US 3554548 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent lnventor Dallas W. lsom v 1265 NW 97th Ave., Portland, Oreg. 97229 Appl. No. 734,684 Filed June 5, 1968 Patented Jan. 12, 1971 FOOTBALL GAME 10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
U.S. Cl 273/94, 273/ l 43 lnt. Cl A631' 7/06 Field ofSearch 273/88, 94, 85
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,141,624 6/1915 Fullerton 273/94 1,580,680 4/1926 Ryan 273/94 [lll 3,554,548
Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Paul E. Shapiro Attorney-Kolisch & Hartwell ABSTRACT: A simulated football game including a football playing field, a ball position marker, and a pair of player stations located at opposite extremities of the field for supplying information dictating movement of the ball marker on the field. Each player station has a set of offensive type play selectors and a set of defensive type play selectors, both concealed from an opposing players view. Each station also includes a chance-controlled device having multiple play instructions thereon for randomly arriving at a play instruction for an offensive or defensive type play selected by the player.' The position of the marker is determinedI by integrating instructions displayed by both chance-controlled devices. 1
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I N VEN TOR 20 Dallas W Isom l and outcomes of a true football game. As yin a true football game play strategy by the opponents plays an important part in its outcome. l
ln the past various football games have been devised, but many have been deficient in not requiring active participation by both opponents in determining the progress of play. Other types of games have relied almost entirely upon chance with little, if any, recognition rewarded to the opponent having the greatest knowledge of football tactics. Still other games have tended to be oversimplif'ied in the types of play situations presented to the players and the manner in which these different play situations may be resolved.
Generally an object of this invention is to provide a novel simulated football game constructed so that the participation of both opponents is determinative of the progress of the ball as detennined by a ball marker provided in the game.
A related object is to provide such a game which requires the participation of both opponents in detennining ball progress and which permits each player, according to his strategy, to make selections of types of plays considered by such player to be the best strategy at the time.
A further object is to provide such a game which, while affording a particular player the opportunity to make a type of play selection, at the same time introduces a degree of chance as to the success or failure which his particular play selection may have with respect to progress of the ball.
Thus the game provides a selectivelyA operable offensive and defensive type play selector for each of two opponents or players, giving each player an opportunity to match his strategic skill with the skill of the opponent by selecting a particular type of offensive or defensive play felt best to counter the opponents selection.
The game further features a novel chance-controlled device for each player which has a series of play instructions thereon, and an indicator for indicating a portion of such instructions randomly on operation of the device, to provide an element of chance in each of the opponents play selection.
These and other objects and advantages will become more fully apparent as the following description is read in conjunction with the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a simulated football game constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, such game including a board with a pair of player stations located adjacent opposite ends of the board;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of one ofthe player stations, taken generally along the line 2-2 in FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view :taken generally along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 illustrates portions of the surface of a wheel in the game which forms part of a player station, the wheel surface shown having been flattened out and drawn on a somewhat larger scale than FIG. 2, better to reveal play instructions set forth thereon; and
FIG. 5 illustrates, in simplified form, an electrical circuit forming part of a player station.
Referring now to the drawings, and rst more particularly to FIG. l, the game isfshown generally at l0. The game includes an elongated board I2 with the top prepared to simulate a playing field. Thus the top is marked off by equally spacedapart yardage stripes 14 and includes goal posts 15. A ball marker means 18, in this case a small platform supporting a ball replica with team players on opposite sides of a scrimmage line, is movable along a slot 19 extending the length of the field. The ball marker means may be moved longitudinally of the t'ield as play progresses and is used to indicate ball position. A first down marker 20 is mounted in a slot extending longitudinally of the playing field along its side, and-this also is movable longitudinally of the playing eld to indicate the distance ball marker 18 must vbe moved to gain a trst down situation.
Mounted adjacent opposite extremities of the playing field are a rst player station indicated generally at 24, and a second player station indicated generally at 26. These two player stations are referred to herein collectively as a player station assembly. A scoreboard 30 is shown secured to the top of player station 26. The scoreboard resembles a conventional scoreboard, in that it provides for keeping ofthe score, game v quarter, etc. Save for the scoreboard, player stations 24, 26,
may be similar.
