Title:
FANTASY FOOTBALL GAME SYSTEM AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fantasy sports game system includes one or more participant terminals operable to act as a client on a network and a computer operable to act as a server on the network and to communicate with each of the participant terminals over the network. The computer includes a memory configured to store a set of instructions and a processor configured to execute the set of instructions. The set of instructions cause the processor to: receive a plurality of fantasy starting lineups for a plurality of fantasy teams from at least one participant terminal, wherein a placekicker is not included as one of the starting lineups; calculate a player point total for each player based on the received statistical information; and calculate a fantasy team score for each team by adding together the player point total for each player associated with each team.



Inventors:
Rohlffs, Derek (Menlo Park, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/408942
Publication Date:
10/29/2009
Filing Date:
03/23/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BOSKEN, CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ITALIA IP (BURBANK, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fantasy sports game system comprising: one or more participant terminals operable to act as a client on a network; a computer operable to act as a server on the network and to communicate with each of the participant terminals over the network, the computer comprising: a memory configured to store a set of instructions; and a processor configured to execute the set of instructions, wherein the set of instructions cause the processor to: receive a plurality of fantasy starting lineups for a plurality of fantasy teams from at least one participant terminal, wherein each one of the plurality of fantasy lineups corresponds to one of the plurality of fantasy teams, wherein each one of the plurality of fantasy lineups comprise a plurality of associated players, and wherein a placekicker is not included as one of the associated players; receive statistical information relating to each one of the players; calculate a player point total for each player based on the received statistical information; and calculate a fantasy team score for each team by adding together the player point total for each player associated with each team.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein each one of the players corresponds to a real-life athlete involved in a real-life athletic event.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one of the players is an athlete playing at least one position on an offensive squad of a football team.

4. The system of claim 3 wherein offensive squad positions are selected from a group comprising quarterback, running back, fullback, tailback, split end, tight end, wide receiver, and offensive lineman.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one of the players is an athlete playing at least one position on a defensive squad of a football team.

6. The system of claim 5 wherein defensive squad positions are selected from a group comprising safety, cornerback, linebacker, defensive tackle, defensive end, and defensive lineman.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein the statistical information includes yardage obtained by at least one of the players involved in at least one football game.

8. The system of claim 7 wherein the yardage includes at least one of rushing yardage, passing yardage, receiving yardage, special teams yardage, and return yardage.

9. A fantasy sports game device comprising: a memory configured to store a set of instructions; and a processor configured to execute the set of instructions, wherein the set of instructions cause the processor to: receive a plurality of fantasy starting lineups for a plurality of fantasy teams, wherein each one of the plurality of fantasy lineups corresponds to one of the plurality of fantasy teams, wherein each one of the plurality of fantasy lineups comprise a plurality of associated players, and wherein a placekicker is not included as one of the associated players; receive statistical information relating to each one of the players; calculate a player point total for each player based on the received statistical information; and calculate a fantasy team score for each team by adding together the player point total for each player associated with each team.

10. The system of claim 9 wherein each one of the players corresponds to a real-life athlete involved in a real-life athletic event.

11. The system of claim 9 wherein at least one of the players is an athlete playing at least one position on an offensive squad of a football team.

12. The system of claim 11 wherein offensive squad positions are selected from a group comprising quarterback, running back, fullback, tailback, split end, tight end, wide receiver, and offensive lineman.

13. The system of claim 9 wherein at least one of the players is an athlete playing at least one position on a defensive squad of a football team.

14. The system of claim 13 wherein defensive squad positions are selected from a group comprising safety, cornerback, linebacker, defensive tackle, defensive end, and defensive lineman.

15. The system of claim 9 wherein the statistical information includes yardage obtained by at least one of the players involved in at least one football game.

16. The system of claim 15 wherein the yardage includes at least one of rushing yardage, passing yardage, receiving yardage, special teams yardage, total team yardage and return yardage.

17. A fantasy football game comprising: creating a fantasy team having a plurality of players corresponding to one or more football positions, wherein at least one player is a placekicker; collecting statistical information relating to each one of the players; calculating a player point total for each player based on the collected statistical information, wherein a zero point total is assigned for each placekicker; and using the calculated player point total to calculate a fantasy team score.

