April 07, 2006

ask.spofi: Home team advantage?: What are some of the different home team advantages in various sports? In the NFL the home(?) team can choose the jersey color. In the NBA the opening direction can be dictated by the visitor(?). NHL? College sports?

posted by geekyguy to navel gazing at 07:36 PM - 27 comments

After seeing the pictures of the Pistons@Heat game, I was curious why the home team was in black. Nothing in the recap.

posted by geekyguy at 07:37 PM on April 07, 2006

In regards to the Piston/Heat, I'm guessing that the Heat were wearing their alternate jerseys. In the NBA, every team is allowed to wear their alternate jerseys for eight games only (I think home only too, but I'm not sure). The Pistons had red jerseys, which they've worn eight times, and have an 8-0 record when wearing the red jersey.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:05 PM on April 07, 2006

In the EPL and I'd imagine every other football league you get to wear your home shirt. Direction of play is decided by whichever captain wins the toss of a coin.

posted by squealy at 08:49 PM on April 07, 2006

Direction of play is decided by whichever captain wins the toss of a coin. I was under the impression the winner of the toss had the option of, ball or diretion of play. Such as the NFL. Although diretion of play would be the logical choice.

posted by Folkways at 09:25 PM on April 07, 2006

Home team advantage has a few more effects in the NHL.

Rule 16: Starting Lineup b. Prior to the start of the game, the Manager or Coach of the home Team, having been advised by the Official Scorer or the Referee the names of the starting line-up of the visiting Team, shall name the starting line-up of the home Team. Rule 17: Change of Players d. Following the stoppage of play, the visiting Team shall promptly place a line-up on the ice ready for play and no substitution shall be made from that time until play has been resumed. The home Team may then make any desired substitution ...
Both of these rules allow the home team to match up as desired against the visiting team; the second obviously much more immediately than the first. It means that the home team gets a longer period of time in which to change lines, so the home team has an easier time establishing line match-ups. If you're the home team, you get to go to the dressing room first:
Rule 87: Start of Game and Periods f. At the end of each period, the home Team players must proceed directly to their dressing room while the visiting Team players must wait for a signal from the Referee to proceed only if they have to go on the ice to reach their dressing room. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in a two (2) minute bench minor for delay of game.
I imagine this rule was meant to avoid scrums in arenas where the teams have to cross the ice to get to the dressing rooms. Home ice can also be a disadvantage if you have particularly unruly fans:
Rule 68: Interference by/with Spectators (NOTE 1) In the event that objects are thrown on the ice during a stoppage in play, including after the scoring of a goal, the Referee shall have announced that any further occurrences will result in a bench minor penalty being assessed to the home Team.
I know the CFL has a similar rule which penalizes the home team if the stadium's electronic displays (or audio systems, I presume) encourage the fans to make noise while the visiting team is on offence. The fans are allowed to be as loud as they want, they just can't be ordered to do so by the guy in the booth.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:33 AM on April 08, 2006

MLB has the most obvious home field advantage: last at bat. Baseball fields are different for every team, and sometimes the grounds crew for the home team can tailor the field to match the style of team that plays there. If you have a team filled with speedy players, you grow the grass long in the infield (to slow down bunts) and short in the outfield (to allow the ball to move faster on base hits, possibly turning single into a double). If you are facing a team that is filled with base stealers, you can alter the dirt on the infield to be softer (thereby slowing down runners).

posted by grum@work at 01:23 AM on April 08, 2006

Ok, so this seems like the opposite of a home court advantage; "The visiting team has the choice of baskets for the first half.The basket selected by the visiting team when it first enters onto the court shall be its basket for the first half." From Rule No. 4, Section I, part a.[pdf link]. I recall Jerry Sloan using that against the Kings when they were stuill an inexperienced playoff team. He would make them play offense in front of their bench in the second half, (not the usual), and take the coach's defensive prodding out of the game in the second half. The rule regarding uniforms is clear about the home team wearing the light color; "The home team shall wear light color jerseys, and the visitors dark jerseys. For neutral court games and doubleheaders, the second team named in the official schedule shall be regarded as the home team and shall wear the light colored jerseys." Rule No. 3, Section VI, part c. Often, exceptions to this are mentioned in the game recaps. Sorry, YYM, but, "The Kings wore their gold uniforms, one of 14 times they will go with the color scheme, including 12 times on the road. Sacramento is 3-2 in the gold." I was sort of hoping for an explanation like that for the Pistons@Heat game.

posted by geekyguy at 05:51 AM on April 08, 2006

I was under the impression the winner of the toss had the option of, ball or diretion of play. Yes indeed, I think that's correct. However IMHO that's relatively unimportant compared to the initial direction of play in a fairly unstructured game like football where possession will normally change hands quickly and often.

posted by squealy at 07:34 AM on April 08, 2006

Good point on the grounds crew tailoring the field, grum. Is it true that there was such a thing as "Cobb Lake" in Navin Field (Tiger Stadium)? The legend has it that the Tigers' grounds crew would soak the area in front of home plate to slow Ty Cobb's bunts down to allow him more time to safely reach first. On the point of uniforms: why were the Mariners and the A's both allowed to wear their dark-colored third jerseys last night? Seattle's is dark blue and Oakland's is dark green.

