Nothing to shout about

时间:2019-03-07 02:18:00166网络整理admin

By Alison Motluk FORGET wearing a football shirt and never mind screaming yourself silly: cheering makes absolutely no difference to the outcome of a complex sports event, says a researcher in Germany. Bernd Strauss of the University of Münster wanted to find out if there was any truth in the popular belief, shared by fans and players, that cheering can positively influence the outcome of play. He analysed both the spectators and the teams in four home games of the New Yorker Hurricanes, a team in Kiel that plays American football. Strauss videotaped 631 downs, discrete plays in which one team attempts to move the ball down the field. On a separate tape he recorded the behaviour of the team’s most loyal supporters, a group of 300 fans who typically sat together in a certain section of the stadium. All the games were sold out, and the crowds could be clearly seen and heard by the players on the field. One group of judges called each down a success, a failure or neutral depending on whether the team lost or gained territory. Another two judges assessed the crowd’s behaviour. They deemed the fans supportive when at least half clapped, cheered or shouted encouragement. Strauss found that crowd support had absolutely no impact on the outcome of an individual down. He says cheers are probably ineffective in other complex team sports as well, such as soccer and ice hockey. He suspects that positive and negative effects of cheering may cancel each other out. On the one had cheering seems to improve speed, while on the other it seems to hinder coordination. But it makes the spectators feel better, he says, giving them the illusion of control. More on these topics: