|Publication number||US20060105827 A1|
|Application number||US 11/261,120|
|Publication date||May 18, 2006|
|Filing date||Oct 27, 2005|
|Priority date||Nov 18, 2004|
|Publication number||11261120, 261120, US 2006/0105827 A1, US 2006/105827 A1, US 20060105827 A1, US 20060105827A1, US 2006105827 A1, US 2006105827A1, US-A1-20060105827, US-A1-2006105827, US2006/0105827A1, US2006/105827A1, US20060105827 A1, US20060105827A1, US2006105827 A1, US2006105827A1|
|Inventors||Joshua Metzger, Alain Benzaken|
|Original Assignee||Gameline Llc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (16), Classifications (7), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present patent document claims the benefit of the filing date under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of Provisional U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 60/629,490, filed Nov. 18, 2004, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
The present invention relates generally to a method of playing sports related games. In particular, the present invention relates to playing a game based on statistical categories recorded in sports events that are being contested independently of the game of the present invention.
Various games exist that base game play on events that happen in actual sporting contests and the statistics that are recorded in those sporting contests. These games are commonly referred to as fantasy games or rotisserie games and are popular in sports such as football, baseball and basketball. Generally, two or more users play each other by virtually drafting, purchasing or otherwise acquiring the rights to players playing in a particular sport to form a team for each user. Statistics for each player on a team are tracked and recorded from the actual sports contests, and points are awarded to each user for certain statistical gains based on a predetermined set of rules.
In a typical fantasy baseball game, users draft different professional players and then compete in different pitching and hitting categories. The higher a user ranks in a category, the more points the user receives. If a user has the most overall points, he or she wins the league. In another example, a user can accumulate points over a specific time period during the season in a head-to-head match-up format. In this format, the user with the most head-to-head victories is the winner.
Other fantasy baseball games are run differently. In another version, games are run in a simulation manner. In this format, hitting and pitching statistics of a user's fantasy players from a specific date are entered into a formula. The formula then produces a final score that simulates a real baseball score. Users (called managers) can win by 3-1, 7-4, 4-3 or any other score. A user that scores more points than an opponent records a win and, as in Major League Baseball, accumulates wins and losses during a season in an attempt to win the league.
Most fantasy football games operate in a head-to-head format. In a typical fantasy football game, users draft players and then compete head-to-head on a weekly basis against other teams in a league. Each week they are matched against a different opponent. In that match-up, points are awarded, for example, based on yards gained, yards allowed, turnovers, touchdowns, two-point conversions, extra points and field goals. The team with the most points wins the head-to-head match-up. Teams with the most wins may then proceed to a playoff competition.
What is missing from a fantasy football game is the concept of realism. Fantasy football scores typically do not bear any relation to actual football scores. It is not uncommon for fantasy teams to score over 100 points in a single game, a feat never accomplished in the National Football League. In addition, most fantasy games provide points for certain yards gained (i.e., 1 point for every 20 yards passing). But this formula provides no value for “remainder yards” (e.g., 19 yards passing). A method is needed that synthesizes all team yards to provide for the maximum opportunity to take advantage of all yardage gained by a team and that produces a realistic football score.
Also, typically fantasy games can only be played during an existing football season. Part of the enjoyment of playing a fantasy game is the unknown of how a player will perform during a football game being played. As a result, there is little incentive for users to play off-season games that replay a prior season as users know how many points will be awarded for each performance. As a result, there is a need to create a game that can select historical football statistics at random to simulate game play.
It is an object of this invention to provide a formula for a fantasy game that produces a realistic final result that equates with an actual score of the sport on which the game is based.
It is a further object of this invention to calculate yards gained and yards allowed and translate that yardage into points by providing football style points, such as touchdowns and field goals, to produce a realistic football score.
It is a further object of this invention to enable users to maximize the scoring opportunities they can achieve from yardage by incorporating all yards into a scoring calculation.
It is a further object of this invention to enable users to play such games using either live football statistics from that day's or season's games, or use random statistics from a prior game or season.
It is a further object of this invention to play such games at any possible time during a football season or in the football off-season.
It is a further object of this invention to enable professional football teams to use this invention as a means to evaluate talent and make free agent decisions, trades and draft decisions and predict outcomes based on different personnel.
It is a further object of this invention to allow users to change their lineups in the middle of a game and to tailor their lineups to different statistics.
It is a further object of this invention to enable games where teams that do not play against each other in an actual football game can meet in a fantasy context.
It is a further object to make this invention available for users to play a game based on statistics from any level of sports including college, professional, high school or other.
As this is a game that involves players and teams, this document will be referring to players and teams that are drafted by the fantasy team owner and are players or teams from real life football—college, professional or other. When this document refers to a user or a team owner, it is referring to the person who has enrolled to play this game.
