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Publication numberUS3498613 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 3, 1970
Filing dateJul 24, 1967
Priority dateJul 24, 1967
Publication numberUS 3498613 A, US 3498613A, US-A-3498613, US3498613 A, US3498613A
InventorsDreyer Allen F
Original AssigneeUniversal Research Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Anchored ball game device
US 3498613 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Mann 3, 1-970 A, DREYER 3,498,613

ANGHORED BALL GAMEDEVICE Filed July 24, 1967 INVENTOR.

BY W

ATTOKNEYS United States Patent 3,498,613 ANCHORED BALL GAME DEVICE Allen F. Dreyer, Richmond, Calif., assignor to Universal Research Company, Berkeley, Calif., a partnership Filed July 24, 1967, Ser. No. 655,564 Int. Cl. A63b 69/40 US. Cl. 273-95 11 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A portable anchored tether ball game device suitable for providing amusement and exercise to the players either indoors or out of doors and constructed for easy movement and positioning for use; the device itself being substantially spool-shaped with the heavy lower flange thereof being adapted to provide a weighted anchored support on the floor or ground and the upper flange portion being constructed of safe impact material and recessed on its normally lower side for easy carrying, the shaft portion of the structure being provided with a rotatable collar-like structure having a tether fastened thereto near one end and a ball fastened to the tether at the other end whereby the ball may be kicked around the anchored support without winding up. A flange having a smooth outer surface is attached to the upper end of the shaft. The flange is generally coextensive with the lower flange and serves to protect the user from injury by engaging the shaft and aids in restraining flying movement of the ball.

The present invention relates to improvements in an anchored ball game device, and more particularly to a portable anchored ball game device having a tethered ball.

Tether ball games in which the ball is tethered to a large pole or stake and adapted to be struck and moved around the pole are well known. However, these games generally require a large outdoor area and depend on skill in striking the ball with the hand. Other instances of games utilizing tethered balls are known, such as practice golf balls, and in such cases they are also carried on a stake.

The present invention is directed toward providing a portable game which is suitable for both indoor and outdoor play and especially adapted for use by children. Anchored tethered devices are also known, but none of these are adapted to provide a tethered kick ball around a Weighted anchor, nor do they provide for the mode of play made possible by the present device.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a portable game for children which can be utilized in the house, on the patio or the playground area or the like.

Another object of the invention is to provide a portable tethered ball game adapted for playing by kicking the ball around or over a central structure, with the tether constructed to maintain a substantially constant length during play.

A further object of the invention is to provide an anchored ball game device of the character described which is constructed with a special handle to render the device safe and virtually accident proof, yet which also provides a desired function with regard to the operation of the device.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an anchored ball game device of the character described, which is constructed to assure free movement of the ball and capable of retaining substantially the entire tether length.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an anchored ball game device of the character described, in

ice

which a specially constructed ball is utilized to provide erratic behavior of the ball during play.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a tethered ball game of the character described in which means are provided to favor rolling of the ball on the ground or floor around the tether and restrain flying movement of the ball.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent as the specification progresses, and new and useful features of this anchored ball game and device will be fully defined in the claims attached hereto.

In its broad aspect, the invention provides an anchored ball game device comprising a portable support formed to lay on a flat surface and weighed to hold the support in position, a central upstanding shaft carried on the support, a connecting collar or fitting rotatably carried on the shaft, a ball suitable for kicking, and a tether line fastened to the collar and the ball and extending therebetween. With this construction, the ball can be kicked and moved freely around the support without winding up thereon. Preferably, the device also contains a handle secured at the upper end of the support, with the handle having a circular configuration or an auxiliary circular guide device to guide the cord around and prevent fouling on the handle portion. Preferably, the handle is mushroom shaped or disc shaped, and has recesses on the undersurface thereof to provide gripping. The form also assists the desired play, as will be apparent more fully hereinafter.

The preferred forms of the invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this description, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an anchored ball game device constructed according to the invention, with parts thereof broken away to illustrate certain internal construction;

FIGURE 2, an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view illustrating the central portion of the device shown in FIGURE 1 as seen substantially in the plane of line 22 thereof;

FIGURE 3, a perspective view illustrating an alternate form of tether that may be utilized in the device constructed according to the invention; and

FIGURE 4, a perspective view of a tethered ball, partly broken away to illustrate internal structure, illustrating an alternate form of ball that may be utilized in the device constructed according to the invention.

While only the preferred forms of the invention are shown, it should be understood that various changes or modifications may be made within the scope of the claims attached hereto without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Referring more particularly to FIGURE 1, there is shown an anchored ball game device 11 comprising a support 12, a central upstanding shaft 13 carried on the support, a rotatable connecting element 14, a ball 16 Suitable for kicking by a player 17, a tether line 18 fastened to the connecting element and the ball and extending therebetween and a substantially disc-shaped upper flange 19 connected to the upper end of the shaft 13.

