Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060226606 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/279,295
Publication dateOct 12, 2006
Filing dateApr 11, 2006
Priority dateApr 12, 2005
Publication number11279295, 279295, US 2006/0226606 A1, US 2006/226606 A1, US 20060226606 A1, US 20060226606A1, US 2006226606 A1, US 2006226606A1, US-A1-20060226606, US-A1-2006226606, US2006/0226606A1, US2006/226606A1, US20060226606 A1, US20060226606A1, US2006226606 A1, US2006226606A1
InventorsScott FINLEY, Thomas DELONG, Kurt DOLL
Original AssigneeLiquid Games Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable game device and method of use
US 20060226606 A1
Abstract
A playing field is used with a drinking game involving a plurality of cups. It has a playing surface with a means for maintaining the playing surface in a horizontal position. The playing surface is disposed on a planar member and has cup-receiving recesses. In some embodiments, the playing field is a planar member that rests upon a table, while in other embodiments the playing field is a table. The planar member may have first and second portions that are joined along an edge of each portion. The playing surface may be adapted for illumination from at least one light source positioned below the playing surface. A raised edge may be provided around a periphery of the playing surface, especially with a plurality of cup-receiving recesses along each of a pair of opposing sides of the playing surface.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(14)
1. A playing field for use with a drinking game involving a plurality of cups, the playing field comprising:
a planar playing surface; and
a means for maintaining the playing surface in a horizontal position.
2. The playing field of claim 1, wherein:
the playing surface is disposed on a planar member, the playing surface being adapted for placement of the plurality of cups thereupon.
3. The playing field of claim 2, wherein:
the position-maintaining means comprises a planar surface opposite the playing surface.
4. The playing field of claim 2, wherein:
the position-maintaining means comprises a set of support legs.
5. The playing field of claim 2, wherein:
the planar member comprises first and second portions, the respective portions hingedly joined along an edge of each portion.
6. The playing field of claim 2, wherein:
a plurality of cup-receiving recesses formed at each end thereof adapt the playing surface for placement of the cups.
7. The playing field of claim 2, wherein:
the playing surface is adapted for illumination from at least one light source positioned therebelow.
8. The playing field of claim 2, further comprising:
a raised edge around a periphery of the playing surface.
9. The playing field of claim 8, further comprising:
a plurality of cup-receiving recesses along the raised edge on each of a pair of opposing sides of the playing surface.
10. The playing field of claim 6, wherein:
the planar member comprises a surface layer having a plurality of apertures therethrough, the surface layer affixed to an underlying layer so that the apertures and the thickness of the surface layer define the size and depth of the cup-receiving recesses.
11. The playing field of claim 10, wherein:
the surface layer comprises a polymeric material.
12. The playing field of claim 11, wherein:
the polymeric material is an ABS material.
13. The playing field of claim 6, further comprising:
a raised edge around a periphery of the playing surface.
14. The playing field of claim 13, wherein:
the playing surface is from about six to about eight feet long and from about two to about three feet wide;
each cup-receiving recess has a diameter in the range of from about 2 to about 2.5 inches and a depth of about 0.25 inches; and
a triangular arrangement of ten cup-receiving recesses is provided near each end of the playing surface, an apex of each triangular arrangement pointing at the opposite end of the playing surface.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/670,539, filed 12 Apr. 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference as if fully recited herein.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to the field of game tables. More particularly, the present invention is a device for providing a play surface for one or more popular drinking games.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    There are many types of drinking games that require the use of a planar playing surface, especially a table. Among these are games commonly referred to as “Beer Pong” and “Flip-Cup.”
  • [0004]
    In “Beer Pong” and its variants, cups containing a beverage, typically an alcoholic beverage, are placed near opposing ends of the play surface, in a configuration determined by the rules of the particular game. The game is played by two sides, each side consisting of one or more players, but usually with an equal number of players on each side. The sides stand at the respective ends of the playing surface, behind one set of the cups. In turn, a player from each side attempts to propel an object, usually a ball, and typically a ping-pong ball, from the team's end of the playing surface into one of the cups at the opposite end of the playing surface, causing it to rest therein. In some variants of the game, the object is thrown; in other variants, the object is batted with a paddle or the like. In some variants of the game, the side on the offense has the opportunity to take two successive attempts.
