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Publication numberUS20050073105 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/948,680
Publication dateApr 7, 2005
Filing dateSep 24, 2004
Priority dateOct 3, 2003
Publication number10948680, 948680, US 2005/0073105 A1, US 2005/073105 A1, US 20050073105 A1, US 20050073105A1, US 2005073105 A1, US 2005073105A1, US-A1-20050073105, US-A1-2005073105, US2005/0073105A1, US2005/073105A1, US20050073105 A1, US20050073105A1, US2005073105 A1, US2005073105A1
InventorsJohn Given
Original AssigneeGiven John P.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game with textured playing positions
US 20050073105 A1
Abstract
The game with textured playing positions is a game in which the playing positions are textured with different textures. The players attempt to position themselves on a playing surface without falling by distinguishing the positions from one another by touch, rather than requiring sight and lighting to distinguish different colors. The textured playing positions of the present game facilitate the play of the game in water, as in a shallow wading pool or the like, by providing better traction and grip for the players on what would be an otherwise slippery surface. The playing surface may be formed integrally with such a pool, if so desired. The provision of different textures for different playing positions also enables play of the game in darkened conditions, if so desired. Alternative embodiments indicate the different positions using phosphorescent or fluorescent colors to allow play in the dark or by use of ultraviolet lighting.
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Claims(20)
1. A game apparatus with textured playing positions, comprising:
a playing surface;
a plurality of playing positions disposed upon the playing surface, each of the playing positions having a textured surface, the playing positions being divided into a plurality of groups, each of the groups having a distinctive, textured surface, whereby the playing position in one group is distinguishable from the playing position in another one of the groups by touch;
whereby the playing surface is adapted for playing a game in which players position themselves upon the playing positions as assigned by determining the texture of the playing position by contact therewith.
2. The game apparatus according to claim 1, further including:
a wading pool, comprising at least:
a side wall; and
a bottom comprising said playing surface with said textured playing positions thereon.
3. The game apparatus according to claim 1, further including a foot bath extending outwardly from said side wall of said wading pool.
4. The game apparatus according to claim 1, further including a plurality of colors disposed upon said playing positions and corresponding to said different textures thereof.
5. The game apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said colors are selected from the group consisting of phosphorescent colors and fluorescent colors.
6. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein each one of said groups of said textured playing positions comprises a linear row.
7. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said textured playing positions of each of said groups are randomly distributed upon said playing surface.
8. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said textured playing positions form a rectangular matrix of rows and columns.
9. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said textured playing positions form a non-rectangular pattern.
10. The game apparatus according to claim 9, wherein said non-rectangular pattern of said textured playing positions comprises a hexagonal matrix.
11. A game apparatus with textured playing positions, comprising:
a wading pool, having at least:
a bottom wall defining a periphery; and
a side wall disposed about the periphery of the bottom wall, the bottom wall and side wall forming a pool adapted for containing water;
a playing surface disposed upon the bottom wall;
a plurality of playing positions disposed upon the playing surface, each of the playing positions having a textured surface, the playing positions being divided into a plurality of groups, each of the groups having a distinctive, textured surface, whereby the playing position in one group is distinguishable from the playing position in another one of the groups by touch;
whereby the playing surface is adapted for playing a game in which players position themselves upon the playing positions as assigned by determining the texture of the playing position by contact therewith.
12. The game apparatus according to claim 11, wherein said playing surface is formed integrally with said bottom of said wading pool.
13. The game apparatus according to claim 11, further including a foot bath extending outwardly from said side wall of said wading pool.
14. The game apparatus according to claim 11, further including a plurality of colors disposed upon said playing positions and corresponding to said different textures thereof.
15. The game apparatus according to claim 14, wherein said colors are selected from the group consisting of phosphorescent colors and fluorescent colors.
16. The game apparatus according to claim 11, wherein each one of said groups of said textured playing positions comprises a linear row.
17. The game apparatus according to claim 11, wherein said textured playing positions of each of said groups are randomly distributed upon said playing surface.
18. The game apparatus according to claim 11, wherein said textured playing positions form a rectangular matrix of rows and columns.
19. The game apparatus according to claim 11, wherein said textured playing positions form a non-rectangular pattern.
20. The game apparatus according to claim 19, wherein said non-rectangular pattern of said textured playing positions comprises a hexagonal matrix.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/507,959, filed Oct. 3, 2003.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to physically interactive games in which players interact with one another on a predetermined playing surface. More specifically, the present invention is a Twister® name (Twister is a registered trademark of the Milton Bradley Company of East Longmeadow, Mass.) wherein the playing surface includes textured playing positions, enabling players to play the game in conditions where the coefficient of friction has been reduced (i.e., in water) and/or where the playing positions are not visible, as when blindfolded or in darkness. The playing positions may alternatively be marked with fluorescent or phosphorescent colors to enable the game to be played under ultraviolet lighting, or to allow the playing positions to be visible in darkness.

