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A game enables game players to predict an order in which sports players are selected during rounds of a sports draft event. The game players each provide a draft selection list that identifies individual sports players according to numerically ordered draft selection slots within one or more rounds of the draft event. In some embodiments one or more rounds of the draft event are subdivided into round groups of draft selection slots. Points are awarded the game players for correctly identifying a sports player with a particular draft selection slot. Points may also be awarded for correctly identifying a sports player within a particular round group. Points may be awarded for later round picks to break tie scores.

Kimble, Keir (Denver, CO, US)
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Primary Examiner:
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What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a sports draft game, the method comprising; presenting to a plurality of individual game players a draft event for a sport; the draft event including: (i) a pool of available sports players; (ii) a plurality of sports teams; and (iii) at least a first round and a second round that each include a plurality of numerically ordered draft selection slots whereby the plurality of sports teams take turns in filling the draft selection slots by selecting individual sports players from the pool of available sports players; subdividing at least the first round into a plurality of specific, numerically ordered round groups that each include a plurality of numerically ordered draft selection slots; providing a predetermined first point value and second point value whereby the first point value is higher than the second point value; receiving from each of the game players, prior to the draft event, a draft selection list that identifies individual sports players from the pool of available sports players for each of the numerically ordered draft selection slots within each of the round groups for the first round of the draft event; receiving an official draft selection list that lists selected sports players in a specific numerically ordered draft slot order according to the draft event; scoring the draft selection lists provided by the game players by: (i) awarding each individual game player a first point value for each occurrence in which the individual game player's draft, selection list correctly identifies a selected sports player with a specific numerically ordered draft slot in which the selected sports player was selected during the draft event; and (ii) awarding each individual game player a second point value for each occurrence in which the individual game player's draft selection list correctly identifies a selected sports player as being selected within a specific numerically ordered round group slot in which the selected sports player was selected during the draft event; determining a total number of points awarded each of the individual game players and determining a game player who was awarded a highest total of points.



The invention claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/970,411 entitled FANTASY GAME AND METHOD OF PLAY by Keir Kimble, filed on Sep. 6, 2007, which Provisional Patent Application is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.


Fantasy sports games have become ubiquitous in today's society. Leagues associated with such fantasy games form in bars, the workplace, neighborhoods, and schools. Typically, the games center on a professional sport, such as football, and attain a good portion of their popularity from the established popularity of the sport on which the game is based. Participants within individual leagues gather prior to the opening of the sports season and draft teams of players. The participants then manage their team, selecting which players to play and which ones to leave inactive. Points are generated based on each player's performance.

Most professional sports attain a significant number of their players through a draft. For example the National Football League holds its draft of NCAA football players each Spring. This particular draft has become wildly popular over the year's. USA Today.com found that ESPN's coverage of the 2006 draft attracted over thirty six million viewers. To some, the NFL draft has become as important as the Super Bowl.


This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary, and the foregoing Background, is not intended to identify key aspects or essential aspects of the claimed subject matter. Moreover, this Summary is not intended for use as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

A fantasy game and method of play are presented that are centered on a sports draft. Game participants predict the selection order of available players prior to the draft. Points are awarded according to the correctness of the game participant's predictions. Points may be awarded for inexact predictions that fail within predetermined groupings within rounds of the subject draft. Tie breaking selections may be incorporated within the game. Playoffs may also be incorporated as game participants successfully advance from intra-league play. Automated play is provided that permits real-time reporting and play among the participants while the draft occurs.

These and other aspects of the present system and method will be apparent after consideration of the Detailed Description and Figures herein. It is to be understood, however, that the scope of the invention shall be determined by the claims as issued and not by whether given subject matter addresses any or all issues noted in the Background or includes any features or aspects recited in this Summary.


Non-limiting and non-exhaustive embodiments of the present invention, including the preferred embodiment, are described with reference to the following figures, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the various views unless otherwise specified.

FIG. 1 is a functional block diagram of a computing system adapted to implement an embodiment of the draft selection game.

FIG. 2 depicts a system schematic of one contemplated embodiment of a system for at least partially implementing the draft selection game.

FIG. 3 depicts an exemplary embodiment of a log-in page that may be used with an embodiment of the draft selection game.

FIG. 4A depicts a portion of an exemplary embodiment of a page that may be used describing a manner of playing an embodiment of the draft selection game.