The support 12 is preferably symmetrical such as circular support here shown, and is formed with the bottom adapted to' lie on a flat surface and weighted to hold the support in position. As here shown, the support is circular with a flat bottom, and this form is especially suitable for use on floors or patios or flat playgrounds. However, it will be appreciated that triangular legs could be provided so that the device could be supported on surfaces having irregular contours, if desired. An important feature of the device is to provide suflicient weight to anchor the device so that kicking by the player will not cause overturning or displacement of the device.

Preferably, the support 12 is formed of a heavy material such as iron or formed with wood or plastic weighted with metal so as to provide the necessary anchor and also a low center of gravity. With the low center of gravity, anchor stability is assured with a relatively light portable weight. For example, a typical support could be constructed of cast iron, have a diameter of say about seven inches and a weight of say about 15 to 20 lbs.

The shaft 13 can be any shaft secured to the support as by welding or otherwise, and it should provide a dual function providing a bearing surface for the connecting element 14 and a suitable space between the support 12 and the flange 19 so as to similate a spool. As shown, the shaft 13 is in the form of a bolt having head 22 fitting into a recess 23 in the support 12 and a threaded upper end 24. A spacer 26 is provided to lift the connecting element 14 in spaced relation with the support 12, with both the spacer 26 and the connecting element 14 threaded over the shaft 13. A nut 26 is then screwed down onto thread 24 to hold the assembly. For a simplified construction, the threads may be designed to end just short of clamping engagement so that the nut will hold the assembly together, while allowing rotation of the connection element 14. With this construction, the connecting element 14 is formed as a simplified collar having an extension 27 formed with an eye 28 as best seen in FIGURE 2.

It will be appreciated, that the rotatable connecting element could be any suitable bearing structure capable of rotating around the shaft 13 and that the spacer 26 is optional, i.e., it could be formed integrally with the connecting element as a single unit and provide the geometry shown, or any other desired configuration.

In general, the tether line 18 may be any suitable line such as clothes line rope and is tied to the eye 28 of connecting element 14 at one end and fastened to the ball at the other end through a swivel 29. The ball may be any suitable ball such as a tether ball, but constructed of sufliciently tough material that it will withstand kicking. Thus, the ball should have a connecting element 31 to which swivel 29 is preferably attached. However, it should be appreciated that the swivel 29 is optional and may be dispensed with, if desired. The reason the swivel 29 is preferred is to allow freer movement of the ball along the ground as it moves as indicated by arrows 32 in FIGURE 1. In other words, the swivel 29 allows the ball to rotate freely and roll along the ground or floor without winding up the cord and tending to cause skidding and torsional resistances from the tether.

An important feature of the preferred form of the invention is to provide the flange 19 in the form of a safety handle structure. As here shown, the flange is preferably mushroom shaped, with a smooth surface at the top thereof and a recess 34 on the lower side thereof. The smooth surface is to allow a playerto fall on top of the device and not be in danger of cuts or bruises that would otherwise occur from sharp points or protrusions. Accordingly, in the preferred form, the flange 19 is connected to the shaft 13 without having shaft 13 protrude from the upper surface thereof. As here shown, the flange is internally threaded or carries an internallythreaded fitting 36 swaged therein so that it may be screwed on threaded end 24 of shaft 13 and tightened against nut 26. This not only provides for a convenient construction, but also assures the safety feature mentioned above.

A purpose of the recess 34 is to provide for easy gripping by a person desiring to carry the device. This recess 34 could extend around the entire undersurface of the flange, as shown, or be dimensioned in other ways; the important consideration being that the recess is adapted for easy gripping by hand.

The size of the preferred mushroom-shaped or discshaped handle element may vary considerably, and conveniently it is dimensioned to be as large as, or slightly larger than the support 12 in order to provide a pleasing appearance. The handle structure is preferably made of lightweight material such as wood, or plastic or even hard rubber in order to preserve the desired low center of gravity and provide a safety impact surface at the top thereof. In addition, by constructing the handle as large or larger than the base, it tends to shield metal bases and provide further safety by such shielding.

Conveniently, the tether may be adjusted to any desired length, and will be used at different lengths for different modes of play. For example, a typical tether for two players indoors might be say three of four feet long, while a tether of 10 or 15 feet may be utilized outside with four or five players. In addition, a very short tether of say one or two feet can be used where the play might be a contest to see which of two people, back to back, will miss. Other modes of play will be obvious to the user and the imagination of the child. However, it will be appreciated that the flexibility of play and the suitability for various numbers of players are an advantageous feature of the device.

It has been found, that play of the ball around the device is preferable to kicking the ball straight over the top thereof. In order to prevent this straight-over kicking or flying, or at least retard it, an alternate form of tether may be utilized as shown in FIGURE 3. As there shown, the device is generally similar to that shown in the embodiments of FIGURES 1 and 2, except that the connecting element 14 is replaced by connecting element 14a and the tether 18 is replaced by tether 18a. Otherwise, the structures are similar with the tether 18a being connected to ball 16 through swivel 29, and connecting element 14a fitting over shaft 13 for rotation therearound. The tether 18a is constructed in the form of a strip which is held in vertical configuration by a longitudinal attachment 41 to clips 42 longitudinally disposed along connecting element 14a.

