Fouls Go Left: Soccer Referees May Be Biased Based on Play’s Direction of Motion

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Media Contact:Kim Guenther | kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-662-6183 July 7, 2010

Soccer referees may have an unconscious bias towards calling fouls based on a play’s direction of motion, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that soccer experts made more foul calls when action moved right-to-left, or leftward, compared to rightward action, suggesting that two referees watching the same play from different vantage points may be inclined to make a different call.

 

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