US 3105687 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 1, 1963 D. H. MUNRO ETAL 3,
GAME PIECE CONTROLLER AND PLAYER STABILIZER Filed Sept. 26. 1960 Inventors DONALD H. MUNRO WILLIAM H. MUNRO Attorne v United States Patent M 3,105,687 GAME PIECE CONTROLLER AND PLAYER STABILIZER Donaid H. Munro and William H. Munro, both Munro Games Limited, Burlington, Ontario, Canada Filed Sept. 26, 1969., Ser. No. 58,375 7 Claims. (Cl. 273-85) This invention relates to improvements in table games of the type wherein players are manipulated above a playing surface to impel a game piece in the simulation of such games as hockey, football, soccer and the like.
In such table games the players, which are to impel the game piece which may, for example, be a puck, ball or the like, are mounted on rotatable standards and the players are provided with a radially outwardly extending projection so that on rotation of the standard the projecting portion of the player is swung to contact and impel the game piece. It will be obvious that the speed or force which can be imparted to the game piece will depend upon the distance which the piece lies from the axis of the standard when impelled or struck by the player projection. For hard, well-directed shots, therefore, the person manipulating the player will attempt to deliver the blow or shot to the game piece by contacting it with that portion of the players projection which is farthest from the standard.
While in some games the player standard rotates about a fixed axis, in many other games of the type with which the present invention is particularly concerned, the player standard is slidable in longitudinal guide slots in the playing surface so that the player can bemanipulated along or across the playing surface as well as swung to deliver a sharp blow to the game piece. In either case, of course, for the hard, well-directed shot, the effort is always made to co-ordinate the game piece and player relationship so that the outermost extremity of the players projection strikes the game piece.
It is the principal object of this invention to provide an extremely simple inexpensive game piece controller associated with the player to enable the piece to be very readily delivered to the extremity of the portion of the player which projects radially outwardly from the rotatable standard. As the invention will be particularly described with reference to a hockey player and a puck, in this specific illustration, it is the object to enable the puck to be laid on the end of the players stick for a hard, accurate shot. 7
Another important object is to provide a game piece controller as aforesaid which will additionally function as a player stabilizer when utilized with a shiftable player whose standard in addition to being rotatable is slidable along or across the playing surface. In this connection, it will be understood that the player standards are operated by means of rods extending below the playing surface and projecting through the ends or sides of the game for manipulation by the persons playing the game, the rods being coupled to the standards by suitable drives by means of which the standards can be rotated on rotation of the rods. It has been found that the vigorous manipulation of the rods may impart a torque moment which acts to tilt the standard and hence player carried thereby so that the stick or other projeciton of the player may, on standard rotation, sweep over and miss the puck or other game pieces, or alternatively may dig into the surface. It is therefore of particular importance that the controller according to the invention ensure not only the radial outward deliverance of the game piece but, in the case of slidable players, the stabilization of the player so that its standard remains perpendicular to the players surface to ensure that its projection is always in position to strike or impel the game piece.
3,195,687 Patented Oct. 1, 1963 Still another object is to reduce the frictional resistance to the sliding movement of the player and its standard along the guide slot in the playing surface.
The principal feature of the invention resides in providing a game piece controlling member beneath the player on the standard, the member having at least one camming edge extending outwardly from the standard to deliver a game piece outwardly from the standard to a point in position to be contacted by the players game piece impelling projection.
More particularly, according to the preferred form of the invention, the game piece controller comprises a tapered arm having a hub portion mounted on the standard and tapering outwardly from the hub portion, and the player is disposed above the controller and extending radially outwardly from the standard as the median of said tapered arm with said game piece irnpelling portion projecting beyond the end of the arm.
Another important feature resides in utilizing the arm as a player stabilizer bearing on the smooth playing surface. In this connection, according to the preferred form of the invention, the dual functioning game piece controller and player stabilizing arm is utilized to suspend the standard and its rotating and shifting mechanism from the smooth upper surface of the playing surface, and a washer or button is utilized to maintain the arm in flat bearing contact with said upper surface, the washer presenting a convex surface to the underside of the playing surface to be engaged solely by the bottom edges of the standard guiding slot for minimum frictional resistance. Again, it is a feature to have the washer or button rotatable on the standard to further decrease frictional resistance at the underside of the playing surface.
Another feature resides in providing a simple locating interlock between the player and arm.
These and other objects and features will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which,
FIGURE 1 is an exploded, broken away, perspective view, illustrating the application of the present invention to a hockey game;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary, vertical sectional broken away View, showing the puck controller and player stabilizer in assembled relation with the player audits standard and suspending the standard drive mechanism from the smooth upper surface of the playing field;
FIGURES 3, 4 and 5 are diagrammatic illustrations illustrating the manner in which the puck controller delivers the puck to the stick of the hockey player illustrated;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged broken away diagrammatic view, illustrating the camming action afforded by a puck controller on the puck.