Considering player station 24, the station includes an elongated enclosure or housing 32 having the cross-sectional con` figuration illustrated inFIG. 3. Thus, forming its back is a substantially vertical plate 32a, forming the front of the housing is an upper vertical plate 32C, an inclined plate 32b and a ylower vertical plate 32d and forming the top is a horizontal plate 32e. An elongated slot 34 in sloping plate 32b provides an elongated window extending between the opposite ends of the housing, whichv window functions as an indicator in the game as will be described in fuller detail.
Extending along the length of housing 32 below inclined plate 32b, and with a portion of its periphery exposed through the window provided by slot 34, is an elongated wheel, or cylinder, 44. The cylinder is suitably joumaled within the housing for rotation about its longitudinal axis. Thus, in the embodiment of the invention shown, a post, such as post 38 (see FIG. 2), projects up from the base of the housing adjacent eachl end of the cylinder and each of such posts journals an end of a shaft 45 which extends axially of the cylinder and is an integral part of the cylinder.
Cylinder 44, as perhaps best illustrated in FIG. 4, has a series of play instructions portrayed on its outer surface. Each play instruction is contained within a box, such as boxes 50, and these boxes areA arranged in multiple banks, such as banks 52, each of which extends in an axial direction on the roll, or paralleling arrow A. The boxes also are arranged in lmultiple rows 53 extending circumferentially of the cylinder, or in the direction of arrow B. The cylinder is positionable so that one bank of boxes containing multiple play instructions willbe exposed through the window provided by slot 34 to the exclusion of the other banks. l
As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, a spur gear 46 is secured to one end of shaft 45. Ratchet means, indicated generally at 60,
is provided for randomly spinning cylinder, or wheel, y 44 through spur gear 46. The ratchet mechanism includes a yplate member 62 having an upper section 62a and a lower section 62b. The forward end of upper section 62a has a series of gear teeth 64 formed thereon which mesh with the teeth of spur gear 46. The plate member is pivoted at 68 to a bracket 66 secured to backwall 32a of the enclosure, and on downward swinging of the plate member teeth 64 cause rotation of the spur gear and cylinder.
As elongated upright plunger 72' is connected -by a pin joint 74 adjacent its lower end to member 62. The plunger extends upwardly through a hole in top plate 32e. A pin 76 projects outwardly on opposite sides of plunger 72 beneath top plate 32e and, with the mechanism' in the position illustrated in FIG. 3, abuts the under side of the top plate to prevent the 'plunger from moving upwardly from the position shown. Pushing plunger 72 downwardly operates to swing the plate member downwardly. A tension spring connected at its lower end to member 62 and at its upper end to top plate 32e biases the plate member upwardly to an 'upper limit position defined when pin 76 engages the top plate of the housing.
The ratchet means, wheel, and associated parts are referred to herein collectively as a chance-controlled device.
Multiple lamps 84, 86, also referred to as signalling means herein, are mounted on front plate 32e` of the enclosure. As is shown in FIG. 2, each of the lamps 84 is Vdirectly above one of the rows of boxes disposed adjacent the left end of cylinder 44, and above a region of y*plate v32d set off in FIG. 2 at 85 by the word OFFENSE Each of the lamps 86, vori the other hand, are above and generally associated with four rows of boxes containing play instructions, with such rows being more remote from the left end of the cylinder. Plate 32d in a region underneath these lamps is designated at 87 by the word ment 96. The section constitutes a knife blade in a switch which is closed on section 62b moving between the forks, such switch being shown schematically at 98 in FIG. 5.
Secured to back plate 32a of the enclosure are a first series of multiple spaced-apart switches, or actuating means, 102, and a second series of multiple spaced-apart switches, or actuating means, 104 (see FIG. l). With the switches positioned on the back of the enclosure they are concealed from the opposing player station, and the view of an opposing player situated behind the opposing player station. Thus they can be operated secretly.
