When it Comes to Crowd Noise: Do We Have it All Mixed Up?

Crowd noise can certainly make a home atmosphere intimidating, but are the crowds getting loud at the right time?

This is a thought exercise and feel free to get UGA Alumni-Athletes who played Basketball to chime in on Twitter (if you are one, then feel free to respond on Twitter too) and give their perspective.  This is not a Georgia specific article at all (so please leave that aside here), but rather about encouraging a discussion around the general idea of making a continuous stream of noise when the Home Team is on defense and silence when the Home Team is on offense.

Consider that defenses whether they are in a zone, man-to-man or junk defense need to communicate.  Communication is critical as a lack of it could result in busted zone assignments, failed switches on screens and help defense that comes too late.  Communication must be verbal, the defensive players are attending to their task and/or focusing on their defender.  What if the communication is made and the other players cannot hear it?  Well, that’s what happens for Home Teams and non-verbal communication really is a challenge in the Half Court setting for defenses.  Everything is reactive.

What’s the objective for the continuous stream of noise from the crowd on the defensive end?  To distract and spook.  However, the communications are never an issue unless it is a full-court situation.  Half Court offenses just require a non-verbal cue from a Point Guard or a Coach.  The set is run or an initial look is started and the offense begins a pattern or a team in a motion offense begins its reads of defenders in a fill-and-replace fashion.  Nothing really needs to be communicated in a verbal fashion.  The hand-out is a non-verbal way to let the man with the ball that the particular player is open to a pass.  A screen is expected to come with a roll, fade or second screen (for Flex looks).   A strong cut speaks for itself.

Noise and creative distractions during Free Throws work.  There’s no denying that the crowd can distract a visiting shooter with all sorts of gimmicks, chants and noise.

So what are your thoughts?  Should Home Team crowds get loud on offense to make it tough for visiting defenses to communicate and let the Home Team defense communicate with silence?  Or is the status quo more in line with what is common at a Football Game more effective?


  1. Makes sense. I’d settle for the crowd being louder reacting to a good play than to a 1/1000 chance at a garbage pizza.

  2. If we start yelling while the Dawgs are on offense, Mark Fox’s head may explode. This is a man that could not handle the students yelling “one more year” while KCP was shooting free throws. The yelling really only brings up the intensity of the defense being played but you do see a lot of teams immediately run a back door cut in that situation. Seems more effective when the defense presses or traps (unnerving the inbounds player) but not so much in a base man to man. I think most players would say it just makes it much more fun but someone who actually played would need to respond to that.

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