US 3740036 A
A toy device, equally useful as a game device, capable of rolling, having a geometric shape, preferably a sphere, dissected into two or more complementary parts in such manner that the parts can be separated and reassembled, the device affording amusement and challenge to the solo player, and affording, as well, a means for a contest in which any number of players may take part, as for example: in a rolling activity the object being to induce disintegration of the device when it reaches a target, and in a tossing activity the object being to prevent the device from disintegrating in flight. Also disclosed is a sphere having a cone or cylinder as a minor part thereof. When the sphere is given a swift spin, the minor part will rise and be ejected.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Ames [ GAME BALL  Inventor: Alvin G. Ames, P.O. Box 1 1191, San Diego, Calif. 921 ll  Filed: Mar. 16, 1971  Appl. No.: 124,852
 US. Cl 273/128 A, 173/58 A, 273/106 R,
. 273/63 R, 273/138 R, 46/64  Int. Cl. A631: 71/04, A63b 43/00  Field of Search 273/106, 58, 63, 273/160, 138, 128, 26, 199; 35/73; 40/327  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,117,384 l/l964 Billis 35/73 513,876 H1894 Burt... 40/327 652,993 7/1900 Burt 40/327 695,153 3/1902 Hoyt 273/58 R 819,894 5/1906 La Pierre 273/160 1,557,751 10/1925 Winks 273/58 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 457,439 6/1949 Canada 2731106 R [1 1 3,740,036 June 19, 1973 12/1954 Italy 273/58 F 5/1958 France 273/58 K [5 7] ABSTRACT A toy device, equally useful as a game device, capable of rolling, having a geometric shape, preferably a sphere, dissected into two or more complementary parts in such manner that the parts can be separated and reassembled, the device affording amusement and challenge to the solo player, and affording, as well, a means for a contest in which any number of players may take part, as for example: in a rolling activity the object being to induce disintegration of the device when it reaches a target, and in a tossing activity the object being to prevent the device from disintegrating in flight. Also disclosed is a sphere having a cone or cylinder as a minor part thereof. When the sphere is given a swift spin, the minor part will rise and be ejected.
4 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENIED 3.740.036
ALVIN (5. AMES GAME BALL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a toy-and game device having a geometric shape such as a sphere or a cylinder, capable of rolling, so designed and constructed as to provide means of amusement for one player or a contest in which any number of players may take part. More particularly, the invention is a device formed of two or more complementary parts so designed that, when coupled, form a perfect or near-perfect geomet- 'ric shape.
In the interest of brevity the explanation which follows is confined to the sphere alone inasmuch as the principles which apply to the sphere apply to other geometric shapes as well.
The sphere device can be rolled, tossed, or thrown. Aspects of serious study as well as amusement result when a player tries to toss the sphere in such manner as to prevent disintegration during flight, but to induce disintegration of the device when it is rolled to or over a target.
Games played in connection with the device are games of skill rather than chance because of the high correlation between scientific knowledge and accomplishment. Results are predictable after the player learns to employ the scientific principles of velocity, centrifugal force, gravity, and vacuum.
The parts are not connected with hooks, locks, physical protrusions or any other mechanical means. It is possible, of course, should it be desirable for special purposes such as distance throwing, to employ such means, as for instance, physical protrusions to provide friction, so that the sphere would strongly resist, but would not prevent, disintegration or collapse.
The sphere may be made of several types of materials-rubber, plastic, or other compositions-preferably material with medium-hard density which retains its shape and dimensionsstubbornly, yielding only slightly to pressure or force. Variations in performance can be produced by making one of the parts of denser material or by employing density variations in a single part.
Design, not size, is the critical ingredient of a properly performing game device. A sphere with a diameter of two or three inches performs admirably. I
Proper positioning of the device preparatory to rolling it, and proper grasping preparatory to throwing it, are essential. The player works against, or cooperates with, the intricacies of the device, the parts 'of which tend to hang together because of design alone, or design in connection with slight friction and/or slight vacuum-this last resulting from virtual absence of tolerance in construction.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. I. This is a two-part sphere with the two complementary parts joined. Item 14 is the larger part. Item 15 is the smaller part.
FIG. 2. This is the larger part of the two-part sphere shown in FIG. 1. Item 16 is one of the four interior surfaces or walls. Item 17 is the smallest part of the four interior surfaces--the interior base. Items 18 and 19 are two interior walls or surfaces adjacent to each other.
FIG. 3. This figure corresponds with FIG. 1, Item 15. This part, when inserted into FIG. 2, completes the sphere. When the sphere is assembled, Item 20 corresponds with and rests against Item 17 in FIG. 2. Item 2. Item 22 corresponds with and rests against Item 18 in FIG. 2. The side of this subordinate part which corresponds with and rests against Item 16 in FIG. 2 is not shown because it is on the reverse side of FIG. 3.
