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Publication numberUS3479033 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 18, 1969
Filing dateMay 12, 1967
Priority dateMay 12, 1967
Publication numberUS 3479033 A, US 3479033A, US-A-3479033, US3479033 A, US3479033A
InventorsAngelo J Crisafulli, Warren Skinner
Original AssigneeAngelo J Crisafulli, Warren Skinner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Movable surface game
US 3479033 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 18, 1969 cms u ET AL 3,479,033

MOVABLE SURFACE GAME Filed May 12, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 g ,8 /0 {0 n {I n I /2 11 m, H J 54 I \M 'ltl 28 68 g \I/IIIIIII"! III III/I III III/II Ill/I o o O l' I IIIIII/ll/I/IIIIIII/I/IIIII/I/III/l Angelo J. Crisaful/i Warren Skinner 1N VE N TOR 3 BY 2mm United States Patent 3,479,033 MOVABLE SURFACE GAME Angelo J. Crisafulli, 1520 N. Kendrick, and Warren Skinner, Box 271, both of Glendive, Mont. 59330 Filed May 12, 1967, Ser. No. 638,120 Int. Cl. A63d 13/00; A63f 9/02 US. Cl. 273-113 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A combined movable surface and ball game played by a plurality of players usually four in number. The players operate radial rods that extend through peripheral walls of the game board to move the surface. These rods, which may be either rotated or moved in an out, have an eccentrically mounted cam member to contact the underside of the surface. By proper manipulation any three of these cam members may lift the surface. There is also an opening to pocket the rolling ball and obstacles on the surface.

The game includes a generally rectangular open top housing in which a support panel is recessed with the upper end portions of the side walls of the housing defining sides for the support panel projecting thereabove to prevent generally spherical members rollingly disposed on the upper surface of the panel from rolling there off. The support panel has more than two predetermined peripheral areas thereof supported by vertically adjustable abutment means supported from the housing and disposed beneath these predetermined areas and by vertically adjusting the abutment means the panel may be positioned in various inclined positions so as to cause generally spherical members rollingly disposed on its upper surface to roll thereover toward a physical feature of said surface disposed in predetermined position relative thereto.

The physical feature of the upper surface of the panel utilized in the embodiment illustrated and described hereinafter comprises an upstanding opening formed through the panel which is centrally located relative to the latter and the panel includes upwardly projecting abutment pins or rods spaced about the opening formed in the panel between which the elements rollingly disposed on the upper surface of the panel may pass for access to the opening.

The main object of this invention is to provide a game which may be played and enjoyed by one or more persons. Although the game disclosed herein is best played by three or more persons, it is possible for the game to be played by one or two persons as will be hereinafter more fully set forth.

Another object of this invention is to provide a game which will not only require and develop a certain amount of mental skills but which will also require and develop physical skills as well as require and develop the ability of persons playing the game to simultaneously combine these mental and physical skills.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a game which may not only be played by persons of substantially all ages but which may also be played by paraplegics, invalids and convalescents.

A final object of this invention to be specifically enumerated herein is to provide a game which will conform to conventional forms of manufacture, be of simple con- 3 ,479,033. Patented Nov. 18, 1969 struction and entertaining so as to provide a device that will be economically feasible, long lasting and enjoyable by many persons.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the game of the instant invention;

FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially upon a plane designated by the section line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a top plan View of the game with portions of the support panel thereof being broken away;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 44 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of one of the abutment assemblies by which preselected areas of the undersurface of the support panel are supported for vertical shifting; and

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the game on somewhat of an enlarged scale and illustrating the manner in which a pivoted abutment member may be swung into and out of position closing an outlet opening formed in one side wall of the housing of the game to retrieve a ball or spherical member which has dropped through the center opening formed in the support panel portion of the game.

Referring now more specifically to the drawings the reference numeral 10 generally designates the game which includes a housing referred to in general by the reference numeral 12 and a generally planar support panel referred to in general by the reference numeral 14. The housing 12 includes a plurality of upstanding peripheral side walls 16, 18, 20 and 22 interconnected at their lower ends by means of a bottom wall 24 extending therebetween and closing the lower end of the housing 12. The housing 12 is generally square in plan shape although it is to be understood that other shapes of housings may also be utilized, including a cylindrical housing. A plurality of depending legs 26 are provided and may be utilized to support the housing 12 in elevated position above a suitable horizontal support surface such as a floor. However, if it is desired, the legs 26 may be removed so as to adapt the housing 12 for support from an elevated supporting surface such as a card table.