The present invention is a method of playing a game based on statistics obtained in a sports event. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the present invention relates to a method of playing a game based on statistics obtained in a football game. In one step, the game obtains statistics from at least one non-scoring category of statistics of the football game. In another step, the game converts the compiled non-scoring category of statistics into a virtual score using a conversion index. In yet another step, the game multiplies the total by a scoring multiplier to calculate a score.
In another aspect of the present invention, a method of playing a game based on statistics obtained in a football game includes a step of creating a team of players that corresponds to players participating in one or more actual football games. The game also includes the step of calculating a yardage touchdown number wherein yardage obtained by team members in said one or more actual football games is used to determine the yardage touchdown number. The game further includes calculating an actual touchdown number based upon the number of touchdowns obtained by team members in the one or more actual football games wherein the number of touchdowns obtained by team members in said one or more actual football games is used to determine the actual touchdown number. The game also includes the step of calculating a total touchdown number, wherein at least a portion the yardage touchdown number and at least a portion of the actual touchdown number are components of the total touchdown number. The game also includes the step of calculating a score wherein a component of the score is the result of multiplying the total touchdown number by a score index.
In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, the invention is a method for playing a simulated football game based upon actual football games. In one step, the game creates a team of players that corresponds to players participating in one or more actual football games. In another step, the game calculates an offensive yardage number wherein yardage obtained by offensive team members in said one or more actual football games is used to determine the offensive yardage number. In yet another step the game calculates a defensive yardage number wherein yardage allowed by a team defense in said one or more actual football games is used to determine the defensive yardage number. In another step the game calculates an average yardage number by taking the average of the offensive yardage number from a user team and the defensive yardage number from an opponent team. In still another step the game calculates a yardage touchdown number by dividing the average yardage number by a touchdown index. In an additional step the game calculates an actual touchdown number based upon the number of touchdowns obtained by team members in the one or more football games wherein the number of touchdowns obtained by team members in said one or more actual football games is used to determine the actual touchdown number. In yet another step, the game calculates a fantasy touchdown number wherein the yardage touchdown number and actual touchdown number are used to determine the fantasy touchdown number. In still another step, the game calculates a total touchdown number wherein the fantasy touchdown number is used to determine the total touchdown number. In another step, the game calculates a total field goal number wherein the field goals obtained by team members in said one or more actual football games is used to determine the total field goal number. And in still another step, the game calculates a score wherein the total touchdown number and total field goal number are used to determine the score.
In accordance with yet another aspect of the present invention, the invention is a method of playing a fantasy football game including the step of identifying a number of yards obtained by one or more actual football players who are a part of a fantasy football team. The game further includes the step of determining a number of touchdowns a fantasy team earns wherein the number of yards obtained by one or more players on a team is used to determine the number of touchdowns. The game further includes the step of determining a number of field goals a fantasy team earns wherein the number of yards obtained by one or more players on a team is used to determine the number of field goals.
In accordance with still another aspect of the present invention, the invention is method of playing a fantasy football game including the steps of creating a team having offensive roster positions corresponding to football positions wherein at least one roster position corresponds to the quarterback position. The game further includes the step of selecting an actual team from which offensive statistics are collected. The game further includes the step of collecting statistics for the at least one quarterback position from any of the one or more quarterbacks on the actual team. The game still further includes the step of using the statistics collected for the at least one quarterback position to calculate a score.
Advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description of the preferred embodiments of the invention which have been shown and described by way of illustration. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other and different embodiments, and its details are capable of modification in various respects. Accordingly, the drawings and description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive.
The games of the present invention are preferably played using a computer, or other data processing device. In one example, users come to a website and enroll by selecting a league they wish to join. Users have the option of creating their own private league, joining an existing private league at the request of that league's creator, or joining any public league. League sizes are generally ten teams, but can be larger or smaller.
In another example, the game can be offered as a piece of software that can reside on a computer. In this example, the software allows for the creation of a league by the computer user. The software allows the computer user to play the game with other league members. The software also allows the user to enter data to create fictional players having predetermined characteristics or fictional teams having players who are not on the same team in reality to do research into player personnel moves or to predict potential outcomes. Additionally, games can also be played without the use of a computer, wherein game play and resolution can be calculated manually by the users themselves.
Each user creates a team that is made up of players. Just as teams in sporting events have different positions that players fill, teams of the present game can be organized according to a predetermined number of positions or roster spots. For example, teams will be organized according to a predetermined number of football positions, such as one or more quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, kickers or tight ends. Additionally, teams may also have “team positions” wherein a user collects certain statistics from an entire desired football team. This is especially useful to allow a user to collect defensive or special teams statistics without needing to individually draft all the players of a defense or special teams unit. There may be multiple “team position” roster spots to allow a user to have a separate team defense position and special teams position, or there may be a combined team defense and special teams position. Other positions may also be used. In a preferred embodiment, a team may have eight roster positions of one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one kicker, and one team position for defense and special teams. There also can be individual positions for a team defense position and a special teams position. Leagues may also allow teams to have reserve or “bench” positions. In this embodiment, a team may have eight “starting” positions and four or more reserve positions. As will be explained below, statistics will be recorded and processed for these starting positions to arrive at a team score. The reserve positions allow for team owners to substitute in players during a season or even in the middle of a game to account for injuries, favorable match-ups or weeks where players are on their NFL team's “bye” week (and thus are not playing that week), or for poor performances by a starter. If a league has been organized so that teams do not have reserve positions, all positions on a team are starting positions.