  • [0005]
    Depending upon the particular set of rules adopted, the defending side may defend its cups. In one variation, no defense is permitted, yet in other variants, the defending side may use hands, a paddle or the like. If a ball comes to rest in a defending side's cup, the defending side must drink the contents thereof and the cup is removed from the playing field. When two balls are used and the offensive side is successful in landing both in the cups, the defensive side may be required to remove an additional cup from play and drink its contents. As cups are removed from play, some rule variations allow (or require) re-arrangement of the remaining cups. The side to remove all of the opponent's cups from the playing surface is the winner, and most rule variations require that the contents of any cups remaining on the winning side's end of the playing surface must be consumed by the losing side.
  • [0006]
    It is common to play the game of “Beer Pong” in a round-robin or elimination-type tournament, with many matches occurring in a venue on a number of playing surfaces. In such a format, the state of inebriation of each side may depend upon its success (or lack thereof) in prior matches.
  • [0007]
    The cups used in the game are usually of the disposable, plastic variety, typically with about a capacity of from about 10 to about 16 liquid ounces. A typical material for such a cup is poly(ethylene terephthalate), sometimes referred to as PETE. An amount of a beverage (usually 3 to 6 ounces) is added to each cup at the start of the game. Based on a 12-ounce can or bottle, about 2 to about 5 cans or bottles will be used per team per game to achieve this. A ping pong ball, with a nominal diameter of about 4 cm, will be about one-half the diameter of the open end of the cup, so it a reasonably sized for the game. Also, with its light weight and density, the ping pong ball keeps splashing down from that which would occur with a denser ball.
  • [0008]
    The preferred playing field for this game is from about six to about eight feet long, with a width in the range of from about two to about three feet. The cups are typically arranged within 18 inches from an end of the playing field, but usually no closer than about 4 inches from an end. As such, the preferred playing field is slightly shorter in length than a conventional table tennis table, and about one-half as wide. The preferred playing field is similar in shape and size to that of the surface of a door. The playing field is usually placed in a flat horizontal position about 29 inches off of the floor, that is, at the approximate height of a conventional table.
  • [0009]
    Until now, Beer Pong players have had to play the game on a variety of makeshift playing fields, including kitchen tables, homemade tables, and old doors, all of which are generally inadequate. Since the size of the playing surface is not standardized and because it is not primarily intended for use in the game, the cups are not placed consistently thereon. This can unfairly affect the difficulty of the game. To promote fairness, it is important that cups are placed in the same starting and regrouping positions on each end of the playing surface, and that this placement is consistent from game to game. It is therefore desirable for the game to be played on a surface that mandates the correct placement of cups.
  • [0010]
    Published US Patent application 2005/0029747 A1 to Grayson describes a drinking game cup holder that provides a plurality of cup-receiving openings. The holder places the cups within the holder in a correct relationship, but it does not provide a means for correctly positioning the cups at the opposite ends relative to each other. To this extent, the Grayson '747 published application exemplifies the fact that the game has been commonly played on a variety of make-shift playing fields.
  • [0011]
    Published US Patent application 2004/0188942 A1 to Trokan describes a non-alcoholic drinking game system, but the invention is concerned with the game rules and physical properties of the balls used in the game. While the published Trokan '942 discloses the triangular arrangement of the drinking cups used and the general size of the playing field used, it does not describe a playing field particularly adapted for use with the game.
  • [0012]
    “Flip Cup” is another drinking game that is played in many of the same venues as “Beer Pong.” In “Flip Cup,” two opposing teams line up across from each other at a table. Each player has a cup, filled with beverage. Starting at one end of the table, the first player on each team consumes the beverage in his cup and places the emptied cup, upright, along the table edge, with a portion of the cup bottom extending over the edge. The player strikes this portion of the cup bottom from below, attempting to flip the cup into an upside down position on the table. If the attempt is unsuccessful, the player places the cup again and repeats the flip attempt until successful. The game proceeds in the manner of a relay race, with each team member starting only after the prior team member has succeeded. The first team to successfully drink and flip all of its cups is the winner.
  • [0013]
    As with Beer Pong, Flip Cup can become very messy. The ability to contain spillage on the table is quite desirable. It is also desirable to have a landing surface that is slight lower than the flipping surface. It can be difficult to find a playing surface that is long enough to accommodate enough Flip Cup players, since Flip Cup is often played at large parties, where many players wish to participate.
