The study found that teams in dark jerseys were penalized roughly two minutes more per game than those in white, according to NPR. The research was conducted by Gregory Webster of the University of Florida, Geoffrey Urland of Toravner Research and Design in Boulder, Colorado, and Joshua Correll of the University of Chicago.
The three researchers analyzed data from 52,098 games over 30 NHL seasons.
The study did not reach a conclusion on the reason for the discrepancy. Webster told NPR it is possible that players in darker colors are more visible on the ice than players in white. He also said it is possible that wearing dark colors makes players either play in a more aggressive manner or appear more aggressive in the eyes of a referee.
Before 2003, NHL teams typically wore white at home and darker colors on the road. After a rule change in 2003, most teams switched their color preferences, allowing the researchers to determine whether the discrepancy in penalty minutes was a factor of the home ice or jersey color, NPR said.
The researchers found that players wearing colored jerseys at home games were called for more penalties than when they wore white at home.
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