The generally planar support panel 14 is of a size and shape adapted to be loosely received within the confines of the side walls of the housing 12. The center portion of the support panel 14 has an opening 28 formed therethrough about which four upstanding posts 30 are secured. The posts 30' may be suitably secured, in any convenient manner such as by gluing, within suitable apertures 32 formed through the support panel 14 and the latter also includes a plurality of pairs of additional similar posts 34.

Inasmuch as the support panel 14 is square in configuration, four side areas are provided and these areas have suitable indicia 36, 38, 40 and 42 thereon identifying the four side areas. In addition, the support panel 14 includes corresponding indicia 36, 38', 40' and 42 in the four corners thereof adjacent the corresponding pairs of posts 34. Four generally spherical elements 36", 38", 40" and 42" are provided and are rollingly disposed on the upper surface of the support panel 14.

The housing includes an inclined false bottom 46 disposed above the bottom wall 24 and the false bottom 46 is inclined downwardly toward one corner portion 48 of the housing including an outlet opening 50 formed in the side wall 16 adjacent the. side wall 22. Accordingly, any element rolling across the upper surface of the support panel 14 and falling through the opening 28 will drop down on the false bottom 46 and roll toward the outlet opening 50. A generally L-shaped abutment member 52 has one leg portion 54 thereof rotatably secured through the side wall 16 above the outlet opening 50 and the vertical leg 56 thereof is swingable into and out of position in alignment with the outlet opening 50 so as to be operable to prevent the spherical elements from rolling out of the outlet opening 50 in unrestricted fashion.

Each of the side walls 16, 18, 20 and 22 has a support panel supporting abutment assembly generally referred to by the reference numeral 60 secured therethrough. The side walls 16, 18, 20 and 22 each has a generally horizontal bore 62 formed therethrough and each assembly 60 includes a generally cylindrical handgrip defining shank portion 64 extending generally radially of the opening 28, slidably and rotatably received through the corresponding bore 62 and frictionally engaged with the portions of the corresponding side wall of the housing 12 defining the associated bore 62 whereby the shank portion 64 is frictionally retained in adjusted position. The inner end portion of each shank portion 64 includes a removably mounted abutment pin 66 and a generally cylindrical cam disk 68 is eccentrically mounted on the inner end of each shank portion 64. From a comparison of FIGURES 2, 4 and of the drawings it may be seen that the assemblies 60 may be rotated about their longitudinal axes so as to vary the elevation of the upper peripheral portions of the cam disks 68 thereof and that the areas of the support panel 14 on which the indicia 36, 38, 40 and 42 is disposed are supported from beneath by the cam disks 68.

Initial play of the game may be characterized by adjustment of the assemblies 60 so as to support the support panel 14 in a substantially horizontally disposed position. Then, the spherical members may each be positioned against the corresponding pair of posts 34 in the manner illustrated in the lower portion of FIGURE 3. Then, each player, assuming there are four, may grasp the corresponding shank portion 64 and oscillate the latter about its longitudinal axis so as to attempt to roll his spherical member into the opening 28 first. Of course, the pegs or posts 30 will impede movement of the spherical members into final registry with the opening 28. In addition, as illustrated in FIGURE 2, two or three players may operate their assemblies 60 in a manner to lift the support panel 14 from engagement with the remaining opponent or opponents assemblies 60. Of course, inasmuch as the support panel 14 is opaque, a person assigned an assembly 60 above which the support panel 14 has been lifted cannot readily ascertain whether the cam disk 68 of his assembly 60 is raised or lowered and thus it is difficult for him to re-enter active play of the game until such time as has sufiiciently rotated his shank portion 64 to ascertain the position thereof in which the corresponding cam disk 68 is at its greatest elevation.

Although the game 10 is played best by four persons, it is believed readily obvious that it can be played by three persons. Further, inasmuch as the cam disks 68 have their highest peripheral portions disposed on opposite sides of vertical planes extending longitudinally through the corresponding shank portions except when the cam disks 68 are in their highest and lowest positions, two persons may play the game 10 from opposite side positions and still actuate their assemblies 60 in a manner to cause the support panel 14 to be upwardly and downwardly inclined toward the unused assemblies 60 as well as inclined upwardly and downwardly toward the assemblies 60 being used.

