Saturday, March 6, 2010

Olympic Recap and Home Field Advantage

The Canadian Olympic team capped off a terrific Winter Olympics by winning the Olympic Gold medals in ice hockey -- both on the men's and women's side. The Canadian team set a new record for most gold medals at a Winter Olympics, with fourteen. The US men's hockey team surprised many by taking the Canadians to overtime in the Gold medal game.

Over the past few weeks, several of our friends, associates, and media contacts discussed "home field advantage" with us. For instance:
  • Both the 1960 and 1980 US Olympic Gold medals in ice hockey were won in the US.
  • Italy had great medal results when they hosted the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
  • Some researchers predict medal counts for the Olympics before each Olympic games begin. In addition to looking at population, demographics, wealth, etc. -- a key factor is the actual host country!
  • Home field advantage is well-documented across all of the major sports, with individual performances also impacted by this result. In baseball, players bat about 10 points higher at home than on the road, on average.
  • The Canadian Olympic team highlighted the home field advantage by winning a record 14 gold medals at a Winter Olympics.
Home field advantage is definitely a key factor in sport psychology. Big games can magnify this factor -- and the Olympics, with national pride, and a country in unison -- can multiply this impact even more.

The predictions on this, our book's blog, continue to run up good results, with results now totaling 12-4.