The purpose of this study was to quantify the home advantage in both men’s and women’s First and Second Division water polo leagues, to compare the results obtained according to sex of participants and the level of competition, and to test for possible differences in home advantage when considering the interaction between these two factors. The sample comprised four seasons from 2007-2008 to 2010-2011 for a total of 1942 games analyzed. The results showed the existence of home advantage in both men’s and women’s First and Second Divisions. After controlling for the competitive balance of each league in each season, there was a significant difference between men’s and women’s leagues, with higher home advantage for men’s leagues (58.60% compared with 53.70% for women’s leagues). There was also a significant difference between the levels of competition, with greater home advantage for the Second Division (57.95% compared with 54.35% for First Division). No significant differences in home advantage were found when considering the interaction between sex of participants and the level of competition. The results in relation to sex of participants and the level of competition are consistent with previous studies in other sports such as football or handball.
The aim of the present study was to identify the importance of floorball tactical variables to predict ball possession effectiveness, when controlling quality of opposition and game periods. The sample was composed by 1500 ball possessions, corresponding to 14 games randomly selected from the International Championships played during 2008 and 2010 (World Championship, Four nations tournament and classificatory phases for World Championship) by teams from different competition levels (HIGH, INTERMEDIATE and LOW). The effects of the predictor variables on successful ball possessions according to the three game contexts (HIGH vs. HIGH; HIGH vs. LOW; LOW vs. LOW games) were analyzed using Binomial Logistic Regressions. The results showed no interaction with the game period. In HIGH vs. HIGH games, quality of opposition showed an association with ball possession effectiveness with ending zone, offensive system, possession duration, height of shooting and defensive pressures previous to the shot. In HIGH vs. LOW games the important factors were the starting zone, possession duration, defensive pressure previous to the last pass and to the shot, technique of shooting and the number players involved in each ball possession. Finally, in LOW vs. LOW games, the results emphasized the importance of starting and ending zones, the number of passes used and the technique of shooting. In conclusion, elite floorball performance is mainly affected by quality of opposition showing different game patterns in each context that should be considered by coaches when preparing practices and competitions.