Foul Discrepancy in Conference Play

Jive36

Active member
Nov 20, 2019
93
166
Team
St. Bonaventure
As conference play gets into full swing and teams start playing road games at familiar opponents it only takes a quick glance at A10 twitter to see some group of fans complaining how bad a whistle they get every time they go on the road to some arena to play. I decided it was time to put that to the test and see if some teams really do get a home ref advantage. Also, I’m not really a data analyst, just a guy that is ok at spreadsheets, if you want pretty A10 data graphics checkout @SBUnfurled

A little background. Last year when I was terribly bored at my day job and our computer system was down for a couple days, I decided the best use of my time was to pull all the gamelog data off Basketball-Reference for all the A10 teams dating back to the 2010-11 season. For the newcomers I only pulled the years they were in the A10. My original purpose was to look at 3 point shooting percentages by arena, after the Bonnies had gotten torched again at Belk. There wasn’t really a plan for what to do with the data after looking at those numbers.

So, the data set sat mostly forgotten about all offseason and most of this season; until I saw @Not_PrivatePyle on twitter complaining about not getting a fair call at St. Joes and a light bulb went off. I already consolidated a bunch of data that can answer who gets the biggest benefit from playing at home. This unfortunately can’t track when fans fall out of the stands and trip referees leading to a mysterious 0.4 seconds being put back on the clock. But it can give an overall sense of which home teams are likely getting to the bonus faster and dealing with foul trouble less often.

The sample was limited to just conference games to eliminate lower conference games where a team is completely over matched, although Fordham games were still included, because unfortunately they are still here and still bad. Also included are A10 Tournament games where the top seed is considered the home team.

In 1050 A10 games at home sites or on a neutral floor from 2011 to 2019 the road team gets called for 1.79 more fouls per game than the home team. St. Joes has the best home court advantage with opponents getting called for 4.24 more fouls per game and Fordham is on the complete other end of the spectrum and they actually get called for 0.43 more fouls at home than their opponents. Below is the full chart and a link to the data set.

A10 Gamelogs 2011-2019

A10 Foul Chart.PNG
 

GrantLabedz

Moderator
Nov 12, 2019
599
110
Team
Davidson
Really cool look though... now everyone on Twitter can be held accountable for complaining about the refs always screwing their team over.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Jive36

Bonafanatic

Active member
Dec 29, 2019
98
148
Team
St. Bonaventure
This is awesome. Also really interesting to see how massive of a discrepancy there is at Hagan. I've been there for games. Their fans are pretty.... uninspired. Is it just that Martelli's teams didn't foul as much as a whole??
 

SLUsYourDaddy

New member
Dec 12, 2019
14
10
Team
Saint Louis
Cool graphic. I wonder what is causing the differences here.

1. Do these teams win more because they get a few more whistles at home? (I doubt it)
2. Do winning teams get fouled more because they are better teams.
3. Do teams that win get fouled more at end of game situations and that causes winning teams to have a "foul discrepancy"?
 

Jive36

Active member
Nov 20, 2019
93
166
Team
St. Bonaventure
Cool graphic. I wonder what is causing the differences here.

1. Do these teams win more because they get a few more whistles at home? (I doubt it)
2. Do winning teams get fouled more because they are better teams.
3. Do teams that win get fouled more at end of game situations and that causes winning teams to have a "foul discrepancy"?
Those are really good questions. My assumption is that number 3 is true and the defensive styles contribute alot.

St. Joes was always a disciplined team under Martelli. St. Joes actual had a positive foul discrepancy on the road as well, the only place they lined up with the average was at the Robins Center.