Effect of travel and fixture scheduling on team performance in the Trans-Tasman Netball League

Lauren Boothby, Brian Dawson, Peter Peeling, Karen Wallman, Peter O'Donoghue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Home advantage, defined as the tendency of sporting-teams to have more success at their home
ground, has been well documented. Notably, air travel, which can result in travel fatigue and jet lag (particularly when
flying across multiple time zones) in the away team can further augment home advantage. Further, fixture scheduling
factors can also affect match outcomes. The effect of air travel and fixture scheduling on team performance requires
further investigation in order to assist coaches and players in responding strategically to the impact of these factors.
Aim: To assess the impact of travel, team ability and fixture scheduling characteristics on game outcomes (n=584) in
the Trans-Tasman Netball League across nine seasons (2008-2016).
Study design: Analytical study that examined differences in goal margin between home versus away games, distance
and direction of travel when playing away, number of days break between games, previous game location and playing
consecutive away games, while also accounting for team ability.
Setting: Trans-Tasman (ANZ Championship) Netball League.
Participants: Elite netballers from five Australian and five New Zealand teams competing in the Trans-Tasman Netball
League.
Results: Overall, teams won 59% of games at home and had a theoretical +2 goal advantage. Team ability was the
strongest predictor of match goal margin, suggesting better teams will more likely win, regardless of where they play.
Distance travelled was also a significant negative predictor of match goal margin; the greater distance travelled resulted
in a greater disadvantage to the travelling team.
Conclusions: ‘Home advantage’ does exist in the Trans-Tasman Netball League. Travel direction, days break between
games, previous game location and playing consecutive away games did not change the theoretical advantage of
playing at home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume45
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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