  • [0014]
    Even in a commercial drinking establishment, it may be desirable to have a portable playing surface for playing games such as Beer Pong and/or Flip Cup, so that the playing surface may be readily moved for cleaning and may be readily stowed away when not in use.
  • [0015]
    It is therefore an unmet advantage of the prior art to provide a standardized playing surface for drinking games such as Beer Pong and/or Flip Cup that is readily portable and easily cleaned after use.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0016]
    This and other advantages are provided by a playing field for use with a drinking game involving a plurality of cups. The playing field comprises a planar playing surface and a means for maintaining the playing surface in a horizontal position. The playing surface is disposed on a planar member and is adapted for placement of the plurality of cups on the playing surface.
  • [0017]
    In some embodiments, the position-maintaining means comprises a planar surface opposite the playing surface, while in other embodiments, the position-maintaining means comprises a set of support legs.
  • [0018]
    In some embodiments, the planar member comprises first and second portions that are joined along an edge of each portion.
  • [0019]
    A plurality of cup-receiving recesses formed at each end of the playing surface provide for the placement of the cups.
  • [0020]
    In some embodiments, the playing surface is adapted for illumination from at least one light source positioned therebelow.
  • [0021]
    Many embodiments of the invention further comprise a raised edge around a periphery of the playing surface, particularly with a plurality of cup-receiving recesses along the raised edge on each of a pair of opposing sides of the playing surface.
  • [0022]
    The planar member may comprise a surface layer with a plurality of apertures therethrough, the surface layer affixed to an underlying layer so that the apertures and the thickness of the surface layer define the size and depth of the cup-receiving recesses. The surface layer is preferably polymeric material, especially an ABS material.
  • [0023]
    In a particular embodiment, the playing surface is from about six to about eight feet long and from about two to about three feet wide, each cup-receiving recess has a diameter in the range of from about 2 to about 2.5 inches and a depth of about 0.25 inches. The cup-receiving recesses are in a triangular arrangement of ten recesses near each end of the playing surface, with an apex of each triangular arrangement pointing at the opposite end of the playing surface.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0024]
    The novel features and advantages of the present invention, in addition to those mentioned above, will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein identical reference characters refer to identical parts and in which:
  • [0025]
    FIG. 1 is a plan view of a playing field according to the present invention;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the playing field equipped with support legs to form a play table; and
  • [0027]
    FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of an embodiment of the playing field equipped with support legs to form a play table.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0028]
    In a first embodiment of the invention, a playing field 10 is provided for use with a drinking game involving a plurality of cups. As shown in plan view in FIG. 1, such a playing field comprises a member 12 with at least a front planar surface 14 that is adapted for receiving the plurality of cups in a configuration that is consistent with the rules of the drinking game. In the illustrated embodiment, the planar surface 14 is in the range of from about 6 to about 8 feet in length and from about two to about three feet in width.
  • [0029]
    In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the member 12 comprises first and second portions 16, 18, that are connected to each other along a common edge 20, so that the two portions form the planar surface 14. Connection of first and second portions 16, 18 can be achieved by a number of conventional means that will be known to those familiar with connecting table sections and the like to form a stable, planar surface, especially one that may be easily broken down in component parts for more compact storage. Once connected, the connecting means should retain the portions 16, 18 in position.
  • [0030]
    In the embodiment illustrated, each of the portions 16, 18 is adapted to receive one of the plurality of cups, in a configuration consistent with the rules of the game. In a variation of the game selected for illustration, ten recesses 22 are positioned in a triangular arrangement near each end of the playing field 10, similar to the arrangement used to arrange ten bowling pins in the game of bowling, with an apex of the triangle pointing at the opposing end of the playing field. Each recess 22 is sized and shaped to receive the base of a cup to be used in the game. A typical recess 22 will be circular with a diameter in the 2 to 2.5 inch range, and with a depth of 0.25 inches or less. The recess 22 is to provide approximate placement of a cup and not to retain the cup securely. The ability to tip the cup out of the recess 22 is a normal element of the game.
