US 20060063623 A1
A ball has a body and a plurality of obstructors arranged on the outer surface. In addition, an assembly includes a ball and a ball cover. The ball cover has an outer surface and an interior inside which the ball is retained, with a plurality of obstructors arranged on the outer surface of the ball cover. The obstructors function to impede the rolling motion of the ball.
1. A ball, comprising:
a body having an outer surface; and
a plurality of obstructors arranged on the outer surface.
2. The ball of
3. The ball of
4. The ball of
5. The ball of
6. The ball of
7. The ball of
8. The ball of
9. The ball of
10. The ball of
11. The ball of
12. The ball of
13. The ball of
14. An assembly, comprising:
a ball; and
a ball cover having an outer surface and an interior inside which the ball is retained, with a plurality of obstructors arranged on the outer surface.
15. The assembly of
16. The assembly of
17. The assembly of
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to toys, and in particular, to a ball that has its rolling motion obstructed.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Balls are one of the most commonly-available and simple toys that have ever been created. Balls can be found almost everywhere, and even adults and children can be found playing different games involving one or more balls.
It can be difficult to find fault with balls. However, notwithstanding the above, balls do suffer from one drawback. A ball that is tossed or kicked too far will continue to roll. A player must run or walk a long distance to retrieve the ball.
This drawback becomes more apparent with balls that are intended to be used by young children, babies and toddlers. For example, soft balls made of plastic or foam are commonly found indoors and used by babies, toddlers and young children for a variety of games. Adults even use these soft balls for executive toys (e.g., ball-toss games). When these balls are tossed, they tend to roll along the floor, and sometimes roll under or between furniture items. In any case, a parent playing these ball games with a toddler or infant may tire from repeatedly retrieving the ball(s) in the house.
It is an object of the present invention to provide balls that do not roll very far.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a mechanism for impeding the rolling motion of a ball.
In order to accomplish the objects of the present invention, one embodiment of the present invention provides a ball having a body, and a plurality of obstructors arranged on the outer surface. Another embodiment of the present invention provides a ball and a ball cover. The ball cover has an outer surface and an interior inside which the ball is retained, with a plurality of obstructors arranged on the outer surface of the ball cover. The obstructors function to impede the rolling motion of the ball.
The following detailed description is of the best presently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating general principles of embodiments of the invention. The scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.
The body 100 has a plurality of obstructors 15 provided on its spherical surface 20. The obstructors 15 function to impede the rolling motion of the ball 10, so that the ball 10 cannot roll very far after it has been kicked or thrown. The obstructors 15 can be made from any of the materials as the body 100, and can be provided in one piece with the body 100 so that they can be inflated together with the body 100. Alternatively, the obstructors 15 can be solid elements (e.g., made of plastic) that are fixedly or removably (e.g., by VELCRO™ pads 35) attached to the surface 20 of the body 100.
The obstructors 15 are illustrated as having a frusto-conical configuration, having a generally conical body that terminates at a flat top end 25. The base 30 of the obstructors 15 has a greater diameter than the flat top end 25. The height H of each obstructor 15 can be any value, but in one embodiment, the height H is at least five percent of the diameter D of the body 100, and is preferably more than ten percent of the diameter D of the body 100.
The number, size, shape and arrangement of the obstructors 15 can be varied depending on the desired results. As a general rule, the number, size, shape and arrangement of the obstructors 15 all relate to how much impediment is imparted on a rolling ball. For example, a symmetrical or consistent pattern of a greater number of obstructors 15 impart lesser obstruction to the rolling motion of the ball 10 than an inconsistent or random pattern of a fewer number of the obstructors 15. As another example, a random pattern of obstructors 15 (e.g., more obstructors 15 on one side of the ball 10) will create more impediment than a consistent pattern of obstructors 15. As further examples, a fewer number of obstructors 15 with a greater height H, or providing the obstructors 15 with different heights H, will all create greater impediment.
Although the obstructors 15 are shown as having the same shape and sizes, the obstructors 15 can be provided with different shapes and sizes, depending on the desired use and results. For example,
In use, a conventional inflatable ball 55 can be inserted through the opening 70 into the interior of the cover 50 while the ball 55 is in its deflated form. The ball 55 can then be inflated via its valve 75 until the ball 55 is fully inflated, and fits snugly, inside the cover 50. When the ball 55 is fully inflated, the combined ball 55 and cover 50 will form a unitary object which is in essence the same as the ball 10. Thus, the combined ball 55 and cover 50 can be rolled or kicked as a unitary object, with the obstructors 60 functioning to impede the rolling motion of the ball 55.
While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The accompanying claims are intended to cover such modifications as would fall within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.