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Home advantage in elite handball: the impact of the quality of opposition on team performance

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Abstract:

The aims of this study were: (1) to examine the influence of game location and team quality on performance indicators in elite handball and (2) to analyze the home advantage effect in different game contexts according to the ability of both teams (strong, intermediate and/or weak). The sample included all 240 matches from the Spanish Professional Handball League (ASOBAL League) during the 2012/13 season. The home advantage was 63.10%, but this effect depends on the particular context of the game. Results identified those critical game-related statistics that are affected by playing at home or away (6m Goal Effectiveness, 9m Goal Effectiveness, Fast Break Goals, Field Total Shots, Steals, 6m Goalkeeper Effectiveness, 9m Goalkeeper Effectiveness and Total Goalkeeper Effectiveness, p<0.01 and Turnovers, p<0.05) and how the value of these variables depends on the particular context of the game. These findings can contribute to a better understanding of the situational variables determinants of elite handball performances, helping the coaches to prepare the players accordingly.

Keywords: HANDBALL; HOME ADVANTAGE; PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS; TEAM QUALITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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