2. Description of the Related Art

Innumerable “party” and other games involving physical interaction between players have been developed over the years. Hopscotch, hide-and-seek, tag, “spin the bottle,” “pin the tail on the donkey,” and many others have been developed in the past. A more recent variation upon such games requiring physical interaction between players is the game of Twister®. This game includes a playing surface having a series of differently colored playing positions thereon, with the surface and positions being sufficiently large to enable two or more players to position themselves upon the playing surface. Playing positions are randomly and sequentially called out, preferably by a third party, with players being required to work around one another to place their hands and feet upon the designated playing positions. Players generally eventually become entangled, with players losing his or her balance and falling or touching the mat with a knee or elbow being eliminated until the last player left is declared the winner.

Twister® has been quite popular as a party game, but the game nevertheless has its limitations. First of all, it is generally an indoor game, or at least a game which must be played in dry conditions in order to avoid damage to the generally inexpensive playing surface provided. Secondly, the different playing positions on the playing surface are designated only by color, which makes the game impossible to play in darkness.

The present inventor has developed a Twister type game which responds to the limitations noted above for the original Twister game. The present inventor initially created a Twister type game with a waterproof playing surface, which could be placed in the bottom of a wading pool or the like for water play. However, it was found that the lower coefficient of friction of the playing surface, due to the water, resulted in some difficulty in players retaining their stances on the playing surface as the game progressed. As a result, the present inventor conceived the use of textured playing positions, i.e., ridged, dimpled, roughened, etc., to enable players to better maintain their stances on the playing surface when in water. It was then realized that by making the various playing positions with different textures from one another, rather than merely coloring them differently, that it was no longer necessary to see the playing positions in order to play the game. The provision of different textures for different playing positions allows the game to be played even when players cannot see the actual playing surface, as when blindfolded or playing in darkness. Another embodiment of the present invention is the marking of the various playing positions with different fluorescent or phosphorescent colors, to enable the players to play under ultraviolet lighting or in darkness. Still another embodiment is the provision of non-rectangular playing surfaces and/or randomly located playing positions on the playing surfaces of the present game.

