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Publication numberUS3610628 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1971
Filing dateOct 2, 1969
Priority dateOct 2, 1969
Publication numberUS 3610628 A, US 3610628A, US-A-3610628, US3610628 A, US3610628A
InventorsPromin Edward R
Original AssigneePromin Edward R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drop ball chance device having plural rotatable pathway members
US 3610628 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Edward R. Promin Bigelow Road, Newfoundland, NJ. 07435 863,040

Oct. 2, 1969 Oct. 5, 1971 lnventor Appl. No. Filed Patented DROP BALL CHANCE DEVICE HAVING PLURAL ROTATABLE PATHWAY MEMBERS will? 2,525,716 10/1950 Okamoto 2,905,474 9/1959 Jahr FOREIGN PATENTS 812,643 4/1959 Great Britain 89,553 6/1937 Sweden Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Arnold W. Kramer Attorney-Reno A. Del Ben ABSTRACT: Game apparatus characterized by a plurality of number ring assemblies vertically and rotatably mounted on a shaft. The number ring assemblies are each provided with a ball hole, the holes being equidistant from the central axis of the shaft. By chance controlled rotation of the respective number ring assemblies, 21 ball playing element may be made to drop through the number ring assemblies and out through a base to indicate a winner of the game.

DROP BALL CHANCE DEVICE HAVING PLURAL ROTATABLE PATHWAY MEMBERS This invention relates to game apparatus and more particularly to a new and unique game apparatus different from any game apparatus which has heretofore been available.

In the past, game apparatus which has been available has generally been of theplaying board type, wherein provision is made for moving one or more playing pieces around a pathway which has been provided on the surface of the board. Occasionally game boards have been provided with a means of changing the pathway which lies on the surface of the board. Playing boards of this type have been available for many years and the many innovations which have been tried have exhausted the field The present game apparatus has been invented to overcome the monotony of the old and exhausted playing board type of game apparatus by providing a new and refreshing type of game apparatus.

One of the objects of the present invention is to provide a new and unique game apparatus having a movable pathway provided through the interior of the game apparatus.

Another object of this invention is to provide a game apparatus wherein means are provided for changing the pathway through the game apparatus.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a game apparatus having a new and structurally different method for moving a playing piece along the pathway provided in the game apparatus.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a unique game apparatus which is useful in teaching youngsters color recognition, basic numbers, and manual dexterity.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an arrangement of parts which perform new and unusual functions when in association with each other due to their respective structures, and which are designed to lend interest and excitement in the manipulation of the various parts.

These and other objects of the invention will appear from time to time as the following specifications proceed and with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a view of the game apparatus in perspective partially broken away to illustrate the interior mechanisms;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a spherical ball which is one of the playing elements;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the other playing elements, each of which is a data cube} FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the device taken on a vertical plane passing through the center of the game apparatus;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of an inner ball guide;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of an inner ball guide, partially broken away to illustrate the interior mechanisms, the cross section of the broken away portion being taken on the line and in the direction shown by 6-6 in FIG. 5;

FlG. 7 is a top plan view of an outer number member;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of an outer number member, taken on the plane and in the direction shown by 88 in FIG.

FlG. 9 is a side elevational view of the lower portion of the central shaft;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view of the lower portion of the central shaft taken on the plane and in the direction shown by Ill-10 in FIG. 9.

Referring now to the drawings more in detail, the invention, in its preferred embodiment, will be fully described.

The game apparatus, in its preferred embodiment, comprises a base 11 which is preferably of regular hexagonal shape. The base has a top surface 12 and six side faces 13. Each side face is numbered with a different number from one to six. Six circular ball channels 14 are provided in the base. Each channel 14 has a minimum diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the ball playing element 28 shown in FIG. 2, which ball playing element 28 is a spherical ball. The channels 14 are open to the top surface 12 of the base and to the side faces 13, each channel opening to a different side face. The individual openings of the ball channels 14 on the top surface 12 of the base 11 are spaced at intervals of preferably 60 around and equidistant from the central axis of a shaft-receiving hole 15 provided in the base 11 and located preferably on a line between the axis of the shaft-receiving hole 15 and the center of the top of each respective face 13. Each ball channel 14 connects to the side face 13 nearest to the respective ball channels opening on the top surface 12. The radial distance of the top opening of each of the ball channels 14 from the central axis of the shaft-receiving hole 15 is equal to the distance of the center of each of the ball holes 29 in the inner ball guide 24 from the central axis of the shaft-receiving hole 30 in the inner ball guide, as hereinafter described.

