A Brief History of Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports have been a hot topic in the last several years. Some projections say that the number of fantasy sports users in the world today surpasses 60 million. Not only is this game fun, but it can involve some betting as well, which makes it much more interesting. While we’re on the subject of betting, you should check out Betting-Sites and see their infographic on the subject of fantasy sports below this text.

Not a lot of people know that the history of this online game has its roots from even before the time of the internet. The concept of guessing athletes’ season performance and making a competition out if it was first recorded in the years after World War II.

However, the first well-organized fantasy sports competition was recorded in Oakland in 1962. It was a fantasy football league created by Wilfred Bill Winkenbach, who also came up with the concept of fantasy golf in the late 1950s.

Of course, the term fantasy sports didn’t exist yet, so the league was called the Greater Oakland Professional Prognosticators League (GOPPL). A few years prior to that, a few baseball fans from Boston made a fantasy baseball league.

As the word of this type of prognostics competition spread across the country and became popular, there was a need to raise fantasy sports to a new level. The first public fantasy league was announced in 1969, and it was created by Andy Mousalimas, one of the original founders of GOPPL.

The real turnaround in the world of fantasy came with the introduction of the Rotisserie League Baseball in 1980. The scoring system would now follow the ongoing season results, rather than simulate stats from previous seasons.

Fantasy sports really broke through the mainstream during the 1981 baseball season strike. As the baseball journalists had little to talk about during that time, they would make articles about the Rotisserie league. At the end of that decade, the number of people playing fantasy sports exceeded one million.

As the 90s rolled on and we became familiar with the internet, it was only a matter of time when fantasy sports will get shifted to the virtual world. In 1999, Yahoo made a fantasy football system that was free to use. The same year, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association was founded.

The internet era only made fantasy sports more accessible to the public, which resulted in a major growth of players. But as this prognostics competition grew more popular, it caught the eye of the regulatory bodies. Luckily, fantasy sports were not recognized as a form of sports betting by the Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act in 2006.

Between 2009 and 2011, two of today’s major fantasy sports websites were created – FanDuel and Draftkings. The audience of fantasy sports continued to grow and surpassed the 60 million mark in 2018.

The world of fantasy sports is at an all-time high right now. While there’s a lot more to say concerning the history of this game, we hope that this article provided you with some interesting facts about it. Also, don’t forget to check out the infographic below that contains more exciting details about fantasy sports. Enjoy!

JOIN THE DISCUSSION