While we all wait to see if there will be an NFL season this year, we reflect on the fact that "home court advantage" has been proven to be true in every sport. Is this because the cheering fans make the home team more likely to win or is it because the refs are prejudiced–maybe without even realizing it?

Fan enthusiasm has been discounted: In basketball, free-throw percentages are the same at home and away. In baseball, a pitcher’s strike-to-ball ratio is the same at home and away. And it’s not the travel tiredness: Teams from the same metro area (such as the Yankees and the Mets) lose at the same rate as teams from across the country when playing in their rival’s stadium. read more

Three strikes and you’re out! Does your team seem full of limp bats? And what about basketball–is your team in that sport doing badly as well? Donuts, bat wraps, weighted gloves are some of the many devices are available to help baseball players warm up while waiting to go to bat. But a new study finds that none of ten commonly used warm-up devices has a significant effect on bat speed, which may explain why YOUR team is doing so badly.
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And how to succeed at free throws – It’s not occult magic, it’s straight science: Lots of interesting things have arrived and one of these is the basketball season. Two engineers have figured out the best way to shoot a free throw, a frequently underappreciated skill that gets more important as the game clock winds down.

Chau Tran and Larry Silverberg say, “To get a swish rather than a brick, you need the best possible conditions for releasing the basketball from your hand.” They used hundreds of thousands of three-dimensional computer simulations of basketball free-throw trajectories to arrive at their conclusions. After running the simulations, Tran and Silverberg arrived at a number of major recommendations to improve free-throw shooting.
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