FIG. 4B depicts another portion of the exemplary embodiment of the page depicted in FIG. 4A.

FIG. 5A depicts an exemplary embodiment of a page that may be used for member registration in one embodiment of the sports draft game.

FIG. 5B depicts another portion of the exemplary embodiment of the page depicted in FIG. 5A.

FIG. 5C depicts another portion of the exemplary embodiment of the page depicted in FIG. 5B.

FIG. 5D depicts another portion of the exemplary embodiment of the page depicted in. FIG. 5C.

FIG. 6 depicts an exemplary embodiment of a portion of an official rules page that may be used with an embodiment of the draft selection game.

FIG. 7 depicts an exemplary embodiment of a page that may be used by individuals in creating, and/or joining leagues in various embodiments of the draft selection game.


Embodiments are described more fully below with reference to the accompanying figures, which form a part hereof and show by way of illustration, specific exemplary embodiments. These embodiments are disclosed in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the technology. However, embodiments may be implemented in many different forms and should not be construed as being limited to the embodiments set forth herein. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.

With reference to FIG. 1 an example of a suitable computing system environment is depleted in the form of a computing device 100 on which the present game may be implemented. The computing device 100 is only one example of a suitable computing environment and is not intended to suggest any limitation as to the scope of use or functionality of the invention. Neither should the computing device 100 be interpreted as having any dependency or requirement relating to any one or combination of components illustrated in the exemplary operating environment. The invention is operational with numerous other general purpose or special purpose computing system environments or configurations. Examples of well known computing systems, environments, and/or configurations that may be suitable for use with the invention include, but are not limited to, personal computers, server computers, network PCs, minicomputers, mainframe computers, distributed computing environments that include any of the above systems or devices, and the like.

The invention may be described in the general context of computer-executable instructions, such as program modules, being executed by a computer. Generally, program modules include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures, etc. that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. The invention may also be practiced in distributed computing environments where tasks are performed by remote processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed computing environment, program modules may be located in both local and remote computer storage media including memory storage devices.

Referring again to FIG. 1, an exemplary system for implementing the invention includes a computing device, such as computing device 100. In a basic configuration, computing device 100 typically includes at least one processing unit 102 and system memory 104. Depending on the exact configuration and type of computing device, system memory 104 may be volatile (such as RAM), non-volatile (such as ROM, flash memory, and the like) or some combination of the two. System memory 104 typically includes operating system 105, one or more application programs 106, and may include program data 107. Examples of application programs 106 include phone dialer programs, e-mail programs, scheduling programs, PIM (personal information management) programs, word processing programs, spreadsheet programs, Internet browser programs, and so forth. This basic configuration is illustrated in FIG. 1 by those components within dashed line 108.

Computing device 100 may also have additional features or functionality. For example, computing device 100 may also include additional data storage devices (removable and/or non-removable) such as, for example, magnetic disks, optical disks, or tape. Such additional storage is illustrated in FIG. 1 by removable storage 109 and non-removable storage 110. Computer storage media may include volatile and non-volatile, removable and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information, such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program, modules or other data. System memory 104, removable storage 109 and non-removable storage 110 are all examples of computer storage media. Computer storage media includes, but is not limited to, RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD) or other optical storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to store the desired information and which can be accessed by computing device 100. Any such computer storage media may be part of device 100. Computing device 100 may also have input device(s) 112 such as a keyboard, mouse, pen, voice input device, touch input device, etc. Output device(s) 114 such as a display, speakers, printer, etc. may also be included. All these devices are known in the art and need not be discussed at length here.

Computing device 100 also contains communication connection(s) 116 that allow the device to communicate with other devices 118 (including printing devices, stand alone e-mail servers, facsimile devices, and the like), such as over a network or a wireless mesh network. Communication connection(s) 116 is an example of communication media. Communication media typically embodies computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data in a modulated data signal such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism and includes any information delivery media. The term “modulated data signal” means a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information in the signal. By way of example, and not limitation, communication media includes wired media such as a wired network or direct-wired connection, and wireless media such as acoustic, RF, infrared and other wireless media. The term computer readable media as used herein includes both storage media and communication media.

