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.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2998974 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 5, 1961
Filing dateJun 19, 1959
Priority dateJun 19, 1959
Publication numberUS 2998974 A, US 2998974A, US-A-2998974, US2998974 A, US2998974A
InventorsStafford John K
Original AssigneeStafford John K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fencing game
US 2998974 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 5, 1961 J. K. STAFFORD FENCING GAME 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 19, 1959 INVENTOR. fafizzfd Sfafford H TTORNEYS Sept. 5, 1961 J. K. STAFFORD FENCING GAME 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 19, 1959 INVENTOR. Jain If. Sfaffard BY fl w W United States Patent 2,998,974 FENCING GAME John K. Stafford, 41 W. Notre Dame St., Glens Falls, N.Y. Filed June 19, 1959, Ser. No. 821,508 9 Claims. (Cl. 273-85) The present invention relates to a fencing game and more particularly to a fencing game designed for safe foil play. Heretofore, fencing has been limited to carefully coached and supervised groups provided with masks and chest protectors and conducted under a rigid set of regulations. Under such conditions, very few people have an opportunity or desire to indulge in this interesting sport. The new fencing game makes the sport attractive to everyone. It aifords an opportunity for the use of all of the skilled techniques of thrust and parry used in legitimate fencing but without the necessity of using face masks or chest protectors and, moreover, makes fencing safe and interesting for both children and adults.

The primary object of the invention is to provide fencing apparatus which will bring this interesting sport within a wider range of use.

Another object of the invention is to provide fencing equipment with safety factors which enable the game to be played without special protection or supervision.

Another object of the invention is to provide, in a fencing game of the type described, an improved target device adapted to be worn by a player to direct the thrust or blow of the fencing foil away from critical areas of the body and to further provide an interesting object of the game.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved target device to be worn by a player and which in itself provides safety features.

Another object of the invention is to provide fencing foils with readily renewable safety tips.

Another object of the invention is to provide fencing apparatus which is adaptable to the needs of all ages and which can be economically and quickly fabricated.

A further object of the invention is to provide a fencing game which gives the player full freedom of action, there being no encumberment of the body by protectors or impairment of vision by the face masks.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be further described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein FIG. 1 shows the fencing apparatus in use by a pair of players, each player being provided with a target device and safety foil;

FIG. 2 shows a front view of the target device of the game apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view through the target device taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3-A is a fragmentary perspective view of a modified form of target device;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view through an assembled fencing foil having a readily renewable safety tip;

' FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4 through the handle of the foil;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an insert adapted to be retained within the handle section of the fencing foil of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 7 is a view of the foil of FIG. 4 after it has been devices generally indicated as 12. Each of players A' and B (shown diagrammatically) has a target device 12 strapped around his chest and is provided with a fencing foil 10, the tip of which is generally pointed toward the target device of his opponent, the object of the game being to strike the target carried by such device and knock it to the ground.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3; the target device .12 comprises a cup-like target holder 14 having a flared skirt portion 16 adapted to be placed against the chest of the player. The target holder 14 is provided with an outwardly extending apex portion 18 in which is embedded a small but powerful magnet 20. The outer face of the apex portion 18 provides a plane surface 22 and the magnet 20 preferably has a face which is flush with this plane surface. A target 24 is adapted to be held against the surface 22 of the target holder by means of the magnetic attraction of magnet 20. Target 24- may be stamped from iron or steel sheet metal or from any other paramagnetic material, and may be of any convenient size and shape. For example, it may be in the shape of a heart, as illustrated, or could be made in the design of an emblem such as used by the knights of old. Different targets of a set may be provided in the form of difierent emblems to add interest to the game.

The target 24 is preferably larger in area than the surface 22 of the holdenand includes an extension, the heart being disposed on the extension so as to hang downwardly from the supporting magnet somewhat in the manner of a pendulum. Thus, when it is struck by a thrust or blow of the fencing foil of an opponent, it can be displaced from its target holder, thereby indicat ing that a point has been scored. Handicaps can be arranged by varying the amount of target beneath the surface 22, i.e., the target can be raised or lowered to determine the amountof elfort required for its displacement.

