Soccer Players Might Have More Emotional Outbursts With Audiences


Players have had have to adjust had to adjust to matches to matches without fans without fans during this during pandemic. this pandemic. But what But impact what impact does that have does on that how have on they how play? they play? NPR's Casey? NPR's Casey? Morale reports? Morale reports? Soccer matches Soccer matches have sounded have a sounded little quieter a little quieter during the pandemic. during the pandemic. Take this Major Take this league Major soccer league game soccer from game August. from August. Orlando Orlando City midfielder City midfielder Nani Moves Nani toward Moves goal toward goal shoots shoots six six beautifully beautifully Any scores. Any scores. And while there's And cheering, while there's cheering, it's all it's from all from players. players. What's missing What's is missing the is roar the of roar the crowd. of the crowd. Meg Linnehan Meg Linnehan of the athletic of the athletic attended a attended few of these a few so of called these so called ghost games ghost games in the National in the National Women's Soccer Women's League Soccer League and says and says gameplay gameplay just felt just different felt different without the influence without the influence of fans of fans when players when air players fighting air for fighting 50 for 50 50 ball 50 right ball along right the sidelines, along the sidelines, and there's just and there's usually just usually there would be people there would be right people there. right there. Yelling Yelling and and trying trying to influence to influence the outcome the of outcome that event. of that event. And instead, And instead, it's just kind it's of just kind these of two players these two players really in really their own in little their world own little and teammates world and teammates yelling at yelling them at now them to now sports to sports buffs who buffs happened who happened to be neuroscientists to be neuroscientists have taken have a deeper taken look a deeper at look whether empty at whether stadiums empty stadiums influence influence players behaviors players behaviors on the field. on the field. It was a good It excuse was a good excuse to watch soccer to watch and soccer to and reproach. to reproach. The matches The matches from the weekends. from the weekends. Michael Lightner Michael and Lightner his and colleague his colleague Fabio Richland Fabio Richland of the University of the University of Salzburg of Salzburg in Austria in Austria Rewatched Rewatched 20 20 matches matches from their local from team. their local team. Red Bull, Salzburg. Red Bull, Salzburg. 10 from 10 before from the pandemic, before the pandemic, with fans with fans and 10 and from 10 ghost from games ghost without games them without them as they watched as they watched the catalog the catalog players, players, emotional emotional behaviors, behaviors, things like things whether like a whether player yelled a player at yelled the ref at after the ref a after call a call or shook or his head shook after his head missing after a big missing chance. a big chance. Overall, Overall, they observed they observed significantly significantly fewer fewer emotional emotional outbursts outbursts during ghost during games. ghost games. Richland has Richland a theory has why a theory why the fence the fence like like an an amplifier amplifier in certain in situations. certain situations. If there's If a there's a foul or something foul or something going on, going and on, and 20 20 or 30,000 or 30,000 people screaming, people screaming, then, for sure then, for you jump sure you up jump and yell up at and yell your at opponent, your opponent, and you probably and do you probably this less do this less or a little or bit a less little bit less if there are if no fence there are no fence there. In there. fact, In fact, the emotional the emotional outburst outburst that did that take did place take place in Ghost in Ghost games tended games tended to be less to confrontational be less confrontational than in games than in with games fans with in fans attendance. in attendance. The scientists The scientists also think also home think field home advantage field advantage could be smaller. could be smaller. Without those Without screaming those fans. screaming fans. Here's Lightner. Here's Lightner. There seems There to seems be something to be something making making the the way teams way teams perform perform significantly significantly better better without without the home the home fence. fence. They'll tackle They'll that tackle question. that question. Next. Next. The current work The current appears work in appears the journal in the Humanities journal Humanities and Social and Sciences Social Sciences Communications. Communications. And while they And know while their they know study their just study looked just at looked one at team one in team one in league, one league, both Lightner both and Lightner Richland and Richland say say they wouldn't be they surprised wouldn't be surprised if the same if was the seen same was seen in other soccer in other leagues soccer leagues around the world. around the world. Casey Morel Casey

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