• Welcome to the ShrimperZone forums.
    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which only gives you limited access.

    Existing Users:.
    Please log-in using your existing username and password. If you have any problems, please see below.

    New Users:
    Join our free community now and gain access to post topics, communicate privately with other members, respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and free. Click here to join.

    Fans from other clubs
    We welcome and appreciate supporters from other clubs who wish to engage in sensible discussion. Please feel free to join as above but understand that this is a moderated site and those who cannot play nicely will be quickly removed.

    Assistance Required
    For help with the registration process or accessing your account, please send a note using the Contact us link in the footer, please include your account name. We can then provide you with a new password and verification to get you on the site.

Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
880
Location
Brighton
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Reds have a sporting advantage

Wearing red can give competitors in sporting contests the winning edge, British scientists have claimed.

A report in Nature by Durham University academics suggests donning red kit increases the probability of winning physical contests in a range of sports.

The researchers claim the effect could be down to a deep-seated evolutionary response that works subconsciously to put opponents on the back foot.

More thought may need to be given to the colour of sportswear, they say.

Previous research by different scientists showed levels of the male sex hormone testosterone are highest in footballers when they play a game at home.

Co-author Dr Robert Barton said such a response might be acting here.

"Whether red suppresses the testosterone of the opponent or boosts the testosterone of the individual wearing red, we don't know at the moment. We're going to look at that," Dr Barton told the BBC News website.

"My hunch is that there is a bit of both going on."

Tipping the balance

Barton and colleague Russell Hill studied four combat sports during the 2004 Athens Olympic Games: boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling, where contestants were randomly assigned either red or blue colours.

They found that, across the four disciplines, contestants wearing red won significantly more fights.

This does not discount the importance of factors such as skill and strength, stress the researchers.

A deeper analysis of the data showed the colour advantage tipped the balance only when competitors were relatively evenly matched.

The results held across a range of one-on-one sports
The influence of colour on such contests may have its roots in our evolutionary past. In the animal world, red is thought to be related to fitness, aggression and high levels of testosterone.

Male mandrills, for example, have red colouration on their faces, rumps and genitalia that they use to communicate their fighting ability to other males.

"In animal displays, I would say [red] is an honest signal of the condition or quality of the individual," said Dr Barton.

Dr John Lazarus, a biologist at the University of Newcastle, said he was intrigued by the finding but not convinced red held particular significance over other colours as a dominance signal.

"To take another monkey species, vervet monkeys have blue testicles and the ones with the bluer testicles are more dominant," Dr Lazarus told the BBC News website.

Come on you reds

The Durham researchers also carried out a preliminary analysis of results from the Euro 2004 soccer tournament showing that five squads had better results when playing in red.

The three teams that have dominated English football over the past 50 years - Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal - sport red liveries.

Other factors, such as money, clearly have a strong influence on a club's ability to take home trophies.

But, says Dr Barton, "as a Chelsea supporter, I would say that once you can control statistically for the unfair advantage of colour, we actually won the championship last year."

The Durham scientist suggested the findings could have implications for regulations on sportswear in competitions.

"We wouldn't go so far to suggest what they should do. But something that's possibly interesting is that in many British sports there used to be the regulation that competitors had to wear white," he said.

"I just wonder whether that was a subconscious awareness of the need to establish a level playing field."
From BBC News

Looks like we need to wear our third strip more often....
 
Top