Switches 102, 104, battery 90, and lamps 84, 86 are inter connected by an electrical circuit which has not been shown in FIG. 3 in order to simplify the drawing, but portions of which are illustrated schematically in FIG. 5. Referring to FIG. 5 it will be seen that the lamps 84 and the lamps 86 (some of which have been deleted from FIG. 5) are all connected in parallel between conductors 130, 132. Between conductors 130, 132 each lamp 84 is connected in series with its switch 102, and each lamp 86 is connected in series with its switch 104. Conductor 132 is connected through switch 98 to one end of battery 90 and conductor 130 is connected to the opposite end of the battery.
A detailed study of numerous college and professional football games has shown that there are basically four types of offensive plays, i.e., a line plunge (which is ordinarily a safe short ground gaining play), an end run- (which is another ground play having less chance of success than the line plunge,
but if successful possibly producing a greater yardage gain), a short pass (which is a pass play having a relatively high chance of success, but generally not producing great yardage gains), anda long pass (which 4is a pass play having a lesser chance of success, but if successful producing -considerable yardage gains). lt has also been noted that for each of'- such offensive type plays there is a defensive type play which best counters the offensive type play.
As is best seen in FIG. 1, switches. 102, which have the word OFFENSE depicted in a region under the switches, are each designated in a region above the switches by one of the following abbreviations: L, S, E, and P. These stand for the long pass, short pass, end run, and line plunge type of offensive play, respectively. Similarly, switches 104, which have the word DEFENSE" depicted in a region thereunder, are each designated in a region above the switches by one of the above set forth abbreviations. The offensive switch 102 under P controls the lamp 84 shown in FIG. 2 above the abbreviation Pdepicted at the front of the playing station. Similarly, the offensive selector switch 102 under the abbreviation E controls the lamp 84 above the abbreviation E depicted at the front of the playing station. The same relationship exists with respect to the remaining switches 102. lt will be noted that the front of the playing station immediately above the term DEFENSE has the abbreviations P, E, S, and L, identifying four subregions, each of which is generally under one of the lamps 86. The switch 104 in FIG. l which `is under the abbreviation P controls the lamp 86 in FIG. 2 which is over the subregion identified by the abbreviation P, and the same relationship holds true for the remainder of the switches 104 shown in FIG. l. Switches 102 and signal lamps 84 collectively constitute what is referred to herein as a selectively operable offensive type play selector, since they enable a player by actuating one of the switches to select one of the four different types of offensive plays available to him. Similarly, switches 104 and lamps 86 collectively constitute what is referred to herein as a defensive type play selector.
It will be noted, and referring to FIG. 2, that the subregion identified by the abbreviation P in the DEFENSE" region is divided into four zones identified by the abbreviations P, E, S, and L (without bars under the abbreviations). A similar division into four different zones is indicated for the subregion identified in FIG. 2 at E, S, and L. Each of the zones identified by the abbreviations indicated and each `of the regions at the front of the playing station above the term OFFENSE and identified by the abbreviations P, E, S, and L, are approximately aligned with one of the rows of play instructions visible through the window provided by slot 34.
Referring again to FIG. 2, adjacent the right end of housing 32 at the front thereof is a region 120 labeled KICKING" which is divided into three subregions, labeled field goal & conversion, kicks, and kick return, respectively. The subregion labeled field goal & conversion is subdivided into four zones, labeled C, 2, 3, and 4. These zones are approximately aligned with additional rows of play instructions on the circumference of cylinder 44, and are used in determining the outcome of a conversion or field goal from l0 yards, a field goal from 20 yards, a field goal from 30 yards, and a field goal from 40 yards, respectively. The subregion labeled kicks is divided into three zones labeled K, P, and O, respectively. These zones are approximately aligned with rows of play instructions on cylinder 44 and are used in determining the outcome of kickoffs, punts, and on side kicks, respectively. The subregion labeled kick return is divided into two zones labeled K and P. These zones are approximately aligned with rows of play instructions on wheel 44 and are used in determining the outcome of kickoff returns and punt returns.
