In a recent article by Tony Myers, whom some of you might know from his articles, the seminars he’s given on Muay Thai judging, and or his work as a referee and judge in the UK, Myers and Nigel Balmer explore the impact of crowd noise. Seventeen judges were randomly assigned to score 30 bouts, some with noise canceling headphones, whilst others were exposed to the crowd noise around them
The findings were not surprising, at least to me. Crowd noise did indeed have an impact upon the judges, especially in close decisions, giving the home field fighter an average of half a point in Muay Thai’s 10 point must system. This half point average could easily make a draw into a win for home team fighters.
Possible reasoning behind the home field advantage is that referees might be using crowd noise as cues for effective blows, or might be making socially conforming judgements based on the crowd’s reaction.
While the findings were not surprising, some of Meyers other statements were. He found that Muay Thai scoring when based on traditional Muay Thai judging was found to be far more consistent than judges that score Muay Thai bouts based on international rules.
Obviously this is a bit of a scientific read but I would encourage fighters to read it. It was interesting and educational to say the least. Check out the full article here.