In the present invention, one of the first steps for the user after enrolling and joining a league is to create a team according to the predetermined number of positions. One preferred way to create a team is to virtually “draft” players. In one embodiment, players are assigned a salary value and users must draft players within a salary cap. In this embodiment, teams may draft different positions over a period of several days wherein the league members can draft for a different position on each day. For example, quarterbacks may be drafted the first day, the running backs may be drafted the second day, and so on. This process of drafting continues until all positions of a team are filled. In this embodiment, the draft is spread out over several days to allow users to examine their remaining salary after each round and make draft decisions in an informed manner. Players or teams for the draft will be the pool of players playing in that particular game. That is, if the game is for an existing football season the players will be from that season. If it is a historical version of the game, the players eligible to be selected will be players who played in previous seasons.
Each team owner will be given a certain amount of money to spend on the players and teams that constitute their roster. A cap will be determined so that no user will be able to spend the maximum amount on players for each position. In one embodiment, salaries for each player and team are determined by the rankings of each fantasy user. The higher each user ranks a certain player or team, the more the player or team will cost.
In one embodiment of a draft, the game computer calculates each player's (or team's, when drafting a “team position”) salary before each round begins. The salaries are the direct result of where all members of the league have ranked the players. Salaries are based on a predetermined multiplier that corresponds to a ranked position. In a preferred embodiment:
Rank Multiplier 1 $500,000 2 $480,000 3 $460,000 4 $440,000 . . . 23 $60,000 24 $40,000 25 $20,000
In the above embodiment, for each No. 1 ranking a player receives, the player's salary is multiplied by the No.1 ranking multiplier, $500,000. If every team in a ten team league, for example, ranked the same player No. 1, that player's salary would be $5,000,000 ($500,000×10 teams), the maximum salary in the game of the present invention. For each position in the top 25 lower than No. 1 a player is ranked, his salary is reduced by $20,000, e.g. $480,000 for No. 2, $460,000 for No. 3, and so on down to $20,000 for No. 25. Players that are ranked below the top 25 have the minimum $10,000 added to their salary. If a player is not ranked in the top 25 by any team, his salary would be $100,000 ($10,000×10 teams), the minimum salary in the present embodiment.
In this embodiment, if a player is ranked No. 1 by five team owners, No. 2 by three team owners, No. 4 by one team owner, and No. 7 by one team owner, that player's salary for the purpose of being acquired by a team owner would be $4,760,000. This is calculated as shown below:
Users may set salary caps for each position in order to strategically save money for particular desired players. This feature enhances the challenge of the game because a user may skillfully rank players so that he can possibly obtain a lesser known player for a lower value while simultaneously raising the cost of another player that he does not desire. In this regard, although a user may have strategically ranked an undesired player as the No. 1 player overall, the user will likely not obtain the undesired player because the player's value will become too high for the position salary cap set by the user. The position salary cap thus saves the user from obtaining an undesired player that will take up too much of the user's overall salary cap.
Users may also set salary caps for each position and attempt to save money for the regular season or for bidding on free agents. Free agents are any players not selected in the draft or any player who joins a team during the season but was not on a team at the start of the season. Any free agents obtained or any trades made must be made within the confines of the salary cap.
Although the above embodiment describes a draft having a salary cap, there are other ways that users draft, purchase or otherwise obtain rights to a player. For example, players can alternate drafting. In a ten-team league, for example, a first team will draft first in the first round and 20th in the second round, and a second team will draft second in the first round and 19th in the second round. This draft method continues for all teams until all players are selected. In addition, a draft can take place via an auction where sealed or live bids are submitted and the player is given to the team with the highest bid.
The Sources of the Relevant Statistical Categories
The game of the present invention can be played in two modes: “live mode” and “off-season mode.” In “live mode,” virtual games between team owners are played during a football season and use statistics recorded from actual football games that are played during the season. In this mode, the virtual games are generally played once a week in a game that is based on a current actual football season. In this live mode, virtual games are played in game cycles according to the schedule of the corresponding actual football season. For example, for a game based on college football, games according to the present invention may collect statistics from actual college games occurring between Thursday (or sometimes Tuesday or Wednesday) and Saturday of a given week. Similarly, for a game based on NFL football, games according to the present invention may collect statistics from actual NFL games occurring between Sunday (or sometimes Thursday or Saturday) and Monday of a given week.