The computing device 100 may operate in a networked environment using logical connections to one or more remote computers, such as a remote computer 120. The remote computer 120 may be operated by a client consumer or third-party service provider (including one or more providers of various information databases, research tools, reporting services, and the like); may take the form of a personal computer, a server, a router, a network PC, PDA, a peer device, or other common network node; and typically includes many or all of the elements described above relative to the computing device 100. It is further contemplated, however, that the remote computer 120 could be provided in the form of a telephone, which includes cellular telephones, landline telephones and the like. The logical connections depicted in FIG. 1 include a local area network (LAN) 124 and a wide area network (WAN) 126, but may also include other proprietary and non-proprietary networks 128, such as wireless networks, a PSTN, the Internet, an intranet, and the like. It will be appreciated, however, that the network connections shown are exemplary and other networking and communications means may be used. FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a suitable system environment on which the present invention may be implemented.

With reference to FIG. 3 one or more application programs 106 may be provided to present a log-in page to access a network accessible embodiment of the draft selection game. In some embodiments, individuals may select icons provided on the page to access other pages that could include one of various rules pages and pages dedicated to individual or team registration. In particular, and with reference to FIGS. 4A-B a page, may be presented to individuals accessing the draft selection game that describe one or more manners of playing various embodiments of the draft selection game. Similarly, with reference to FIGS. 5A-D, one or more application programs may be provided for presenting a variety of member registration screens to individuals who access the sports draft game. Once registration is complete, one of more individuals may access one of a variety of pages for creating, and/or joining leagues in various embodiments of the draft selection game, such as depicted in FIG. 7.

In various embodiments, the game of the present invention will center around a draft, held in support of a sports league. In one particular example, the game will center around the annual NFL draft of available NCAA football players. Generally speaking, the object of the game will be to determine which eligible players will be drafted, according to the draft order.

In at least one embodiment, a pool of game participants will be divided into leagues. In one example, the leagues may each be comprised of one hundred game participants. In the instances where one or more leagues may not have at least one hundred game participants, two or more leagues may be combined so that the participating leagues are comprised of no less than one hundred game participants. It is contemplated that the leagues may either be public or private leagues, with public leagues having an open public enrollment and private leagues requiring an invitation to join. Regardless of whether or not the league is public or private, game participants will each pay an entry fee, which will support monetary requirements of the game, including prizes, and the like.

Typical sports league drafts are comprised of rounds. In the example of the NFL draft, and one contemplated embodiment of the present game, the focus will be on the first two rounds. However, depending on the circumstances of the game as it is played and the sport for which the draft is being held, additional rounds may he added. Under the present composition of the NFL, each round contains thirty-two draft selections. It will be preferred that each draft pick within the rounds be assigned a point value. Higher first round selections may be assigned lower point values, for example, than late first round or second round selections. Game participants accumulate points based on players being selected in the correctly predicted draft order. Game participants (or teams of game participants) with the most points at the end of the last round of the game may be awarded a grand prize for their respective league. Additional prizes, such as incremental amounts going to second place, third place, and the like are also contemplated.

In an optional second stage of the present game, the first place game participants/teams from each league may be pooled into a playoff round. It is contemplated that the first round of play may be regional or local, whereas the second round of play may be national (or beyond) in scope. Prizes may be awarded for top point accumulations during the second round of play. In one embodiment, the second round of play may proceed with points accumulated by each game participant/team during the first two rounds of the draft. In essence, this mode of play will merely create a summary style of play amongst the top finishers from their respective leagues. In another embodiment, another round, such as the third round of the NFL draft, may be used in a similar manner as the first two rounds were used, in order to provide “new” competition among the participants.

Scoring may be adapted to fit specific needs or situations presented by each game played. However, in at least one embodiment, each round of the draft is divided into groups. For example, the first group of the first round of the NFL draft may be comprised of the first three draft selections. Group two may be comprised of the next five draft selections. Groups three through six may be comprised of six draft selections. Points may be awarded according to a first point value for each group within a round, for correctly identifying the exact draft selection in which a particular player was selected and a second lower point value (such as half) for each group for selecting the correct group in which the player was selected but not the specific selection number. For example, point allocations and their distribution may be as follows in one preferred embodiment:

RoundFirst Point ValueSecond Point Value

Accordingly, a game participant may predict John Jones to be the sixth selection in the first round of the draft (group two). If John Jones is selected as the sixth pick of the first round, the game participant might receive four points. However, if John Jones was selected as the seventh player of the first round, the game participant might receive two points.

