US 3652090 A
A recreational device comprising a generally bowl shaped base which has a density permitting the floatation of said base in a body of water, an upright elongated member projecting from the top of said base and above the surface of said water, and a plurality of elastic members connected at one end with said base and at the other end with an anchor means for maintaining the recreational device in a stable position when it is used as a game target in the water.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
l atent fiemmens [451 Mar. 28, 1972 [s41 FLOATING GAME TARGET, 3,469,844 9/1969 Sindelar ..273/10s R  Inventor: Richard slemmens 10640 Wren St 3,134,594 5/1964 Crowley ..273/105R Coon p 55433 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1 1 Fil9d= 28, 1970 858,985 12/1970 Canada ..272/1B Appl. No.: 84,563
 HS. Cl. ..273/104, 273/l02.4, 9/8 R, 272/1 B, 273/105  Int. (21. ..A63b 63/00  Field ofSearch ..272/1 B; 273/104, 105 R, 100, 273/102 R, 102.4; 9/8 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,350,097 10/1967 Chevrette ..273/l05 R 3,049,732 8/1962 Martin ..9/8 R 3,582,078 6/1971 Katras ..273/105 R 3,403,907 10/1968 Keller ..273/105 R 2,906,531 9/1959 Merickel ..272/l B Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney-Frederick E. Lange, William C. Babcock and Eugene L. Johnson [5 7] ABSTRACT A recreational device comprising a generally bowl shaped base which has a density permitting the floatation of said base in a body of water, an upright elongated member projecting from the top of said base and above the surface of said water, and a plurality of elastic members connected at one end with said base and at the other end with an anchor means for maintaining the recreational device in a stable position when it is used as a game target in the water.
10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures FLOATING GAME TARGET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a recreational device for use in a body of water, and more specifically, to a recreational device which is used primarily as a target or goal for various water games and which has a structure for maintaining the target or goal in a stable, upright position.
The present invention is designed to be used in a body of water, for example, a lake, river, or swimming pool although it can be adapted for use on land as well. When the recreational device of the present invention is used in the water, it provides a very stable target or goal for various types of water games and sports. With the present invention, most of the conventional water games such as water basketball, water horseshoes, and ring toss can be played as well as nearly all other water games which require a target 'or a goal. In contrast to the previously used recreational devices, the present invention provides for the goal or target to be supported in an extremely stable position regardless of the action of the waves or other disturbances. The present invention provides for this stability through the use of a convex shaped base, means for selectively partially filling the base with water, and a plurality of elastic members having one end connected with the base and the other end connected with an anchor means for maintaining the base, and thus the target or goal, in a very stable, upright position, and for returning the base to a stable position if it ever should be removed therefrom.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a recreational device which can support a target or goal for various water games or water sports.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a recreational device having a target or a goal which can be maintained in a relatively stable, upright position when used in the water.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a recreational device for use in the water having a plurality of elastic members for maintaining a target or goal in a stable, upright position and for returning said target or goal to a stable position once it is removed therefrom.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a recreational device for use in the water having a generally elongated upright member which can be used as a target or goal itself or which can be used for supporting various other types ofgoals.
Other objects and uses of the herein described invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon reference to the following specification, the drawings, and to the appended claims.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevated view partly in section of the recreational device of the present invention showing the recreational device and the means for anchoring said recreational device.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a goal which can be mounted to the upright member of the recreational device for use in various water sports and games.
FIG. 3 is a top elevated view partly in section of the recreational device shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view showing the specific means for connecting the upright member to the base of said recreational device.
FIG. 5 is a top elevated view of an alternative embodiment of the recreational device of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIG. 1, the recreational device of the present invention generally includes a base 12 comprising a convex or bowl shaped bottom portion 14 and a relatively flat portion 11, an upright member or peg 19, and means, including the straps 16 and 21, the rope or chain 28, and the anchor 30 for maintaining the recreational device in a relatively stable position when used in the water.
More specifically, the convex bottom portion 14 and the flat portion 11 are constructed of polyethylene material. The bottom portion is formed into a generally convex or bowl shaped configuration and includes a base wall 13 and a hollow bowl shaped interior portion. An annular enlargement 23 integrally formed with the base wall 13 and including an annular recessed portion, is located at the top of the bottom portion 14. The recessed portion 27 has a generally C shaped cross section and is designed to combine with an annular tongue section 17, integrally formed with the wall 33 of the top 11, to secure the top 11 to the bottom of the base 14. The annular tongue 17 includes a relatively narrow neck portion and a wider main body portion for selectively snapping into and out of the annular C shaped recessed portion 27 of the enlargement 23. When the top 11 is joined with the bottom 14 by this locking arrangement, the bowl shaped base 12 is sealed to prevent water from leaking into or out of the base.
