US 2954230 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 27, 1960 w. J. ROGERS 2,954,230
ROLL-BALL AMUSEMENT DEVICE HAVING A ROTATABLE GOAL Filed Nov. 13, 1959 INVENTOR. m \AHLLIAM J. ROGERS BY 4, A0440 A tt-orncy T g 2,954,230 Pat exited Sept. 27, 1950 ROLL-BALL AMUSEMENT DEVICE HAVING A ROTATABLE GOAL This invention relates .to a roll-ball amusement device of a type including a container wherein a ball visible through a transparent window is confined and is adapted to roll over a surface as the container is manually tilted, the objective of the player being to cause the ball to settle in a particular area or goal.
The general purpose of this invention is to provide an improved amusement device of this type having various desirable features, as will later appear herein, whereby the interest of the player is strongly held; and whereby not only a source of amusement is provided, but also a means of testing the skill, manual control, reflex actions, and patience of the player.
A feature of the invention is a rotatable member defining the goal for the rolling ball. This memberis designed to rotate in one direction or the other accordingly It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for purposes of illustration and description, and are not to be construed as defining the limits of the invention.
- In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a cross section through a roll-ball amusement device embodying the invention;
Fig. 2 is a top plan view thereof with a portion broken away and with the window glass omitted;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary detail of the rotatable goal member; and
Fig. 4 is a modified form of the invention.
Reference is directed to the several drawings for a more detailed understanding of the invention; and now,
attention is directed especially to Figs. 1-3, wherein is disclosed a container 1. The latter has a'bottom wall 'or base 2 the inner face 3 ofwhich defines a flat floor of the container. The latter further includes a cylindrical side wall 4, and an open top end defining a window closed over by a transparent glass 5. Extending vertically from the center of the floor of the container is a stationary pivot pin 6. The latter serves as the axis of rotation of a rotatable goal member '7. The pivot pin is slidably received in an axial bore 8 of a cylindrical body portion 9 of the member 7. This bodyportion has a flat bottom end 11 which bears upon the floor of as the container is tilted, whereby the objective of entering the ball into the goal is a challenge to the player.
Another feature of the invention lies in the arrangement and form of a stationary member which provides a field or surface for the rolling ball in surrounding relation to the rotatable member. This feature also includes a diflicult surface provided by the stationary member, whereby the ball tends to roll in a direction away from its goal.
Another feature of the invention lies in the structure of the rotatable member, whereby the latter is able to fend off or divert the rolling ball from reaching its objective.
A still further feature of the invention lies in the particular structure and organizational arrangement of its component parts whereby the device may be used in the playing of a game simulating that of soccer or hockey. In this respect the manipulator of the container acts as a player in the game whose objective is to cause a ball to roll over a surface to settle in a goal provided by a rotatable member; and the rotatable member is a mechanical opponent which, in the manner of a goal tender, turns in one direction or the other during play so as to fend off the ball and frustrate the attainment of a goal.
Accordingly, another object of the invention is to provide a simulated ball game having a live player and a mechanical opponent actuable automatically in response to the movements of the player to frustrate movement of the ball to a goal.
' A further object of the invention is to provide a rollballamusement device wherein the foregoing features are incorporated.
The invention further lies in the particular structure of its component members and in their relative arrangement whereby the objects and advantages intended herein are obtained.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more fully hereinafter from a consideration of the detailed description which follows when taken together with the accompanying drawings wherein an embodiment of the invention is illustrated.
axis thereof is preferably at the mid-point of the vertical pin.
the container as member 7 rotates. Extending away from the body portion in the direction of the side wall of the container is a pair of flat faced rigid arms 12 disposed in spaced relation to each other. The inner ends 13 of the arms are fixed tangently to the body portion 9; and the free ends 14' thereof are in close proximity to the inner face of the side wall of the container. Confined for free rolling movement between the opposed arms in the vicinity of the free ends of the latter is a steel ball 15. The latter rolls over the floor of the container between the arms 12 as the container is tilted. The ball is adapted to bear against the inner face of the side wall 4 of the container as it rolls. A cross rail 16 may be fixed between the arms 12 so as to confine the ball "in .the vicinity of the free ends of the latter.
As the ball rolls over the floor of the container, it acts against one or the other of the arms 12 and, accordingly swivels the rotatable member about its pivot pin. The under edges 17 of the arms are spaced clear of the floor of the container to avoid frictional contact thereof with The ball is of such diameter that the lateral dimension ofthe arms 12; and such mid-point preferably lies substantially in the plane of-the lateral axis of the body portion 9. By this arrangement, action of the rolling ball against either of the arms 12 causes a smooth swivelling action of the rotatable member about the pivot A thin, radially extending flange 18 about the top end of the body portion of the rotatable member provides an enlarged end face or surface 19.- Centrally of the latter is a cavity 21 in which a rolling steel ball 22 of slightlygreater diameter is adapted to seat.
A disc plate 23 arranged transversely of the container and having a central opening 24 provides for the ball 22 a roll-ball field'or surface in surrounding relation to the goal defined by the cavity 21. The disc plate is fixed about its periphery to the side wall of the container. In this respect it rests about is marginal area upon an internal shoulder 25 of the container. An inner liner 26 of the container'abuts' at its bottom end 27 upon the. upper marginal area of the disc plate; and glue or other adhesive fixes the liner to the side Wall of the containerf'A recessed upper end of the liner provides an annular seat upon which the glass 5 is glued fast.
The central opening 24 of the disc plate is coaxial with the rotatable member, and is slightly smaller in diameter than the end surface 19 of the latter. The marginal area of the end surface 19 closely underlies the disc plate and is rotatable relative to the latter.