In this live mode, before a virtual game cycle is to begin, team owners must set a starting lineup for their teams. In a preferred embodiment, a starting lineup is composed of one Quarterback, two Running Backs, three Wide Receivers, one Tight End, one Kicker, and one Team position (for Special Teams and Defense).
The game of the present invention processes the actual offensive, defensive and special teams statistics from each element of a team owner's roster from the actual football games of the week upon which the game is based. Statistical categories for individual players include passing yardage, receiving yardage, rushing yardage, touchdowns, two point conversions, field goals missed and made, extra points missed and made, interceptions, fumbles, interception return yards and fumble return yards. Other statistical categories may also be used.
In a preferred embodiment, for all offensive players of a particular virtual team, rushing, passing and receiving yards are recorded and processed. The number of touchdowns that the members of a team have scored in their respective actual football games are also recorded and processed. Likewise, the number of turnovers made by any player and any two point conversions that any player on a team achieved is recorded. With regard to statistical categories for a kicker, the game records the number of field goals made and missed in an actual game, and the number of extra points made and missed in the actual game.
Statistics for defensive and special teams are also recorded. Preferably, the game records actual game statistics such as yards allowed by a team defense, sack yards by a team defense, penalty yards by a team (all penalty yards, or separate offensive, defensive and special teams penalty yards), safeties by a team defense, kickoff and punt return yardage by special teams, safeties caused by a team defense, interceptions or fumbles caused by a team defense, yardage from returned fumbles or interceptions or blocked field goals or punts and defensive or special teams touchdowns.
In the live mode, the statistics for a particular cycle are recorded for each virtual team. At the completion of the cycle (for example after a Monday night game in the NFL), the statistics are compiled for each virtual team. After the statistics are processed to create a score (which is explained in more detail below), the score of one virtual team is compared against a score from another virtual team to determine a winner. In one embodiment, scores are processed in real time or after each day of a game cycle so that a team owner can assess how his team is doing and can make changes and adjustments as required.
In “off-season mode,” statistics are not recorded from actual games that are presently being played during a current season. Instead, statistics are recorded from actual sporting events that have happened in the past. In this embodiment, games can be played more often than once a week or during an off-season.
Scoring occurs in the same manner as in the live mode; however, the statistics on which the scoring is based are retrieved from historical sporting events. Typically, statistics for an entire season are stored and are then used in the “off-season mode” game. For every appearance by a player or team in a game, a random statistic is selected for that particular player or team from the available pool of all of that player or team's statistics for the year. Once a statistic is selected it is marked as used and cannot be reused in that same game. A standard random number generator can be used to select statistics in this way.
After statistics are recorded for each cycle, the statistics are processed to arrive at a virtual team score through a series of steps. The steps for creating a team score according to one preferred embodiment are shown in
Offensive Yardage Number
In this preferred embodiment, offensive statistics are processed in a first step to calculate an Offensive Yardage number 10. Yardage, as opposed to touchdowns for example, is a statistic that does not produce points for a team in actual football games. In the present invention, however, yardage, which is usually considered a non-scoring statistical category, is converted into a virtual scoring statistic in order to produce points for the fantasy team.
According to a preferred embodiment, the components of the Offensive Yardage number 10 are a team's rushing yardage, passing yardage, receiving yardage, special teams yardage and an adjustment yardage based on the number of turnovers committed by members of the team.
In this embodiment, all rushing yardage for each starting player on a team who gained at least one rushing yard is summed. This sum represents the total rushing yardage for a user's team.
Passing yardage and receiving yardage for each starting player who received at least one passing yard or receiving yard are also summed. Because each completion in an actual game is accompanied by a reception, however, the game of the present invention preferably does not simply sum the yardage. In one embodiment, passing and receiving yards can first be weighted according to a predetermined weighting to arrive at an average. For example, an actual team that has a quarterback who throws a pass for 20 yards to a receiver also on the team who gained 20 yards on the play will not receive 40 yards (20 yards for the passing yardage and 20 yards for receiving yardage) for the play. Thus, in the fantasy context, passing and receiving yardage may be adjusted to approximate actual game statistics. In a preferred embodiment, the passing and receiving yards by players on a virtual team may be weighted 50/50, thus giving the virtual team 20 yards total for that play. Weightings different than 50/50 may also be used. Virtual teams may not necessarily have all quarterbacks and receivers from the same team in an actual game. As a result, the user may choose to select a higher weighting (e.g., 75%) for passing yardage and a lower weighting (e.g., 25%) for receiving yardage.
