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Publication numberUS3202424 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 24, 1965
Filing dateDec 4, 1962
Priority dateDec 4, 1962
Publication numberUS 3202424 A, US 3202424A, US-A-3202424, US3202424 A, US3202424A
InventorsPatterson Merrill S
Original AssigneePatterson Merrill S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Balancing game apparatus
US 3202424 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 24, 1965 M. s. PATTERSON 3,202,434

BALANCING GAME APPARATUS Filed D60. 4, 1962 i INVENTOR L MERRILL s. PATTERSON k BY ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,202,424 BALANING GAME APPARATUS Merrill S. Patterson, Wilicughhy, Ohio (Meadowiawn Drive, Bldg. 4-1, Mentor, Ohio) Filed Dec. 4, 1962, Ser. No. 242,211? 2 Claims. (Cl. 273-1) This invention relates to a game, and more particularly to a balancing game for per-sons of all ages.

It is known that the attention of young children is distracted easily. As a result, numerous types of games have been devised, which have as their principal object to entertain and to hold the attention of youngsters. Most of those games which have obtained any success in accomplishing these ends have been competitive games, among which are noted: board games, such as checkers and Monopoly; running and jumping games, as for example, hopscotch, tag, hide-and-seek, and the like; and skill games, such as paddle-ball, which depend upon concentration, accuracy and experience, and are primarily games engaged in by old children or entered into by one child alone. However, games which require a great degree of skill do not hold the very young childs attention for any appreciable length of time, and are therefore ineffective as an entertainment means.

An additional problem resides in attempting to design a game that will be of continuing interest to a child as he develops. Thus, many games that are satisfactory at one age are quickly outgrown and discarded. This problem is most vividly demonstrated when there are several children in a family and each age level requires a different type of game.

With the above problems in mind, this invention has as its object 'a game which will appeal to a broad spectrum of children, and particularly to those between the ages of 4 and 14.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a game that will claim the chi-lds attention over an extended period of time.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a game that will aid in the development of a childs physical dexterity and co-ordination.

Another object of this invention is to provide a game which can be played by one child or by a number of children competitively.

A further object is to provide a game which can be played by a very young child but which, as the child grows older, can successfully be increased in difiicu-lty such that the child does not lose interest quickly in the game.

The above objects are embodied in a game that makes available to every child the opportunity to develop the art and skill of balancing objects on a tube or pole. The game consists of a plurality of tubes .and a spherical ball with the tubes designed to be fitted together end-to-end to form an elongated rod or pole susceptible to being balanced vertically in the palm of the hand. Received on top of the pole is the pole is the spherical ball. The length of the pole may be varied by adding or removing sections of the tubes to thereby vary the degree of dithculty in balancing the ball.

Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent upon a complete perusal of the following detailed description and drawings.

'ice

In the drawings:

'FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the game dis-assembled and placed in an illustrative storage stand;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of FIG. *1;

PEG. 3 is a perspective of a storage stand with the game removed;

:FIG. 4 illustrates the ball received on one end of a tube section; and

FIGURE 5 illustrates the ball received on the tube as the tube is balanced in the palm of the hand.

Attention is first directed to FIG. 1 of the drawings, wherein a display stand containing the essential components of my game is illustrated generally at It As can be seen, this display stand is both utilitarian and attractive in that it contains in compact arrangement all of the necessary elements for playing the game. The stand shown is purely illustrative and any suitable means of storage or display may be used. The display stand, illustrated in FIG. 3, consists of a top member and a bottom member indicated at 12 and 13, respectively. The top and bottom members are essentially triangular in shape with each of the points of the triangle removed to provide flats to which longitudinal members 1 are fixedly secured by fasteners. In cross-section, the longitudinal members 14- are hemispherical so that the diameter thereof may be secured in abutting relationship to the flat of the triangular members 12 and 13. Each of the triangular members 12 and 13 have machined therein three holes spaced equidistant from one another, as shown at 15. The uppermost triangular member 12 additionally has a centrally located hole 16.

Turning to FIG. 1, there are illustrated the components of the game as they are received in the stand. Disposed in the holes 15 are three tubular members 20, each memher being a hollow cylinder of polyethylene or other light but durable material. Each of the tubular members 20 has a molded annular seating collar 21 which is greater in diameter than the holes 15 so that the tubes 24? cannot pass completely through the holes.