It will be noted that no signaling lamps have been provided above the region identified by the word KICKING." lt is player his intention to attempt a. kicking play and to indicate what type of kick he is attempting. v
Following the presently accepted format of a football game, the game is begun by having all of switches 102 and 104 at each player station in their open positions (or down in FIG. 1, in the particular embodiment illustrated). The ball marker is placed on the yardage stripe on board l2 corresponding tothe kickoff line to be used, usually the forty yard yline in a real football game. The player whois to kick off pushes plunger 72 at his player station, which causes cylinder or wheel 44 at that player station to spin randomly, and on release of plunger 72 the ratchet reengages the spur gear to stop the cylinder. The cylinder stops with a bank of play instructions framed by slot 34. The play instruction indicated above the K zone in the kick" subregion will dictate movement of the ball marker longitudinally of the field. Assuming the number 45 appears, the ball marker is moved 45 yards, or to the l5 yard line. The opposing player is then considered to be in possession of the ball. This opposing player then pushes plunger 72 at his player station, randomly spinning the wheel, and on release of the plunger a bank of play instructions comes into view in slot 34 of his player station, The information depicted over the K zone of the kick return subregion indicates the number of yards which the receiving team returns the ball toward the kicking teams end of the field. Assuming the number l0 appears, the ball marker is moved to the 25 yard line to indicate play felt best to counter such offensive type play by actuation of a suitable switch in the defense region of his station. No lights illuminate merely by closing a play selector switch. Once both the offensive and defensive players have made their choices secretly, they each depress the plunger at their individual player station. With the plungers depressed the wheel at each station is caused to spin randomly, independently of the wheel at the other players station. When the plunger ofthe offensive player station is depressed a lamp 84 is energized at his station indicating to the opposing player of the offensive type play selected. Similarly, when the defensive player depresses the plunger at his player station, a lamp 86 at his player station is energized indicating the defensive type play selected. Thus, only after a player has depressed the plunger at his respective player station does the opposing player know which type of play has been selected by his opponent. With release of the plungers, the wheels or cylinders in the two player stations stop.
Assuming that the o'ensive player has selected an end run type of play and has closed the switch 102 identified by E at his player station, when the offensive player depresses his plunger the lamp 84 above the abbreviation E in the OFFEN- SE region of his player station is illuminated. With stopping of the wheel in the player station of the offensive player the play instruction appearing in the window above such abbreviation E is read, which might, for example, comprise the numeral l2. Assuming that the defensive player selected a short pass defensive type play, on depressing the plunger at his player station the lamp 86 above the subregion identified by the abbreviation S illuminates, andon releasing the plunger and stopping of the cylinder at the player station the information in the window above subregion S is read. Since the opponent selected an end run type of offensive play the particular information which controls is that appearing above the E zone of the S subregion. This specit'ic instruction might comprise the numeral 4. The progress of the ball is determined by integrating the two pieces of information, by subtracting from the numeral l2 depicted at the offensive player station the numeral 4 read at the defensive player station, to show a net gain for the offensive player of 8 yards.
- If at some time during the progressionof play an offensive player feels it is a proper situation either for punting or attempting a field goal, he merely states that he is going to attempt such, and actuates the plunger to spin the wheel at his player station. The defensive player similarly spins the wheel at his player station, and play instructions read from they proper zones on the wheels of the two player stations are integ'rated to indicate the degree of the success or failure of the kicking play.
ln FIG. 4 which shows the circumference of a cylinder or wheel and portions of play instructions carried on such circumference, it will be noted that certain boxes have numbers depicted therein, whereas others might include a combination of numbers, a combination of a number and an abbreviation, an abbreviation only, or perhaps a symbol. The rules governing play may be compiled in such a manner that with this varied type of play information a wide variety of outcomes for any specific play situation can be produced. With almost all play results being determined by integrating play information read from the cylinders of both stations a highly varied and interesting game is possible.
As discussed above there are a variety of offensive type plays possible, and a corresponding variety of possible defense plays. Although each of the defensive plays may provide some degree of defense against any particular offensive play, in a football game a particular defensive play will be most appropriate and therefore generally most effective for countering a particular offensive type play, with the other defensive plays being less effective depending on their relative appropriateness. The play instructions compiled on the cylinders, or wheels, may be weighted in such a manner that the more closely a defensive player anticipates a particular offensive play, the better chance of success the defensive player has in thwarting the offense. As a corollary the skillful offensive player who is able to surprise his defensive opponent will tend to have a more successful offense.
