Thursday, June 05, 2008

Poll Thursday - Home field advantage

Last week I touched on Ibuprofen usage during tournaments. I, myself, never believed in the stuff until about 29, where I started to want to play bu my body was saying no. If you look at the numbers, about 60 people are regular users, and about 60 people fit into the 28+ category (a little bit of gestimating here). I'm not saying it's necessary, and it's probably a bad idea, this game is tough, and ibuprofen seems to be an option for those of us who should retire, but just want to keep on playing.

This week the poll is partially based on this post that looks into home field advantage in European Football and its decline. Home field advantage is rare based on the format of Ultimate, since we go to tournaments. Regardless, the poll question is do you think there is a home field advantage in Ultimate. If you don't have a local tournament, then imagine you get to play your opponents on your practice field (poll right).



Rick said...

I voted for a "definite" home field advantage, but upon seeing how few people agreed with me, at least initially, I felt the need to justify my response. Unless/Until ultimate is one-game-at-a-team arena-filling sport, I don't see true home field advantage occuring. Sure, local teams, especially college squads, are more likely to have fans in the area. And those sidelines will be helpful, but not quite the same as, say, the Boston Garden has been to the Celtics this postseason.

I think the true home field advantage at this stage of ultimate comes in the form of travel time. Having played in the Boston area for quite a few years, I have thanked my stars time and again that Devens is a mere 45 minute drive. That means while teams are traveling from the far corners of eastern Canada and NYC for Regionals, I can sleep in my own bed Friday night and get up at a reasonable hour. And that's just driving to the tournament. The advantage of driving over having to fly is enormous, not the least part of which is cost. See Central Regionals last year. If travel is enough to limit and weed out some of the competition, than a closer proximity to the tournament must be an advantage. And again, while teams are flying from Chicago and the Carolinas to the Boston Invite, and spending hundreds of dollars on flights and hotel rooms, I'll be out $20 in gas and I won't have to share a bed with my gangly-armed snore-prone teammate.

The home field advantage in ultimate comes not from the players' mentality nor the fans' enthusiasm, but simply from logistics. The closer you are to home, the easier it is to play. And that's saying nothing of what it's like to play in Boulder.... but that's for another day.

i da ho said...

i might not agree with your comment on mental disadvantage against home team.
2004 in finland we (condors) played team Finland in quarters. the field was a madhouse. people all around the field 6 rows deep.

we had beaten them handily before, but with the whole country going berserk with every score and so loud we couldn't audiblize our plays. it was a huge advantage for them.
they played heroic and we only one by two points.
most intense pressure cooker i've ever been in.
i can only assume it will be the same if/when we play furious in august.

great blog, more followup on new and unique topics, and less polls would be my only feedback.

idaho #44

Skidmore College's Ultimate Frisbee Club said...

I think the advantage depends on the level of competition.

I've played at a pretty high club level and a fairly low college level. In higher level club and I assume college, there is the home field advantages of sleep/travel time/expenses, the idea of "protecting this house" brought to us by Under Armor and sometimes fans.

In low level college I've found there is a disadvantage to playing at home because it's almost impossible to keep your teammates from staying out and partying. My team could only stay relatively sober and get sleep when we went away for the weekend and could be quarantined in a single area.