Recreation time and course of journey are linked to school soccer crew efficiency

DARIEN, IL – A study of NCAA Division I college football games found a significant association between away team performance and both their direction of travel and the time of day the games were played.

The results show that away teams that played in the afternoon allowed 5% more points and forced 13% more opponent turns than those that played in the evening. Teams traveling east to play on the go threw 39% more interceptions than those traveling in the same time zone. There was also a significant interaction between direction of travel and time of day for points allowed and a marginal interaction for points scored.

“Most notably, we found that afternoon teams actually scored more points and forced more opponents to switch than evening teams,” said Sean Pradhan, faculty advisor with a PhD in sports management and assistant professor of sports management and business analytics at the Menlo’s School of Business Administration College in Atherton, California. “Our results also showed that teams traveling east threw more interceptions than teams traveling in the same time zone.”

Pradhan and co-investigator Micah Kealaiki-Sales analyzed data from 1,909 NCAA Division I college football games played by 64 Power Five conference teams during the 2014-2019 regular seasons (i.e. the college football playoff era) were played. All games played on neutral sites were banned. The data was collected from the publicly accessible sports database Sports-Reference. The researchers checked both the visiting and the home team conference, the game day and the team standings.

According to Pradhan and Kealaiki-Sales, the results provide new evidence of the influence of circadian factors on college athlete performance.

“Much of the research to date on travel and sports performance has focused on professional teams,” noted Pradhan. “Our study expands the literature by offering an examination of NCAA Division I college football teams where research on the effects of travel has been relatively limited and the results have been conflicting. Given that the level of support from students and athletes naturally varies between colleges, our results highlight the impact of certain factors in travel that coaches, staff, and even student athletes should consider. “

The research abstract was recently published in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented as a poster during Virtual SLEEP 2021 from June 9th – November 30th. SLEEP is the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a joint venture of the American Academy for Sleep Medicine and the Society for Sleep Research.


The authors reported no conflicts of interest. For a copy of the abstract “East? I Thought You Said Weast! The Influence of Travel on College Football Team Performance” or to schedule an interview with the study author or an AASM spokesperson, please contact AASM Communications Coordinator Corinne Lederhouse at 630 -737-9700, ext. 9366, or [email protected]

Via the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Founded in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is advancing sleep care and improving sleep health to improve life. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including doctors, scientists, and other health professionals (

About the Society for Sleep Research

The Sleep Research Society (SRS) is a professional membership society promoting sleep and circadian science. The SRS provides forums for the exchange of information, creates and maintains standards for reporting and classifies data in the field of sleep research, and works with other organizations to advance scientific research into sleep and its disorders. The SRS also publishes the peer-reviewed scientific journals Sleep and Sleep Advances (

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