The game may also be played with rules making it more difficult to advance the ball in instances when an offensive player is within a predetermined distance of the goal line. Thus, and by way of example, the rules may specify that with the ball carried to within a predetermined distance of a goal line the defensive player may select at his station two or more defensive type play selections, ln determining the progress of the ball, the rule may provide that the most favorable result obtained from the defensive players standpoint shall be controlling of ball progress.
lt should also be obvious that whereas four different types of offensive and defensive plays have been indicated, this number may be changed either to decrease the types of plays available for selection where simplicity is desired, or to increase the types of plays available for selection in obtaining a more complex and varied play result. It should further be obvious that play result may be determined in any given instance by a combination of one or more play selections made by either one or both of the players. The game therefore is a very versatile one.
From the above description it will be seen that this game provides active participation for both players, and an opportunity is given each player to exercise his strategic knowledge of the game. The speoic play instructions set forth on the wheels may be arrived at by compiling statistics from actual football games, and determining the chances of success and the average gain or loss, from various offensive and defensive plays. With this statistical determination having been made from actual play conditions, the football game of the invention very nearly simulates actual playing conditions. Thus the game is well suited for instruction purposes, to teach players the strategy of play.
While an embodiment of the invention has been described, modifications and variations are possible without departing from the invention and it is desired to cover all such variations and modifications as would be apparent to one skilled in the art and that come within the scope'of the appended claims.
l. A simulated football game comprising:
a simulated football playing field with movable ball marker means thereon and a player station assembly for signifying information dictating positioning of the ball marker means;
said assembly including a pair of chance-controlled devices which operate randomly with respect to each other, each device including a series of play instructions and an indicator for indicating a portion of such instructions randomly on operation of the device,
a selectively operable offensive tape play selector for operation by one player for selecting one of multiple offensive type plays; and
a selectively operable defensive type play selector for operation by the other player for selecting one of multiple defensive type plays;
said play selectors including means whereby the selection of a particular offensive type play will choose a specific play instruction from the portion of the play instructions indicated by one of said chance-controlled devices, and means whereby the selection of a particular defensive type play will chose a specific playlinstruction from the portion of the play instruction indicated by the other of said chance-controlled devices.
2. The game of claim l, wherein the player station assembly comprises a pair of player stations, and each station includes a chance-controlled device which is actuated independently of the chance-controlled device in the other station.
3. The game of claim A2, wherein each player station includes its own offensive and defensive .type play selector.
4. The game of claim 3, wherein the player stations are located at opposite extremities of the playing field, and where each player station includes for each of its play selectors actuating means which is concealed from the other player station.
5. A simulated football game comprising: a simulated football playing field with movable ball marker means thereon, first and second player stations disposed adjacent opposite extremities of said field; and each of said player stations comprising (1) an offensive type play selector for selecting one of multiple offensive type plays, (2) a defensive type play selector for selecting one of multiple defensive type plays, and (3) a chance-controlled device including a series of play instructions and an indicator for indicating a portion of such instructions randomly on operation of the device, each of said play selectors including signaling means for choosing a specific play instruction from a portion of the play instructions indicated by the chance-controlled device in the station.
6. The game of claim 5, wherein a player station includes a wheel mounting, and said chance-controlled device comprises a wheel mounted for rotation in said mounting of the player station. v i l 7. The game of claim 6, wherein said chance-controlled device further comprises means randomly for spinning said wheel. l,
8. The game of claim 7, wherein said indicator of a chancecontrolled device comprises means framing a portion only of the surface of said wheel.
9. The game of claim 7, wherein said means for spinning the wheel comprises a ratchet mechanism and an actuator operatively connected thereto.
10. The game of claim 5, wherein said signaling means of a play selector comprises multiple electrically powered lamps and the play selector further includes means for energizing selectively selected ones of said lamps.