For example, during a given cycle, a virtual team owner may have Peyton Manning as its starting quarterback. The team owner may also have three wide receivers, two running backs and a tight end. Peyton Manning may have 368 passing yards in a particular actual game. The virtual team's receivers' total receiving yardage, however, may be 172 yards. Using a 50/50 weighting, the total passing and receiving yards is 270 yards. This is calculated according to the following: (368*0.5)+(172*0.5)=270. Alternatively, because a team receives all the passing yards for a particular quarterback, but not necessarily all the receiving yards for the receivers on that quarterback's team (because a quarterback is likely to throw the ball to more than six receivers during a game and it is unlikely that a team owner will have all six receivers), the game may apply a 75/25 weighting, or some other higher weighting, to the higher yardage category. Using 75/25 weighting for the above example, the total weighted passing and receiving yards is 319. This is calculated according to the following: (368*0.75)+(172*0.25)=319. Different weightings can be selected in addition to the 75/25 or 50/50 weighting. Weightings can be manually selected by users or can be selected on a league characteristic such as the number of teams in each league. For instance, in leagues with ten teams, the talent pool will be quite strong and hence may have a lower differentiation in weighting as opposed to a twenty-team league where the weighting of statistics can be much more important as the talent for each team is much weaker.
In addition, the Offensive Yardage number includes special teams' return yardage achieved by the football team that the team owner has selected as his team position. In this embodiment, the return yardage that is obtained by any player on the special teams unit of the team roster position will be recorded and processed as a component of the Offensive Yardage number. In an embodiment where a team owner has separate defense team and special teams roster positions, kick off and punt return yardage is calculated from the special teams roster position.
In addition to recording and summing yardage from offensive categories, the number of turnovers committed by the players of a team may be used as a component to calculate the Offensive Yardage number. In this embodiment, the game may subtract from the offensive yards gained yardage for each turnover committed by an offensive player on a user's team by multiplying the number of turnovers by a Turnover Index. In a preferred embodiment, the Turnover Index may be 20 yards. For example, if a team owner's quarterback throws three interceptions, 60 yards total may be deducted for the three interceptions. The amount of yardage that would be deducted can be set before a game to a default by the game, can be manually changed by a league commissioner or by the two opponents, or can be dependent upon another variable, such as weather for a hometown. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, the Offensive Yardage number 10 can be calculated according to the following general formula:
In another step, the game computes a team's defensive statistics to form a Defensive Yardage allowed number 20. All of the defensive statistics come from the team owner's “team position” in his lineup. The defensive statistics obtained by the team the user has chosen for his “team position” are used for calculating the Defensive Yardage number. Alternatively, in an embodiment where a team owner has separate defense team and special teams roster positions, defensive statistics are calculated from the defense team roster position.
In one embodiment, components to compute the Defensive Yardage number 20 include a team owner's team defensive yardage allowed, penalty yards, sack yardage obtained by that team defense and turnovers caused by the team defense. In this embodiment, the game records and sums the team defensive yardage allowed statistic and the team's penalty yards. Sack yardage obtained by that team defense may be then subtracted if the team defense yardage statistic does not include sack yardage. Yardage for each interception or fumble recovered, such as 20 yards for each turnover where the Turnover Index is 20 yards, may also be subtracted. As in the offensive category, the amount of yardage that would be deducted can be set to a default by the game or can be manually changed by a league or by the two opponents before a game, or by some other variable such as weather. Additionally, interception return yardage and fumble return yardage may also be subtracted. Further, punt block and field goal block return yardage may also be subtracted. After these defensive statistics have been processed, a Defensive Yardage number 20 is obtained. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, the Defensive Yardage number 20 can be calculated according to the following general formula:
Below are presented the calculations for the Defensive Yardage numbers 20 for User A and User B in the simulated game based on statistics from
In the next step of a game according to a preferred embodiment, an Average Yardage number 30 is calculated using Offensive Yardage numbers and Defensive yardage numbers. In a preferred embodiment, the game adds the Offensive Yardage of User A and the Defensive Yardage from User B and divides that number by two to calculate an Average Yardage Number 30. The same process is done for User B by adding User B's offensive yards gained and User A yards allowed to come up with User B's Average Yardage Number. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, the Average Yardage 30 can be calculated according to the following general formula:
Average Yardage=(Offensive Yards+Opponents Defensive Yards)/2
Below are presented the calculations for the Average Yardage numbers 30 for User A and User B in the simulated game based on statistics from
In another example, User A gains 443 yards in offense and allows 350 yards in defense. User B gains 526 yards in offense and allows 422 yards in defense. Each user's Average Yardage Number is calculated in the following:
User A's Average Yardage Number is (443+422)/2=433
User B's Average Yardage Number is (526+350)/2=438
In the above calculation, User A's Average Yardage Number was rounded up. In variations, these calculations can be rounded up, rounded down or left as a fraction.
Yardage Touchdowns Number
In the next step, a virtual scoring statistic is created by converting the Average Yardage number into a Yardage Touchdown number. The Yardage Touchdowns number 40 is calculated by dividing the Average Yardage number 30 by a Touchdown Index number. In one embodiment, this number is rounded down to the nearest integer. The Touchdown Index number represents the average yardage needed to obtain a touchdown. The Touchdown Index can be chosen in several ways. In this embodiment, a Touchdown Index of 100 was chosen because it has been found that professional football teams scored a point for approximately every 16 yards gained by the team. As a result, a virtual touchdown, or Yardage Touchdown, occurs somewhere between 96 and 112 yards. For each Yardage Touchdown, seven points are awarded to a team owner. Because 100 yards is the length of a football field and is a number users can comprehend easily, 100 is advantageously used as a Touchdown Index and also has support in football statistics.