The base 11 is provided with a shaft-receiving hole 15, as heretofore mentioned, into which a shaft 16 is loosely fitted. At least a portion of the shaft-receiving hole 15 in the base is preferably square and at least part of the lower portion 17 of the shaft 16 which fits within the shaft-receiving hole 15 is also square. The lower portion 17 of the shaft is made slightly smaller than the dimensions of the shaft-receiving hole 15 so that the shaft 16 may slide axially in the shaft-receiving hole 15 while being prevented from turning radially.

The bottom portion 19 of the shafi is enlarged and fits within an enlarged portion 31 of the shaft-receiving hole 15. The bottom of the shaft 16 is supported on a cam 20. The cam 20, in turn, is supported by a camshaft 21 which camshaft is rotatably mounted to the base 11. Rigidly connected to camshaft 21 is a lever 22, the rotation of which will rotate the cam 20 through the camshaft 21, thereby resulting in the shaft 16 being raised and lowered in the shaft-receiving hole 15.

Rotatably mounted on the shaft 16 above the top surface 12 of the base 11 are preferably six number ring assemblies 23. The number ring assemblies 23 each consist of an inner ball guide member 24 and outer number member 25. The outer number member 25 has preferably a regular hexagonal outer configuration for most of its outer surface, resulting in six faces 32 being provided on the outer surface. At the bottom of each of the six faces 32, the exterior portion of the outer number member 25 is cut back towards the center of the hexagon to form a downwardly extending projection 35.

A circular bore 33 is provided in the outer number member 25 commencing at the top 36 of the outer number member and extending axially into the outer number member for approximately one-half of the distance between the top and bottom of the outer number member. Between the bottom 37 of the outer number member and the circular bore 33, a regular hexagonal aperture 34 is provided, the hexagonal aperture 34 being defined by six faces 38, each of the faces 38 being dimensionally equal. Fitting into the outer number member 25 is the inner ball guide member 24. The inner ball guide member 24 has three outer parts: a small circular part 39 located at the lower portion of the inner ball guide member, a large circular part 40 located at the upper portion of the inner ball guide member, and a regular hexagonal part, 41, located between the small circular part 39 and the large circular part 40. The diameter of the small circular part 39 is slightly smaller than the smallest distance between opposing faces 38 of the hexagonal aperture 34 provided in the outer number member, while the diameter of the large circular part 40 is slightly smaller than the diameter of the bore 33 provided in the outer number member. The regular hexagonal part 41 of the inner ball guide member is slightly smaller than the regular hexagonal aperture 34 in the outer number member, so that the hexagonal part 41 will mesh closely with the faces 38 defining the hexagonal aperture, while the inner ball guide member 24 may be easily moved axially with respect to the outer number member 25 when the inner ball guide member 24 is inserted in the outer number member 25. The vertical distance between the bottom 42 of the large circular part of the inner ball guide member and the bottom 43 of the inner ball guide member should be less than the vertical distance between the lip, formed between the bore 33 and the hexagonal aperture 34, and the bottom 37 of the outer number member. In the meshed position of the number ring assembly 23, the bottom 42 of the large circular part of the inner ball guide will then rest on the lip 44 of the outer number member.

Each of the inner ball guide members 24 is provided with a cylindrical ball hole 29 which extends through the inner ball guide member. The ball hole 29 is slightly greater in diameter than the diameter of the ball playing element 28. The central axis of the ball hole 29 is located at some chosen distance from the central axis of the inner ball guide member 24. The central axis of the ball hole 29 should preferably be on a line between the central axis of the inner ball guide member 24 and the center of the top of one of the faces 45 of the hexagonal part of the inner ball guide member.

As has been stated, preferably six number ring assemblies are rotatably mounted on the shaft 16. This is accomplished by providing a circular shaft-receiving hole 30 in the inner ball guide member, the shaft-receiving hole central axis coinciding with the central axis of the inner ball guide member. The portion 18 of the shaft 16 which protrudes above the top surface 12 of the base is circular, and the shaft-receiving hole 30 is of slightly greater diameter than the diameter of the circular portion 18 of the shaft.

