Associations Between Game Outcome, Game Location, and Wellness in Division I Women’s Lacrosse Athletes
Authors: Sarah L. Grace,1 Abigail P. Cooley,1 Jennifer A. Bunn2, Paula Parker1
1 Department of Exercise Science, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC, USA
2 Department of Kinesiology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, USA
Paula Parker, Ed.D
PO Box 414,
Buies Creek, NC 27506
Sarah L. Grace is an undergraduate student at Campbell University. She is studying Biology and plans to attend Dental School upon graduation.
Abigail P. Cooley is a recent graduate of Campbell University. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Humanities in December 2022 and plans to attend Medical School.
Jennifer A. Bunn, PhD, FACSM, is an Associate Dean in the College of Health Sciences and a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology at Sam Houston State University. Her areas of research interest include physiological factors affecting female collegiate athlete performance.
Paula Parker, EdD, CMPC, is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Exercise Science at Campbell University. Her areas of research interest include psychological factors affecting female collegiate athlete performance.
Associations between game outcome, game location, and wellness in Division I women’s lacrosse athletes
PURPOSE: Athlete wellness—a subjective measure assessing the response to the previous day’s physiological and psychological stress—has subsequent influence on the day’s performance. Game location (i.e., home, away) is also believed to influence performance and game outcome. The purpose of this study was to determine if game location and game day wellness were related to game outcome for a collegiate women’s lacrosse team. METHODS: Athletes (n = 34) completed a daily subjective wellness survey each morning. The survey consisted of questions related to muscle soreness, sleep quality, stress, and fatigue, with responses rated in arbitrary units (AU) using the anchors of 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100, and higher scores represented positive affect. The scores of each of the four responses were averaged to calculate the overall wellness score. Individual athlete wellness scores were categorized as above or below the team mean for each game. A chi-square analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between the wellness variables and game location with the game outcome. RESULTS: The season consisted of seven losses and nine wins, with 10 games played at an away location and six games played at home. Location was not related to game outcome (p = .152), nor were any of the game day wellness sub-scores or composite score (wellness: 71.4 ± 2.7 AU, p = .614; muscle soreness: 63.8 ± 2.9 AU, p = .527; sleep: 83.0 ± 3.4 AU, p = .527; energy: 80.0 ± 1.5 AU, p = .490; stress: 65.0 ± 4.7 AU, p = .490). CONCLUSIONS: Game location, and game day wellness were not related to game outcome in Division I women’s lacrosse athletes. These findings refute previous beliefs regarding the importance of “home field advantage.” Further exploration regarding sleep quality differences in relation to game location and subsequent game outcome are warranted. APPLICATION IN SPORT: Coaches and athletes can use this information to refute previously believed notions about advantages to playing home games. Coaches can work with their athletes to ensure similar pre-game preparation on and off the field for optimal performance.(more…)