Home Court Advantage in Basketball - A Case Study of Žalgiris Kaunas Basketball Team
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The actual venue where a basketball game is played needs to be considered (Volossovitch2017) when looking at the effectiveness of a team’s performance playing in front of home crowd. Clarke (2005), Gomez and Pollard (2011) and Bray and Widmeyer (2008) explored the home court advantage topic and argued that this exists and is influenced by various factors (such as familiarity with environment, crowd support and loud arena, shooting percentages, absence of travel, etc.).A top division professional basketball team from Lithuania (Žalgiris Kaunas) was selected for this study using a convenience sample method (Veal and Darcy 2014). A case study approach (which incorporated comparisons between and an analysis of certain statistical categories such as: points scored per game; points allowed per game; free throws –made and attempted per game; 3 points shots –made and attempted; assists and turnovers) were used as part of this investigation into Žalgiris Kaunas basketball team and the games they played at home during 2017–2018 and 2018–2019 seasons. From a methodological point of view, a three stage approach was employed. First stage was an exploratory analysis of relevant data available in the public domain for the selected team /club. Second stage comprised of an initial analysis that consisted of statistical calculations (averages per game and per season) and comparisons between Žalgiris Kaunas and their opponents while a discussion and concluding analysis –as a third stage –was drawn by interpretation of data. Similar to findings from literature, playing at home in front of full capacity crowd was beneficial for Žalgiris Kaunas as their performances improved for the statistical categories previously mentioned, alongside with being victorious in 11 out of the 19 home games that were scrutinised for the purpose of the research.
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