Faculty Digital Archive

Archive@NYU >
Stern School of Business >
IOMS: Statistics Working Papers >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2451/26311

Title: “Last licks”: Do they really help?
Authors: Simon, Gary A.
Simonoff, Jeffrey S.
Keywords: baseball
home advantage
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Stern School of Business, New York University
Series/Report no.: SOR-2005-3
Abstract: Much has been written about the home field advantage in sports. Baseball and softball are unusual games, in that the rules are explicitly different for home versus visiting teams, since by rule home teams bat second in each inning (they have “last licks”). This is generally considered to be an advantage, which seems to be contradicted by the apparent weakness of the home field advantage in baseball compared to that in other sports. In this paper we examine the effect of “last licks” on baseball and softball team success using neutral site college baseball and softball playoff games. We find little evidence of an effect in baseball, but much greater evidence in softball, related to whether a game is close late in the game. In softball games that are tied at the end of an inning, batting last seems to be disadvantageous later in the game, apparently related to the chances of the team scoring first to break the tie. By also examining games where one team was playing on its home field, we are able to say something about benefits from playing at home that are not related to “last licks.”
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2451/26311
Appears in Collections:IOMS: Statistics Working Papers

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
05-03.pdf216.89 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in Faculty Digital Archive are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.


The contents of the FDA may be subject to copyright, be offered under a Creative Commons license, or be in the public domain.
Please check items for rights statements. For information about NYU’s copyright policy, see http://www.nyu.edu/footer/copyright-and-fair-use.html 
Valid XHTML 1.0 | CSS