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Skipace returns for another year of fantasy disc golf

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​Fantasy sports are an excellent way for fans of any sport to connect to the professional side of the game, increase buy-in, and build a reason to follow a sport regularly. One avid disc golf follower saw a need and took it upon himself to create a fantasy disc golf platform.

We took a moment to catch up with Jonathan Van Deurzen creator of Skipace to learn a little bit more about his platform and the updates he brought to the 2019 season.

DGPT: So to start us out, how did Skipace come about?

JVD: SkipAce actually started back in 2005 when I created the website called FantasyDG.com. I developed that on the side with the little bit of web programming knowledge I picked up in college. I ran that for about three years and eventually just ran out of steam on it. Then about four years ago, I looked around, and there wasn’t really any other fantasy disc golf website that was currently running. So I decided to develop one myself again. I got out my old copy of Dreamweaver and started working.

DGPT: When you started it did you plan on adding features over time? Or have the changes come about organically?

JVD: When I started redeveloping the website I immediately had a handful of ideas that I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to automate it, so I wasn’t copying in the results manually every week, and I wanted to allow people to create custom leagues. But both of those features were beyond my simple programming capabilities, so last year I reached out to a local developer to help push the site to another level. And as with most things, once you start adding features, you think of more and more. And with the fantastic reception it has gotten, someone sends me a new good idea almost weekly.

DGPT: You listed in the announcement email that survivor leagues have been added. Can you tell us about how it is adjusted from the survivor league that existed last year?

JVD: Actually, the Survivor league hasn’t changed from last year. It is just my favorite way to play, and I thought that it would be nice to get more people involved. It gets really difficult to keep picking one new player every week that MUST finish in the top 15. Our player base is so good that any player can almost finish outside of the top 15 any week.

DGPT: Which new feature are you most excited about?

JVD: The features that I am most excited about are the ability to create a custom league. There is so much potential to have your group of friends, club, or state tour create a league where you might actually get to pick yourself!  The other great feature coming very soon is the email reminders. The season is currently 21 events, and that can be frustrating when you forget to make a pick or two — so having the email reminder will be a nice way to stay in contact with the users and keep them coming back to the site to have fun.

DGPT: How difficult was setting up the custom leagues? I believe this was a goal for last year that didn’t end up happening, how excited are you to finally have this as an option?

JVD: From what my developer said, it was tricky to setup custom leagues. The more features that we create, the more we need to think about how it affects every other part of the site. We are still looking at ways to improve the custom leagues. For instance, right now we have some restrictions in place as to the number of MPO & FPO players, in the future I want to increase that. And I would like to improve the search feature for finding PDGA events. We had also looked at custom scoring per league but realized it might be too complicated to attack this year.

DGPT: Were there any features that you are adding that you hadn’t thought of before/were added due to popular demands?

JVD: Right now the biggest feature that we don’t have and that I get requests for all the time is the ability to copy your lineup between leagues. So, it has become a feature that is very high on the improvements list. We want to take care of a few other smaller things before we address this larger one. With all of the new custom features, it becomes a bit more complicated.

DGPT: Are there any additional features that you are hoping to add in future years?

JVD: As for additional features in future years, I would like to add a weekly head to head challenge option, much like DraftKings or FanDuel. As well as other ways to play against your friends, such as a traditional year-long fantasy football draft style league where you go against another team head to head each week. And of course, I would love to team up with someone like UDisc and work with them on a live scoring system based on actual stats. We did something like that two years ago, but I need to find a good way to automate it with them.

If you want to create your own custom league or join the open Skipace league you can travel over to Skipace.com to set up your own disc golf fantasy league. If you want to join the Disc Golf Pro Tour League go to “Join League” and type code “DGPT” to join. The Memorial Championship will be the first tournament where people can make picks, so make sure you check out the registration list and get your picks in soon!