A discussion of the related art of which the present inventor is aware, and its differences and distinctions from the present invention, is provided below.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,982,547 issued on May 2, 1961 to Robert D. Carrier, titled “Aquatic Play Equipment,” describes a water slide device, wherein a garden hose or the like is connected to the device to wet down the surface, thereby providing a low coefficient of friction for players to slide thereon. Carrier does not disclose any form of competitive aspect when using his water slide. Moreover, the Carrier device teaches away from the present game, in that Carrier seeks to provide a very low coefficient of friction for his playing surface in order to allow players to slide upon the surface. In contrast, a major object of the present invention is to provide textured playing positions on the playing surface, to provide players with a better grip on those playing positions when playing in water. Such textured positions would not be desirable on a surface intended for sliding upon.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,454,279 issued on Jul. 8, 1969 to Charles F. Foley et al., titled “Apparatus For Playing A Game Wherein The Players Constitute The Game Pieces,” describes the original Twister® game, with the disclosure being incorporated herein by reference. The Foley patent discloses a rectangular playing surface having a six-by-four matrix of playing positions, with the positions of each of the four rows being differentiated by color and all positions in any given row being the same color. Foley et al. do not describe any other means of differentiating the player positions from one another, other than by using different colors. Thus, the Foley et al. game could not be played by blindfolded players or in unlighted conditions, as can the present game with its textured positions. Moreover, as Foley et al. do not describe the use of textured playing positions with their game, the Foley et al. game is not well suited for play in water, where the water would lower the coefficient of friction of the playing surface. It is further noted that Foley et al. do not disclose any other combination of player positions on their playing surface, other than a rectangular surface wherein each row is formed of playing positions of the same color. The present invention provides various alternatives in addition to a rectangular playing surface.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,761,084 issued on Sep. 25, 1973 to Edward R. Dieckmann, titled “Balance Board Game,” describes an apparatus having a relatively large (i.e., on the order of three to four feet across) playing surface balanced upon a central pivot, with a series of smaller numbered positions rotatably mounted atop the playing surface. Cards are provided, instructing the two players to stand sequentially upon the numbered positions according to the numbers on the cards. Dieckmann does not disclose any different textures for his playing positions, as he provides only numbers to differentiate the positions from one another. Moreover, the Dieckmann playing surface is too small to be used by players on all fours, with Dieckmann only disclosing standing players. The challenge in using the Dieckmann apparatus is in maintaining one's balance while standing; using the apparatus with both hands and feet, would remove much of the challenge. As Dieckmann indicates that the players be completely shod while playing, there is no motivation to provide textured playing positions for the Dieckmann apparatus, as players would have difficulty distinguishing different textures from one another while wearing shoes.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,895,801 issued on Jul. 22, 1975 to Barbara Baird, titled “Skipping Projectile Water Target,” describes various embodiments of games or activities in which discs are skipped on the surface of a body of water by players aiming for a target. One embodiment comprises a tic-tac-toe grid, with players having discs with two different markings thereon. The object is to form a line across one of the rows, columns, or diagonals of the grid by skipping one's discs to alight in the appropriate grid locations. The Baird game does not use the players as actual components of the game, as does the present game. Moreover, as the playing positions of the Baird tic-tac-toe grid are merely open areas of water, with the device floating in a pool or the like, no textured playing positions are provided. There is no motivation to provide different textures for such playing positions in any event, as the players do not come in direct contact with the playing positions during the course of play of the Baird game.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,009,880 issued on Mar. 1, 1977 to William B. Lammersen, titled “Recreational Device,” describes a sheet of material having indicia thereon indicating various parts of the human body, e.g., feet, hands, head, buttocks, etc. Multiple sets of such markings may be provided, with the sets being colored differently from one another. The purpose of the Lammersen device is for positioning oneself during yoga, exercise, etc. Lammersen makes no disclosure of any form of textured playing positions on his device, nor does he describe any rules for a competitive game, as is played using the present textured playing surface.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,185,819 issued on Jan. 29, 1980 to Larry W. Hartley, titled “Inflatable Hopping Game Device,” describes an inflatable framework which forms a hopscotch grid when fully deployed. As in the case of the device of the Baird '801 U.S. Patent discussed further above, the playing positions themselves are completely open between the peripheral frame members, with no structure whatsoever therein. Accordingly, Hartley cannot provide any form of textured playing positions in his inflatable device. Hartley makes no disclosure of any means of playing a game while blindfolded or in darkness, using his device.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,982,959 issued on Jan. 8, 1991 to Elliot Rudell et al., titled “Water Sprinkler Mat Game,” describes a playing surface which is supplied with water from a garden hose or the like. The playing surface includes a series of orifices in the upper surface thereof, through which the water sprays when under some pressure. The rules of play and object of the Rudell et al. game are essentially the same as those for the game of Twister®, i.e. players are assigned specific points or locations for the placement of their hands and feet, with the object being to remain on all fours and avoid falling. Rudell states that the addition of the water spray reduces the coefficient of friction of the playing surface, thus making his game more difficult to play. This teaches away from the provision of the present game of textures for the playing positions to provide a better grip for players. The lack of texture of the Rudell et al. game also obviates any ability for play by blindfolded players or in darkness, as provided by the present game.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,154,671 issued on Oct. 13, 1992 to Marvin Smollar et al., titled “Water Slide And Pool With Water Curtain And Pool Replenishment System,” describes a water slide having a small pool at the terminating end thereof and a water spray at some point near the terminating end. No competitive game is disclosed by Smollar et al., and as in the case of all such water slide devices, any provision of texture on the sliding surface would teach away from the desirability of a smooth, low friction surface for such sliding activities. The Smollar et al. slide is thus more closely related to the device of the Carrier '547 U.S. Patent discussed further above, than it is to the present game and apparatus.