The target holder 14 is preferably made of rubber or other resilient material so that by flexure of the skirt portion 16 thereof, the force of a direct thrust will be somewhat absorbed. The dimensions of the target holder are such as to place the target .24 about two inches from the chest of the player, thereby facilitating the striking of the target by a fencing foil.

As shown in FIG. 2, target holder 14 is provided with a cord or tape 26 which passes through holes 28 in the skirt portion 16 and is attached ateach end to small but strong clamps 30. These clamps are adapted to be attached either to the sweatshirt or other wearing apparel of the player, or to a body-encircling elastic band 32, as shown. Thus, the target holder 14 is readily and adjustably positioned upon the torso of the player.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the fencing foils 10 are provided with safety tips 34 I (FIG. 1). These are preferably in the form of resilient elements which will deform to provide a gradual deceleration of the forward motion of the foil when it strikes an opponents body. While the gradual deceleration element illustrated has an outwardly flared skirt, it will be understood that it could have other configurations and provide the same result. Thus, it might be spherical, hemispherical, pear-shaped, or any other shape providing gradual deceleration upon deformation. The tips, whatever their form, are provided with a socket at the apex end for receiving the end of a fencing foil. The fencing foils 10 are also provided with hand guards 36 in the usual manner. In the apparatus to be used by children and younger-age groups, the shaft portion 'of the fencing foil may be made of Wood or plastic and the tip portions 34 may be rubber cups held upon the shaft portion by means of friction engagement within the socket provided in such tip element or additionally by cementing the elements together. In apparatus for older youthsfand adults, the fencing foil may utilize a hollow steel shaft of regulation size, weight and dimensions.

Patented Sept. 5, 1961 1 Fiberglas shafts have also been found satisfactory for both children and adults. In accordance with a further feature of the invention, the shaft is provided with a quickly renewable safety tip which isnevertheless held against, dislodgement by' even the most vigorous action.

Referring now to FIG. 4, one embodiment of the fencing foil comprises a hollow tapered steel shaft 40 having an end 42 of small diameter and an opposite, or handle end 44 of larger diameter. The handle end 44 is provided with a conventional hand guard 46 which may be welded, cemented or otherwise secured to the shaft portion. The reduced end or tip 42 is provided with a rubber or resilient plastic safety tip 34 having a flared skirt portion 48 and an apex portion 50. The apex portion is provided with a socket 52 in which the end 42 of the steel shaft is snugly received. The safety tip 34 is provided with an attaching wire 54 for securing the renewable tip 34 to the shaft 40 in a manner hereinafter described. The wire 54 has one end 56 secured or embedded in the apex portion 50. This may be conveniently accomplished during the fabrication of the tip. The other end of wire 54 is in the form of a hook 58. A tension wire 60 extends through the entire length of the hollow steel shaft 40. This wire 60 at its lower end is bent in the form of a ring 62 which engages the hook 58 of the renewable tip 34.

The handle portion 44 of the foil, integral with shaft 40, is hollow and is adapted to slidably receive the lower portion 64 of an insert generally designated as 66. As shown in FIG. 5, the hollow interior of handle portion 44 is provided with channels 68 which receive the edges of the portion 64 of insert 66 and thereby prevent such insert from rotating relative to the shaft. The other end.

of the insert 66 comprises a threaded rod 70. The foil is provided with a second or removable handle portion 72 which is adapted to abut the first handle portion 44 and form an extension thereof. This handle portion 72 is provided with an internally threaded bore 74 adapted to threadedly engage the threaded end 70 of insert 66. Tension wire 60 extends through an opening 76 in a wall 78 at the base of handle portion 44 and is secured to the insert 66 by bending its end 82 through a hole 80 in the insert. The wall 78 forms a stop for the end of the insert.