A spherical ball 22 having a plug or lug 23 at one point on the periphery is received on the top triangular member 12 with the lug 23 fitting into the hole 16. Eyelets 24 are provided at the upper end of each of members 14 with each eyelet receiving a band 25 of rubber or other elastic material. The bands are secured to a ring 26 of plastic or steel, thereby forming a triangular extensor. Due to the elasticity of the bands 25, the extensor can be stretched so that the ball 22 may be inserted between the extended bands and the top member 12, with the hands, when released, retaining the ball on member 12.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 5, it may be seen that the ends of tubes 20a and 20b opposite to those with the collar 21 includes a shorter hollow cylinder 27 of polyethylene material which has an external diameter slightly less than the internal diameter of the tubular members. The short cylinder 2? may be friction fitted into or bonded onto the end of the tube 26) with the short cylinder being adapt-ed to be telescopically inserted into the collar end of one of the other tubes 26.

As one specific embodiment of the game, I have shown two tubular cylinders Zita and 2% having a length approximately 20" per cylinder together with a third cylinder 20c having a collar 21 and length identical to the others but without a telescopic end 27. In lieu of a telescopic end, the third cylinder 290 includes a plug 28 of treated material, such as polyurethane, force fitted into the end of the tube. The plug 28 provides a more desirable palm-rest for the game than would an open end of a tube, thus facilitating the balancing of the member in the hand.

Referring now to the spherical ball 22, the ball is made or" a light, flexible material; it may be molded or may be inflatable with air. As noted above, at one point on the periphery of the ball, there is mounted or molded a cylindrical plug or lug 23. This plug or projection is made of soft, durable material, such as polyurethane or rubber,

or the like, or may be of the same material as the ball, and is adapted for insertion into the end of the tubes 2%. It is apparent, of course, that by the use of a spherical ball, I have a readily available surface on which to make a design which may be attractive to young children. For example, in one preferred embodiment, I have chosen to show a face on one hemisphere of the spherical ball, which may be turned from a smiling face to a frowning face by mere inversion of the ball.

The game is played in a relatively simple fashion, so that any particular child may be able to master this balancing game at a very young age. Experience dictates that a normal child in proceeding from the age of 4 to the age of 10, and thence to the age of 14 or 15, successively advances in proficiency and coordination in the playing of any game. Using this hypothesis, it is possible to say that, as a general rule, a young child of 4 who has the ability to balance vertically one of the polyethylene cylinders 26 may successfully balance upon the other end of the tubular member the spherical ball 22 by inserting the projection or plug 23 of the ball into the collar end of the cylindrical member as illustrated in FIG. 4. To play the game, the child merely supports the polyurethane plug 23 of the tubular member Ztlc upon his hand, finger, or combination of fingers, and thereby balances the tube and the ball 22 thereon. Having obtained proficiency in this simple form of balancing skill, the child may learn as his skill increases to rotate the spherical ball atop the collared end of the cylindrical member 29c, so that the polyurethane plug 23 fixed to the ball is not within the collared end and thereby not supporting the ball on the tubular member, which changes greatly increase the diificulty of balancing the ball upon the tube.

Thus, the game may be played initially with the three tubes assembled together with the plug 23 of the ball 22 inserted into the collared end of the upper tube. Generally, this arrangement is easier to balance than a single short tube since it provides more time in which to compensate for an imbalance of the tube and the ball. To increase the difiiculty, the ball may be rotated such that the plug 23 of the ball is outside the collared end.

Additional difiiculty of balancing may be reached by removing one of the tubular members, thereby requiring quicker reflexes in order to compensate for imbalances. Obviously, as the balancing tube is shortened, a quicker reflex is required and the more difficult it becomes to balance the tube and the ball. Further difficulties may be reached by attempting to balance the tube on various parts of the anatomy, such as the head, chin or knee.

It will be apparent from the foregoing that many adaptations of the simple balancing game are contemplated. For example, the game may be played competitively 'by passing pole and ball from one participant to another, the object being not to let the ball fall from the end of the stick. Further, the game may be played in combination with a running game, whereby the child balances the ball upon the pole, and, in competition with another player having a like feat to perform, attempts to run from one point to another while balancing the ball upon thepole.

With respect to the method by which the ball 22 is to be balanced upon the tubular members 20, I have illustrated a collared seating arrangement. Other methods, however,'are readily apparent. For example, one of the cylinders 2t) may be provided with a dish-like construction of hemispheric dimension into which the ball may be settled. Another method envisions a plug or lug projecting from the ball, the plug having a recess into which one end of the cylinders 20 may be received. A third embodiment includes providing the ball 22 with a recess into which one end of the tubular members may be inserted while performing the balancing routine.

