On soccer’s declining home field advantage
As part of their final assignment in my statistics and sports class, students were tasked with looking at the home advantage in the English Premier League (EPL). In some recent and related work, James Curley and Oliver Roeder found that, by 2014, an EPL home advantage had reached an all time low.
Interestingly, that low reached new depths in 2016.
Home teams have won 40.8% of games this past year, pending this weekend’s final contests. If that mark stands, it would be the lowest in EPL/English Division 1 history, one which dates back to 1888.
Here’s a chart, similar to the one that James and Oliver produced. Overall home team win percentage in each year is shown in black, draw percentage in red, and away win percentage in green. The grey region reflects our uncertainty in the trend curve.
As we knew there’d be, it’s a fairly big drop in win percentage, from roughly 60% to 45% across about 120 seasons…
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