With this construction, it is seen that the strap is held in vertical position near the shaft 13 of the device, and yet free to rotate at the ball end thereof. This vertical attachment tends to cause strap to bend in the direction favoring ground movement and retarding the above-mentioned flying of the ball. While the tether 18a is shown as a tapered strap, it will be appreciated that the strap may have various configurations, the important consideration being the vertical configuration near the attachment 41.

Another variation which provides for special amusement is the use of the special tether ball 16b illustrated in FIGURE 4. This ball may be attached to the typical tether 18 through swivel 29, with the tether 18 carried on the device shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, if desired. Alternatively, this alternate form of ball could be utilized with the tether shown in FIGURE 3 and other variations of the device falling within the scope of the invention.

Referring again to FIGURE 4, there is shown a ball 16b having walls defining a hollow interior 46 and a smaller ball 47 carried within the hollow interior. This smaller ball 47 is free to move within the interior of the large ball and provide erratic movement of the tether. This adds to the difliculty of play and provides amusement as a splendid variant for the device.

From the foregoing description, it is seen that I have provided an anchored ball game device which provides a novel, portable tether ball game suitable for kicking and particularly adapted for play by children in various locations. It is also seen that I have provided a device in the simplified construction which is durable and has safety features to provide protection for the user.

I claim:

1. An anchored ball game device, comprising a portable support formed with a bottom adapted to lay on a flat supporting surface and weighted to provide a low center of gravity and hold the support in position during use, a central upstanding shaft carried on the support, a rotatable connecting fitting on said shaft journaled with suitable bearing surfaces for free rotation therearound, a ball suitable for kicking, a tether line fastened to a central portion of said fitting and said ball and extending therebetween whereby the ball can be kicked and move freely around the support without moving the support or winding up thereon and a handle at least generally coextensive with said support and secured to the shaft at the upper end thereof and above the fitting, said handle being substantially mushroom shaped and having a recess on the underside thereof for assisting a person gripping the device, the handle being formed to provide a substantially smooth safety surface at the top and a substantially circular side whereby the tether line will re main free from entanglement with the handle.

2. The anchored ball game defined in claim 1, in which the tether line contains a swivel therein for allowingfree rotation of the ball.

3. The anchored ball game defined in claim 1, in which the connecting fitting is cylindrical and the tether line is formed in a vertical strap-like configuration at its connection to the fitting whereby movement of the ball near the ground around the support is favored and flying of the ball is retarded.

4. The anchored ball defined in claim 1, in which the ball is constructed with Walls defining a hollow interior and carries a smaller ball in free moving relation in the hollow interior.

5. An anchored ball game comprising a portable support formed with a lower surface adapted to lay flat on a fiat surface, a central upstanding shaft fixedly carried on the support, a rotatable connecting collar fitting on said shaft for free rotation therearound, a ball suitable for kicking by a player, a tether line fastened to said collar and said ball and extending therebetween, and a substantially disc-shaped upper flange connected to the upper end of the shaft suitable as a handle, said flange having a generally smooth outer safety surface and being generally coextensive with said support whereby said support, collar, and handle substantially form the shape of a flanged spool, said support being constructed of heavy material positioned to provide a low center of gravity and weight sufficient to retain the support in position no matter how hard the ball is kicked.

6. The anchored ball game defined in claim 5, in which a spacer is provided to retain the collar at a spaced distance above the support.

7. The anchored ball game defined in claim 5, in which the upper flange has a recess on the lower surface thereof to facilitate gripping by hand.

8. The anchored ball game defined in claim 5, in which the tether line contains a swivel fastening at the connection to the ball, whereby rolling movement of the ball around the support is facilitated.

9. The anchored ball game defined in claim 5, in which the tether line is formed in a vertical strap-like configuration at its connection to the collar whereby movement of the ball near the ground around the support is favored and flying of the ball is retarded.

10. The anchored ball defined in claim 5, in which the ball is constructed with walls defining a hollow interior and carries a smaller ball in free moving relation in the hollow interior.

11. The anchored ball game defined in claim 5, in which the handle is constructed of relatively soft material providing a smooth upper surface, and in which the handle has a diameter larger than the support for shielding the support, whereby the user is protected from injury in the event of impact on the device.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 649,190 5/1900 Zimmerman 273200 X 883,058 3/1908 Sprague 273200 X 1,091,985 3/1914 Thompson et al. 273197 2,665,912 1/1954 Iuran.

FOREIGN PATENTS 1,162,827 4/ 1958 France. 644,112 8/ 1962 Italy.

ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner M. R. PAGE, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 27358, 197, 200

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3589726 *Feb 25, 1970Jun 29, 1971Crowder William ETethered kicking ball and goal
US3785643 *Feb 10, 1971Jan 15, 1974Rich EErratic movement tethered ball striking toy
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Classifications
U.S. Classification473/575, 473/594, 473/147
International ClassificationA63B71/02, A63B69/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/0091, A63B69/0079, A63B2071/026, A63B2208/12
European ClassificationA63B69/00T2, A63B69/00T3