US 3674270 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 3,674,270
Benjamin et al. 1 July 4, 1972  BASKET GAME UTILIZING CONVEXLY  References Cited SHAPED PADDLES AND AN UNITED STATES PATENTS IRREGULARLY SHAPED BALL Inventors: Thur L. Benjamin, 723 Memo Ave. p 519,770 5/1894 McNaughton ..273/67 R l M l P d z z g 2%" fizlg z qz ig xg f i Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Belmont n 94002 Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Filed y 20 1971 AttorneyAlan H. MacPherson  App]. No.: 145,423  ABSTRACT A game of chance uses a randomly-shaped ball, paddles with LS. H, K, two u fa e ossessing continuously varying radii of curva- 51 I t 273/105 $1 43 ture and a petal-shaped basket. The object is to strike the ball E 1 g i 95 A R so that it enters, and stays in, the basket. The random shapes 273/101, 105 R, 106 R, 58 K, 67 R of the ball and paddles lend great unpredictability to the game and guarantee that each participant obtains a great deal of exercise.
6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures P'A'TE'N'TEDJUL 4 me I 3.674270 INVENTORS THAER L. BENJAMIN CAROLE A. REYNOLDS BY aamH MM ATTORNEY BASKET GAME UTILIZING CONVEXLY SHAPED PADDLES AND AN IRREGULARLY SHAPED BALL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a game and in particular to a game which removes skill as a factor in determining the performance of any participant.
2. Prior Art Games such as basketball and tennis require the participant to either throw or accurately strike a ball with a racket or other implement in such a manner as to place the ball in a desired position. With practice one can develop considerable skill in throwing a basketball through a basket or in striking a tennis ball so as to make it most difficult for the opposing player to return it. Such games place a premium on skill, among other factors.
7 SUMMARY OFTI-IE INVENTION The game of this invention, on the other hand, substantially removes skill as a factor in determining performance.
According to this invention, a game uses structure comprising a randomly-shaped ball, a racket containing a handle with two convex, opposed surfaces on one end thereof, each convex surface possessing continuously varying radii of curvature as a function of location on the surface, a petal-shaped basket containing a randomly shaped outer rim from which the basket material extends inward initially in a substantially flat, horizontal plane and then bends down to form a randomlyshaped, tubular, substantially vertically-walled lower portion, said basket being supported by a base.
In one embodiment of the invention, the game is played within an enclosure comprising a net mounted on a flat playing court with the basket placed on the playing court.
In another embodiment a net is stretched across the throat of the basket so that balls which strike the net with too much energy will bounce out of the basket;
The object of the game is to place the ball in the petalshaped or funnel-shaped basket. The free-form randomly shaped ball, the racket with two surfaces of varying curvature and the petal-shaped basket continuously introduce the unexpected into the game thus minimizing the effect of player skill upon the resulting score.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows the randomly-shaped free-form ball used with this invention;
FIG. 2a, 2b and 20 show the paddle with the two randomlycurved convex surfaces on one end thereof;
FIG. 3 shows the outspread petal-shaped basket used to receive the ball of FIG. I; and
FIG. 4 shows the basket placed in the center of court 41 surrounded by net 42.
DETAILEDDESCRIPTION The structure used in this game will first be described and then ways in which the game can be played will be described.
Ball 10 (FIG. 1) is free-formed and has a random shape. Thus the direction in which the ball travels depends on how the ball is struck. Typically, ball 10 is made of an elastic rubbery material, so that it has a great deal of bounce. Alternatively, ball 10 can be made of a plastic material or any other elastic material.
Ball 10 is struck with a paddle comprising a handle 21 on one end of which are mounted two convex surfaces 22a and 22b, as illustrated in the side and end view of FIGS. 2a and 2c respectively. The radii of curvature of each of these surfaces varies continuously, and, if desired, randomly as a function of location thereby giving these surfaces a non-unifonn shape. Handle 21 protrudes from between the two surfaces 220 and 22b as shown in FIGS. 2a and 2b. While in one embodiment the general plan shape of the curved surfaces 22a and 22b is elipsoidal, they can also have a wide variety of plan shapes including, but not limited to, circles and rectangles.
The object of the game is to strike ball 10 with paddle 20 in such a manner that ball 10 goes into basket 30 (FIG. 3). Basket 30 comprises a rim 31 from which material extends horizontally inward toward the center of the rim and then drops down to form a tubular receptacle for the ball 10. Material 32 extends in approximately a horizontal plane from a portion in contact with rim 31 toward the center of the basket. This portion of the basket has an outspread petal shape as shown by the material denoted by bracket 35. Material 32 then bends from a substantially horizontal plane to drop vertically down toward base 383 and thereby form a substantially tubular receptacle with the horizontal petalshaped rim. The tubular receptacle portion of the basket denoted within bracket 34 terminates in base 33. The surface of material comprising the horizontal portion 35 of the basket and the vertical portion 34 of the basket is also randomly shaped to provide a certain element of surprise in the game by assuring that a certain number of the balls striking the outer surface of the basket will bounce away from the basket and not fall into the basket.
The game is played in a court 40 (FIG. 4) comprising a flat playing surface 41 surrounded by a net 42. Basket 30 is placed in the center of surface 41 and the player runs in the space between basket 30 and net 42 striking the ball 10 with the racket 20 in an attempt to place the ball into basket 30.
This game can be played with one or more players. The object is to place ball 10 (FIG. 1) into basket 30 (FIG. 4) by stroking the ball with racket 20 (FIGS. 20 through 2c). When played by one individual, the object is to place the ball in the basket as many times as possible in a given period of time without having the ball strike the floor of the court more than a specified number of times between each hit with the racket. When played by two or more individuals, individually or in teams, the object is also to place the randomly-shaped ball in the basket without having it bounce on the floor of the court more than a given number of times between being hit by a racket. Thus the game is designed to require a great deal of exertion by each player who must race around the court in random directions to keep the ball in play. When two or more individuals play, each player covers and must stay in, a proportionate part of the court.
The maximum number of people who can play the game is determined by the size of the court and the amount of exercise desired by each player. The greater the number of players, the less the exercise achieved by each player and the larger the court required.
The game described substantially eliminates skill as a factor in determining outcome. The randomly-shaped ball, paddle and basket introduce numerous surprises and assure that the participant or participants obtain maximum exercise in trying to place ball 10 in basket 30. The successful achievement of this goal insures that each participant obtains a great deal of exercise.
In an alternative embodiment of this invention, a tight net 50 (FIG. 4) is stretched across the basket at some point along the vertical axis of the basket so that if ball 10 directly strikes the net, the ball will then probably bounce from the basket.
What is claimed is l. A game comprising:
a randomly-shaped ball;
n paddles, each paddle comprising a shaft containing on one end thereof two convex surfaces, each surface possessing varying radii of curvature as a function of location, where n is a selected integer which can vary from one to a selected number; and
a basket containing a randomly-shaped rim in a horizontal plane, the outer portion of the basket extending inward from said rim in a horizontal plane and then curving downward to form a tubular-shaped portion of the basket supporting said rim, said tubular-shaped portion being mounted in a base.
2. Structure as in claim 1 including in addition a flat court, said basket being placed in the middle of said court; and a net surrounding said court to a given height. 3. Structure as in claim 2 wherein said basket has a net stretched across it at some point along its vertical axis.
4. Structure as in claim 1 wherein said basket has a net stretched across it at some point along its vertical axis.
5. Structure as in claim 1 where n is one.
6. Structure as in claim 1 wherein n equals the maximum number of people who can play the game at one time.