  • [0031]
    In some variations of the game, the removal of cups will result in re-arrangement of the remaining cups in the recesses 22. This is different, for example, from the game of bowling, where the standing pins are not re-arranged. To facilitate this possibility, the individual recesses 22 may be distinguished from each other by the placement of indicia, such as colors, letters or numbers, in or near each recess. In any configuration provided, it is anticipated that each end of the playing field 10 will be identically adapted for receiving the cups, both in terms of size and shape of the recesses 22 and any markings or indicia associated therewith.
  • [0032]
    A further feature of the present invention, while disclosed in FIG. 1, is considered optional, although it is a desirable option. A raised edge 24 is positioned around a periphery of the member 12, and particularly around a periphery of the front planar surface 14. In the illustrated embodiment, this raised edge 24 is about 2 inches high and about 4 inches wide. However, this width is intended so that the raised edge may be useful for playing the game Flip Cup, and in other embodiments, the width may be smaller. Also, the height of raised edge 24 may be varied. In the embodiment shown, a number of recesses 26 are located along an outer periphery of the raised edge 24 along the sides of the member 12. These recesses 26, which are typically the same size as the recesses 22, would be circular if they were positioned further inboard from the outer periphery. But, because they are centered less than one radius away from the outer edge, they allow a portion of the bottom of a cup placed in one of them to be exposed from below, enabling the flipping of the cup form below, in the manner described above with reference to the rules of Flip Cup. In a typical embodiment, these recesses 26 will be centered on a point that is about 0.5R away from the outer edge, where R is the radius of the recess 26.
  • [0033]
    Regardless of whether the raised edge 24 is provided with Flip Cup recesses 26, an inner periphery of the raised edge, particularly a continuous inner periphery, is useful with the game of Beer Pong by retaining spilled liquids, tipped cups, rolling balls and the like on the playing field 10.
  • [0034]
    While there are a number of construction techniques available for producing the playing field 12 of the present invention, the recesses 22 in the front planar surface 14 and the optional recesses 26 in the optional raised edge 24 suggest a construction based on laminated layers. A polymeric material, such as an acrylic material like poly(methyl methacrylate) or an ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) material, would be useful as a layer for the front planar surface. If this layer has the thickness of the recesses 22, then circular holes may be cut through the layer and the layer can be laminated to a solid underlying layer, thereby forming the recesses 22. In such an embodiment, selection of a transparent, and particularly, a colorless transparent, layer, provides a number of advantages, including the ability to place board markings on the underlying layer or permitting illumination sources, particularly LED lights, positioned in the underlying layer, to show through the top layer.
  • [0035]
    Similarly, raised edge 24 may comprise an upper and a lower layer of the selected material (or materials).
  • [0036]
    In some embodiments, and depending upon the materials selected for the layers, a further base layer or layers may be used, especially to provide structural support or stability to the playing field 10. This base layer is also useful for providing an appropriate surface for attaching legs or the like.
  • [0037]
    As shown in the perspective view in FIG. 2 and the side elevational view in FIG. 3, the member 12 has first and second support members 40, each of which is shown as being constructed of a continuous piece of metal that serves as a leg. However, in other embodiments the support members 40 may be shaped differently. They may be permanently affixed to the base layer of the member 12 or they may be removably attached. Those of skill in the art of constructing tables will readily appreciate the variations available for this issue. Preferably, one support member is provided at each end of the member, or, if the member comprises first and second portions 16, 18, one support member 40 should be provided beneath each portion.
  • [0038]
    Accordingly, the present invention is beneficial in that it provides Beer Pong players with a regulation-sized table that gives consistent positioning of game pieces and reduces spillage to the floor. The raised edge reduces spillage and game interruptions.
