An analysis of refereeing decision making and its effects upon home and away bias in soccer within the English Premier League derby matches
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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There is a wealth of research focusing upon the effects of refereeing decision making and the crowd effects on refereeing decision making. The main conclusion found is that home advantage is evident in the majority of aspects of football (Pollard and Pollard, 2005; Scoppa, 2007). To hand there has only been a minimal amount of studies focusing upon derbies. However this study has set out to fill the gap of knowledge from the standard league matches in the English Premier League to the understanding of refereeing decisions to the derby matches played in the English Premier League. A total of 10 teams were selected based upon the derby status with both the home and away matches being analysed post- event through Studiocode (Sportstec, Australia) having a total of 20 matches (n=20). Only one statistically significant (p < 0.05) result was evident with the percentage correct of home decisions against percentage correct of away decisions valued as, p = 0.044. Considering the Cohen’s d Test, found a moderate relationship between effect size and the sample. Results demonstrated as a total percentage of decision making was bias in favour of the home team, falling in line with previous research. However numerous results found did not fall in line with previous research such as bias towards the away team in sanctioning and timing of decisions within the match. A conclusion made is that holding the stance of the refereeing being bias overall is not validated, rather that referees are bias within specific areas of decision making in English Premier League derby matches.
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