Thus, in a preferred embodiment, the Yardage Touchdowns number 40 can be calculated according to the following general formula:
Yardage Touchdowns=(Average Yardage/Touchdown Index) (rounded to nearest lower Integer)
Below are presented the calculations for the Yardage Touchdowns numbers 40 for User A and User B in the simulated game based on statistics from
The next step is to calculate the Yardage Field Goals number 50. In one embodiment, the Yardage Field Goals number is calculated by using the yards remaining from the Average Yardage number 30 after Yardage Touchdowns have been calculated. In the simulated game, User A has “used up” 400 yards (number of touchdowns multiplied by the Touchdown Index) and User B has “used up” 300 yards to obtain its number of virtual touchdowns. The remaining yards are divided by a Field Goal Index number to obtain the number of Yardage Field Goals a team has obtained. Preferably, the divisor is rounded down to the nearest integer so that the final score is not a fraction. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, Yardage Field Goals can be calculated according to the following general formula:
Below are presented the calculations for the Yardage Field Goals numbers 50 for User A and User B in the simulated game based on statistics from
In this simulated game, User A receives 1 Yardage Field Goal and User B receives 0 Yardage Field Goals.
In the above example, the game first calculated the Average Yardage Number and divided it by a Touchdown Index of 100 to obtain the number of Yardage Touchdowns. The remaining yardage was then divided by a Field Goal Index of 35 to obtain the number of Yardage Field Goals.
Alternatively, the game can use different Index number values and different ways to determine the number of touchdowns and field goals a user accumulates. Index numbers may be based on a number of different statistics from previous years. Additionally, instead of looking at total points teams scored, the Index number values may also be based on total touchdowns and field goals teams scored in the NFL. In this instance, for years 2002 and 2003, for example, the Touchdown and Field Goal Index would round to 150 yards for each touchdown and 225 yards for each field goal. It is noted that the Field Goal Index is much higher than the previous embodiment's Field Goal Index. In the present embodiment, yardage is not subtracted after calculating Yardage Touchdowns. Instead, the Yardage Field Goals number is calculated by dividing the Average Yardage by the higher Yardage Field Goal Index.
In a simulated game based on the statistics of
In either embodiment, a Yardage Touchdown number and a Yardage Field Goal number is represented by the number of touchdowns or field goals obtained.
Actual Touchdowns and Actual Field Goals
In the next step, scoring categories of statistics, such as touchdowns and field goals, are compiled. In this embodiment, the actual number of touchdowns obtained by each offensive player on a team during an actual game and the actual number of field goals obtained by the team kicker during an actual game is recorded and summed. In this step, an Actual Touchdowns number 60 and Actual Field Goals number 70 is calculated. Below presents the data for Actual touchdowns 60 and Actual Field Goals 70 numbers, respectively, for User A and User B in the simulated game based on statistics from
User A Actual Touchdowns=2
User B Actual Touchdowns=1
User A Actual Field Goals=0
User B Actual Field Goals=0
In another preferred embodiment, passing touchdowns and receiving touchdowns may be weighted similar to a manner in which passing yardage and receiving yardage may be weighted. For example, a weighting of 0.75 may be applied to passing touchdowns and a weighting of 0.25 may be applied to receiving touchdowns to calculate a total passing and receiving touchdown number. In yet another preferred embodiment, Actual Touchdowns 60 can be calculated by summing all the touchdowns that a user's roster has received including all touchdowns from offensive positions, special teams, and defensive team touchdowns.
