"A team manager’s choice of a red uniform can affect a referee’s decision making and benefit the team during a game.”
This statement was made by a group of psychologists and teachers at the University of Münster Germany.
Norbert Hageman, Bernd Strauss and Jan Leibing, conducted the study which was published in the journal Psychological Science.
By Antonio Pulido, Revista Arbitros
Referees subconsciously favor teams in red uniform
Penalized fouls compared in video
Although the initial experiment was conducted with judges from taekwondo, the researchers then tested referees in other sports where the competing teams wore red shirts and other colors.
In the study, officials viewing the match in a video must punished the fouls committed from both sides in the first half of the match.
They were then shown the same video a second time but with the uniform colors reversed, using a video trick.
Red is favored
According to the researchers there was an increase of 13% in foul calls compared to the average for the first time they noted that decisions of the referee's favored a red uniform when the teams were on an even competitive level, but had little influence when a team was clearly superior.
Although further research is needed, especially on the effects of color, “results in the study conclude with recommending a change in the rules or where the officials utilize "electronic technology" where the color of the uniform may not be a problem.”
Next time you’re watching a game where one of the teams is wearing red, pay attention and find out if this study is true or not.