The effects of travel on performance during six seasons of the Australian national netball competition were analysed. Pairs of games were grouped according to the travel required to reach the opponent's court. The four groups were local (< 1 h) travel (LT; n = 15), north or south travel without a time-zone shift (NS; n = 77), and east or west travel with either a < 2-h time-zone shift (EW1; n = 54) or a 2-h time-zone shift (EW2; n = 25). The combined change in performance was analysed by comparing the points difference (home margin-away margin) for each pair of games. In this way, each game acted as its own control. One-way ANOVA revealed no significant difference (P = 0.68) in the points difference (mean +/- SD) for LT (-1.3 +/- 8.8), NS (-3.3 +/- 4.2), EW1 (-3.8 +/- 4.9), or EW2 (-6.8 +/- 7.2). While the large variation in points difference diminished the power of the ANOVA to detect change, effect size (ES) calculations revealed a large effect on the points difference when EW2 was compared with LT (ES = 1.0) and a moderate effect when EW2 was compared with EW1 (ES = 0.5) and NS (ES = 0.6). There was however, a significant difference between points scored at home and away for EW2 travel only (P = 0.01). These results suggest that relatively brief air travel (across only two time zones) can influence team performance.
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