Patent application title: METHOD FOR PLAYING FANTASY SPORTS
Robin Mark Robinson (Wills Point, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63F924FI
Class name: Including means for processing electronic data (e.g., computer/video game, etc.) in a game including a simulated projectile (e.g., bullet, missile, ball, puck, etc.) simulated court game or athletic event (e.g., soccer, basketball, etc.)
Publication date: 2012-10-25
Patent application number: 20120270614
A method is provided for playing a fantasy sport, where the fantasy sport
corresponds to an actual sport in which players have specified positions.
Fantasy team rosters are built by selecting names of players so that the
roster has a predetermined number of players at each position; these
selections are made without other restrictions. Fantasy team scores
correspond to actual performance of the players on that team's roster.
The players are ranked in accordance with the point value corresponding
to actual performance of each player. The highest-ranking player at each
position is identified (over a week's games and/or a season's games or
playoffs). If any fantasy team is determined to have the highest-ranking
players at all of the positions, that fantasy team is characterized as a
perfect fantasy team, and a bonus prize may be awarded to that perfect
1. A method for playing a fantasy sport, the fantasy sport corresponding
to an actual sport in which players have specified positions, the method
comprising: building a fantasy team roster by selecting names of players
so that the roster has a predetermined number of players at each of a
predetermined set of positions, said selecting being performed without
other restrictions; assigning a score to each fantasy team, the score
being a total of point values corresponding to actual performance of the
players named on the roster of that fantasy team; and ranking all of the
players named on each fantasy team roster at each position in accordance
with the point value corresponding to actual performance of each player.
2. A method according to claim 1, further comprising comparing the scores of a plurality of fantasy teams, and awarding a prize to the highest-scoring fantasy team.
3. A method according to claim 1, further comprising identifying the highest-ranking player at each position; determining whether the roster of any fantasy team has the highest-ranking players at all of the positions, such fantasy team being characterized as a perfect fantasy team; and awarding a bonus prize to said perfect fantasy team.
4. A method according to claim 2, wherein the actual sport has games scheduled for specified time periods over a season for said sport, and said comparing further comprises comparing the scores for the fantasy teams relating to actual games played during one or more of said time periods.
5. A method according to claim 4, wherein said comparing further comprises comparing cumulative scores for the fantasy teams relating to all the actual games played during the season.
6. A method according to claim 3, wherein the actual sport has games scheduled for specified time periods over a season for said sport, and said determining further comprises determining whether a perfect fantasy team exists with respect to actual games played during one or more of said time periods.
7. A method according to claim 6, wherein said determining further comprises determining whether a perfect fantasy team exists with respect to all the actual games played during the season.
8. A method according to claim 1, wherein the actual sport is any fantasy sport.
9. A method according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of fantasy teams are formed and comprise a fantasy league.
10. A method according to claim 9, further comprising determining rules for the fantasy league, wherein said rules regarding player selection are limited to specifying said set of positions and specifying a number of players to be named for each position on each fantasy team roster.
BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
 1. Field of the Disclosure
 This disclosure relates to fantasy sports, and more particularly to a method for organizing fantasy sports teams, determining prize winners, and awarding bonus prizes.
 2. Description of Related Art
 Fantasy sports has become widely popular and in particular is played by many people online. Each player becomes the owner/manager of his/her own team, and tracks success of the team based on the real-life on-field performance of the players chosen for the fantasy team. Leagues of fantasy teams generally have rules governing picking teams, evaluating teams' performance, and awarding prizes.
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,371,855 discloses a system for providing an interactive sports game to participants forming fantasy sports teams made up of actual players. The system accepts from each participant an initial selection and purchase of players to form the participant's fantasy sports team, each participant purchasing the players using game value units allocated to that participant. The number of game value units associated with each player varies in correlation with the demand of the participants for that player.
 U.S. Pat. Application Pub. No. 20100137057 describes a fantasy sports game with a league of fantasy teams. Teams are filled through a player draft of active players followed by ranking each drafted fantasy team utilizing current season player statistics in multiple predefined categories.
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,669,565 discloses a method of conducting a fantasy sports game involving picking winning teams in a tournament, and which includes increasing the points available for winning picks in later rounds and allowing participants to trade teams. The number of trades available to participants may be decreased in later rounds, or discontinued in the final round.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,351,150 relates to an online, virtual live interactive video game using fantasy sports statistics as its scoring database system and providing live worldwide communication and competition. Participants in this video game obtain a subscription to play, select a platform from which to play the fantasy game, select team members to form a fantasy team, and control each team member's performance.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,614,944 relates to a system for providing multi-level fantasy sports contests in an award league. The award leagues may be on different levels and focus on various geographical units. The user may be allowed to advance from lower level leagues to higher level leagues having the same or cooperating sponsors; a user may also be allowed to enter a team that was previously drafted for one league to compete in another league.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,762,878 discloses a fantasy server system operating a fantasy league, where fantasy client devices participate in the fantasy league. The fantasy server system manages fantasy player information and sponsorship information of the fantasy player on an individual and/or team basis.
 It is desirable to implement a method in which fantasy sports players (owner/managers of fantasy teams) may build teams with a minimum of restrictions (that is, not subject to salary caps or player draft rules) and compete for the distinction of having the best players and the best teams, and in which prizes may be awarded in categories that do not have real-life analogues.
SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
 In accordance with the disclosure, a method is provided for playing a fantasy sport, where the fantasy sport corresponds to an actual sport in which players have specified positions. The method includes building a fantasy team roster, assigning a score to each fantasy team, and ranking all of the players named on the fantasy team rosters. The rosters are built by selecting names of players so that the roster has a predetermined number of players at each of a predetermined set of positions; these selections are made without other restrictions. The score assigned to a fantasy team corresponds to actual performance of the players named on the roster of that fantasy team. The players named on the fantasy team rosters at each position are ranked in accordance with the point value corresponding to actual performance of each player.
