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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 1, 2013
HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM: Home court can help, but doesn’t always mean more wins

Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at jr.ogden@thegazette.com

By Reid Rossberger, Washington H.S.

CEDAR RAPIDS – Everybody wants to play Friday night’s game at home. You get the excitement at school, the comfort of not having to travel and, most importantly, the fans.

But what do the player’s actually think about playing at home?

“If we have a large, loud crowd, playing at home energizes us,” said senior David Rosenthal.

According to a “Courneya and Carron” study, teams playing half of their games at home and half away consistently win more than 50 percent of their games. This shows just how crucial being at home is when playing a sporting event.

The reason for this could be the travel disadvantage for the away team or maybe  the feeling of comfort for the home teams. But in basketball, the main reason is fans screaming and cheering on the sideline.

During a basketball game at Washington High School, the front row of the student section can occasionally reach out and touch the players.

“Basketball is way more different than football because of how close the fans are,” senior Jason Oney said. “We block out the crowd’s noise during plays in football, but in basketball, this is impossible.”

Oney is a member of the varsity basketball team. The team  only has two wins in its last 38 appearances. Both came at away games.

“Other schools typically have a larger crowd than we do,” Rosenthal said. “It feels daunting playing against the teams with a big crowd supporting them.”

But can the blame be put on the lack of people at our home games?

In their defense, some of the hardest games this season have been played at home. North Scott, Western Dubuque, Cedar Falls and Iowa City West are considered some of the best teams in the state and they have all played at Washington.

Home court advantage can’t make up that much of a difference, but the Warriors still want people to come.

“We need all the help we can get,” Rosenthal said.

So a big crowd is sure to pump up the home team, but does the lack of fans have a negative effect on the home team?

“I wouldn’t say that it directly affects our performance, but there are key moments in the game where having a large student section would give us an advantage,” Oney said.

For more Washington sports and news, go to www.crwashsurveyor.com



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