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,156,409 issued on Oct. 20, 1992 to Sharron Barnes, titled “Game,” describes a portable hopscotch game apparatus comprising a series of individual playing positions which may be laid out as desired. The positions may have different shapes, numbers, or other indicia thereon, to correspond with a series of cards which are drawn randomly to serve as instructions for the players. Barnes also discloses a relatively high coefficient of friction upon both the upper and lower surfaces of her playing positions, in order to preclude their slippage on the underlying surface and/or the slippage of a player on the upper surfaces of the playing positions. However, Barnes does not describe the use of different textures on different positions to differentiate the different positions from one another by touch, as is provided by the present game. Moreover, Barnes does not describe any means of using her game apparatus in or under water, whereas the present game apparatus may be used in such an environment, as well as by blindfolded players and/or in darkness.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,248,152 issued on Sep. 28, 1993 to John R. Timmerman, titled “Footstep Mimic Game,” describes a game having a series of relatively small, portable playing positions in the form of footprints. The object is to place the footprint positions sequentially, and progressively step upon each position without falling. No game playing surface is provided, nor does Timmerman describe any differentiation between any of the footprint playing positions of his game. No textured surfaces are described by Timmerman, nor does he disclose play under water, while blindfolded, or in darkness, as may be accomplished with the present game apparatus.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,401,214 issued on Mar. 28, 1995 to Marvin Smollar et al., titled “Water Slide And Sprinkler,” describes another variation upon the water slide and spray device of the '671 U.S. Patent to the same inventors, discussed further above. The device of the '214 Smollar et al. U.S. Patent includes a raised central portion, unlike the earlier device of the '671 U.S. Patent. In neither case is there any disclosure of any competitive aspect, individual playing positions having different textures from one another, or any means of using the device while blindfolded or in darkness, which aspects are all provided by the present game apparatus.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,439,228 issued on Aug. 8, 1995 to Geoffrey Pederson, titled “Board Game Apparatus And Method Of Play,” describes a game having a relatively large playing surface with a three by three matrix (or other configuration) of playing positions thereon. The game is played somewhat like musical chairs, with more players than positions and with players attempting to move to one of the positions at a given signal (stoppage of music, etc.). Players merely stand upon the positions during the course of play; no contact with the playing positions is made with any part of the anatomy other than the feet. Moreover, while Pederson provides different colors for the playing positions, he does not disclose the use of different textures for the playing positions. Pederson would have no motivation to provide different textures for the same reasons noted further above in the discussion of the Dieckman '084 U.S. Patent, i.e. the players would normally appear to be fully shod and would be unable to readily distinguish different textures of the playing surfaces with their feet, if such different textures were provided.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,507,696 issued on Apr. 16, 1996 to Marvin Smollar et al., titled “Water Slide,” describes another variation on the water slide with water spray devices of the '671 and '214 U.S. Patents to the same inventors, discussed further above. The same points noted above regarding the differences between those devices and the present invention, are seen to apply here as well.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,551,922 issued on Sep. 3, 1996 to Harvey Katz et al., titled “Toy Water Slide,” describes yet another water slide. The slide of the Katz patent has a serpentine pool area at the terminal end of the slide, requiring users to traverse this pathway. No competitive, interactive game, separate playing positions designated by color or texture, or other features of the present game, are disclosed by Katz et al. in their '922 U.S. Patent.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,669,822 issued on Sep. 23, 1997 to Marvin Smollar et al., titled “Water Slide,” is another continuation-in-part of an abandoned parent application to the same inventor, from which the other issued patents to the same inventor stem. The disclosure of the '822 U.S. Patent is essentially the same as that of the '671 U.S. Patent to the same inventors, discussed further above. The same points of distinction between the device of the '671 U.S. Patent and the present invention noted in that discussion, are seen to apply here as well.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,672,123 issued on Sep. 30, 1997 to Elliot Rudell et al., titled “Water Mat Activity With Puddles And Spray Action,” describes a water-filled framework similar to the inflated hopscotch frame of the '819 U.S. Patent to Hartley, discussed further above. However, the device of the Rudell et al. '123 U.S. Patent includes a series of orifices therein, which allow water to spray therefrom when the device is connected to a water supply. This mechanism is similar to that used in the play mat of the '959 U.S. Patent by the same first inventor, discussed further above. No textured playing positions are disclosed by Rudell et al. in their '123 U.S. Patent.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,676,602 issued on Oct. 14, 1997 to Harvey Katz et al., titled “Toy Water Slide,” is a continuation of the '922 U.S. Patent to the same inventors, discussed further above. The same points of distinction noted in that discussion of the differences between the device of the '922 U.S. Patent and the present invention, are seen to apply here as well.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,683,314 issued on Nov. 4, 1997 to Anthony J. Musso, titled “Water Activated Hopscotch Game,” describes a series of playing positions having a water supply connected thereto. A series of pressure activated valves is provided in the playing positions, so that pressure on any of the playing positions results in a spray of water from that position. No textured playing positions are disclosed by Musso in his apparatus. The device of the Musso U.S. Patent appears to be more closely related to the device of the '123 U.S. Patent to Rudell et al., discussed further above, than it is to the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,062,983 issued on May 16, 2000 to Peter Butsook, titled “Combination Water Slide And Pool,” describes a water slide having peripheral water jets to spray the surface in order to reduce the coefficient of friction thereon. A sloped ramp joins the slide with a low wading pool. No competitive aspect or player interaction is disclosed by