18. The game of claim 17 wherein the statistical information includes yardage obtained by at least one of the players involved in at least one football game.

19. The game of claim 18 wherein the yardage includes at least one of rushing yardage, passing yardage, receiving yardage, special teams yardage, total team yardage and return yardage.

20. The game of claim 17 wherein the statistical information includes touchdowns scored by at least one of the players involved in at least one football game, and wherein calculating a player point total comprises assigning a value of six-points for each touchdown scored by each player.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This Non-Provisional Application claims the benefit under 35 USC 119(e) of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/047,498, filed Apr. 24, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

This application relates generally to fantasy sports games. More specifically, this application relates generally to a fantasy football system and method whereby the placekicker position is eliminated from consideration in determining a score for a fantasy team.

SUMMARY

Fantasy sports, and fantasy football in particular, has blossomed into a multi-billion dollar industry. Fantasy football typically involves creating a league of friends, family and/or acquaintances where each person acts as a “general manager” of a respective fantasy football team. Each fantasy football team is populated with several fantasy players where each fantasy player corresponds to an individual, real-life athlete participating in a real-life football game. The statistics generated by the real-life football players are converted to fantasy points whereby the points are assigned to the fantasy team(s) owning each particular player. These fantasy points may then be used to calculate team scores for each fantasy football team. In most instances, the team with the most fantasy points wins the fantasy contest.

In real-life football, placekickers are typically considered separate from the rest of the football team. The physique, skill-set and other attributes of placekickers do not typically allow them to relate well to the rest of the football team. Additionally, placekickers typically practice apart from the majority of the football team further alienating them from most of the football team. Nevertheless, placekickers have always been a part of fantasy football. Since many fans of fantasy football are also fans of football in general, many fans of fantasy football pay very little attention to placekickers for the foregoing reasons and despite this fact, placekickers can have a tremendous influence on the outcome of a fantasy football contest. Therefore, it may be desirable to have a fantasy football game where placekickers do not have such a tremendous potential influence on the outcome of a fantasy football contest.

In particular, this application discloses a fantasy sports game system comprising: one or more participant terminals operable to act as a client on a network; a computer operable to act as a server on the network and to communicate with each of the participant terminals over the network, the computer comprising: a memory configured to store a set of instructions; and a processor configured to execute the set of instructions, wherein the set of instructions cause the processor to: receive a plurality of fantasy starting lineups for a plurality of fantasy teams from at least one participant terminal, wherein each one of the plurality of fantasy lineups corresponds to one of the plurality of fantasy teams, wherein each one of the plurality of fantasy lineups comprise a plurality of associated players, and wherein a placekicker is not included as one of the associated players; receive statistical information relating to each one of the players; calculate a player point total for each player based on the received statistical information; and calculate a fantasy team score for each team by adding together the player point total for each player associated with each team.

In another embodiment, a fantasy sports game device comprises: a memory configured to store a set of instructions; and a processor configured to execute the set of instructions, wherein the set of instructions cause the processor to: receive a plurality of fantasy starting lineups for a plurality of fantasy teams, wherein each one of the plurality of fantasy lineups corresponds to one of the plurality of fantasy teams, wherein each one of the plurality of fantasy lineups comprise a plurality of associated players, and wherein a placekicker is not included as one of the associated players; receive statistical information relating to each one of the players; calculate a player point total for each player based on the received statistical information; and calculate a fantasy team score for each team by adding together the player point total for each player associated with each team.

In yet another embodiment, a method of playing a fantasy football game comprises: creating a fantasy team having a plurality of players corresponding to one or more football positions, wherein at least one player is a placekicker; collecting statistical information relating to each one of the players; calculating a player point total for each player based on the collected statistical information, wherein a zero point total is assigned for each placekicker; and using the calculated player point total to calculate a fantasy team score.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings, when considered in connection with the following description, are presented for the purpose of facilitating an understanding of the subject matter sought to be protected.