With reference to FIGURE 1, there is illustrated a playing surface 1 which may represent the ice surface in a simulated hockey game, the surface being bounded by a wall 2.
It will be understood that the playing surface 1 will be smooth and may bear the requisite markings, not shown, according to the game being simulated.
In the application of the invention to the embodiment illustrated, the playu'ng surface 1 is provided with one or more slots 3, one slot only being illustrated as being representati-ve.
Projecting upwardly through the slot 3 is a standard 4 which has a squared upper end 5 and carries a gear 6 at its lower end. The standard 4 is journalled in a bracket 7 which also serves as a journal for an elongated rod 8 carrying a gear 9 arranged to mesh with the gear 6. The rod 8 extends through an opening 10 in one of the side walls 2 and is provided with a finger-grip 11 at its outer end, by means of which the rod can be rotated to 1 ing surface 1.
rotate the standard 4 or can be moved longitudinally to move the standard up and down the slot 3.
The assembly comprising the standard 4, the bracket 7, the rod 8 and the gear 6 and 9, is suspended from the smooth upper surface of the playing surface 1 by means of a stabilizing and playing piece controller, designated generally at 12, sleeved onto the squared upper end of the standard.
The member 12 is preferably formed of a smooth hard plastic and comprises a hub portion 13 and an elongated outwardly taperinng arm portion 14, the longitudinal edges 15 and 15 of which are adapted to form camming surfaces disposed perpendicular to the playing surface 1 to deliver a game piece or puck outwardly to the stick 16 of a hockey player 17 as hereinafter more fully described.
As illustrated, the hockey player 17 is formed of a sheet material so that it is substantially planar and is provided with a mounting portion 18 defining spaced vertically registering squared sleeve portions 19 presenting vertically registering squared openings 20 adapted to be sleeved onto the squared upper standard end 5 to lock the hockey player to the standard for rotation therewith.
The stabilizing and playing piece controller 12 is pro vided with spaced post projections 13' adapted to receive the planar formation of the hockey player 17 there'between, whereby the member 12 is anchored to the player to rotate therewith under manipulation of the standard, the arrangement being such that the plane of the player 17 constitutes a median of the tapered arm portion 14 of the puck controller 12.
During rotation of the rod 3 in the vigorous play of the game, there is frequently a torque couple tending to tilt the player 17 so that his stick 16 will either tend to dig into the playing surface 1 or to pass over the top of the game piece or puck 2 1. That is, the torque couple will tend to tilt the standard 4 from its normal desired orientation with its axis perpendicular to the playing surface 1. In addition it will be understood that the player 17 will also provide a degree of unbalance tending to tilt the standard. However, because of the lateral extent of the arm portion 14 of the stabilizing and puck controller 12, which extent is several times the width of the slot 3, the riding of this member on the playing surface 1 over the extended bearing area between the member and the playing surface will prevent such tilting of the standard due both to torque and player unbalance. To ensure that the hub portion 13 and, of course, consequently the arm portion 14 of the member 12 is always maintained in close proximity to the palying surface 1 under even extreme torque conditions, there is provided a locating washer or button 22 sleeved onto the standard 4- and disposed immediately beneath the play The washer or button 22 is preferably of a hard, smooth, plastic material and is provided at least with a convex upper surface 23, which, upon any tendency of the standard 1 to lift to raise the hub portion 13 of the member 12 off the playing surface 1 in an eifort to tilt, will contact the lower edges 24 of the slot 3 but the washer normal-1y will be free and clear of contact with the underside of the playing surface 1 which normally will not be finished as smoothly as the upper surface on which the member 12 rides.
The washer or button 22 is limited in its downward movement on the standardd by the upper surface of the bracket 7 and it may be free to rotate on the standard so that it may freely turn under any excessive pressure being developed between one of the edges 24 of the slot and the convex surface 23 upon sliding of the standard 4 longitudinally of the slot.
In operation, the member 12 in performing its stabilizing function will glide smoothly along the upper surface of the playing surface 1 with the hub portion 13 bridging the slot 3 and the extended arm portion 14 forming a stabilizing member which will prevent tilting of the standard 4 especially since the stabilizer 12 cannot lift upwardly to any degree by virtue of the provision of the locating washer 22. At the same time, the standard 4 can readily be rotated with the smooth, hard surface of the plastic stabilizing member 12 being freely turned over the smooth.
playing surface 1 while suspending the standard and gear assembly from the surface. 7
Not only does the suspension and stabilization of the system from the upper surface of the playing surface 1 provide for smooth manipulation of the player 17, but
the stabilizing member 12 also provides a second im-- portant function in the playing of the game in that by the choice of its shape to provide the camming surfaces 15 and 15, the stabilizing member 12 becomes a playing piece controller to deliver the playing piece, for example,
the puck 21, outwardly to the player projection or stick 1 16 in the manner illustrated in FIGURESB to 6.
