Thursday, March 19, 2009

The CFL, the Ultimate Home Field Advantage League

So in the last post, I looked at home field advantage in the CFL for 2008. Interestingly, home field advantage looks quite strong in the CFL. Using the league standings at the CFL site, the home wins versus losses for 2007 was 42 and 28 (60.0%), 43 and 29 (59.7) for 2006 and an astounding 50 and 31 (61.7%) for 2005 (the last year Ottawa was still in the league).

For the past four seasons, with 178 wins and 117 losses (ties tossed) the total winning percentage was 60. 3%. Poking around the web for info on other professional leagues in North America, I found a site that had compiled similar stats. The site reported home winning percentages for the NFL of 56.5%, the NBA of 59.8 %, MLB 54.8 %, and the NHL 55.4%. So in the CFL, there is a stronger home season advantage than even the NBA. Why is that? One guess would be that the average distance travelled per away game is likely the largest in the CFL, likely by a fairly large margin, which probably affects the away team's performance. Apart from that, I'm not really sure. Perhaps the stadiums are different enough in weather or individual field idiosyncracies to have an effect (Ivor Wynne's swirling winds). I wonder if the Cats' proposed stadium near the waterfront will have as large a home field advantage (surprisingly they do have one over the past four years) as Ivor Wynne.

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