’ behavior in the top four professional Leagues in England.

The study, published in the Journal of Global Sport Management, confirmed that without crowds, there was no home advantage in association football during the COVID-19 2020-21 season.

Sport officials’ experts Dr. Tom Webb and Alastair Pearson at the University of Portsmouth worked with project lead, Alan Nevill at the University of Wolverhampton, on the study.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided a unique opportunity to assess the influence of crowds or, more accurately, their absence on the home advantage. During their research, the experts compared referees’ actions in ‘crowd vs no crowd’ games.

The number of home and away red and yellow cards awarded in the ‘no crowd’ COVID-19 2020–21 season for the top four English divisions were compared with the home and away cards awarded during the previous ten “crowd” seasons from 2010–11 to 2019–20.

Results revealed that there was no home advantage in red and yellow cards awarded by referees in all four English divisions during the COVID-19 2020-21 season. In contrast, referees awarded significantly more cards to away players when adjudicating with crowds during seasons 2010–11 to 2019–20.

However, in more recent “crowd” seasons, Premier League referees are less susceptible to such influences with a narrowing of the gap between home and away yellow cards, suggesting that their preparation, management, and training provide them with an element of “crowd immunity.”

The research team’s findings concluded that home crowds are, in fact, able to influence all but the very best referees’ behavior.

Project Lead, Alan Nevill, Research Professor in the Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing at the University of Wolverhampton said, “Our study provides overwhelming evidence that crowds are able to manipulate professional referees to award significantly more red and yellow cards to away players (compared to home players), an effect that disappears when crowds are absent.”

These findings have the potential to influence the training and development of referees at many levels of the game and to provide referee educators with the information to focus future training initiatives aimed at reducing home advantage further in all professional leagues in England.

Dr. Tom Webb, Senior Lecturer in Sport Management and MSc Sport Management course leader in the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science at the University of Portsmouth, said, “Our findings provide powerful evidence that home crowds can manipulate all but the very best referees to be their twelfth man.”

“It is interesting that Premier League referees appear to be less susceptible than less experienced referees in lower divisions—there are a variety of reasons why that may be. For example, in the Premier League psychologists have been introduced to work with referees and technological innovations, such as goal-line technology and video assistant referees (VAR), have been introduced to assist referees in their performance.”

“Also, the growth of the Premier League has led to increased investment in professional referees and the potential for a wider gap to emerge between these referees and those referees operating within the professional game in the lower leagues.”

Alastair Pearson, who is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate in global netball match officiating, in the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science at the University of Portsmouth said, “It’s clear that there needs to be more advanced and effective training provision for referees that operate outside the Premier League. This can be done in a number of ways. First, training on the subject of home advantage specifically and decision-making should be introduced for referees. They should also be trained to shut out the crowd and to deal with hostile crowds when officiating.”

“There should be a wider and more structured mentoring program for referees at lower levels to engage with more experienced officials and placement at matches in higher leagues as part of their development process.

“Further financial investment is crucial to ensure that referees continue to develop their decision-making skills. Further psychological support could also be provided for referees operating in League 1 and League 2.”

More information: Alan Nevill et al, No Crowds, No Home Advantage in Football during the COVID-19 Season: Are Crowds Able to Manipulate All but the Best Referees’ Behaviour?, Journal of Global Sport Management (2022). DOI: 10.1080/24704067.2022.2136102

Provided by University of Portsmouth

Citation: Research shows crowds hold the cards in referees’ decisions (2022, November 25) retrieved 25 November 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-crowds-cards-referees-decisions.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

TECH NEWS RELATED

TikTok EU ban on the table if social network doesn’t comply with new laws

TikTok is one of the most popular social networks out there. But TikTok is also a cause of concern for western governments that worry about the company’s ties to the Chinese government. TikTok can’t run on most devices the US government issues, and there has been talk of a ...

View more: TikTok EU ban on the table if social network doesn’t comply with new laws

Don’t Buy a Foldable Until Samsung Brings This Prototype to Life

Samsung Display via The Verge The world of foldable phones is surprisingly stagnant. The Galaxy Z Fold gets a tiny little upgrade every year, and rival phone brands loosely copy Samsung’s homework. But a new Samsung Display prototype called the “Flex In & Out” could turn this narrative on ...

View more: Don’t Buy a Foldable Until Samsung Brings This Prototype to Life

Best free sports streaming apps in 2023

Cutting the cord on cable television is something tons of people have done over the past five years. But that hasn’t proven to be the smartest way to continue to watch sports. Whether it comes from premium sports website subscriptions to keep tabs on your favorite players, or even fantasy ...

View more: Best free sports streaming apps in 2023

Avengers 5 might have Ant-Man in it, Quantumania star teases

The first MCU Phase 5 movie will be Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the third installment in the Ant-Man franchise and a film with much higher stakes than the previous episodes. The sequel will deliver the MCU’s first Kang (Jonathan Majors) villain after we met a somewhat good He Who ...

View more: Avengers 5 might have Ant-Man in it, Quantumania star teases

Sharing a Netflix Account? Get Ready to Pay For It

DANIEL CONSTANTE/Shutterstock.com Netflix is about to get serious in its efforts to eliminate freeloaders. If you share a Netflix account with family or friends outside your household, get ready to pay for it. A new “paid sharing” system could roll out starting next month, and you’ll have to pay a ...

View more: Sharing a Netflix Account? Get Ready to Pay For It

‘7 Wonders’ Board Game Gets a New ‘Edifice’ Expansion

Asmodee and Repos Production Board game lovers have a wonderful reason to celebrate today. Board game makers Asmodee and Repos Production announced their latest collaboration: 7 Wonders Edifice, an expansion to the popular board game 7 Wonders. The game launches on February 24th for $29.99. 7 Wonders: Edifice adds ...

View more: ‘7 Wonders’ Board Game Gets a New ‘Edifice’ Expansion

T-Mobile Kicks Off 2023 With Another Data Breach

r.classen / Shutterstock.com In a press release, T-Mobile confirms that it detected a data breach in its systems on January 5th. A “bad actor” managed to steal personal information (but not financial data) from around 37 million customers. This is the eighth T-Mobile data breach since 2018. The hacker ...

View more: T-Mobile Kicks Off 2023 With Another Data Breach

Apple appeals to UK competition watchdog investigation about mobile browser dominance

Apple has filed an appeal against the UK’s competition watchdog regarding its dominance of mobile browsers in the cloud gaming market, reports Reuters. The Competition and Markets Authority started investigating this dominance by the Cupertino firm and Google. Lawyers representing Apple believe the investigation should be reviewed as CMA ...

View more: Apple appeals to UK competition watchdog investigation about mobile browser dominance

Galaxy S23 Ultra release date and specs leak finally reveals everything about the new model

WhatsApp for iOS rolling out the ability to create a chat with yourself

Amazon Prime Music Unlimited changes streaming prices, now matches Apple Music

Deadpool 3 and Secret Wars to feature Fox’s X-Men, according to Marvel insider

Report: OLED iPad Pro still on track for 2024 release, 2026 for MacBook Pro

How to negotiate over practically anything

HomePod 2 praised in exclusive hands-on before launch

M2 Pro MacBook Pro Amazon preorder deal gives you $50 off

What “choice” means for millions of women post-Roe

Singapore FinTech firm Pilon secures $5.2M seed funding led by Wavemaker Partners

Capital Square Partners and Basil Technology team up for $700M tech fund in Asia

This feel-good movie about man’s best friend is dominating Netflix

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News