The cavity or goal 21 of the rotatable member is exposed centrally'of the opening 24 of the disc plate. It is substantially surrounded by an enclosure or fence 23. A small break in the latter defines an entrance 2% to the enclosure and the goal 21. The fence is fixed to the surface 19 and projects upwardly above the disc plate through the opening 24. The fence has an arcuate back portion 31 which is concentric with the goal 21, and is of relatively greater diameter than the latter so as to be spaced sufiiciently from the goal to enable the rolling ball 22 to seat in the latter clear of the fence. This arcuate section of the fence is also spaced clear of the adjacent peripheral edge 32 of the opening 24 so as not to rub against the said edge as the rotatable member turns. The fence is of key-hole design. It further has a pair of substantially parallel arms 33 extending in spaced relation from the arcuate section of the fence toward the edge of the opening 24, whereby the entrance 29 is defined. A slight clearance exists between the free ends of the arms of the fence and the edge 32 of the opening 24, so as to permit the fence to rotate with the rotatable member clear of the said edge.
It is the object of the player in using the device to manually tilt it about so as to cause the ball 22 to roll over the surface of the disc plate and through the entrance of the fence to the goal 21. The disc plate 23 preferably has a slightly coned surface so as to increase the difiiculty of directing the ball over the disc plate to the goal. This difficulty is further increased as the fence surrounding the goal is caused to rotate together with the rotatable member 7.
It is to be appreciated that, as the steel ball acts upon one arm or the other of the rotatable member, the latter together with the fence thereon rotate accordingly. Now if the rolling ball 22 should roll against the side of one of the arms 12 of the fence at a moment when the fence is rotating in an opposing direction, the ball will be thrust aside or fended olf, much in the manner of a goal tender in a game repelling or frustrating the movement of a ball to its goal.
The fence is shown as having a position which is at right angles with respect to its entrance 29 relative to the arm elements 12 of the rotatable member. This is of decided advantage in that any attempt to roll the ball 22 directly across the disc plate into the entrance 29 will be frustrated by rotation of the entrance as the container is tilted, causing the entrance to turn angularly away from the path of the ball.
With patience and practice it is possible to enter the ball 22 through the entrance 29 to its goal. Because of the right angular relation of the fence to the arms 12 of the rotatable member, it is also difficult to roll the ball out through the entrance 29 back on to the surface of the disc plate 23. So as not to consume considerable time in this respect, the ball may be displaced from the fence by turning the container upside down. The ball will drop out of the fence onto the glass 5, and will roll clear of the fence onto the surface of the disc plate as the container is turned right side up.
The device may be manipulated as it is held in the palm of the hand or as it rests upon a table surface. A hemispherical shell 34- fixed to the underside of the base of the container enables the latter to rest upon a table surface and to be gently pivoted or rolled about as desired.
In Fig. 4 a modified form of the invention is shown. This form of the invention is of advantage where relatively large sized containers 35 are used. So that the arms 30 which effect rotation .of the rotatable member 36 4 about its pivot 37 will not be unduly long and thereby exert a frictional drag upon the rotatable member, an inner cylindrical wall 38 is fixed to the base 39 of the container. The wall 38 serves as a bearing surface for the steel ball 41 as it rolls between the arms 30 over the floor 42 of the container. The cylindrical Wall 38 is coaxial with the outer wall 43 of the container. The up- 7 per annular rim 44 of the wall 38 serves as an added under-support for the central area of the disc. plate 53 5.
While an embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described in detail, it is to be expressly understood that the invention is not limited thereto. Various changes can be made in the design and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and'scope of the invention as thes ame' will now be understood by those skilled in the art; and it is my intent, therefore, to claim the invention not only as shown and described but also in all such forms and modifications thereof as may reasonably be construed to fall within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A roll-ball amusement device comprising a container having a cylindrical side wall, a bottom end' providing a flat floor for the container, a transparent member closing over an open top end, and a vertical pivot pin fixed centrally of the floor; a disc plate supported about its periphery to the side wall of the container in spaced relation to the floor and transparent member and having a central opening; a rotatable goal member having a cylindrical body axially mounted upon the pivot pin for rotation about the latter and including a fiat top end surface of slightly greater diameter than the said central opening and disposed in close spaced relation to the underside of the edge of said central opening; a steel ball within the container rollable over the surface of the disc plate upon actuating the container; a seat for the steel ball formed centrally of the said top end surface; a defined entrance across said top end surface to the seat for the steel ball; and means for causing rotation of the rotatable member and the seat thereon relative to the disc plate upon actuating the container.
2. A roll-ball amusement device a defined in claim 1, wherein the surface of the disc plate is slightly conical.
3. A roll-ball amusement device as defined in claim 1, wherein the seat is a cavity, a fence substantially surrounds the cavity, and a pair of arms of the fence define said entrance.
4. A roll-ball amusement device as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for causing rotation of the rotatable member comprises an arm extending away from the cylindrical body toward the side wall of the container, and means for weighting the end area of the arm.
5. A roll-ball amusement device as defined in claim 4, wherein the said entrance to the seat is at right angles to the said arm.
6. A roll-ball amusement device as defined in claim 4, wherein the means for Weighting the end area ,of the arm is a steel ball freely rollable against said arm and over the floor of the container.
7. A roll-ball amusement device as defined in claim 1, wherein the means for causing rotation of the rotatable member comprises a pair of spaced arms extending from the said cylindrical body in the direction of the side Wall of the container, and ,a steel ball freely rollable between the outer end areas of said arms and yer the floor of the container.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 832,614 Lea Oct. 9, 1-906 FOREIGN PATENTS 18,022 Great Britain 1908