Butsook, and as in all of the other water slide devices of which the present inventor is aware, Butsook teaches away from any provision for a textured surface in his slide, as such would be undesirable on a surface intended for sliding upon.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,254,101 issued on Jul. 3, 2001 to Jason P. Young, titled “Floor Game For Team Building,” describes a relatively large game layout having multiple paths to be traversed by players. Only a single path is correct, however, with only a game facilitator being able to see the correct path by means of polarized lenses or the like. While Young describes the use of a roughened surface beneath the layout in order to reduce movement relative to the underlying surface, he does not provide any form of texturing on the upper surface for better grip or traction by players, nor does he describe any differentiation in texture for different areas of the playing surface, as provided in the present invention.

U.S. Des. Pat. No. 330,242 issued on Oct. 13, 1992 to Scott Albee et al., titled “Wading Pool With An Inflatable Toy,” illustrates a design having an inflated arch extending upwardly from a wading pool. A basketball goal is apparently provided in the arch, with a representation of a basketball or the like on a sheet spanning the arch. No differently textured playing positions providing for blindfold play or play in darkness is apparent in the Albee et al. design.

Finally, British Patent Publication No. 2,110,944 published on Jun. 29, 1983, titled “Recreational Slide,” describes a water slide overlying a wading pool, with the slide being filled with water in the pool area. The result is similar to the assembly disclosed in the Butsook '983 U.S. Patent, enabling a user to slide along the slide surface, over the inclined slope and into the pool. Accordingly, no disclosure is made of any form of texture on any of the surfaces of the device of the '944 British Patent Publication, as any provision of such would teach away from the desirability of providing a smooth, low friction sliding surface.

None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus a game with textured playing positions solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises various embodiments of a game similar to Twister®, in which players attempt to position themselves on a playing surface in accordance with random instructions. The present game differs from the original game of Twister in that the playing positions of the present game are textured, with different groups or rows of positions having different textures from one another. This not only provides better grip and traction, enabling play in water where the water might otherwise reduce the coefficient of friction of the playing surface, but also provides for the present game to be played by blindfolded players, or in darkness. Players may distinguish one position from another, or a position of one group of positions from a position of another group of positions, by feel, rather than requiring sight and light to determine the colors of the positions, as in the original Twister game. Another variation on the present game is the provision of phosphorescent colors on the playing positions to allow the game to be played in darkness, or fluorescent colors which may be distinguished from one another under “black light,” i.e. ultraviolet lighting. The present game thus opens a considerably greater number of environments for play, than provided by the original Twister game.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon consideration of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a game with textured playing positions according to the present invention, showing play by blindfolded players.

FIG. 2 is an environmental, perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present game, showing its placement within a wading pool or the like for water play.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of another alternative embodiment of the present game, in which the locations of the variously colored and textured playing positions have been randomized.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of yet another alternative embodiment of the present game, comprising a hexagonal pattern having different numbers of playing positions in different rows.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention comprises various embodiments of a Twister® type game in which the playing positions on the playing surface are provided with different textures from one another, to allow players to distinguish the different positions by touch rather than sight. The present game may thus be played by blindfolded players, or in darkness if so desired. The textured playing positions also provide better traction and grip when wet, enabling the game to be played in water, as in a wading pool or the like. The playing surface may be provided as a separate component for placement in an existing conventional wading pool, or may be formed integrally with the pool as a unitary structure. Alternatively, the playing positions may be distinguished by phosphorescent or fluorescent colors to allow play in darkness or under ultraviolet (“black”) light.

FIG. 1 of the drawings is an environmental perspective view of a first embodiment playing surface 10 of the present game apparatus, showing its general configuration and use. The playing surface 10 is a relatively thin sheet of waterproof and preferably flexible material, e.g. a thin plastic or the like, to allow for folding and/or rolling the surface 10 for storage when not in use. The playing surface 10 may be formed in any practicable size and shape, but is preferably in the form of a rectangle at least a few feet long and wide, to provide room for at least two players thereon.

The playing surface 10 includes a series of groups of playing positions thereon, designated as groups 12 through 18.

Each of the groups 12 through 18 includes a series of playing positions identically configured as to size and shape therein, with the playing positions being designated by the corresponding group number and an alphabetic subcharacter, e.g. positions 12 a, 12 b, 12 c, etc. for the group 12, etc. The exemplary playing surface of FIG. 1 includes a total of twenty four playing positions arranged in a four by six rectangular matrix, with the positions of each group 12 through 18 being designated by the lower case letters a through f. Other playing surface configurations may be provided as desired, with some of those configurations illustrated in other drawing FIGS. and discussed further below.

