Impacts of travel distance and travel direction on back-to-back games in the National Basketball Association

Jonathan Charest, Charles H. Samuels, Celyne H. Bastien, Doug Lawson, Michael A. Grandner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES: Travel fatigue and circadian disruptions are known factors that can hinder performance in professional athletes. The present study focused on travel distance and direction on back-to-back games over the 2013-2020 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). METHODS: The outcomes were based on winning percentage with additional covariates including the direction of travel (eastward or westward), the distance traveled (0-500 km; 501-1,000 km; 1,001-1,500 km; 1,501 km and more), team quality, and season. If a team played both games of a back-to-back sequence on the road, they were considered Away-Away; if a team played the first game of a back-to-back sequence at home they were considered Home-Away; if a team played the first game of a back-to-back sequence on the road they were considered Away-Home. RESULTS: The sequence Away-Home significantly increases the likelihood of winning compared with the Away-Away and Home-Away sequences: 54.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 54.4%-54.5%), 39.2% (95% CI, 37.2%-41.2%), and 36.8% (95% CI, 36.7%-36.8%), respectively. When teams travel back home, every additional 500 km reduces the likelihood of winning by approximately 4% (P = .038). Finally, after withdrawing the Away-Home sequence, traveling eastward significantly increases the chance of winning (P = .024) compared with westward travel but has no significant impact on the probability of winning compared with neutral time zone travel (P = .091). CONCLUSIONS: The accumulation of travel fatigue and the chronic circadian desynchronization that occurs over the NBA season can acutely disturb sleep and recovery. It appears that tailored sleep and recovery strategies need to be dynamically developed throughout the season to overcome the different challenges of the NBA schedule. CITATION: Charest J, Samuels CH, Bastien CH, Lawson D, Grandner MA. Impacts of travel distance and travel direction on back-to-back games in the National Basketball Association. J Clin Sleep Med. 2021;17(11):2269-2274.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2269-2274
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

Keywords

  • circadian rhythm
  • performance
  • recovery
  • sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Impacts of travel distance and travel direction on back-to-back games in the National Basketball Association'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this