posted by NoMich at 07:59 AM on April 08, 2006

It's okay because Oakland was wearing grey pants and Seattle white pants. As long as one team is in some sort of home whites and the other team is in some sort of away greys, the other colours don't matter.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:18 AM on April 08, 2006

Another home team advantage in hockey: your bench is on the defensive side two periods against one. This makes for easier defensemen changes.

posted by qbert72 at 02:45 PM on April 08, 2006

hmmm, not sure if I follow you on that one qbert, if your team is on the defensinve end of the ice for two periods, wouldn't my team, being on the opposite end of the ice, and my team defending teh opposite end of the ice, have the same benefit 2 of 3 periods?

posted by elovrich at 03:42 PM on April 08, 2006

elovrich, I just wrote a long comment explaining what I meant, and it made me realize I'm completely wrong! You're right: both teams get the longer way to the bench in the second period, and the shorter way in first and third. Foot in mouth on my part here.

posted by qbert72 at 06:47 PM on April 08, 2006

Speaking of hockey, am I correct in thinking a powerplay ends if the team up a man (or more) scores a goal? slowly becomeing a hockey fan

posted by Folkways at 09:23 AM on April 09, 2006

that's correct, Folk.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:45 AM on April 09, 2006

Except when it's a five-minute major penalty (usually given to players for "attempt to injure" infractions (boarding, high stick)). When it's a 5-minute penalty, the power play lasts for the entire 5 minutes. As well, if a team is down two players (5-on-3) because of penalties, when a goal is scored then only the first penalty (or first one announced, if both of them occurred at the same time) is negated. The short-handed team will still have to defend down a player until the second penalty is over (or another goal is scored).

posted by grum@work at 09:52 AM on April 09, 2006

Thanks WC and grum. This hockey thing is kinda cool when you know wtf is going on.

posted by Folkways at 10:55 AM on April 09, 2006

I don't think that there is enough time to try to explain the whole plus/minus thing with hockey. But basically, it usually applies during even strength situations. If one team scores during an even strength shift, those five players earn a 'plus,' and the five players that gave up the goal earn a 'minus.' A player can also earn a 'plus' if he is on a short-handed shift. If that player is on a penalty kill and scores a short-handed goal, himself and his teammates on the ice each get a 'plus,' whereas the players on the powerplay that gave up the short-handed goal each get a 'minus.' I really hope that you understood that, Folkways. If not, read it about twenty more times and pray.

posted by wingnut4life at 11:54 AM on April 09, 2006

Wingnut if the opposing team scores while a player is in the penalty box does he get a minus too?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:55 PM on April 09, 2006

I don't think that there is enough time to try to explain the whole plus/minus thing with hockey. Sure there is! On the ice for an even-strength goal... > for your team? You get +1. > against your team? You get -1. On the ice for a power-play goal... > for your team? No change. > against your team? No change. On the ice for a short-handed goal... > for your team? You get +1. > against your team? You get -1. Plus/minus is purely a rating of defensive competence. You don't get penalized or rewarded for being on the ice for a power-play goal since the defence is at a disadvantage. YYM, the player in the penalty box does not get a -1 if the power play results in a goal.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:49 PM on April 09, 2006

Speaking of hockey, am I correct in thinking a powerplay ends if the team up a man (or more) scores a goal? grum covered all the possibilities save one: the double minor penalty. A double minor penalty is two back-to-back two-minute minors awarded to one player. The most common cause is the high sticking rule: if a player is called for high sticking, he gets two minutes. If the high stick drew blood on the victim, the penalty is upgraded to a double minor. Double minors are tricky because it's not a single penalty: it's two penalties served back to back. So if Darcy Tucker's stick knocks out one of Tyler Arnason's teeth, the penalty scoreboard at the game will look like this:

      PLAYER   PENALTY        16       1:42        16       2:00 
This is 18 seconds into the double-minor. When the first penalty expires, the second one begins. So if a power-play goal is scored during the first of the two minors, that first minor penalty is finished, but the second two minutes are still on the board and the power play continues.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:59 PM on April 09, 2006

Ahem [in my best robi-the-robot voice] Danger Will Robinson, Infomation overload ... Does not compute. truely thanks guys, learning more every day

posted by Folkways at 03:59 PM on April 09, 2006

Basically, the easiest way to understand it is this. When a them which is shorthanded is scored against, the 2 minute penalty that has the least amount of time remaing ends. If, in the case of a double minor, the player has another penalty to serve, then he would remain in the box and the time for that penalty would commence with the following face-off.

posted by elovrich at 04:27 PM on April 09, 2006

A perfectly good thread devolves into hockey talk. I kid!

posted by scully at 10:08 AM on April 10, 2006

Ahem [in my best robi-the-robot voice] Danger Will Robinson, Infomation overload ... Does not compute. Good stuff! Just wait 'til we get started on the CFL scoring rules.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:48 AM on April 10, 2006

I won't lie, I have no idea how they score in the CFL. I would like to know which was made first so I can decide whether it is the Canadians with the crazy rules or if its the Americans.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:18 PM on April 10, 2006

Now that's a toughie. Both games obviously trace their roots back to rugby, but I think American football made the radical rule changes first. The best resource on this would probably be Wikipedia's Comparison of Canadian and American football. As for scoring, the CFL is actually almost identical to the NFL. The one difference: in the CFL, the kicking team is awarded one point for a touchback. It's called a rouge (or just plain ol' single). That's it.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 06:17 PM on April 10, 2006

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