Hiroyuki Ito, the Square designer who helped design the combat and job mechanics across various titles in the Final Fantasy series, cites the tactical approach from professional sports as one of his influences:
1UP: So did you create the battle system, or work on balancing it...?
HI: I actually created the battle system, yes.
1UP: What was your inspiration for that?
HI: Basically, there's no one inspiration that I got that battle system from. It was just a logical process, where I thought, "How can I create an efficient battle system for a role-playing game?" That's the answer that I came to. At the root of it all, though, there's a basic kind of system that comes from professional sports...
1UP: Any particular sport that you had in mind?
HI: Yeah, the NFL. Football is probably the closest thing.
1UP: I guess I can see that, with the parties lining up on either side and taking turns...
HI: Yeah. A lot of it has to do with how in the NFL, the plays are pre-planned. Each side has a strategy. That's kind of the idea.