Years ago

Home court and fouls called in 2NBL regular season

I thought it might help informed discussion to publish the home and away stats on fouls called against each team during the regular season. The stats below are based on the NBL web site's stats' page. I've copied and pasted their home and away data for each player, then summarised by team.

The following table shows:

Home game fouls
Away game fouls
Difference (home minus away)

in that order.

Perth Wildcats / 260 /297 / -37
New Zealand Breakers / 296 /318 / -22
Melbourne United / 227 /242 / -15
Illawarra Hawks / 305 /311 / -6
Adelaide 36ers / 275 /295 / -20
Cairns Taipans / 262 /285 / -23
Townsville Crocodiles / 282 /290 / -8
Sydney Kings / 259 /292 / -33
All teams / 2166 /2330 / -164

All differences are negative, so every team had more fouls called on the road than at home. No surprise. The average home court advantage was almost exactly 1.5 fouls per game.

Top and bottom teams have biggest differences - closer to 2.5 fouls per game. Do these have the largest home crowds? Perth would but I'm not sure about Sydney.

Townsville and Illawarra have smallest differences - about 0.5 fouls per game. Do they have smallest crowd sizes? Again - Townsville would but I don't know about Illawarra.

I have no idea how these numbers compare with other leagues.

Topic #39130 | Report this topic

Years ago

Another possible explanation for differences is overtime games. These stats are not adjusted to fouls per minute played.

Reply #582327 | Report this post

Years ago

So Perth has the biggest home court advantage when it comes to foul calls.

This lines up with the stats I remember reading earlier in the season.

No surprises there.

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Years ago

Clearly this shows that whenever the Wildcats travel refs favor the home team ;)

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Nathan of Perth  
Years ago

Notable Wildcats aren't at either extreme for fouls called on either home or away teams.

Reply #582364 | Report this post

Years ago

The whole concept makes no sense. If you're alleging bias on the part of the NBL and its refs, that would apply wherever they played.
So, interesting that one team, not only has by far the lowest fouls at home, but even on the road gets less fouls called than all the other teams at HOME.
And that team just happens to be owned by associates of the guy who runs the league.

As for teams committing more fouls on the road, that's just one aspect of saying that teams play better at home.

Reply #582380 | Report this post

Years ago

FWIW, I tend to agree with Dazz. There's a home court advantage that probably plays out as an extra foul called on the away team and one less foul called on the home team. That seems to be consistent for most teams. In any set of numbers like this, there are always outliers. As my original post suggested, I do wonder if the outlying teams (at each extreme) may be related to presence or absence of crowd pressure.

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Years ago

Yeah, my first instinct upon seeing those numbers was to urge Hawks fans to be louder, and Crocs fans to actually attend home games.

Reply #582392 | Report this post

Years ago

United were the flashiest / most talented / softest team so I'd expect them to have the least fouls called on them. No surprises there.

NBL refs are shit. No doubt about that. Zero consistency over a qtr, games, series and makes it infuriating to watch.

Reply #582393 | Report this post

Years ago

The home/away foul discrepancy may not be fully caused by biased officiating.

The following table shows team and home wins out of 14 home games per team:

Melbourne United 11
Perth Wildcats 12
Illawarra Hawks 11
New Zealand Breakers 11
Adelaide 36ers 10
Cairns Taipans 11
Townsville Crocodiles 8
Sydney Kings 5

So in total, the home team won 79 times out of 112 games, i.e. 70.5% of the time. If the game is close, we would expect the team behind in the 4th quarter to foul the team in front, leading to an uneven foul count. Given that most games are won by the home team, we would expect the away team to commit more fouls in the 4th (at least for close games).

These late game fouls may be at least part of the cause of the home/away foul discrepancy. The impact of home/away foul discrepancy may not be solely caused by biased officiating.

Reply #582411 | Report this post

Vic Wildcat  
Years ago

So let me get this right, teams get called for more fouls away than home.

Gee what a surprise, at a guess i'd say if you studied the stats from previous NBL seasons same result would apply. Home cooking from refs umpires happens regularly in all sports, why would NBL be any different.

Reply #582469 | Report this post

Years ago

Really only partial data and not valid for a creditable conclusion.
There are so many factors that come into this argument that need to be allowed for.

1) All teams but Sydney were fairly dominant at home in regards to the win/loss ratio. So there could be a substantial number of fouls attributed to the away teams needing to foul in order to try and catch up late in the game. Also, with the home teams dominant at home it may be a fair argument to make that they are executing and shooting better therefore fouling less?

2) Style of play. Hawks and Crocs play a very aggressive full court style of D. Wildcats and NZ typically play more physical. Therefore having higher foul counts.
MU not known for their D so lower foul count.

3) Matchups. Some teams have better matchups against other teams and this dictates what style they may play. Your not going to sit in a zone against Hawks and you have to aggressively defend the 3pt line. This might lead to more fouls against them?

So long story short, I can see the relationship between fouls called and the home/away venue. But I don't see that a bias to the home team is the reason for this...

Reply #582470 | Report this post


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