A pair of vents or ports 54, only one of which is shown in FIG. 1, are located in the bottom portion of the base 14 and pass through the wall 13. The ports 54 are used for selectively introducing water into or discharging water from the interior 'portion of the base. A pair of plugs 37 are associated with the pair of ports 54 to selectively open and close the ports 54 for the introduction or discharge of water into the interior portion of the base. When the water is completely discharged from the base 12, the overall density of the base is substantially less than the density of water, thereby causing the base 12 to float freely on the water. The recreational device 10 in this condition, however, is quite unstable because of the difference between the density of the base and that of the water. This lack of stability renders the device 10 undesirable for most water games. By removing the plugs 37 from the vent holes 54, a selected amount of water can be introduced into the interior portion of the base 12 to effectively increase the density of the base 12 and thereby obtain the desired buoyancy and stability. When the desired buoyancy is obtained, the plugs 37 are inserted into the vents 54 to retain the water introduced into the base 12.
Referring now to FIG. 4, a generally elongated upright target peg 19 which has an enlarged portion near its base is connected to the top portion of the base 11 by a bracket 40 and a threaded screw 41 which passes through the enlarged portion of the peg l9 and under a portion of the bracket 40. The bracket 40 shown in FIG. 4 includes a U shaped portion 43 and a pair of horizontally extending flanges 45 which are disposed against the upper surface of the top portion 11. The bracket 40 is mounted to the base 12 by a pair of screws 42 passing through a pair of holes in each of the flanges 45, through a pair of aligned holes in the top portion of the base 11, and into a backing plate 44 disposed against the underside of the top portion of the base. The backing plate 44 contains threaded holes to receive the screws 42 which, when tightened, secure the bracket 40 tightly to the top portion of the base 11. The generally cylindrical peg 19 is then placed over the U shaped portion 43 of the bracket 40 with a pair of holes in the peg 19 aligned with the U shaped portion 43. A threaded member 41 is then inserted through the holes in the peg 19 and the U shaped portion 43 and tightly secured in that position. With this arrangement, the peg 19 is secured tightly to the top portion of the base. If it is desired to use the recreational device without the peg 19, peg 19 can be removed from the top portion of the base 11 by removing the screw 41, the peg 19, and the screws 42 holding the bracket 40 to the top 1 1.
As previously mentioned, one of the objects of the present invention is to provide a stable target or goal which can be used for various types of water sports or games. In the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1, that target or goal is an elongated member used primarily as a target for rings (not shown) thrown by participants in the game. In addition to the peg 19, a number of other types of goals can be attached to the recreational device 10. For example, the goal 31 shown in FIG. 2 can be attached to the top part of the peg l9 and used for various types of water sports involving the use of a ball. The goal shown in FIG. 2 includes a hollow cylindrical member or pipe 38 having an internal diameter slightly larger than the external diameter of the peg 19 so that the pipe 38 can slide over the peg 19. A U shaped standard 32, having two elongated members and a base, is connected near its base to the pipe 38 with the two spaced elongated members extending upwardly to support a circular hoop or goal 35. A third member 47 also is connected to the pipe 38 and extends upwardly and outwardly to help support the goal 35 and to direct the ball 39 (shown in FIG. 2 as broken line 39). The member 47 causes the ball passing through the hoop 35 to return in a predetermined direction.
The hoop or goal 35 includes a circular steel ring 34 which extends around the base of the hoop 35 to mount the hoop onto the two upright portions of the standard 32 and the member 47. The hoop 35 is connected to these members by a .l-bolt 59 passing through each of the two upright portions of the member 32 and the member 47 with the .I-portion of the bolt 59 extending around the ring 34. A wing nut 60 associated with each J-bolt draws the J-bolt toward the members 47 and 32 to thereby secure the ring 34 and the hoop to these members. The particular structure of the goal 31 shown in FIG. 2 includes a plurality of tongue portions 36 defining the top portion of the hoop 35 which also serve as a deflection means for guiding the ball 39 through the hoop 35.
A further object of this invention is to provide a structure which maintains a target or goal in a stable position when used in the water. Referring to FIG. 3, four relatively nonelastic straps 16 are connected to a collar 26. The collar 26 is circular and has a center opening with a diameter slightly larger than the external diameter of the enlarged portion of the peg 19 permitting the collar 26 to slip over the peg 19 and to be disposed against the top portion of the base 11. The collar 26 also contains four elongated holes near its outer periphery for attaching the straps 16 to the collar 26. Each of the straps 16 includes a portion extending from a buckle 18 to the collar 26 where it is secured thereto, and a portion extending radially outwardly from the buckle 18 to the outer peripheral edge of the top 11. Then, as shown in FIG. 1, each of the straps 16 extends around the peripheral edge of the top 11 and downwardly along the side of the bottom portion of the base 14. A strap guide 15 associated with each of the four straps 16 is connected to the bottom portion of the base 14 by a pair of screws and serves to maintain each of the straps 16 in proper circumferential alignment.
An elastic strap 21 is connected to the lower end of each of the straps 16 by a metal ring 55. Each of the straps 21 extends downwardly from the metal ring 55 to a yoke member 22 located below the axial center of the base 12. The yoke 22 contains four holes through which each of the four elastic straps 21 passes to connect the straps 21 to the yoke 22. The primary function of the elastic members 21 is to maintain the base 12 in a stable position and to quickly return the base to a stable, upright position if for some reason the base 12 is tipped or tilted. Because the yoke 22 is anchored as hereinafter disclosed, the tipping or tilting of the base 12 in any given direction stretches the elastic member 21 located on the side of the base 12 opposite to that toward which the base is tilted. The stretching of this elastic member increases the force tending to return the base to a stable, upright position, and thereby causes the base to return to this stable, upright position much more quickly.