Each of the playing positions 12 a-18 f has a textured upper surface, with each group 12, 14, 16, and 18 having a series of positions a-f with like textures and with the playing position textures being different between the different groups 12, 14, 16 and 18. Also, while it is not absolutely necessary for the present game apparatus, the various playing positions 12 a through 18 f may be colored to distinguish one group from another, with like colors corresponding to like textures. Due to the difficulty in showing both a texture and a color disposed upon a single surface, the textures of the majority of the playing positions 12 a through 18 f in FIG. 1 are shown covering only about one half of the area of the positions. The remaining area of each position is reserved to show the corresponding color of the given position.

Thus, the first group or row of playing positions 12 a through 12 f have textures 20 comprising a series of regular ridges, with the corresponding color 22 being yellow. The second group or row of positions 14 a through 14 f have textures 24 formed of a series of regularly spaced bumps, or perhaps a regular grid or the like, with the corresponding color 26 being green. The third group or row of positions 16 a through 16 fhave smooth surfaces 28; thus, no specific texture is shown. The color 30 of these smoothly textured positions 16 a through 16 fis blue. Finally, the fourth group or row of positions 18 a through 18 f has a bristly texture 32, e.g. as in the feel of hook and loop, or pile, material, with the corresponding color 34 being red.

It will be seen that other textures and/or colors may be used, and/or the color and texture combinations described above and shown in the example of FIG. 1 may be combined differently as desired. It should also be noted that while each of the groups 12 through 18 forms a straight, uniform row of like textured and colored positions, the positions may be placed in some other arrangement or randomized, if so desired.

The game illustrated in FIG. 1 is played by at least two players P1 and P2 with the rules of play generally being the same as in a conventional game of Twister, i.e., a caller (not shown) calls out an extremity (e.g., left hand, right foot, etc.) and a position designation. However, rather than calling out a color, as is conventional in the play of the game of Twister, the caller calls out a texture, i.e. ridged, bumpy, smooth, or bristles. The players P1 and P2 play in their stocking feet, as shown, or perhaps barefoot, in order to detect the specific textures of the various groups of playing positions. The players P1 and P2 are wearing blindfolds B in FIG. 1, but it will be noted that the textured playing positions permit play in the dark, as well.

In such an environment, the caller would be provided with a small source of light to read the randomly selected extremity and position texture instructions. The players P1 and P2 must, of course, feel for the appropriate texture as instructed, and are permitted to place the assigned appendage, e.g. right hand, on a number of differently textured playing positions until finding one position of the assigned texture.

While the provision of colors corresponding to the textured positions has been described further above, the colors do not enter into the play of the game as shown in FIG. 1. However, they do permit the playing surface 10 and its textured and colored playing surfaces 12 a through 18 f to be used for the play of the game conventionally, i.e. with callouts using colors, rather than textures, if so desired. Alternatively, the various playing positions may be provided with a single, uniform color, with no color differentiation between positions, if so desired, permitting play only according to the sensing of the different textures of the different groups of playing positions. Another alternative is the provision of phosphorescent or fluorescent colors on the various playing positions. Providing phosphorescence in the various colors permits the present game to be played in darkened conditions, yet allows the players to play the game visually. Fluorescence provides for visual determination of the different playing positions when an ultraviolet light is provided to illuminate the playing surface.

FIG. 2 provides an environmental perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention, wherein a wading pool 100 includes a side wall 102 and a bottom 104 having a textured playing surface 106 therein. The playing surface 106 may be provided as a separate sheet, i.e., the playing surface 10 of FIG. 1 may be applied to the bottom of a conventional wading pool, or the playing surface 106 may be formed integrally with the pool 100 as a unitary structure. The depth of the pool 100 is not critical. However, the pool 100 is preferably relatively shallow, in order to avoid submerging the heads and faces of players on all fours in the pool 100. The pool 100 may be used at the beach, or on another area of sand and/or loose surface materials, and accordingly may be provided with a foot bath 108 adjacent or attached thereto. Players may rinse their feet in the foot bath 108 prior to stepping into the pool area proper with its playing surface bottom 106, in order to avoid tracking sand or other material into the pool proper.

The playing surface 106 of the pool 100 of FIG. 2 has essentially the same configuration as the playing surface 10 of FIG. 1, i.e., a series of groups 112 through 118, with each group comprising a series of playing positions. The playing positions are indicated in the same manner as used in FIG. 1, with the first group 112 positions designated as positions 112 a through 112 f, the second group 114 positions designated as positions 114 a through 114 f, etc. Each of the positions forming each of the groups 112 through 118 is of like texture and color in that group, just as in the case of the playing surface 10 of FIG. 1.

