Does the color of our jerseys really matter?
Yes, it does, according to recent German research. Their research demonstrated that referees in tae kwondo judge matches in favor of competitors wearing red uniforms. Furthermore, the differences in scoring were not negligible – athletes wearing red were awarded 13% more points than those wearing blue. The researchers also speculated on the impact of their research on other sports. For example, wearing red may be a disadvantage in soccer, where red cards are a negative penalty. Conversely, wearing red in martial sports such as tae kwondo may be advantageous for a competitor, as red is a color commonly associated with aggression.
However, Andrew Elliot, University of Rochester psychologist, has a different opinion on the matter. It’s not that referees judge in favor of athletes wearing red, but that the color red may trigger subconscious impressions in other competitors and lower their performance. In summary, their is no favor given to red wearers – the opponents of those wearing red may simply perform worse.
What do you think? If you are an athlete, have you noticed an effect on the level of competition due to the color of your jersey or the opponents? Any fan of mainstream refereed sports knows conspiracy theories holding that home teams and star players receive preferential treatment. Comment below with your own experiences!