Spencer Orton, Paul Maggio, Mark DeBeliso


The home team advantage has been extensively documented and studied in many team sports, especially men’s basketball leagues. In contrast, research that has examined the home court advantage in women’s basketball leagues could not be found. Therefore, this study was designed to answer the following questions: (1) is the home court advantage present in the woman’s national basketball association (WNBA)? (2) is there a relationship between crowd density and referee bias in favor of the home team in the national woman’s basketball league? (3) is there a relationship between crowd density and home team performance in the woman’s national basketball league? The study at hand employed a longitudinal study approach to examine 5 regular seasons (2015-2019) of 10 WNBA teams. Data for fan attendance, sport arena capacity, and box scores were collected from public domains. Statistical calculations and analysis were used to compare chosen box scores between the home team and away team. Similarly, chosen box scores were compared between home games that had a crowd density above 50% and home games that had a crowd density below 50%. The results of this study showed that the home court advantage was present in the woman’s national basketball league. In contrast to research studies that examined referee bias in men’s basketball leagues, the results of this study are conflicting and inconclusive. However, home games that had crowd density above 50% significantly outperformed home games that had crowed density below 50%, both offensively (p=0.003) and defensively (p=0.002).


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejpe.v8i6.4392


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