In fact, dictionary.com has strategy as a synonym for tactics.
I personally think of "strategy" as an overall plan or style of play, whereas "tactics" is a bit more on the specifics. For instance, consider football... Playing 4-3-3 with inside wingers to exploit the opponents weaker fullbacks might be your strategy but on a more detail level you might say that the left winger stays close to the line and tries early crossed while the right winger goes in further to try long shots, and occasionally swaps position with the center forward etc etc.
Now I can't really say whether or not that distinction would require different tags here on the Sports Q/A but I believe some distinction nevertheless.
Strategy game players (like chess players) consider tactics and strategy totally different, almost opposite.
In that context:
- tactics involve short-term thinking and using a combination of techniques to get an immediate, tangible gain from a given situation.
- strategy involves long-term thinking and positional play that is likely to push the game towards a better situation (possibly offering more tactical options), i.e. not necessarily immediate profits.
I believe the difference is clear in general.
The important question is:
does the distinction appear in sports?(yes, it does)
- does the distinction appear in sports often enough and in a clear enough way to have two tags with disjoint meanings? (hmm...)
I spent some time and tried to think of a sport where I could naturally see possible different meanings for the two, both being related to planning not performing, but I failed.
Try it too (everyone!) - if we can do it for a couple of sports, then two tags are worth it. Otherwise, let's settle for one and make the other one a synonym.
Dictionary.com has an interesting yet precise answer:
In military usage, a distinction is made between strategy and tactics. Strategy is the utilization, during both peace and war, of all of a nation's forces, through large-scale, long-range planning and development, to ensure security or victory. Tactics deals with the use and deployment of troops in actual combat.
Using the logic from above,
strategy would relate to on- and off-season activities and
tactics would relate to in-game situations. Therefore, I disagree with merging the two tags.