Approximately midway between the top and the bottom of the circular shaft-receiving hole 30 provided in each of the inner ball guide members, preferably six equally spaced ball cavities 46 are circumferentially provided at equally spaced intervals of preferably 60. In the shaft 16, a series of holes 47 are provided which extend radially into the shaft for a portion of the diameter of the shaft. Inserted into each of said holes 47 are, first, a spring 48 and then a small ball 49 which is biased radially outwards from the shaft by spring 48. The holes 47 and the ball cavities 46 are located in such a manner that when the number ring assemblies are inserted on the shaft, with the hexagonal part 41 of the inner ball guide member meshing with the faces 38 defining the hexagonal aperture of the outer number member, with the shaft 16 resting in its lowest position on the cam 20, with the bottom of the lowest number ring assembly resting on the top surface 12 of the base, and with the faces 32 of the outer number member in alignment with each other and with the faces 13 of base 11, each of the holes 47 will align with a ball cavity 46, and the ball hole 29 in the lowest number ring assembly 23 will align with one of the openings of the ball channels 14 on the top surface 12 of the base 11.

The number ring assemblies are held on the shaft at the upper end of the shaft 16 by a cap 26 which is secured to the top of the shaft 16 by a screw 27. The cap is provided with a circular ball channel 50, the smallest diameter of which is slightly greater than the diameter of the ball playing element 28, with the bottom of said ball channel being in alignment with the ball hole 29 in the inner ball guide when at least one of the ball cavities is aligned with one of the holes 47 in the shaft. The cap is preferably keyed to the shaft to prevent its rotation radially with respect to the shaft.

The ball cavities 46 are made a depth of approximately onethird of the radius of the ball 49, and since the ball 49 is biased outwards from the shaft by the spring 48, the ball 49 will, as the inner ball guide member 24 is rotated, come into contact and be pressed into one of the cavities 46, and as force is further applied to the inner ball guide member 24, the ball 49 will be forced out of the cavity 46 and into the next cavity 46, resulting in a clicking or stop action at various points as the inner ball guide member 24 is rotated. Thus the inner ball guide member 24 will be temporarily held in various positions, each position being separated by an angle of 60 from the prior position.

When the shaft 16 is raised by action of the cam 20, if the balls 49 are engaging the cavities 46, the inner ball guide member 24 will be raised and will be disengaged from the outer number members 25. The outer number members 25 may then be separately rotated to new positions with reference to their respective inner ball guide members 24, and by lowering the shaft 16 and engaging the outer number member 25 with the inner ball guide member 24, a new position is created between the inner ball guide member 24 and its respective outer number member 25, resulting in the number designations located on the faces 32 being shifted with respect to the location of the ball hole 29 in each of the number ring assemblies 23.

The diameter of the ball playing element 28 is made slightly less than the height of the face 32 of the outer number member.

Each of the outer number members 25 is made a different color, and each face 32 of an outer number member 25 has a different number placed thereon, preferably consecutively from 1 to 6.

In order to use the game apparatus, preferably three data cubes are provided: a number cube 51, a direction cube 52, and a color cube 53.

The number cube 51 has each of its faces numbered with a different number, from 1 to 6.

The direction cube 52 has on half of its faces the direction left and on the other half of its faces the direction right."

The color cube 53 has a different color on each of its faces, the colors corresponding to the colors of the different outer number members 25.

The method of playing the game may now be explained as by such explanation the various functions of the several components thereof will be more clearly understood.

Up to six players can sit around the base of the game apparatus, their respective positions being determined by some prearranged method. One of the players is selected by a predetermined method to commence the game. Before commencing the game, the cam 20 is positioned so that the shaft 16 rests in its lowest position and the number ring assemblies 23 are checked to make sure that the inner ball guide members 24 mesh with their respective outer number members 25 The ball playing element 28 is then inserted into the ball channel 50 in the cap and falls downwards through the action of gravity. If the ball hole 29 in the topmost inner ball guide member is not aligned with the ball channel 50, the ball playing element 28 will come to rest on the top of the topmost inner ball guide member 24. However, if there is an alignment between the ball hole 29 in the topmost inner ball guide member and the ball channel 50 in the cap, the ball playing element 28 will fall through the ball hole 29 and will come to rest on the first inner ball guide member 24 whose ball hole 29 is not in alignment. At this point the first player throws the number cube 51, the direction cube 52 and the color cube 53, in the same manner as a pair of dice would be thrown, and evaluates the information and takes the necessary action. For example, if the top faces of the cubes indicated the number 2, left, and blue, the first player would turn the blue outer number member 25 to the left (clockwise looking down) to the number 2. Each player takes his respective turn in this manner until the coincidence of the holes 29 in the ball guides allow the ball playing element 28 to travel to the base 11 where it falls through the ball channel 14 and out through one of the number side faces 13 of the game apparatus, indicating the winner.

