Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 287–290 | Cite as

Home advantage in combat sports during the Olympic Games

Original Article



To determine if there is a home advantage effect in combat sports (boxing, fencing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling) in the Olympic Games during the period between 1996 and 2012.


This study analyzed the performance of United States of America, Australia, Greece, China and Great-Britain in this period, considering only boxing, fencing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling. Relative frequency was calculated considering number of medals won by each country as a percentage of the total number of medals disputed in these sports. A multilevel mixed-effects Poisson regression was used to estimate the incidence rate ratio (IRR) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI) for the association of factor of interest as hosting country and country. In multilevel analyses, total number of medals disputed in each sport was included as the exposure in the models. As athletes in each sport changed over time, they were included as random parameters. All significance tests were 2-tailed, and p values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.


There was a home advantage effect for total number of medals [IRR[95 % CI] = 1.97 (1.38–2.80); p < 0.001], gold [IRR[95 % CI] = 2.62 (1.45–4.73), p = 0.001] and silver medals [IRR[95 % CI = 2.13 (1.09–4.17); p = 0.027] adjusted for the total number of medals disputed in each situation, country and sport. However, there was no effect for bronze medals [IRR[95 % CI = 1.40 (0.78–2.51); p = 0.267].


This study provided evidence for the home advantage effect in combat sports during the Olympic Games disputed between 1996 and 2012 for total number of medals, gold and silver medals, doubling the quantity won when competing at home.


Elite athletes Sports Performance 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was performed according to the National Health Council resolution 196/96 and was approved by the local Research Ethics Committee (protocol: 105/10) and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, School of Physical Education and SportUniversity of Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Human Movement Pedagogy Department, School of Physical Education and SportUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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