Open Access Senior Honors Thesis
Department or School
Ellen Koch, Ph.D.
Rusty McIntyre, Ph.D.
Natalie Dove, Ph.D.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment in sports in which players are performing in the absence of crowds. This study analyzed the performance of 12 teams and 11 players in games played with and without an audience over a period of three years in collegiate basketball. It was expected that in games with crowds, simple tasks (free throws) would be more successful and complex tasks (field goals) would be less successful compared to games without crowds. The second hypothesis predicted that home performances would be better than away performances in seasons with crowds, but there would be no difference without crowds. The data showed mostly insignificant trends and inconsistent trends among the teams and individuals. There was a significant increase in simple task performance for individuals in the away setting from the first season with crowds to the second season without crowds which was unexpected. Additionally, there was only one significant home field advantage found in the player’s simple task performance for the first season. Analysis of the teams and individuals showed that whether a task is facilitated or impaired in the absence of crowds varies among the participants. These findings provide insight into social facilitation in real competitions in which future studies using performances during the COVID-19 pandemic can build on.
Perrin, Noah, "Assessing the relationship between audience and sport performance in competition during the COVID-19 pandemic" (2022). Senior Honors Theses and Projects. 724.