Fantasy Touchdowns Number
In the next step, a Fantasy Touchdowns number 80 may be calculated by adding the Actual Touchdowns number achieved by a team owner's players with the Yardage Touchdowns number. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, the Fantasy Touchdowns number can be calculated according to the following general formula:
Fantasy Touchdowns=Yardage Touchdowns+Actual Touchdowns
Below are presented the calculations for the Fantasy Touchdowns numbers 80 for User A and User B in the simulated game based on statistics from
The Yardage Field Goal number is added to the Actual Field Goal number obtained by the team kicker to create a Fantasy Field Goals number 90. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, a Fantasy Field Goals number can be calculated according to the following general formula:
Fantasy Field Goals=Yardage Field Goals+Actual Field Goals
Below are presented the calculations for the Fantasy Field Goals numbers 90 for User A and User B in the simulated game based on statistics from
The Fantasy Touchdowns and Fantasy Field Goals numbers are then divided by two to calculate a Total Touchdowns number 100 and a Total Field Goals number 110. This total number is preferably rounded down to a whole number if it is not a whole number. The total number may also be rounded up. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, Total Touchdowns and Total Field Goals numbers can be calculated according to the following general formulas:
Total Touch Downs=(Fantasy Touchdowns/2)(rounded to lower integer)
Total Field Goals=(Fantasy Field Goals/2)(rounded to lower integer)
Below are presented the calculations for Total Touchdowns 100 and Total Field Goals 110 numbers, respectively, for User A and User B in the simulated game based on statistics from
The game now has all the data to compute a final score. Results are multiplied by Scoring Multipliers which represent fundamental scoring categories in the sport. In the preferred embodiment, Total Touchdowns are multiplied by the Scoring Multiplier 7. Total Field Goals are multiplied by the Scoring Multiplier 3. In addition to these calculations, two points may be added for each safety obtained by a team defense and one point may be added for each two point conversion a user's offensive player obtains. Only one point is added because a touchdown is assumed to be 7 points, not six. Additionally, one point is deducted for each extra point missed by the user's kicker. Once all these numbers are added, a Score 120 is obtained. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, the Score may be calculated according to the following general formula:
Below are presented the calculations for the Scores 120 for User A and User B in the simulated game based on statistics from
In the above example, User A has 21 and User B has 14. This Score may be the final score to determine the outcome of the game, or further calculations may be done, such as adding a Secret Weapon number (explained below), to obtain a Final Score.
Alternative Methods for Processing Statistics
In another preferred embodiment, touchdowns for a user's team are calculated only from Yardage Touchdowns (regardless of how many actual touchdowns the players on a user's team have gained). In this embodiment, a user's Total Touchdowns number is the Yardage Touchdowns number. In the simulated game based on statistics from
Similarly, field goals for a user's team may be calculated only using Yardage Field Goals. In this embodiment, a user's Total Field Goals number is the Yardage Field Goals number. In the simulated game based on statistics from
In another embodiment, the Total Field Goals number may be calculated in another manner. With reference to
In this embodiment, the number of Total Touchdowns is multiplied by the Touchdown Index to obtain a yardage from Total Touchdowns. This yardage is subtracted from the Offensive Yardage number 210. The remaining yardage is used to calculate Yardage Field Goals as disclosed above. For example where:
Offensive Yardage=447, and
yardage from Total Touchdowns=300
In this example, the remaining yardage to determine field goal yardage is 147 yards (447−300). This number is divided by the Field Goal Index, for example 35, and rounded down to the nearest integer to obtain the Yardage Field Goal of 4. Total Field Goals are then determined as disclosed above in with reference to the simulated game.
In another embodiment, Total Touchdowns may be calculated in a different manner. In this embodiment, the game is played generally the same as previously described, except the game selects the lower of the Yardage Touchdowns and Actual Touchdowns to calculate Total Touchdowns instead of averaging the Yardage Touchdowns and Actual Touchdowns.
In still another embodiment, team owners will be required to select their “home field.” A team owner's weather at his “home field” can then be used to influence points. In this embodiment, the game imports weather conditions from an owner's home field. If the owner's home field is a dome, there will be no change in the points awarded. If the owner's home field is an open air stadium and is experiencing snow or rain, however, the game may use different calculations to produce a lower score that would be likely in the case of bad weather. For example, bad weather could cause the turnover index to increase, cause the passing weighting to be lower or cause the touchdown and field goal indexes to increase.
In yet another embodiment, instead of rounding down certain categories of points, such as Yardage Touchdowns, to the lowest integer, the game may leave categories as fractional numbers, calculate by rounding up to the nearest integer, or may use some combination of the three for various statistics. For example, in the embodiment where passing and receiving weightings are applied to actual touchdowns, fractional numbers may be used prior to the calculation of Total Touchdowns, which may ultimately increase the number of Total Touchdowns awarded to a team than if the numbers were rounded down as described above.
In another embodiment, users have the additional feature of having a “secret weapon” each week to try to obtain additional points or hold the opponent to fewer points. This feature is suitable for any embodiment of the game. The Secret Weapon allows a user to “override” certain calculations to obtain a benefit from the strengths of the user's team. There are four different Secret Weapons available for users: Actual Field Goals, Actual Touchdowns; Yardage Touchdowns; and Team Defense. Each Secret Weapon represents a different variable used in calculating the score. A team owner may select Actual Field Goals as a Secret Weapon if the owner believes the field goal kicker will kick a relatively large number of field goals in his game that cycle (or from the random stat pool). Because Field Goal Yardage is a component of Total Field Goals, the Total Field Goals number may be quite low for a cycle when compared with the Actual Field Goals number. By selecting Actual Field Goals as the Secret Weapon, the user will be allowed to use the Actual Field Goals number as the Total Field Goals number.
Alternatively, a team owner may select Actual Touchdowns if he believes his offensive players and team will score relatively large number of touchdowns that week as compared to the Total Touchdown number. Further, a team owner would select Yardage Touchdowns if he believes his average yards for that week will be very high and that he may not get credit for that because his Total Touchdown number will be low.