In this connection, as seen in FIGURE 6, the normal 25 to the camrru'ng surface 15 of the arm portion 14 of the controller and the line of the plane of the player 17, which extends radially outwardly from the standard, define an outwardly facing angle A which is acute. In other words, the outwardly facing angle A defined between the normal 25 and a radius extending from the axis of the standard 4 to the stick 16 is acute. Thus, as the standard 4 and the controller 12 are rotated in the direcslowly so that the puck is not impelled away from. the
player, the component Y acting on the puck in conjunction with its own inertia will cause the puck to roll along the camming surface 15, as illustrated in the progressive showings of FIGURES 3, 4 and 5, until the puck reaches or is laid on the stick 16 of the player.
FEGURES 3 to 5 illustrate the manner in which the puck 21 is laid on the players stick 16 when the player and controller 12 are rotated. However, it will be obvious from FIGURE 6 that even when the player is merely advanced along or across the playing surface 1 by sliding movement of the standard 4 in the slot 3 the force delivered to the puck in pushing it as it is carried up the ice by the player will, in conjunction with the pucks inertia, impart a force Y to the puck acting to roll the puck to the end of the arm 14 and onto the stick 16. If a magnetic attraction is provided between the puck and stick, it will be understood that this force will further assist in effecting outward delivery of the puck as the puck will tend to roll or move to a point of minimum spacing from the stick.
To further facilitate the manipulation of the puck or game piece 21, one or other of the puck or stick is preferably provided with a suitable magnet giving limited magnetic attraction therebetween, in accordance with the teachings of United States Patent No. 2,903,264. Thus, once the puck has been laid on the stick, as illustrated in FiGU-RE 5, the standard carrying the player can be rotated slowly without breaking the magnetic attraction until the puck is lined up for the shot, at which time a quick turn of the standard will impel the puck, easily breaking limited magnetic linkage between the puckand stick. Alternatively, the invention is also useful where the game piece or player have no magnetic attraction since, for example, once the puck has been laid on the players stick, the direction of rotation of the-player may be reversed from that indicated by the arrow 26 and the puck contacted from the opposite side and moved back into the proper spot for delivering a shot in the proper direction.
The action described with respect to the puck 21 and the cam surface 15, of course, will be identical when the camming surface 15 is utilized to deliver the puck out- Wardly to the stick.
Thus, the tapered form of the controller 12 and the utilization of the planar configuration of the player 17 to form a median bisecting the tapered arm provides a very simple yet effective puck control feature which adds greatly to the degree of control over the puck or playing piece that can be obtained, adding greatly to the degree of skill with which the game can be played.
While according to the embodiment of the invention illustrated the player 17 and controller 12 are separate elements, it will be understood that the player, if de sired, could be a moulded plastic member and the controller 12 moulded integrally therewith to form or lie at the base of the player.
It will also be obvious that while the invention has particularly been described with reference to a hockey game,
it is equally applicable to similar types of games and it will be further understood that while the embodiment of the invention illustrated provides an extremely simple form of stabilization and puck control, variations in the shape, configuration and detail of the controller and parts may be made within the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.
What we claim is:
1. In a game apparatus, a playing surface, a rotatable standard projecting through a slot in and disposed substantially perpendicular to said playing surface, a stabilizing member having a hub portion sleeved on said standard to overlie said playing surface and bridge said slot and a tapering elongated arm portion projecting radially of said standard, said standard being adpated to be shifted along said slot while being maintained substantially perpendicular to said playing surface by said stabilizing member, means disposed beneath said playing surface for shifting and rotating said standard, and a player member mounted on said standard to overlie said stabilizing memher and having a game piece impelling portion projecting laterally of said standard beyond the end of said tapering arm portion, at least one longitudinal edge of said tapering arm portion being generally in obtusely angled relation with said game piece impelling portion and forming a camming surface adapted to deliver a game piece to said game piece impelling portion under standard manipulation.
2. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which means are provided to interlockingly engage said stabilizing member and said player member.
3. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said player member is in the form of a shaped plate having a mounting portion sleeved on and interlocked with said standard and extending, with the plane of said plate substantially perpendicular to said playing surface, radially outwardly of said standard as the median of the tapering arm portion of said stabilizing member.
4. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which one of said player and stabilizing members is provided with locating means to relatively fix said latter members with said player member constituting the median of the tapered arm portion of said stabilizing member.
5. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 1 in which said stabilizing member bears on said playing surface and stop means are provided to limit lifting of said stabilizing member 01f said playing surface.
6. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 5 in which said stop means comprises a stop washer on said standard below said playing surface, said washer presenting to the underside of said playing surface a smooth convex surface for contact by the bottom edges of said slot.
7. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 6 in which said washer is rotatable on said standard, and means are provided to prevent movement of said washer down said standard beyond a predetermined point.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,682,329 Glavin Aug. 28, 1928 2,227,932 Hadfield Jan. 7, 1941 2,229,232 Widegren Jan. 21, 1941 2,903,264 Munro Sept. 8, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 378,846 Italy Feb. 26, 1940