Strat-O-Matic is a game company based in Glen Head, New York, that develops and publishes sports simulation games. It produces tabletop baseball, football, basketball, and ice hockey simulations, as well as personal computer adaptations of each, but it is primarily known for its baseball game.

Strat-O-Matic began as a company in 1961, when a Bucknell University mathematics student named Hal Richman began selling an early version of his baseball tabletop game out of his basement, buying advertising space in "Sports Illustrated" to aid sales. Richman lost money until 1963, when his decision to release a game containing one card for each player in Major League Baseball resulted in greatly increased sales. Richman later released a football game in 1968 and an "advanced" baseball game in 1972.

Strat-O-Matic is neither the first nor the only game company of its type; competitors include and have included APBA, Replay Publishing, Big League Manager, Design Depot, Negamco, Pursue the Pennant and Statis Pro. Although less sophisticated and aimed at younger players, Cadaco-Ellis' All Star Baseball (introduced in 1941) has remained the largest competitor with Strat-O-Matic, since it has been distributed through toy stores for over 50 years.

In a Strat-O-Matic game, each athlete is represented by a player card, on which are printed various ratings and result tables for dice rolls. A player, who may play solitaire or against another player, is in charge of making strategic and personnel decisions for his/her team, while determining the results of his/her decisions by cross-referencing dice rolls with a system of printed charts and tables. (The basic scheme may be understood in connection with the above

Additionally, there also is an Internet version of Strat-O-Matic games, sponsored by The Sporting News.

Strat-O-Matic games are generally recognized as very influential; they have been played by a wide variety of sports fans, including professional athletes themselves (Doug Glanville is a well-known Strat-O-Matic gamer). Games of Strat-O-Matic were shown being played in the Spike Lee film "Crooklyn". In the book "Magic the Gathering: the Pocket Players Guide", it was mentioned that Strat-O-Matic was a strong influence in the game design work of Richard Garfield.

Computer sports game designers and producers such as Trip Hawkins and Richard Hilleman have been life-long Strat-o-Matic players, indirectly influencing the development of rival computer baseball simulation games.

Strat-O-Matic's statistical research and game development methods are implemented with the intent of replicating athletes' abilities as accurately as possible, giving the gamer the feel of making managerial decisions. Many Strat-O-Matic users have devoted uncounted solitary hours toward playing out an entire season for a team or league, then comparing players' and teams' statistics from the game play (laboriously kept with pencil, paper, and slide rule in the era before hand-held calculators and computers) with their real-life equivalents; the closer the match, the more realistic Strat-O-Matic was deemed compared with its competitors.

However, despite their loyal fan base, such games are seeing their popularity decline in the face of electronic games' increasing popularity and sophistication.

ee also

*Guzzo, Glenn. "Strat-O-Matic Fanatics: The Unlikely Success Story of a Game That Became an American Passion" [] , [ ACTA Sports] , 2005. ISBN 0-87946-280-9.

Lamanna's Baseball Bulletin is a magazine of statistics meant to help players with the game. It was created by John Lamanna in 1985.

External links

* [ Official company website]
* [ Magazine article on annual first day of cards distribution in Glen Head]
* [ NPR story on the effect of Strat-O-Matic on the game of baseball]
* [ Strat-O-Matic Baseball online game on]
* [ Strat-O-Matic Baseball game reviews on]
* [ Strat-O-Matic Fan Forum]
* [ Stratmat, a Yahoo discussion group on Strat-O-Matic.]
*cite news|url=|title=Strat-O-Matic, the Throwback, Endures the Era of the X-Boxes|date=January 13, 2006|publisher=The New York Times
* [ Cyber Baseball Association: An International Strat-o-matic Baseball League]
* [ Way Retro League Replaying 1901 to Infinity]
* [ Strat-O-Matic Baseball Game]
* [ Strat-o-matic Fan Forum and an online Dice Roller Application]

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