We hypothesized that football (soccer) teams with older players perform better in away games. This hypothesis is based on research on the home advantage that shows that feeling more familiar with the playing venue and having a familiar pregame routine are important causes of the home advantage. Older players are relatively more familiar with the location in away games and we therefore predict teams with older players to perform better in those games. We find that coaches (with professional experience) indeed think that older players perform relatively better in away games. Data from the Dutch professional league (N = 3060) confirmed that there was a very small effect: teams with an average higher age performed better in away games (controlling for team quality). Although we do seem to confirm the predicted effect that teams that are on average older do better in away games, this effect is very small.
- home advantage
- player age