Home Advantage in Football: A Current Review of an Unsolved Puzzle

Richard Pollard *
Cloverfield Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405, U.S.A.

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© 2008 Pollard et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Cloverfield Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405, U.S.A.; Tel: +1 310 396-6715; E-mail:


The existence of home advantage in football is a well known and well documented fact. However the precise causes and the way in which they affect performance are still not clear. A comprehensive review is made of published research under the main hypothesized explanations for home advantage in football which are: crowd effects, travel effects, familiarity, referee bias, territoriality, specific tactics, rule factors and psychological factors. Their interactions, and other factors that need to be taken into account when investigating home advantage, are considered.