An eye bolt 25 is connected to the center portion of the yoke so that the eye portion of the bolt 25 is disposed downwardly. An anchor rope or chain 28 is connected to the eye bolt 25 and extends downwardly to a swivel snap 29 which in turn is connected to an anchor 30. Although not shown as such in FIG. 1, the anchor chain 28 is adjustable so as to permit the recreational device 10 to be used in all depths of water. The desired depth at which the device 10 is normally used depends primarily on the game being played and the skill, age, and mobility of the game participants.
The preferred embodiment of the present invention also discloses a four-part flotation collar 20 which serves to increase the stability of the base 12. The collar 20 includes a polyfoam member positioned between each of the four straps l6 and an elastic cord 56 passing through each of the four polyfoam members for securing the collar 20 to the base 12. The collar 20 is disposed tightly against the outer wall 13 and immediately beneath the enlarged portion 23.
Although the preferred embodiment thus far described discloses the top 11 to be circular, it can be of various shapes. As shown in FIG. 5, the base 112 is elongated and the top 111 has an oval shape. The remaining elements shown in FIG. 5 correspond generally to elements shown in FIG. 3 except that the reference numerals in FIG. 5 differ from the corresponding reference numerals of FIG. 3 by one hundred.
The operation and use of the present invention can be summarized as follows. First of all, the recreational device 10 of FIG. 1 is taken into the water and, at the proper depth, the rope or chain 28 is adjusted and the anchor 30 dropped into the water. The vents or ports 54 are then opened and the base 12 is tipped until the water flows into the vents 54. When the base 12 is filled to a level at which a desired buoyancy and stability is obtained, the vent holes 54 are closed. The straps 16 are then loosened via the buckles 18 so that the yoke 22 is slightly below the bottom of the base 14. Also, since the flotation collar 20 will maintain the recreational device 10 in a floating position by itself, the vent holes 54 may be left open when the collar 20 is used.
While in operation, each of the straps 16 and 21 serve to maintain the base 12 and thus the peg 19 in a very stable position. If, through the action of waves or other disturbances, the base is tipped or tilted, certain of the elastic straps 21 are stretched. Then, the force of the elasticity tending to return the straps 21 to their normal unstretched position serve also to return the base 12 and thus the peg 19 to its normal stable, upright position.
Although the description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been quite specific, the present invention can be embodied in other forms not specifically shown in the present specification. Accordingly, it is the inventors intention that the scope of the present invention be dictated by the appended claims rather than by the description of the preferred embodiment.
I claim as my invention:
1. A recreational device designed to be used primarily as a target for various water games comprising:
a base having a density such as to permit floatation on the surface of water and a relatively convex portion which is designed to be partially immersed beneath the surface of the water;
a generally elongated upright member supported by said base serving as a target for various water games; and
means for maintaining said base and said upright member in a relatively stable position when said base is partially immersed in water including:
a plurality of elastic members connected with said base and extending below the convex portion of said base;
a connecting means for connecting said plurality of elastic members together below the convex portion of said base;
an anchor means for anchoring said base; and
means connecting said anchor means with said connecting means.
2. The recreational device of claim 1 wherein said base has a relatively circular flat top portion and said elastic members are equally spaced around the periphery of said base.
3. The recreational device of claim 1 wherein said generally elongated upright member includes a water ball goal.
4. The recreational device of claim 1 wherein said elongated upright member is connected to said base by means including:
a generally U-shaped bracket connected to the top portion of said base in which the U-shaped portion of said bracket is designed to extend above said base and inside said elongated upright member and a threaded member extending through said upright member 5 in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said upright member and below and through the U- shaped portion of said bracket to secure said upright member to said base.
5. The recreational device of claim 1 and a floatation collar disposed about the periphery of said base.
6. The recreational device of claim l in which said base contains a relatively flat top portion and at least one hole which can be selectively opened for introducing water into said convex portion of said base and closed for retaining water within said convex portion of said base.
7. The recreational device of claim 6 in which said flat top portion is removable from said convex bottom portion.
8. The recreational device of claim 7 wherein said plurality of elastic members are connected with said base by a yoke member positioned in the center of said top portion and wherein each of said elastic members includes a non-elastic portion connected to said yoke member and extending radially to the periphery of said top portion and an elastic portion extending from said non-elastic portion to said means connecting said plurality of elastic members together.
9. The recreational device of claim 1 wherein said base includes a relatively flat oblong shaped top portion which is selectively removable from said convex portion.
10. The recreational device of claim 9 wherein said upright member is selectively removable from said base and wherein said base includes at least one hole which can be selectively opened for introducing water into said convex portion of said base and closed for retaining water within said convex portion of said base.
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