National Geographic : 1996 Jun
Geographic (IfZZ2 N®4F 365'fl 31ukA RICHARDTHOMPSON JUNE 1996 Jet Lag Wallops West-to-East Nines TALK ABOUT a home-field edge! Major-league base ball teams from the West Coast lose unusually often after nonstop trips to the East, says a preliminary study of the win-loss record of 19 teams. This adds to jet-lag research (GEOGRAPHIC, December 1987). "We were looking for the effects of jet lag on skilled professionals," says Lawrence D. Recht, a University of Massachusetts neurologist, who co-authored the study with William J. Schwartz. "We found them-but only in one direction." In the 1991-93 seasons, home teams won 54 per cent of their games if the visitors had not traveled cross-country within the preceding two days. If they had endured such travel, home teams in the West were helped only slightly, raising their win record to 56 percent. Home teams in the East, how ever, won a significantly higher 63 percent. Cross-country travel cost western teams 1.25 runs per game, enough to lose a close pennant race.