A fantasy sport (also known less commonly as rotisserie or roto) is a type of game, often played using the Internet, where participants assemble imaginary or virtual teams of real players of a professional sport. These teams compete based on the statistical performance of those players in actual games. This performance is converted into points that are compiled and totaled according to a roster selected by each fantasy team’s manager. These point systems can be simple enough to be manually calculated by a “league commissioner” who coordinates and manages the overall league, or points can be compiled and calculated using computers tracking actual results of the professional sport. In fantasy sports, team owners draft, trade and cut (drop) players, analogously to real sports.
The concept of picking players and running a contest based on their year-to-date stats has been around since shortly after. One of the earliest published accounts of fantasy sports involved Oakland businessman and one time limited partner Wilfred “Bill” Winkenbach. He devised in the later part of the 1950s. Each player selected a team of professional golfers and the person with the lowest combined total of strokes at the end of the tournament would win. Golf is a simple fantasy game to administer and keep tabs on, since each participant is concerned only with the scores of his or her team members without anything else to complicate it. However, it was never organized into a widespread hobby or formal business.
In Oakland in 1962, Winkenbach formed the first reportedFantasy Football league, called the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League (GOPPPL), with eight teams. was the first player taken in the first draft in 1963.
The first reported league began in Boston in 1960. started the “Baseball Seminar” where colleagues would form rosters that earned points on the players’ final standings in batting average,and wins. Gamson later brought the idea with him to the where some professors played the game. One professor playing the game was Bob Sklar, who taught an American Studies seminar which included, who learned of the game his professor played.At around the same time a league from also formed a similar baseball league and had its first draft in 1976.
Modern founding of rotisserie
An important development in fantasy sports came with the development of Rotisserie League Baseball in 1980 (although research suggests a team of players from Southern New Jersey have been running the same style league since 1976 making them the first Rotisserie players).Magazine writer/editor is credited with inventing it, the name coming from the New York City restaurant La Rotisserie Francaise where he and some friends used to meet and play. The game’s innovation was that “owners” in a Rotisserie league would draft teams from the list of active Major League Baseball players and would follow their statistics during the ongoing season to compile their scores. In other words, rather than running realistic simulations using statistics for seasons whose outcomes were already known, the owners would have to make similar predictions about players’ playing time, health, and expected performance that real baseball managers must make.
Because Okrent was a member of the media, other journalists, especially sports journalists, were introduced to the game. Many early players were introduced to the game by these sports journalists, especially during the; with little else to write about, many baseball writers wrote columns about Rotisserie league. A July 8, 1980 New York Times Article titled “What George Steinbrenner is to the American League, Lee Eisenberg is to the Rotisseries League” set off a media storm that led to stories about the league on CBS TV and other publications.
In March 1981, Dan Okrent wrote an essay about the Rotisserie League for Inside Sports called “The Year George Foster Wasn’t Worth $36.” The article included the rules of the game. Founders of the original Rotisserie league published a guide book starting in 1984. In 1982, Ballantine published the first widely available Bill James Abstract, which helped fuel fantasy baseball interest. Fantasy fans often used James’ statistical tools and analysis as a way to improve their teams. James was not a fantasy player and barely acknowledged fantasy baseball in his annual Abstract, but fantasy baseball interest is credited with his strong sales.
In 1988,USA estimated that there were thousands of leagues in the US, typically 8 to 12 players. The hobby had spread to football as well.