To assemble a new tip on the fencing foil as shown in FIG. 4, handle 72 is unscrewed from the insert 66. The bent end 82 of the tension wire 60 is disengaged from the hole 80 of the insert. The rubber tip 34 to be replaced is pulled to the left of the shaft 40, as shown in FIG. 7, carrying with it the tension wire 60. As soon as the ring 62 of tension wire 60 clears the end of the shaft, the hook 58 of the old tip 34 is disengaged from such ring and a corresponding hook 58 of a new rubber tip element is attached to such ring. The new tip 34 is then forced upon the end 42 of the shaft causing the tension wire 60 to move to the right so that it is in a position whereby its end 82 can be inserted in the hole 30 of insert 66 when such insert is resting upon the wall 78, that is, when it is inserted to its full depth in the hollow portion of the handle 44. Handle portion 72 is now screwed on the threaded end 70 of insert 66 and as the insert moves outwardly into handle 72, tension is placed upon the wire 60 to any desired extent. After suitable tension has been reached, further rotation of the handle 72 is stopped and the whole device is held in assembled relation. In this manner, a new tip can be placed upon a tapered steel shaft within the time of one minute.

The game apparatus may be produced in a variety of sizes and modifications may be made for different uses. Thus, for the little league set, the foils may be made oflight but strong plastic or of wood rather than steel. All foils, however, incorporate the safety tip, either permanently attached or renewable. The tip is conveniently of a cupdiameter of 2 inches, although, if desired, smaller diameters, e.g., one inch may be supplied for c more skilled fencers. Preferably, the girth of the cup is greater than that of an adult human eye socket.

While the magnetically held target assembly shown in FIG. 3 is preferred, other modifications may be employed without departing from the broad principle of the invention. Thus, as shown in FIG. 3-A, a target 124 may be displaceably mounted on the apex 118 of target holder 114 by means of a small wooden rod which may be inserted beneath metal clip 111 on the front surface 122 of the holder. The upper end of rod 116 fits within a bore 113 of a target support 115 to which target 124 may be attached by any suitable means. The rod 110, which, for example, may be a conventional wooden toothpick, is capable of being readily broken by a blow or thrust of the foil, enabling the target to fall. The target is replaced by replacing the broken rod.

It will be apparent that the game includes the following novel and important features:

(1) Displaceably supported target which falls to the floor or ground when struck, thus providing a ready means for counting points and determining the winner of the game.

(2) Safety means afforded by the deformable, gradual deceleration elements on foils and target holder.

(3) Renewable tips for foils which can be quickly replaced.

(4) Cost economy due to absence of face masks and chest protectors and simple construction of foils and target.

(5) Freedom from impairment of vision or body action.

All of these features contribute to the promotion of the ancient game of fencing on a basis heretofore impossible.

I claim:

1. In a fencing game comprising a set of fencing foils and a set of targets for the players, the combination comprising: a target holder, means for securing said target holder to the torso of the player, a magnet carried by said target holder, and a target of paramagnetic material held to said target holder by the magnetic attraction of said magnet and adapted to be displaced there from by a blow from the fencing foil of an opponent.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said target holder comprises a deformable cup of resilient material with a flared skirt adapted to be placed against the torsoof the player and held in this position by said securing means, and wherein said magnet carried by said target holder is embedded in the apex of said cup.

3. A target device for a fencing game comprising a resilent cup-like target holder having a flared skirt adapted to fit against the body of a player, an elastic strap for embracing the body and holding said target holder snugly thereagainst, means for adjustably and detachably connecting said strap to said target holder, said target holder having an outwardly extending apex portion with a plane surface at the end thereof, a magnet embedded in said apex portion and having a portion flush with said plane surface, a target of paramagnetic material having at least one plane surface and of greater dimension than the said exposed surface of said magnet, said target being adapted to being held by said magnet with its plane surface against the plane surface of said target holder and to be displaced therefrom by a blow from a fencing foil.

4. A fencinggame as defined in claim 2 wherein the target holder and target include means cooperating to hold the target to the target holder in different relative positions of releasibility so that the minimum force necessary to remove the target from the target holder by a blow from a foil may be varied by the players depending upon the position selected.