  • [0039]
    Having shown and described a preferred embodiment of the invention, those skilled in the art will realize that many variations and modifications may be made to affect the described invention and still be within the scope of the claimed invention. Thus, many of the elements indicated above may be altered or replaced by different elements which will provide the same result and fall within the spirit of the claimed invention. It is the intention, therefore, to limit the invention only as indicated by the scope of the claims.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3001791 *Jan 4, 1960Sep 26, 1961Atwood Giles KTable game
US4177737 *Jul 14, 1977Dec 11, 1979Harold BrickmanFoldable convertible stool-table-bar
US7325807 *May 13, 2005Feb 5, 2008Derek EasonBeer pong table
US20040188942 *Mar 26, 2003Sep 30, 2004Mark TrokanNon-alcoholic beer-pong game system
US20050029747 *Aug 4, 2003Feb 10, 2005Grayson Noah MichaelDrinking game cup holder
US20060027971 *Jul 16, 2004Feb 9, 2006Raymour RadhakrishnanBall tossing game and method of play
US20070107460 *Nov 14, 2006May 17, 2007Webb Matthew BCup holder for drinking game
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7325807 *May 13, 2005Feb 5, 2008Derek EasonBeer pong table
US7516960 *Mar 23, 2007Apr 14, 2009Battiste Michael JInflatable table
US7766337Aug 19, 2008Aug 3, 2010Soarex, Inc.Game apparatus
US8006980Apr 21, 2009Aug 30, 2011Big Dogg Pong LLCBeer pong table with cooling system
US8028995 *Mar 24, 2010Oct 4, 2011Chad Hazen HofferElectro-mechanical beer pong table and method of use
US8146921Feb 24, 2010Apr 3, 2012Michael LombardiBeer pong arcade game method and apparatus
US8176745Dec 30, 2008May 15, 2012Scorza Industries Limited CompanyDrinking-game thermal-racking systems
US8205887 *Jul 16, 2010Jun 26, 2012Ryan WylandGame table including cups
US8226087 *Dec 10, 2009Jul 24, 2012Maxwell BrustmeyerCard-guided projectile and target game
US8235389Jul 26, 2011Aug 7, 2012Big Dogg Pong LLCBeer pong table with cooling system
US8651492 *Aug 25, 2011Feb 18, 2014Paul CappuccioDrinking game
US8905406Feb 24, 2012Dec 9, 2014Kevin J. BrownPortable point/beer pong table
US8967623Oct 9, 2012Mar 3, 2015Bryan D. OrtquistBeverage game playing table having moving water troughs
US9044665 *Jan 25, 2013Jun 2, 2015Stuart HaaseTable ball game for opposite ended play using a single ball
US9782666 *Nov 21, 2014Oct 10, 2017Scienz Group L.L.C.Mechanical projectile and target game
US20090194941 *Feb 2, 2008Aug 6, 2009Stephen BoydInflatable pong table
US20100044964 *Aug 19, 2008Feb 25, 2010Soarex, Inc.Game Apparatus
US20100148434 *Dec 10, 2009Jun 17, 2010Maxwell BrustmeyerCard-guided projectile and target game
US20100244384 *Mar 24, 2010Sep 30, 2010Chad Hazen HofferElectro-mechanical Beer Pong Table and Method of Use
US20110204570 *Feb 24, 2010Aug 25, 2011Michael LombardiBeer pong arcade game method and apparatus
US20110294608 *May 26, 2010Dec 1, 2011Thomas KlestTarget Table Tennis
US20130069311 *Sep 16, 2011Mar 21, 2013Mark PryorBall and cup game and method for playing
US20140103609 *Oct 11, 2013Apr 17, 2014Jerome L. Miastkowski, JR.Projectile and Target Game and Method of Playing
US20140213380 *Jan 25, 2013Jul 31, 2014Stuart HaaseTable ball game
US20140300054 *Apr 3, 2013Oct 9, 2014Toccata Gaming International, LlcAmusement game with rotating target
US20150137452 *Nov 21, 2014May 21, 2015Scienz Group L.L.C.Mechanical projectile and target game
USD743491 *Jun 1, 2015Nov 17, 2015Fissell Enterprises, Inc.Gaming table
USD754797 *Jul 9, 2015Apr 26, 2016Fissell Enterprises, Inc.Gaming table
USD763358 *Oct 8, 2015Aug 9, 2016Bru-Bag, LLCGame board
USD776849Aug 7, 2012Jan 17, 2017Jeremy J. FissellTable with illuminating perimeter
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/342, 273/400
International ClassificationA63B67/00, A63B63/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B67/04, A63B67/002, A63B2225/682, A63B69/0097, A63F2250/024
European ClassificationA63B67/04, A63B67/00B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 11, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: LIQUID GAMES LLC, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FINLEY, SCOTT;DELONG, THOMAS;DOLL, KURT;REEL/FRAME:017452/0602
Effective date: 20060411