Additionally, this invention is not limited only to a structure for balancing a spherical object, but contemplates, as well, the balancing of odd or irregular shaped objects. One such object might be a wheel having a central hub with the hub adapted to be centered on the end of the tubular member with the plane of the wheel being normal to the longitudinal axis of the pole.

Further, the illustrated embodiment is directed to an abbreviated telescopically engaged tubular connection; however, it is within the contemplation of this invention that the tubes may be telescopingly inserted into one another to their full length. Thus, the game may be more portable and compact than shown in that the essential elements .of the game would then consist only of a spherical ball together with a single telescoping pole.

The modifications mentioned above are not meant to be exhaustive since it is apparent that many other modifications will suggest themselves to one having ordinary skill in the art. Also, the embodiment illustrated is in no way meant to be limiting, but rather is meant to be illustrative of but one mode of carrying out my invention, withthe scope of my invention being determined only by the appended claims.

I claim:

i. A balancing game comprising a plurality of hollow cylinders,

'each of said cylinders having a collar formed at one end thereof, one of said cylinders having a plug of resilient material received in the other end opposite to said one end, a the other of said cylinders each having a tubular insert received in the other end opposite to said one end with said tubular insert projecting outwardly beyond said other end,

a sphere, Y

a lug carried by said sphere and projecting outwardly from a point on the periphery of said sphere, said lug having a diameter less than the inner diameter of said cylinders, Y a

said sphere being adapted to be joined to said cylinders by inserting said lug into one of said other of said cylinders, the remaining cylinders being adapted to be interconnected through telescopic reception of said tubular inserts with said cylinder having said plug being the last cylinder joined whereby said joined cylinders and said sphere may be balanced vertically in the palm of the hand.

2. A balancing game comprising a plurality of hollow cylinders,

eachof said cylinders having a collar at one end thereof, one of-said cylinders having a plug of resilient material received in the other end opposite to said one end, the other of said cylinders each having a tubular sleeve construction coacting with the other end of the cylinder opposite to said one end with said tubular sleeve construction coaxially interfitting in assembled relation with said oneend of the next adja cent cylinder,

a sphere,

a lug carried by said sphere and projecting outwardly from a point on the periphery of said sphere,

' said lug having a diameter less than the inner diameter V of said cylinders,

said sphere being adapted to be joined to said cylinders 5 by inserting said lug into one of said other of said cylinders, the remaining cylinders being adapted to be interconnected without regard to preference through te1escopic reception of said tubular sleeve construction, with said cylinder having said plug being the last cylinder joined whereby said joined cylinders and said sphere may be balanced vertically in the palm of the hand.

References Qiteti by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENT S 1,235,050 7/17 Pajeau 46131 1,299,056 4/19 Stewart 2731 2,977,123 3/61 Buh 273-98 3,981,999 3/63 Harris 2731 DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1235050 *Feb 1, 1917Jul 31, 1917Charles Hamilton PajeauBalanced toy.
US1299056 *Oct 5, 1918Apr 1, 1919Sylvester N StewartCadre or juggler's frame.
US2977123 *Jul 27, 1959Mar 28, 1961Marvin I GlassToy
US3081999 *Mar 13, 1961Mar 19, 1963Harris Israel TBalancing stick
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3460831 *Feb 9, 1967Aug 12, 1969Marvin Glass & AssociatesAssembling and balancing skill game
US3778056 *Jan 28, 1972Dec 11, 1973H WitkowskiHat game
US3870298 *Jun 24, 1974Mar 11, 1975Varga ZoltanBalloon balancing toy
US5830091 *Nov 19, 1997Nov 3, 1998Romanick; RonSports ball throwing training device
US6024660 *Aug 11, 1998Feb 15, 2000Romanick; RonSports ball throwing training device
US8783690 *Mar 14, 2013Jul 22, 2014Scott D. GreenBalancing game apparatus
WO1999025428A1 *Sep 14, 1998May 27, 1999Ron RomanickSports ball throwing training device
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/449, D21/399, 473/596, 446/396
International ClassificationA63F7/00, A63F9/26, A63F9/32, A63F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2007/0064, A63F9/26, A63F9/32
European ClassificationA63F9/26