Soccer Players Might Have More Emotional Outbursts With Audiences

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

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