Writing About #WorldCup2014 01

I am delighted to be on of the columnists for The Conversation’s coverage of #WorldCup2014.
My first post is about Home Advantage.
The other columnists writing during #WorldCup2014 are:

Michael Courts and Belinda Smith of The Conversation are guiding us through the writing process.
Today, Andy Ruddock has written about The Banality of the World Cup and Jorge Knijnik on The World Cup in Brazilians’ daily lives.

Photo Credit

Neymar and Dani Alves at a pre-World Cup training camp (The Conversation)


One of the delights of sharing openly is the insights I gain from others about the ideas that interest me.
Simon Gleave is a very generous sharer. He has pointed me to David Runciman’s review of Scorecasting in the London Review of Books (2011). David concludes his review with this observation “Home advantage is much more complicated and much more mysterious. It depends on a range of factors that are effectively impossible to quantify.”
My research into the performance of teams in relation to their previous year’s ranking is part of my exploration of home advantage. I believe that teams flourish with home wins. Supporters feel happy and have hope.
I do think officiating has a role to play in this. I am hopeful that coaching has even more to do with it … which is why I think the Top 14 Orange Rugby competition in France is so interesting. Lower ranked teams win at home.


  1. Excellent article Keith on home advanantage…it’s really interesting that when we consider the impact of home advantage on officiating we (understandbly) concentrate on an external evaluation of the decision making process. I would welcome the day that we could more fully explore this impact by investigating the influence on the interpsonal communicaton / relationship of the referee with away vs home team players. It has been interesting to note that Field Hockey has introduced the referee open microphone to television broadcasts…at some point I am sure from a procedural/interactions justice point of view that football officiating will have to follow suit. Now that will be entertaining!
    Best wishes
    Mikel Mellick

    • Hello, Mikel
      I am so delighted that you found this post and have written such a thoughtful response.
      I agree entirely and know this has been a personal goal for you for a very long time. I hope that open microphones would be the norm so that mutual respect pervades all player/official interactions.
      I do hope my reply to you finds you well, Mikel.
      How good to be in contact this way.


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