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 YEAR: 1969
 ITEM: Periodical
 PUBLISHER: Computers and Automation
 Volume: 18
  Number: 12
RARITY: Not rare   Click here for further information on our rarity scale Information on the rarity of this item is unknown.

Computers and Automation Computer Affects Football Strategies


First published by Edmund C. Berkeley in 1950, Computers and Automation was the first computer magazine. It was originally called Roster of Organizations in the Field of Automatic Computing Machinery, and later The Computing Machinery Field. This publication initiated the first Computer Art Contest since 1963. A regular bibliography on computer art was compiled by Mezei, Leslie since 1966. They stopped publishing in 1972.

The front cover picture shows Terry Mallet, a football coach at Kent State University, and his players reviewing a computer printout from the school's computer. Kent is using the computer to analyze game strategy. Kent University was using the Burroughs B5500 computer system to determine tendencies of opponents, providing information to help them adjust their defensive strategies. While such information was available before this, it was not as thorough and took much longer to compile. Using the B5500, the team would have been able to devote more time studying the information, while eliminating the time-consuming paperwork of before this time.

Mallet would take the statistics of each play and encode them on magnetic tape. Statistics would have included the type of play, zone, yards and down, individual players and many others. The B5500 analyzed the information and prints out data showing the tendencies of the opposing can get to know their opponents man-for-man.

Computer printouts show listings of all formations, total attempts of each percentage used out of all formations, total attempts of each, percentage used of all formations, number of runs and passes, and types of runs and passes. The computer also gives a breakdown by down and distance of each formation for both passing and running plays of that information. It made sense that the B5500 would be adapted for use during games. Using special equipment, plays can be recorded and sent electronically to tape reels of the main computer on campus. Within a few minutes after the first half, the information which now was taken from a film or scouting report, could be available for planning strategy for the second half.

This article speaks volumes to how technology changes all different aspects of life as well how fast it happens. What is covered in this article can now be done instantly and be in the coaches hands immediately after a play happens. The appreciation for advancement in technology really shows in this magazine.

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