Does Home-Field Advantage Exist in the Mid-Penn Conference?
Do the home teams have an advantage in the Mid-Penn Conference? That is what The Wizard of Oddz set out to determine. We reviewed all regular season games played from 2006 - 2015 by all current Mid-Penn Colonial Division football teams and determined that the home team won on average 7% percent more often than the away team. An article at Freakonomics.com - "Football Freakonomics": How Advantageous Is Home-Field Advantage? And Why? provides some explanations as to why home-field advantage might exist and also provides more insight into the professional football side of home field advantage.
In addition, Princeton Sports Analytics has an article - There is No Place Like Home where they further break down home-field advantage. In particular, they note the following -
"Both top-half “good” teams and bottom-half “bad” teams present a distinct home field advantage. Furthermore, despite a larger difference between home winning percentage and expected winning percentage for most top-half groups, none of these differences proved to be statistically significant. Therefore, we can conclude that home field advantage carries over across different strength teams, but isn’t more powerful for either group."
So, now that we have determined that home-field advantage in high school football within the Mid-Penn is real phenomenon, how does it effect the individual teams. Well, that depends on the individual team, based on our analysis, some teams showed large home-field advantages and some teams even performed slightly worse at home than away.
This could be due to a number of factors, such as small sample size, difficulty of home schedule vs away schedule, or a variety of other factors such as those noted in the freakonomics article.
Below is a breakdown of each teams home-field advantage ordered from largest to smallest by the increased likelihood of a team winning if they are at home compared to away -
Big Spring - 33%
Mifflin County - 29%
Northern York - 24%
Greencastle - 6%
Waynesboro - 5%
Shippensburg - (3%)
James Buchanan - (22%)
West Perry - (26%)
Based on the above statistics of home-field advantage, historical win percentage and more recent successs, The Wizard of Oddz has come up with a HARDEST PLACES TO PLAY ranking as shown below -
Hardest Places to Play
1. Northern York
4. Big Spring
6. Mifflin County
7. James Buchanan
8. West Perry