Home advantage and the influence of officiating decisions A current review of the literature and strategies for reducing referee bias

Main Article Content

Simcha Avugos


Even after decades of research, it is largely unclear how the various factors that cause the home advantage act and interact with one another. This paper provides an updated narrative review of the home advantage in sports, with a particular interest in the impact of refereeing. We used multiple sources for data collection and limited our search to peer-reviewed journals. Detailed information was extracted and documented from each of the retrieved articles. Bibliometric data were also calculated and assessed to evaluate the evolution of research in this field. The findings of this review show that home advantage is elevated in certain type of sports and due to properties of the crowd. In particular, the social pressure of the home crowds has direct and indirect effects on both home advantage and referee bias. Studies on games played in empty stadiums provided significant evidence for a reduced referee bias, and a decline in athlete-related variables. Several potential directions for future research emerged from this review. More research on the home advantage in women's sports, in individual sports, and at lower levels of play is warranted. These efforts will contribute to further extend our understanding of this fascinating phenomenon.

Article Details

How to Cite
Avugos, S. (2024). Home advantage and the influence of officiating decisions: A current review of the literature and strategies for reducing referee bias. Scientific Journal of Sport and Performance, 3(2), 188–219. https://doi.org/10.55860/DUBO8273
Review Paper
Author Biography

Simcha Avugos, Wingate Institute

School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences. Academic Center Levinsky-Wingate – Wingate Campus.


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