According to a new study, reports of domestic violence in states and cities with a professional football team jump by as much as 10 percent in the hour after a home team loss. Experts attribute the spike to simple temper flares triggered by an unexpected or high-stakes loss, and say that more traditional reasons for domestic violence are usually not at play in these incidents.

The study was performed by economists David Card and Gordon Dahl, who analyzed domestic violence calls recorded by over 750 police departments in California and five other states. According to the research, domestic violence reports are more likely to increase when the home team loses to a traditional rival or during a playoff or other high-stakes game.

Traditionally, domestic violence occurs out of a need of the abuser to exert and prove his control over his victim. However, Card and Dahl say that is not the case in these situations. More commonly, an increase in anger and similar emotions causes the abuser to lose his temper and react in the heat of the moment.

Obviously, the majority of football fans do not commit domestic violence every time their team loses. To explain this, Card and Dahl looked at projected betting odds and other factors that indicated whether a team was predicted to win or lose a game. When a team that was likely to win suffered an unexpected loss, they found, reports of domestic violence in the area spiked dramatically. Therefore, the research indicates that managing expectations may be crucial in decreasing the occurrence of domestic violence after sports losses.

Source: Time, "Fan Rage: How Home Team Losses Contribute to Domestic Violence", Alice Park, 22 March 2011