Simcha Avugos, Michael Bar-Eli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Referees and match officials play a critical role in sports performance, as their decisions can be a significant factor in the outcome of a match. In fact, referee bias has long been considered a plausible explanation of home advantage (HA) for local teams. Research has identified clear trends in the impact of referees on match outcome - especially in soccer, favouring the local team in terms of fouls and penalties, as well as yellow and red cards. Therefore, the analysis of referee performance can provide additional insight into how the decisions of match officials contribute to HA. In addition, the current and future use of the video assistant referee (VAR) system in soccer, as well as instant replay in basketball and other sports, is changing the impact that referees can have as the match progresses. For example, if dubious referee decisions are more likely to be made in favour of the home team, and they are then reversed by VAR, the effect of HA is likely to be diminished. This chapter will explore all aspects of the effect that referees can have on HA, both in the past and present, as well as in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHome Advantage in Sport
Subtitle of host publicationCauses and the Effect on Performance
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781000462050
ISBN (Print)9780367533298
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)


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