At the end of the game the relative positionsof the inner ball guide members 24 with respect to the outer number members 25 may be changed by raising the shaft 16 by rotating the camshaft lever 22, thereby disengaging the inner ball guide member 24 from the outer number member 25, rotating the outer number members 25 by predetermined amounts, or by chance, and lowering the shaft 16 by rotating the camshaft lever 22 and reengaging the inner ball guide members 24 with respect to their outer number members 25 in the new positions. in this manner a new pathway through the game apparatus is created and lends additional excitement to the game.

In an alternate embodiment, the separate parts of each of the number ring assemblies 23, namely the inner ball guide member 24 and the outer number member 25, may be made as one piece, in which case the provision for changing the relative position of the ball hole 29 with respect to the faces 32 of the outer number member is eliminated. In such a case the cam 20, camshaft 21, and camshaft lever 22 may also be eliminated.

Obviously the game may be modified by changing the data cubes, changing the number of number ring assemblies, eliminating or adding various parts, substituting playing cards or other chance means for the data cubes, or changing the rules of play.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the essential characteristics thereof. Hence, the present embodiments are to be considered in all respects merely as being illustrative and not as being restrictive.

lclaim:

1. Game apparatus comprising a ball playing element, a base, a shaft connected to said base, a plurality of number ring assemblies vertically and individually rotatably mounted on said shaft, and a cap connected to the shaft; the cap having a ball channel passing through the cap, the number ring assemblies each being provided with a ball hole passing through the number ring assembly, and the base being provided with at least one aperture; the bottom of the ball channel in the cap, the ball holes in the number ring assemblies, and the tops of the apertures in the base being located equidistant from the central axis of said shaft, so that a movable pathway may be formed through the cap, number ring assemblies, and base for the ball playing element when said ball playing element is dropped into the ball channel in the cap; said game apparatus comprising, further, selection designations located on the outside periphery of the number ring assemblies, and chance means for determining how the number ring assemblies shall be selectively rotated about the shaft, so that the bottom of the ball channel in the cap, the ball holes in the number ring assemblies and the top of one of the apertures in the base come into successive alignment permitting the ball playing element to drop in stages through the game apparatus.

2. Game apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein means are provided to temporarily hold each of the number ring assemblies in various positions of rotation around the shaft.

3. Game apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein each of the number ring assemblies is provided with a plurality of ball cavities equally spaced around the circumference of the shaftreceiving hole with the centers of the ball cavities of each number ring assembly on one plane perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the number ring assembly, and the shaft is provided with an inwardly extending hole for each of the number ring assemblies, and the means to temporarily hold each of the number ring assemblies in various positions of rotation around the shaft comprises a spring located in the respective hole provided in the shaft, and a ball located in the respective hole provided in the shaft and urged outwards, and into temporary engagement with successive ball cavities as the number ring assembly is rotated, said ball being urged outwards by said spring.

4. Game apparatus as claimed in claim 3 wherein each of the number ring assemblies comprises:

an inner ball guide member, which is provided with the said ball holes and ball cavities;

an outer number member having the said selection designations located on the outside periphery thereof, the said inner ball guide member being located within the outer number member;

means for retaining the outer number member in fixed relationship with the inner ball guide member; and,

means for changing the relative position between the inner ball guide member and its respective outer number member.

5. Game apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the number ring assemblies are each one integral part.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3747937 *Mar 20, 1972Jul 24, 1973Quaker Oats CoObstacle toy
US3827694 *Jan 24, 1972Aug 6, 1974Lemelson JGame apparatus
US3895808 *Mar 7, 1974Jul 22, 1975Raymond Lee Organization IncSelecting device
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DE102011051994A1 *Jul 20, 2011Jan 24, 2013Wilhelm Fischer Spezialmaschinenfabrik GmbhDevice for selectively passing or moving of several balls in game playing field, has discs such as plates which are independently supported by holder and are rotatably interconnected for receiving balls
EP0072748A1 *Aug 10, 1982Feb 23, 1983Patrice D'humieresConstruction game with balls rolling under the effect of gravity, and its components
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/138.4, 273/153.00R, 273/120.00R
International ClassificationA63F7/04, A63F7/00, A63F5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F7/042, A63F5/0041
European ClassificationA63F7/04D