The Start

The seed for DEL began in 1991, when founder Andrew Dolphin wrote "Coach," a simple general manager simulation for the PC of professional football with limited abilities to control one's team on the field. Over the past years, Coach has evolved in complexity to the game that is now used to control the DEL professional football leagues, with a full set of general manager and head coach functions.

In 1992, the second game in the series, "Manager," was added, which was a similar game for professional baseball. By mid-1993, the initial foursome was complete with the arrivals of Basket and Hockey, professional basketball and hockey simulations. With the four major American professional sports simulated, work then began on college level simulations of football and basketball, which were completed in early 1994. For more information on our PC games, click here.

To the Internet

The move to the internet came in 1995 with "Coach E-mail League" (CEL), which was an e-mail league based on Coach. This first league is still in existence, and holds the most tradition of any of the DEL leagues. Like with most of his "first" leagues, Andrew Dolphin was one of the charter coaches of CEL, which he played in for its first five seasons.

CEL was initially rather crude, with all information to the coaches sent by e-mail, and all instructions on running the teams sent in plain text. With the explosion of the World Wide Web, however, the ability to publish web pages with all team rosters, game results, and other league-related information was available, and DEL was one of the first internet sports simulation leagues to use the web for this. An e-mail based command reader on the other end allowed coaches to send in commands and instantly get feedback.

The success and interest of CEL propelled the formation of similar leagues in other sports, namely BEL (Basket), MEL (Manager), and HEL (Hockey). College leagues also started forming, CBEL (College Basket) and CCEL (College Coach), and numerous secondary leagues began to form in the professional sports.

Amidst all of this growth, the creative thread continued on, leading to the introduction of College Manager (1997) and Soccer (1999), simulations of college baseball and professional soccer, respectively. These simulations broke new ground, in that unlike their predecessors, they were introduced as internet games first and as home computer games second. The soccer game was also a first, in that the layout of divisions and playoffs were modeled after European, rather than American, leagues.

The Future

DEL now consists of leagues simulating five professional and four college sports, with over 400 coaches running over 800 teams. In addition, there are numerous spinoff leagues using the DEL software, running on other sites.

Although we have most of the major team sports covered, DEL is not standing pat. We are always looking for new features to add to the site, in order to make your experience more realistic and more enjoyable.

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