The series of playing positions 112 a through 112 f of the first group 112 all have ridged textures 120, and are colored yellow 122. The positions 114 a through 114 f of the second group 114 are all textured with a series of uniformly distributed bumps 124, or may alternatively be seen as a grid separated by raised bumps. These positions of the second group are colored green 126. The third group positions 116 a through 116 fmay have a smooth texture 128, or may be provided with some other texture; no specific texture is shown on the third group positions 116 a through 116 fof FIG. 2. A blue color 130 is provided for each of the third group positions 116. Finally, the fourth group positions 118 a through 118 f are provided with a bristled texture 132, and colored red 134. As in the case of the various textures and colors of the playing positions on the playing surface 10 of FIG. 1, the textures and colors of the playing positions 112 a through 118 f of the pool 100 of FIG. 2 are exemplary. Other textures and/or colors may be provided as desired.

The game using the pool apparatus 100 of FIG. 2 may be played generally in accordance with the conventional rules of play for Twister, i.e., a caller (not shown) randomly calls out an extremity (i.e. left or right hand, or left or right foot), and a position color, with the players attempting to place the designated extremity on one of the designated player positions. However, the pool apparatus 100, with its textured playing positions, may be used to play a game much like the game described for the playing surface 10 of FIG. 1, where position textures are called out, rather than position colors.

While the different textures of the various playing position groups enable the players,. e.g., players P3 and P4, to determine the desired playing positions by hand or foot contact, another benefit of the textured playing positions is that they provide a higher coefficient of friction for the players P3 and P4. In other words, the players P3 and P4 experience a higher level of traction and grip than would be the case with a conventionally printed position pattern on the bottom surface of the pool. This serves to make it more difficult for one of the players to dislodge the other from his or her position on the playing positions. The use of the textured playing positions also allows the pool 100 apparatus to be used in darkness, just as in the textured playing surface 10 of FIG. 1. The same provision for phosphorescent or fluorescent colors may be made for the playing positions of the pool apparatus 100, respectively enabling the game to be played with no lighting other than the phosphorescence, or with only ultraviolet (“black”) lighting.

FIG. 3 of the drawings illustrates yet another embodiment of the present invention, in which the playing positions with their different colors and textures are randomly distributed over the playing surface 200. The differently textured and colored playing positions are still members of different groups, according to their textures and colors. However, the positions of any given group are not aligned in uniform rows in the example of FIG. 3, but are distributed randomly. In FIG. 3, the four rows of positions are designated as rows 202, 204, 206, and 208, with the columns of positions designated by the alphabetic characters a through f. Thus, the fourth position of the third row would be designated as position 206 d, etc.

In the randomized player positions of the playing surface 200 of FIG. 3, the groups do not form individual linear columns. Rather, the groups are distributed widely over the surface 200, as defined by the locations of the individual playing positions defining each group. For example, the first group 212, comprising the player positions having ridged textures 220 and colored yellow 222, is formed of the first group positions 202 a, 208 b, 204 c, 204 e, 202 f, and 206 f. (As in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2 discussed further above, the textures and the colors of each playing position are shown separated for clarity in the drawings.) The second group 214, comprising the player positions having bumped or gridded textures 224 and colored green 226, is formed of the second group positions 204 a, 202 b, 208 c, 206 d, 202 e, and 208 f. The third group 216, comprising the player positions having smooth textures 228 and colored blue 230, is formed of the third group positions 206 a, 204 b, 206 c, 202 d, 208 d, and 206 e. Finally, the fourth group 218, comprising the positions having bristled textures 232 and colored red 234, is formed of the fourth group positions 208 a, 206 b, 202 c, 204 d, 208 e, and 204 f. Again, the specific arrangement of the above described positions and groups is not critical to the present invention, and the colors and textures may be mixed as desired, and/or other textures and colors may be used as desired, just as in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 4 provides a plan view of still another embodiment, comprising a non-rectangular pattern. The playing surface 300 of FIG. 4 forms a circular pattern, with the textured playing positions therein comprising a hexagonal matrix of positions. As in the case of the other embodiments discussed further above, the playing positions on the playing surface 300 comprise a series of groups. In the embodiment of FIG. 4, there are five groups, designated as groups 310 through 318. Each of the groups comprises a straight row, with the number of individual playing positions varying from row to row or group to group in order to form the hexagonal pattern shown. Such a hexagonal pattern disposed upon a circular playing surface 300 is well suited for placement in an existing circular wading pool or the like, and precludes the need to find a rectangular pool in order to place a rectangular playing surface therein.