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a fantasy sports network of a first embodiment of the fantasy football system disclosed herein; and

FIG. 2 is a flow diagram of an illustrative process for playing a fantasy football game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, a fantasy sports game system 100 is depicted. The system 100 may include a server 110, a statistical information source 120, a communications network 130, and one or more participant terminals 140a-140n (collectively 140). The different elements and components of the system 100 may communicate with one another using wireless communications or hardwired connections, such as fiber optics, cable, DSL, telephone lines, and other similar connections.

The communications network 130 may include any number of networks capable of providing communications between the server 110, statistical information source 120, and terminals 140. For example, the communications network may be one or more, or any combination of, wireless networks, data or packet networks, publicly switched telephone networks (PSTN), etc.

The participant terminals 140 may include any suitable device operable to act as a client on a network. Illustrative terminals 140 include, but are not limited to, personal computers, desktop computers, laptop computers, servers, or any suitable telecommunications device, including, but not limited to, VoIP telephones, smart telephones or wireless devices, such as cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDA), communications enabled mp3 players, etc. Each terminal 140 may be configured to transmit and/or receive information to and/or from the server 110, the statistical information source 120 and/or other participant terminals 140.

The statistical information source 120 may be any suitable source of statistical information relevant to the fantasy game played. The statistical information source 120 may be a statistical repository maintained by a sports league, for example, the National Football League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, etc. Alternatively, the statistical information source 120 may be a third-party source, such as a news website, STATS, Inc. headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., or any other suitable source of statistical information. In the illustrative embodiment, the statistical information source 120 includes statistical information related to one or more real-life athletes participating in one or more real-life football games; however, it will be appreciated that the statistical information source 120 may include statistical information related to real-life and/or virtual athletes as well as any real-life and/or virtual athletic event.

The server 110 may be any server, computer or device configured to process commands from the participant terminals 140. For example, the sever 110 may be operable to receive a starting lineup for one or more fantasy teams from one or more terminals 140. Each lineup may correspond to a particular fantasy team whereby each fantasy team competes with one or more other fantasy teams in a fantasy competition. The fantasy competition may be a fantasy league, a single fantasy game, a weekly fantasy contest, a fantasy tournament, or any other suitable fantasy sports competition. Each fantasy lineup may include one or more fantasy players associated therewith. Each player may be associated with a real-life athlete participating in a real-life athletic event, such as a football game. However, it will be appreciated that each player may be associated with real-life and/or virtual athletes as well as any real-life and/or virtual athletic event. In one embodiment, at least one fantasy player is associated with an athlete playing at least one position on an offensive squad of a football team. Suitable offensive squad positions may include, without limitation, one or more quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, split ends, fullbacks, tailbacks, and offensive linemen. Also, in one embodiment, at least one fantasy player is associated with an athlete playing at least one position on a defensive squad of a football team. Suitable defensive squad positions may include, without limitation, one or more safeties, cornerbacks, linebackers, defensive tackles, defensive ends, and defensive linemen. In one embodiment, the fantasy lineups do not include placekickers.

The server 110 may also be configured to receive statistical information from the statistical information source 120, calculate player point totals therewith, and calculate a fantasy team score for each fantasy team. The server 110 may receive statistical information for each fantasy player from the statistical information source 120. The received statistical information may include, without limitation, yardage obtained by at least one of the fantasy players involved in at least one football game, touchdowns scored, etc. Suitable yardage may include, without limitation, passing yardage, rushing yardage, receiving yardage, special teams yardage, total team yardage and return yardage. Return yardage may include, without limitation, yardage obtained during a kick or punt return or yardage obtained by a defensive player after a turnover.