 The scores of a plurality of fantasy teams are compared, and a prize may be awarded to the highest-scoring fantasy team (based for example on a week's games and/or a season's games or playoff).
 Furthermore, the highest-ranking player at each position is identified (again, for example, over a week's games and/or a season's games or playoff). If any fantasy team is determined to have the highest-ranking players at all of the positions, that fantasy team is characterized as a perfect fantasy team, and a bonus prize may be awarded to that perfect fantasy team.
 The foregoing has outlined, rather broadly, the preferred features of the present disclosure so that those skilled in the art may better understand the detailed description of the disclosure that follows. Additional features of the disclosure will be described hereinafter that form the subject of the claims of the disclosure. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that they can readily use the disclosed conception and specific embodiment as a basis for designing or modifying other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present disclosure and that such other structures do not depart from the spirit and scope of the disclosure in its broadest form.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 shows a flowchart illustrating steps in a method for organizing and conducting play in a fantasy sports league, according to an embodiment of the disclosure.
 FIG. 2 schematically illustrates building rosters for fantasy teams of NFL players, where the reference to NFL players is only an example as the method disclosed can be used in any fantasy sport in accordance with the principles of the invention.
 An embodiment of the disclosure will be described relating to NFL fantasy football. It will be appreciated that a method embodying the disclosure may be applied to any fantasy team sport.
 FIG. 1 schematically illustrates a method for building a fantasy team roster in accordance with this embodiment. A fantasy team is made up of NFL players with designated positions. In step 110, the fantasy player (owner/manager of the fantasy team) accesses the overall NFL player roster, in which all players are listed along with their positions. The fantasy team owner may select any league player, with no restriction regarding NFL players' salaries, NFL player draft, etc. The only restriction 115 on the fantasy team roster relates to player positions; in accordance with the fantasy league rules, each fantasy team must have a certain number of players at specified positions. The fantasy team owner selects players to fill those positions (step 120). For example, a fantasy league roster may consist of 1 quarterback (QB), 2 running backs (RB), 3 wide receivers (WR), 1 tight end (TE), 1 placekicker (K), and 1 defense or special teams player (DST).
 At the conclusion of the real-life games including playoffs, points are assigned to the various fantasy teams (step 130) in accordance with the on-field performance of the individual players on those teams. The schedule 135 of performance and points, which includes playoffs is determined by the fantasy league. For example, if a placekicker makes a field goal, the fantasy league point schedule may prescribe that the fantasy team having that player on its roster is awarded 2 points if the field goal was 30 to 40 yards, and 3 points if the field goal was over 40 yards.
 A total point score is then determined for each fantasy team (step 140). Fantasy team standings 145 may be based on point totals for the current week of the NFL season, the cumulative total for the season to date, or playoffs, or according to some other arrangement. In addition to the point totals for the fantasy teams, the players on the fantasy rosters at each position are ranked according to their individual point scores (step 150). For example, in a given week a quarterback completing over 60% of his passes (3 points) and making a touchdown pass (1 additional point, for an individual total of 4) would be ranked higher than a quarterback likewise completing over 60% of his passes but having a pass intercepted for a touchdown (1 point deducted, for an individual total of 2).
 In step 160, it is determined whether any of the fantasy league teams has all of that week's highest-ranking players (the highest-ranking QB that week, the two highest-ranking RBs, etc.). If so, that fantasy team is designated the "perfect team" for that week, and receives a bonus prize (step 165). Alternatively, this bonus prize may be awarded only once during the season, to the first perfect team occurring in that season. There may be an additional bonus prize in the rarer instance where one fantasy team has all of the season's highest-ranking players--the perfect team for the entire season. Since the perfect team is determined in accordance with the performance of individual players, a perfect team will generally not exist in the real-life NFL. The designation of a perfect team (and the associated bonus prizes) thus does not have a real-life analogue.
 In step 170, prizes are awarded to the fantasy team with the highest total for that week, and/or the highest cumulative total and/or playoff total for the season. It will be appreciated that this method can be used with any scoring system.
 FIG. 2 illustrates a process for building fantasy team rosters from the real-life NFL roster. The NFL roster 200 lists all of the league's players, grouped by position (e.g. all QBs, all RBs, and so on). Fantasy player A builds his/her team roster 210 by selecting one of the QBs, two of the RBs, etc. from the actual roster 200. Fantasy player B likewise builds his/her team roster 220 by selecting the designated number of players at each of the listed positions. It should be noted that fantasy players A and B may select any NFL players, the only restriction being that each fantasy team have the prescribed number of players at each position. In the example shown in FIG. 2, rosters 210 and 220 each have one QB and two RBs; these teams have different running backs but the same quarterback
 It will be appreciated that the positions on the roster, and the prescribed number of players at each of those positions, may vary from one fantasy league to another. For example, in another embodiment a fantasy league may require a roster having two defensive backs in addition to a special teams player. Furthermore, a method embodying the disclosure may be used in leagues both where players (fantasy owner/managers) pay a fee, and where they do not pay a fee.
 While the disclosure has been described in terms of a specific embodiment, it is evident in view of the foregoing description that numerous alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the disclosure is intended to encompass all such alternatives, modifications and variations which fall within the scope and spirit of the disclosure and the following claims.
Patent applications in class Simulated court game or athletic event (e.g., soccer, basketball, etc.)
Patent applications in all subclasses Simulated court game or athletic event (e.g., soccer, basketball, etc.)