The playing positions are indicated in generally the same manner as used in FIGS. 1 and 2. However, it will be seen that the various groups or rows 310 through 318 comprise different numbers of individual playing positions therein, due to the hexagonal matrix. The first group or row 310 includes a series of three playing positions 310 a through 310 c, with the second group or row 312 having one more position, with those second row positions designated as positions 312 a through 312 d. The third group or row 314 is central and forms the longest row, comprising five positions 314 a through 314 e. The fourth and fifth groups or rows are each reduced by one position from the previous group, with the fourth group or row 316 containing four playing positions 316 a through 316 d and the fifth group or row 318 having three positions 318 a through 318 c.

Each of the positions forming each of the groups 310 through 318 is of like texture and color within that group, just as in the cases of the playing surface 10 of FIG. 1 and playing surface 106 of FIG. 2. However, it will be noted that the positions comprising each group have different textures and colors than their respective groups in the other embodiments. It will be understood that this is exemplary, and serves to show that the specific arrangement of the textures and colors of the playing positions forming any given group, are not critical. The texture and color indications are split across each of the playing positions (excepting the plain or untextured surfaces, where applicable) in order to show clearly both the texture and the color of each of the positions, as in the cases of the other embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 3. It will be understood that the textures and colors indicated, would both be distributed over essentially the entire surface of each of the playing positions.

The series of playing positions 310 a through 310 c of the first group 310 all have bristled textures 320, and are colored red 322. The positions 312 a through 312 d of the second group 312 are all textured with a series of ridges 324 and have a yellow color 326. The five positions 314 a through 314 e of the centrally disposed third group 314 have a smooth texture 328, and are colored blue 330. Alternatively, some other texture may be provided for better traction and grip, particularly if the. playing surface 300 is to be used in a pool or other body of water. The playing positions 316 a through 316 d of the fourth group 316 have textures formed of uniformly distributed bumps 332, or may alternatively be seen as a grid separated by raised bumps. These positions of the fourth group 316 are colored green 334. Finally, the fifth group positions 318 a through 318 c are textured and colored identically to the first group positions 310 a through 310 c, with bristled textures 320 and a red color 322.

It will be seen that an alternative fifth texture, e.g. a roughened or sandpaper texture, dimples, etc., and a color not used on the playing positions of the other rows or groups, may be provided for the fifth row positions 318 a through 318 c, if so desired. As in the case of the various textures and colors of the playing positions on the playing surfaces 10 and 106, respectively of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the textures and colors of the playing positions 310 a through 320 c of the playing surface 300 of FIG. 4 are exemplary. Other textures and/or colors may be provided as desired.

In conclusion, the present Twister type game with its textured playing surfaces, provides a novel variation upon the original Twister concept, which uses colors to designate the various playing positions and requires sighted players and acceptable lighting. The present game, with its textured playing positions, completely eliminates any need for sight or lighting. While the present game may be played as a party game by blindfolded players, it also provides a new entertainment opportunity for blind persons, or for color blind persons who cannot readily distinguish different colors. The present game may also be played in total darkness, with only the caller requiring a small source of light in order to read the callout instructions for extremity placement by the players. Alternatively, the playing positions may be provided with phosphorescent or fluorescent colors (either completely covered, or a smaller portion of the area thereof), to enable play in complete darkness or by means of ultraviolet (“black light”) illumination, respectively.

The textures of the playing positions also provide an advantage for water play, by providing additional traction and grip for players in what would otherwise be a relatively slippery surface. Such textured playing positions open the way for playing environments not generally used in the past, e.g. at the beach, around a swimming pool, etc. While rectangular configurations having regular rows of identically configured playing positions are disclosed herein, at least one embodiment describes a non-rectangular configuration which is well suited for placement in a circular wading pool or the like.

It will be seen that other playing surface shapes may be provided from the present invention as desired, e.g. regular and irregular triangles and other polygonal shapes, etc., as desired. The order of the playing positions within any given playing surface may form regular rows or columns, or may be randomized as desired. Virtually any textures and colors may be used to form the playing positions of the present game, as desired. In any of its various aspects or embodiments, the present Twister® type game with its textured playing positions provides a fresh variation upon the older game of Twister®, and greatly expands the playing environment and opens the way for large numbers of people to enjoy the game, who cannot play the original Twister game with its color limitations.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20130069312 *May 24, 2011Mar 21, 2013Kimberley Edward LetchfordGame Receptacle with a Spinning Device
US20130236866 *Mar 8, 2012Sep 12, 2013Jennifer A. MaLossiChildren's exercise play set
EP2197559A1 *Aug 26, 2008Jun 23, 2010Tracy Lynn CurleyYoga mat with intuitive tactile feedback for visually impaired
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/449
International ClassificationA63B67/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2071/0027, A63B67/00, A63F2250/025, A63F2250/21, A63F2250/426, A63B67/007
European ClassificationA63B67/00