The World Cup’s Light-Color Advantage

colorsAccording to Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane, authors of  “Design in Nature”, 83% of the winners after the group stage at the World Cup in Brazil wore lighter colors than their opponents – and this is neither an anomaly nor a coincidence.

Instead it reveals a deciding factor in all team sports that, funnily enough, is recognized but not seen. This factor provides surprising insight into the phenomenon of “home-field advantage” and how subtle physical advantages rooted in physics often mean the difference in closely contested matches.

The lighter colors are easier to see because light colors reflect more light than darker ones. This is an advantage, helping teams be united and in sync with the flow of the game.

For fast-flowing team sports like soccer, vision and cognition are as crucial to success as speed and conditioning. In soccer, where scoring chances are rare, the ability to spot your teammate a split second faster can mean the difference between a thread-the-needle pass for a goal or another just-miss.

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