One by one, Premiership clubs in England are banning the vuvuzela (that really annoying instrument played incessantly at the World Cup). But the Premier League authorities won’t simply impose a blanket ban and instead are leaving the decision up to the individual clubs.
Which begs the question: What is the best response for, say, Blackpool, recently promoted to the Premiership? The top clubs have banned them already (Spurs are the latest), the clubs with large stadia and many fans. Blackpool is a much smaller club with a smaller stadium and likely less noise with which to intimidate visiting teams. Wigan might be asking similar questions – could their stadium become a less pleasant place to visit for other teams if their fans are busy blowing vuvuzelas all afternoon?
I guess this is something akin to a nice empirical example of a game – the action is (ban, don’t ban), the players are all the Premiership clubs, they don’t move simultaneously though, and the pay-off isn’t clear yet likely dependent on what the other clubs do. Now the big clubs have imposed bans, their stadia will remain quiet, peaceful places – but the homes of strong teams. Will the bans mean players at those clubs are less used to the drone of vuvuzelas and hence the pay-off of allowing them to blown means more points from home games this season?
Assuming bans aren’t imposed by all clubs, it certainly gives some variation upon which to carry out some analysis. The absence of a counter-factual however (how would Blackpool have done if we repeated the season and they did/didn’t impose the ban) complicates things, but assuming a club that was in the Premiership last season allows vuvuzelas, this could be somewhat akin to a natural experiment – the players certainly didn’t sign for any particular club to avoid vuvuzelas or because they like them…