In addition, a Team Defense Secret Weapon may be selected if the user believes his opponent is an offensive powerhouse and may get credit for more points than just Yardage Touchdowns would provide. In this embodiment, a user's strong Team Defense may be used to counteract his opponent's powerful offense. A user's strong Team Defense may cause his opponent's Average Yardage to be relatively low. A user may then remove touchdowns from an opponent's score if he believes that the opponent's team will score more Actual Touchdown than Yardage Touchdowns as a result of the relatively low Average Yardage. Under the Team Defense secret weapon, if User B selects Team Defense as his Secret Weapon, the game looks at the calculation of:
Team Defense Calculation=User A Average Yardage−(User A Total Touchdowns*Touchdown Index)
If the Team Defense Calculation number is negative, User A's score will be reduced. In a preferred embodiment, any negative number will reduce User A's score by 7. Alternatively, the amount of score reduction may be proportional to the negative number of the Team Defense Calculation.
In one example of the application of the Team Defense Secret Weapon, User A in a particular game against User B may accumulate 430 Average Yardage and 10 Actual Touchdowns. User A would be awarded 4 Yardage Touchdowns (using a Touchdown Index of 100). By taking the average of Yardage Touchdowns and Actual Touchdowns, User A's Total Touchdowns would therefore be 7. In the Team Defense Calculation:
Because the Team Defense Calculation is negative, Team A's score will be reduced, for example, by 7 points.
Any points from a team's Secret Weapon will adjust the scores as shown in
Additional Examples of Game Play
An example of games according to alternative preferred embodiments disclosed herein are shown at
Instead of drafting players to play each position, the game can be structured so that fantasy users draft only teams and not players. For example, instead of selecting Peyton Manning and other individual players, a team owner may select the New York Jets. In this approach, team owners select an entire team from which to collect statistics. For example, where a team owner selects the Jets as his entire team, the team owner will receive all rushing, passing, receiving, and other offensive and defensive statistics that are achieved by the Jets. In another variation, the team owner may only be allowed to draft individual Jets players from which statistics will be collected. In this embodiment, the team owner will only be awarded statistics for Jets players that he has drafted.
In the team concept, entire teams play against each other. As an example, the Jets could play the Giants in a virtual game even though they may not be playing against each other that week in the NFL in an actual game, or at all during the season. Statistics are accumulated based on categories as explained above and a final result is achieved.
In another team embodiment, instead of drafting individual players to play each position, the game can be structured so that fantasy users may draft a “team position” for one or more roster positions, preferably offensive positions. In this embodiment, a “team position” for a particular position allows the user to collect statistics for players who play that position on a particular actual team. For example, instead of drafting Peyton Manning, a user may draft the “Indianapolis Quarterback” position. During game play, the user will then collect statistics associated with whatever player is playing quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. Users may draft team positions for all positions on a fantasy roster.
Users can play in a head-to-head format or in a bracket style tournament format. In a head-to-head format, the participants accumulate wins or losses. In a bracket style tournament, the winner may advance to a next round. The winners advance and the losers are eliminated until one team has won the championship.
In still another embodiment, users may change lineups in the middle of a game, or during a game cycle, and can tailor lineups to different offensive and defensive statistics or replace an injured player. Users can set a reserve roster such that these players will appear if an injury has removed a player from the game in which he is playing. This adds managerial control to the game and removes an element, injuries, that are out of the coach's control. In addition, users can set a minimum number of passes (for Quarterbacks) rushes or receptions (for Running Backs), receptions (for Wide Receivers and Tight Ends) and field goal attempts (for Kickers). If that number is not exceeded, users can select a reserve player as a substitute.
Users may play the game of the present invention based on statistics of any level of sports including college, professional, high school or other.
The game can also be offered as a software tool to enable professional football teams to use this invention as a means to evaluate talent and make free agent decisions, trades and draft decisions. For example, a team can evaluate a running back who is a free agent or who may be available in a trade. In this tool embodiment, a team knows that a player of a different team gained 1200 yards in a previous season. The leading rusher for that team however only gained 800 yards. The team can simulate all of its games from the previous season using the statistics from the 1200 yard rusher's game instead of the 800 yard rusher's games. This allows the team to analyze how its won-loss record may have changed.
While preferred embodiments of the invention have been described, it should be understood that the invention is not so limited and modifications may be made without departing from the invention. The scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims, and all systems that come within the meaning of the claims, either literally or by equivalence, are intended to be embraced therein.
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|Cooperative Classification||A63F2300/61, G06Q50/34, A63F13/10|
|European Classification||G06Q50/34, A63F13/10|
|Oct 27, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: GAMELINE LLC, CONNECTICUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:METZGER, JOSHUA E.;BENZAKEN, ALAIN;REEL/FRAME:017155/0796;SIGNING DATES FROM 20051012 TO 20051021