5. A' fencing game comprising a set of fencing, foils and a set of target. devices for the players, each target device including a target holder, means securing said target deviceto the torso of a player, and a replaceable target releasably held by such target holder, said target holder and target including magnetic means cooperating to hold the target to the target holder in difiierent relative positions so that the minimum force necessary to remove the target from the target holder by a blow from a foil may be varied by the players depending upon the position selected.

6. A fencing game for safe foil play, comprising: a set of fencing foils and a set of targets for the players, each foil having a deformable element at one end thereof providing gradual deceleration of the forward thrust of a foil to the body of a player, and each target including a deformable target holder, said target holder and target including cooperating means to hold the target to the target holder with selective degrees of releasabiliy, whereby the target can be dislodged from the target holder only by a blow of predetermined minimum force from an opponents foil, and then replaced, thereby to renew the game; and means conected with said target holder for strapping the same to the torso of a player.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 838,105 Grant Dec. 11, 1906 2,133,552 Long Oct. 18, 1938 2,206,697 Harter- July 2, 1940 2,294,026 De Tuscan Aug. 25, 1942 2,803,087 Zalkind Aug. 20, 1957 2,809,836 4 Musser Oct. 15, 1957 2,868,542 Mieg Jan. 13, 1959

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US838105 *May 12, 1904Dec 11, 1906Edwin J GrantFencing game apparatus.
US2133552 *Oct 12, 1937Oct 18, 1938Long Sidney LDuel target
US2206697 *Jun 23, 1938Jul 2, 1940Bela E De TuscanElectric foil
US2294026 *Aug 28, 1940Aug 25, 1942De Tuscan Bela EFencing foil
US2803087 *Feb 24, 1955Aug 20, 1957Albert M ZalkindToy fencing foil
US2809836 *Jun 29, 1956Oct 15, 1957Knickerbocker Plastic Co IncPop-up target
US2868542 *May 28, 1954Jan 13, 1959Peter MiegFencing game
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3456947 *Feb 20, 1967Jul 22, 1969Borgford William HenryGame helmet
US3516662 *Jan 4, 1968Jun 23, 1970Kuenstler Robert E JrFencing swords
US3576323 *Jun 13, 1968Apr 27, 1971Pellicer Emil StanleySilhouette fencing target with adjustable arm
US3771786 *Nov 27, 1972Nov 13, 1973Bouldin TNonfatal cock fighting
US4653582 *May 22, 1985Mar 31, 1987Treco Products, Inc.Point indicating system for combat sports
US5570881 *Oct 24, 1994Nov 5, 1996Lau; AnthonyScoring equipment for a sword contest sport
US5846171 *May 27, 1997Dec 8, 1998Hollowell; Roger R.Competitive balance exercise game device and method of play
US6565484Jan 23, 2002May 20, 2003William C. AdamsFencing sword
US7090597 *Sep 19, 2003Aug 15, 2006Shield Mfg. Inc.Hand shield for hockey stick
US8652015 *Nov 24, 2010Feb 18, 2014Technogym S.P.A.Safety device
US8876613 *Oct 12, 2012Nov 4, 2014Gheorghe FloreaWireless scoring system for competitive swordplay game with nonmetallic swords
US9162129Apr 12, 2013Oct 20, 2015Dwayne A. HorvathTactical training aids
US20050064960 *Sep 19, 2003Mar 24, 2005Shield Mfg. Inc.Hand shield for hockey stick
US20070191116 *Dec 9, 2004Aug 16, 2007Gardiner Adrian BGame
US20080064580 *Sep 10, 2007Mar 13, 2008Hollowell Roer RExercise device and method of exercise using the same
US20110130252 *Nov 24, 2010Jun 2, 2011Technogym S.P.A.Safety device
US20130281217 *Oct 12, 2012Oct 24, 2013Gheorghe FloreaWireless scoring system for competitive swordplay game with nonmetallic swords
EP0736744A1 *Dec 7, 1995Oct 9, 1996ANNUNZIATA, AntonioBlade, particularly for fencing
U.S. Classification463/47.1, 273/440.1, 482/12
International ClassificationA63B69/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/02, A63B2208/12
European ClassificationA63B69/02