Once the server 110 has received the relevant statistical information from the statistical information source 120, the server 110 may calculate a player point total for each fantasy player based on the statistical information. In one embodiment, for each fantasy player, every 25 yards passing is assigned 1-point, every 10 yards rushing or receiving is assigned 1-point, and every touchdown is assigned 6-points. It will be appreciated that scoring systems employing passing yardage, rushing yardage, receiving yardage, touchdowns, turnovers, etc. are well known in the art and the present system is not limited to the forgoing illustrative scoring system. In one embodiment, any received statistical information for a placekicker is ignored and the point total for each placekicker is assigned 0-points. Thus, the placekicker does not contribute to any fantasy team. Once the player point total for each fantasy player is calculated, the server 110 may add the player point total for each player associated with a given fantasy team to obtain a fantasy team score. The server 110 may then employ the fantasy team score for each fantasy team to determine the winner of a fantasy contest.

In the illustrative embodiment, the server 110 includes a memory and a processor to accommodate the forgoing. However, it will be appreciated that the forgoing may be implemented in hardware, software, or a suitable combination of hardware and software, and which can be one or more software systems operating on a general purpose server platform. As used herein, a hardware system can include discrete semiconductor devices, an application-specific integrated circuit, a field programmable gate array or other suitable devices. A software system can include one or more objects, agents, threads, lines of code, subroutines, separate software applications, user-readable (source) code, machine-readable (object) code, two or more lines of code in two or more corresponding software applications, databases, or other suitable software architectures. In one exemplary embodiment, a software system can include one or more lines of code in a general purpose software application, such as an operating system, and one or more lines of code in a specific purpose software application. Alternatively, the functions of the server may be performed by a human user acting as a fantasy commissioner for a fantasy contest, fantasy league, etc.

Referring now to FIG. 2, a flowchart 200 of a method for playing a fantasy football game is shown. The method may be implemented by a server, wireless device, VoIP telephone, other advanced intelligence network device, or any combination thereof, generally referred to herein as the “device.” Alternatively, the method may be performed by a human user acting as a fantasy commissioner of a fantasy contest, fantasy league, etc.

The method begins with the creation of a fantasy lineup for a fantasy team (step 210). In the illustrative embodiment, the fantasy lineup has a plurality of fantasy players corresponding to one or more football positions. As discussed previously, the football positions may be one or more offensive squad positions, one or more defensive squad positions, or the like. Players for the starting lineup may be selected from a predetermined list of players, obtained in a fantasy draft, fantasy auction, or any other suitable means for providing a list of players from which to create a fantasy lineup from. In one embodiment, the fantasy lineup includes a placekicker. In an alternative embodiment, a placekicker is not included in the fantasy lineup.

Once the fantasy lineup has been created (step 210), statistical information relating to each one of the fantasy players is received or collected (step 220). The statistical information may be received or collected from a statistical repository of an athletic league or a third-party source of statistical information. The statistical information may be any suitable statistical information relevant to a fantasy game. Such statistical information may include, without limitation, passing yardage, rushing yardage, receiving yardage, touchdowns, safeties, sacks, turnovers, interceptions, fumbles, etc.

Once the statistical information has been received or collected (step 220), the device determines if a placekicker is included in the fantasy lineup (step 230). If a placekicker is included in the fantasy lineup, the device will ignore or otherwise “toss out” any received statistical information related to any placekicker (step 240) such that no point are awarded to the placekicker position. After the placekicker statistical information has been “tossed out” (step 240) or if it has been determined that a placekicker has not been included in the fantasy lineup (step 230), the device calculates a player point total for each player of the fantasy lineup based on the received statistical information (step 250).

In calculating the player point total for each player (step 250), any suitable scoring system may be employed. In one illustrative scoring system, every 25 yards passing is assigned 1-point, every 10 yards rushing or receiving is assigned 1-point, every touchdown is assigned 6-points, etc. It will, however, be appreciated that the forgoing scoring system is illustrative only and that any suitable scoring system may be employed and remain within the scope of the present invention. Additionally, as previously mentioned, if a placekicker has been included in the fantasy lineup, the player point total for each placekicker is assigned 0-points. Once the player point total for each player of the fantasy lineup has been calculated (step 250), the device may calculate a fantasy team score based on the calculated player point total from the previous step (step 260). In one embodiment, the player point totals for each player are added together to calculate a fantasy team score.

While the present disclosure has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this disclosure is not limited to the disclosed embodiments, but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.