It is contemplated that a certain value can be given t the player whose ball first drops through the opening 28 and that thereafter progressively decreasing values may be given to the players whose balls subsequently fall through the opening 28. Of course, after the balls or spherical members fall through the opening 28, the spherical members roll downwardly along the false bottom 46 toward the outlet opening 50 but are retained within the housing 12 by means of the leg 56 when the latter is positioned as illustrated in solid lines in FIG- URES 1, 3, 4 and 6. After each play of the game 10 has been terminated, the leg 56 may be swung out of position in registry with the opening 50 so that the spherical elements will roll outwardly of the outlet opening 50. Then, the next play of the game 10 may be initiated in the same manner and a running total of the score of each player may be kept until a maximum total is reached by at least one player.

The shank portions 64 project considerably outwardly of the housing 12 but may be readily inwardly displaced so as not to project outwardly of the outer surfaces of the side walls of the housing 12. Inasmuch as the shank portions '64 may be fully inwardly displaced so that the assemblies 60 are enclosed completely within the housing 12 and the support panel 14 is recessed somewhat downwardly in the top of the housing 12, the entire game 10 may be enclosed within a suitable box no larger than a box which is necessary to enclose the housing 12 alone. Further, the support panel 14, by being recessed downwardly in the open top of the housing 12, forms side walls for the support panel 14 with the upper marginal portions of the side walls of the housing 12 and therefore the spherical members may not roll ofi? the support panel 14 during normal play of the game 10.

Inasmuch as only one hand need be used to play the game and that hand need only be capable of oscillating the corresponding shank portion 64 about its longitudinal axis, the game 10 may be played by all persons having at least partial use of one hand.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A game comprising a support member defining a generally horizontal surface over which one or more generally spherical elements are adapted to roll, said support member being supported from a suitable base and including a plurality of side areas disposed about a central zone thereof, said base including upstanding side members extending along and projecting above and below said areas, a plurality of elongated shank portions rotatably and slidably received through said side members below said support member, the longitudinal axis of each of said shank portions being disposed generally on a radius of an upstanding axis passing through the center of said zone, each of said shank portions having a generally circular cam disk eccentrically mounted thereon below and upon which said areas rest for support of said support member from said cam disks, said surface including a physical feature disposed in said zone and toward which one or more of said elements may roll in response to proper inclining of said support member by said cam disks, said support member including specifically positioned physical characteristics disposed about said physical feature adapted to be engaged by said elements for impeding the rolling of said elements toward said physical feature, said areas and cam disks equalling at least four in number, whereby three selected cam disks may be elevated relative to the remaining cam disk to lift said support member from engagement with said remaining cam disk.

5 6 2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said physical FOREIGN PATENTS characteristics include uprights supported from said sup- 1 057 725 3/1954 France port member and disposed about said physical feature. 1081381 12/1954 France:

3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said physical feature comprises an upstanding opening formed through 5 ANTON OECHSLE, Primary Examiner said support member opening upwardly through said surface T. ZACK, Assistant Examiner References Cited Us. Cl. XR. UNITED STATES PATENTS 273 110 2,499,557 3/1950 Anderson 273-113 10 3,239,226 3/1966 Matte 273 110

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2499557 *Jan 15, 1945Mar 7, 1950Anderson Charles ERotating table ball catching game
US3239226 *Feb 6, 1964Mar 8, 1966Matte PaulMiniature curling game with movable surface
FR1057725A * Title not available
FR1081381A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3764138 *Sep 8, 1970Oct 9, 1973Schild CSimulated fishing game
US3815917 *Aug 4, 1972Jun 11, 1974Midway Mfg CoTiltable table apparatus for ball rolling games
US3931972 *Apr 2, 1975Jan 13, 1976Victor M. FabianTiltable surface game toy
US5066014 *May 9, 1991Nov 19, 1991Bob's Space Racers, Inc.Sidewinder amusement game
US5415401 *Sep 22, 1993May 16, 1995Tomy Company, LtdMovable body rebounding mechanism for amusement devices
US5749575 *Mar 6, 1997May 12, 1998German; NealDual maze
US7543818 *Feb 16, 2006Jun 9, 2009Chris Alan BorgTilting projectile game
US7614623Sep 28, 2007Nov 10, 2009Steve JohnstonHead-to-head tilting surface game
US7798493 *Oct 24, 2007Sep 21, 2010Moore Adrian RBoard game
EP2042219A1Sep 24, 2008Apr 1, 2009Steve JohnstonHead-to-head tilting surface game
U.S. Classification273/113, 273/110
International ClassificationA63F7/38
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/386
European ClassificationA63F7/38R