This is our old blog. It hasn't been active since 2011. Please see the link above for our current blog or click the logo above to see all of the great data and content on this site.

Checkdowns: More on Familiarity and the Psychology of Home-Field Advantage

Posted by Neil Paine on September 12, 2009

From Sabermetric Research, Phil Birnbaum looks at a series of HFA studies by Matt Swartz of Baseball Prospectus. Mainly it's baseball-related, but Part III is of particular interest to us here at PFR, because it looks at familiarity and distance effects, finding that HFA is lower in divisional games than in other league games, and lower in intra-league games than in inter-league games.

Longtime readers will note that such findings echo what we wrote about familiarity effects in these previous posts here at PFR:

Travel time and temperature part one and part two

The effect of new stadiums

Playoff teams that get to return to a venue they played in the regular season and a look at home field advantage in divisional versus intra-conference matchups