Home or Away?
January 8, 2012 7:40 PM   Subscribe

Team A vs. Team B. Which is the home team if listed like this? I have seen conflicting opinions. Is there a standard in the US? Is it different in other countries? Does it differ by sport?
posted by JohnnyGunn to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total)
 
It's definitely different by country. In the U.S., Team B would be the home team in every sport I know of, but in every soccer game I've ever seen from every other country, they'd be the away team. (Can't speak for other sports.)
posted by asterix at 7:43 PM on January 8, 2012


In the U.S., the home team is listed second (to the right), or below, if you're listing them vertically. This is basically true in all sports journalism for all sports in the U.S.

The rule of thumb is that you're saying "at" between them:

Dodgers at Yankees

Dodgers at
Yankees
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:51 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like Cool Papa Bell said, although occasionally house style if you're the hometown paper (of, say, the Chicago Bears) is that you'd write "Steelers vs. Bears" when they were at home, and "Bears at Steelers" when they were away. (Or, very occasionally, "Bears vs. Steelers" means home in Chicago, "Bears at Steelers" means away ... the idea because people are scanning for the word "Bears" so it should be first in the line.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:56 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and if you're wondering why, blame baseball and Henry Chadwick. In baseball, the home team bats second, giving an advantage at the end of the game -- they have the final opportunity to score. Chadwick invented the box score that enshrined the style.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:00 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


In my opinion, "Bears vs. Steelers" is ambiguous and one would not be wise to assume that the game is in Pittsburgh (Steelers' home) because the Steelers are listed second.

Instead, the word "at" is used to disambiguate, as in "Bears at Steelers."
posted by lewedswiver at 8:13 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


In European soccer, the home team is listed first.
posted by pdb at 8:15 PM on January 8, 2012


The predominant global style for team sports is home-team-first. America, she is different.

As Eyebrows notes, in the US, the standard style for a schedule that focuses on a particular team will always list that team first, but use 'vs.' for home and 'at' or '@' for away. For individual games, the home team is almost always listed second.

Soccer coverage right now is stuck somewhere in the middle: MLS tends to follow the American standard, but foreign leagues and internationals seem to get the home-team-first treatment.
posted by holgate at 8:23 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm watching ESPN right now, and they've started showing European soccer scores on the ticker at the bottom of the screen. For all other sports, they use away-team-first, but for soccer they show home-team-first.
posted by asterix at 8:29 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Piling on: "at" is a distinguishing and helpful convention, since it adds information: When "at" is in play, "vs" means "hosting." But it's just that, helpful when used, and no more; you definitely cannot conclude anything from its absence.

And adding: remember that in some contexts, like exhibition games or tournament play in some sports, there is no home team of any kind to indicate. Tennis. Soccer tourneys. The Super Bowl.

Because of that, "vs" can never be assumed to mean "hosting" unless "at" is also and clearly being used.
posted by rokusan at 8:38 PM on January 8, 2012


I think it is important to differentiate between "home team" and being played at home. For example, look at the Super Bowl. Neither team will be playing in their home stadium, but one is designated as the "home" team for several reasons including uniform color, choice of locker rooms, sidelines, etc. Also, tournament games such as the NCAA basketball or World Cup soccer (football).

It appears by the answers so far, that in the US, Team B would be at home if it were a regular season game, and would be the designated home team if it were at a site not where the two teams play. Yes?

Knowing there is an exception to every rule, if I recall correctly, following hurricane Katrina, the Saints played the Giants at Giants Stadium, yet the Saints were the home team. How was that properly listed? Giants vs Saints @ Giants Stadium?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:58 PM on January 8, 2012


In Japanese baseball, in most calendar the order follows the Team A Home, Team B Away style. (The boxscores of course follow baseball convention). This follows the int. soccer convention mentioned above.

For example the calendar on the NPB site is this way If you look in the Game 7 link for the boxscore the Home team is Softbank @ their Home field (Yahoo Dome).
posted by Bodrik at 9:04 PM on January 8, 2012


"It appears by the answers so far, that in the US, Team B would be at home if it were a regular season game, and would be the designated home team if it were at a site not where the two teams play. Yes?"

There is no universal rule; just house style for various leagues and publications. So the key is to either learn the house style for the newspaper/blog/magazine/sports organization website you're reading, or figure out what you want house style to be for your own blog or sports organization. (But Team B as the home team is probably the majority position, yes.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:07 PM on January 8, 2012


It used to be the case that if a much smaller club drew a larger club for a home tie in the FA Cup, a combination of safety and economic reasons would lead them to switch venues and play at the larger club's ground. The rules have tightened in recent years, but Farnborough was listed as the home team (and played in home colours) against Arsenal at Highbury in 2003.
posted by holgate at 10:23 PM on January 8, 2012


Knowing there is an exception to every rule, if I recall correctly, following hurricane Katrina, the Saints played the Giants at Giants Stadium, yet the Saints were the home team. How was that properly listed? Giants vs Saints @ Giants Stadium?

In the US (and likely Canada), the designated home team is almost always listed second, so in a case like that, it was most likely "Giants vs Saints," or "NYG vs NO." If there was room they would probably indicate something like "(at Giants stadium)." While still rare, this may happen most often in baseball because of logistical reasons with a "home" team's stadium, and they either play in in a city close by, or at the "road" team's stadium.

In 2011, the Marlins, who play in Miami, had to play a 3-game series as the "home" team against Seattle, in Seattle, because their stadium needed several days to prepare for a previously scheduled U2 concert.

And like you said, even in a sport where the "home" team doesn't necessarily make a difference within play, one always has to be designated at a neutral site. Another good example of this would be Olympic team sports.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 10:56 PM on January 8, 2012


If you're looking at a single team's schedule in the US, that team may be listed first every time. In that case, home and road games for Team A will be differentiated thusly:
Team A vs. Team B (home)
Team A at Team C (road)
posted by willpie at 6:23 AM on January 9, 2012


Knowing there is an exception to every rule, if I recall correctly, following hurricane Katrina, the Saints played the Giants at Giants Stadium, yet the Saints were the home team. How was that properly listed? Giants vs Saints @ Giants Stadium?

Looks like it was listed at "East Rutherford, N.J.", where every other game was listed at a stadium, including the Jets game at Giants Stadium. Not clear if that's intentional or because someone had to type it in manually and didn't follow the normal standard. source
posted by smackfu at 11:39 AM on January 9, 2012


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