It is contemplated that ties may occur among the game participants/teams. Preferably, tie breaker scenarios are put into place prior to beginning the game. In one embodiment, “wild card” players are preselected by a league official or commissioner from the available pool of prospective draftees. Game participants/teams who correctly select these wild card players will earn bonus points that may differentiate teams with otherwise identical point totals. Where additional tie breaker efforts are needed, or in place of the previously identified tie breaker method, compensatory draft picks may be used from subsequent rounds of the draft (such as the third round in the NFL draft example). Where no compensatory pick is accurately selected by a game participant/team, game participants/teams who are closest in picking the correct draft order of the compensatory selection will receive the bonus points. Where a tie still exists after one or more tie breaker rounds, the grand prize may be split between the tied game participants/teams.

It is contemplated that one embodiment of the prize breakdown could provide for eighty percent of the money received in the form of entry fees from game participants/teams could be used to pay individual league prizes. Ten percent could be allocated to the national grand prize pool and the remaining ten percent to league administrative expenses. Where twenty dollars is used as the entry fee for leagues consisting of one hundred participants/teams, a total of two thousand dollars will be collected. Sixteen hundred dollars would be allocated to the league prizes, two hundred dollars would go to the national prize pool and two hundred dollars to the administrative expenses. In this manner, one thousand dollars could be provided as the first prize for each league, four hundred dollars for second place and two hundred for third place. National prize allocation is preferably assigned according to percentages, where seventy percent could go to the national champion, twenty percent to second place and ten percent to third place.

The game may be automated in various manners through the use of computing device 100. First, system memory 104 may be provided to contain contact information for potential game participants/teams. Invitations to participate may be transmitted by the computing device 100 through various means, including e-mail over one of various networks through communications connection(s) 116. Invitations may also be transmitted through standard mail delivery, facsimile transmission, and the like. System memory may also be provided to store and manage game participant/team contact information as they register to play the game.

One or more application programs 106 may be provided to present and manage at least partially secure registration and continued game play. Interaction between remote computers 120 operated by game participants/teams may be through direct network connection, Internet, intranet, and the like. Where the Internet is used, a secure website may be provided to permit game participants/teams to register, input their draft predictions, monitor results as the draft progresses and review results of the game. Such interaction may, thus, be attained from nearly any location.

At least one application program 106 will be associated with a draft clock to provide for automated enablement and termination of draft predictions by game participants/teams. As the rounds progress, the application program 106 should permit predictions and changes thereto until a cut-off point right before actual draft selections are made. Another application program 106 should be provided to tally points attained by game participants/teams and rank them according to the point tallies. In at least one preferred embodiment, the application program will be provided to monitor multiple leagues throughout the subject draft, manage tie-breaking scenarios as described previously, and initiate one or more playoff rounds among successful league participants/teams. Preferably, the application program 106 will provide access for game participants/teams to review their progress and the game's final results real-time. Notices may also be transmitted to game participants/teams according to the aforementioned means.

Although the wine racks have been described in language that is specific to certain structures, materials, and methodological steps, it is to be understood that the invention defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific structures, materials, and/or steps described. Rather, the specific aspects and steps are described as forms of implementing the claimed invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be practiced without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended. Unless otherwise indicated, all numbers or expressions, such as those expressing dimensions, physical characteristics, etc. used in the specification (other than the claims) are understood as modified in all instances by the term “approximately.” At the very least, and not as an attempt to limit the application of the doctrine of equivalents to the claims, each numerical parameter recited in the specification or claims which is modified by the term “approximately” should at least be construed in light of the number of recited significant digits and by applying ordinary rounding techniques. Moreover, all ranges disclosed herein are to be understood to encompass and provide support for claims that recite any and all subranges or any and all individual values subsumed therein. For example, a stated range of 1 to 10 should be considered to include and provide support for claims that recite any and all subranges or individual values that are between and/or inclusive of the minimum value of 1 and the maximum value of 10; that is, all subranges beginning with a minimum value of 1 or more and ending with a maximum value of 10 or less (e.g., 5.5 to 10, 2.34 to 3.56, and so forth) or any values from 1 to 10 (e.g., 3, 5.8, 9.9994, and so forth). Expressions such as “up,” “down”, “upper,” “lower,” “horizontal,” “vertical,” “left,” “right,” and the like are used, where applicable, to provide some clarity of description when dealing with relative relationships. But, these terms are not intended to imply absolute relationships, positions, and/or orientations. For example, with respect to an object, an “upper” surface can become a “lower” surface simply by turning the object over. Nevertheless, it is still the same object.