Home Court Advantage at the Lion’s Den

Cooper Woest and Jeffrey Yang

It is important for every sport to have a strong supportive fanbase behind it. A study published by the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that homecourt advantage is a real thing, as home teams win 60% of the time. Not only do fans help players build confidence, but they also pressure opposing teams playing away. This holds true in Dulaney High School as well, due to the school having some of the most supportive fans in the entire Baltimore County district.

If it’s football, our loud fans will cause the opposing team to potentially call a time out or suffer some false starts or pre-snap penalties. If it’s basketball, our crowds will cause the opposing teams to suffer a lower free throw percentage. This applies to all of the sports offered at Dulaney, especially in the playoffs.

Both senior Owen Campbell and coach Steven Labbe agree with the sentiment that Dulaney fans play a big role in supporting Dulaney athletics.

“We always have each other’s backs and we always have a strong student section together and just always motivating and pushing each other on the court and on the field to perform on the next level,” said Campell when asked about the effect fans have on opposing teams.

“The fans kind of give [players] an extra step or a little bit [of speed]. Players feed off their energy, its infectious… It’s a tremendous, a tremendous benefit being in front of our fans,” said Labbe.

While it is true that our fans have a strong effect on our players, they sometimes go too far. “[Making] the other team mess up in the clutch moments” is one of many Campbell has found that the fans can do but that doesn’t necessarily mean attacking opposing teams. The friendly banter between the students’ section and the opposing athletes is supposed to help Dulaney have an advantage but it sometimes turns to mean chants. Fans should work towards becoming more friendly so that these interactions serve not as insults directed towards the athletes, but as beneficial chants that help the Dulaney team to so that the opposing team isn’t playing at their highest level.

A huge part of the fan experience are rivalry games. Strong competitions help the fans liven up the gym and are fun to watch. In addition to these rivalry games, spirit games also help make watching the sport fun.

“The games I’m promoting are usually games that are spirit games where we can have fun events, where a couple of times this year with the ESPN Gameday, where a couple of people dress up in the front with nice suits on and everyone behind has signs and stuff like that. Or we have a whiteout with our new spirit shirts,” said Campbell.

Our fans play a role in Dulaney athletics and their support is clear. Even potentially small advantages could swing the game one way or another. That’s why Dulaney fans will continue to cheer no matter what.

“I just thank them for their continued support and even when some of the times when we played bad or got down, they were always just one play away from getting us right back into it,” said Labbe.