FIG. 4. This figure illustrates a sphere having a cutout belt extending more than half way around the sphere and resembles an arch or a horseshoe.
FIG. 5. An illustration of the main part of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6. An illustration of the minor part of FIG. 4.
FIG. 7. An illustration of FIG. 6, side view.
FIG. 8. This figure illustrates another of many possible designs. The triangle cut-out requires extreme accuracy in tolerances-a perfect fit.
FIG. 9. This figure illustrates a chevron cut-out. This design is particularly effective for tossing and throwing because the subordinate part releases from the main part only under particular predictable conditions.
FIG. 10. This figure illustrates a three-part sphere. Item 23 is the largest of three parts. Item 24 is the smallest. Item 25 is the intermediate part which does not release until or unless Item 24 disjoins. FIG. 11. This figure illustrates a tapered cylinder as the minor part of a two-part sphere. The design is good not only for rolling and tossing but for other amusing activities. If the sphere is placed on a flat surface and spun as shown by arrows, the cylinder will rise out ofits pocket.
. FIG. 12 is a view showing the action during tossing with the parts of the toy device separated in flight.
' FIG. 13 is a view showing a toydevice after rolling movement to a target with the parts separated.
. OPERATION Rolling The sphere is so designed that it will roll a considerable distance, remaining intact, but will disintegrate when it stops rolling. A target, preferably a round, flat sheet of thin material having a central spot about two inches in diameter and several progressively larger concentric circles, is placed on a table or other smooth surface. A player places the sphere on a table at a designated position, two or three feet from the target. With the extended fingertips of one hand he rolls the sphere toward the target with a slow, deft sweep. If the sphere is not handled with care and if the player doesnt understand its structure, it is likely that: the sphere will collapse before reaching the target. It may, in fact, disintegrate immediately upon release. If it is rolled with skill, however, the sphere will collapse over or near the target.
Best results are generally attained if the player positions the device so that the arrow" of the smaller partassuming that a design with an arrow is used-points toward the target. If the arrow is pointed to the left or to the right of the path to be taken by the sphere on its way to the target, the sphere will collapse immediately after relase.
. In game play, points are awarded on the basis of whether the center of the target or a secondary ring is reached, and on whether the major or minor 7 part comes to rest on the target. Both parts might resolve on the target and the player would be awarded points on each. Players take turns in rolling and they agree in ad vance on the number of points needed to win a game.
Another effective way of playing the rolling game is to have the contestants take positions on opposite sides of a table. The object here would be for each player in turn to roll the sphere across the table. If the sphere collapses before it rolls over the edge of the table, the
player fails to score. If the sphere rolls over the edge of 'graspsit in such manner that the smaller part is positionedat either axis of the spineither side-thus largely. avoiding the centrifugal force which would throw out the smaller part if it were positioned in the fast-moving circumference" of the spinning sphere.
lri game play the players toss the sphere short distances at first. They then gradually increase the length of the toss. Scoring is simple. Theplayer whose toss results in collapse before reaching his opponent, fails to elsewhere herein referred to as the arch, the chevron,
- and the tapered cylinder. These designs, if used for rolling, may givea less dramatic performance than other designs because separation cannot be induced with certainty.' While separation islikely to beonly partial, such separation-will .stopthe sphere from further-rolling, and
scroing is thus possible.
' Bouncing I 4 Even though bouncing is not a recommended activin striking the bouncing surface-table or flo0rwith the smaller part of the sphere.
Spinning A sphere having a cone or tapered cylinder as the minor part offers an amusing side activity. If the device is placed on a hard surface such as a table, positioned so that the minor part is at the top, and is given a swift spin, the smaller part'will rise and be ejected from the main part. The necessary fast spin is usually best accomplished by using the thumb of one hand and the index or middle finger of the other hand.
ity, sooner'or later players will attempt to bounce the I dissected sphere: If a player wishes to bounce a sphere, keeping thepartsintact, his best chance for successlies What is claimed as new is: l. A toy device having an outer surface which enables rolling movement along a supporting surface and .made up of separable parts, each of the parts forming part of the outer surface of the device,
at least one of the parts projecting into another part in a manner which enables the two parts to separate from each other by gravity when any of the parts is positioned in a predetermined position, and
the mating characteristics of such parts being such that said parts are freely separable when the device is independently rolling on said supporting surface in a predetermined manner, and not freely separable when the device is independently rolling on said supporting surface in a different predetermined manner. 1
2. A toy device as defined in claim 1 and wherein on rolling movement in said'different predetermined manner, the parts separate as the device stops'rolling.
- 3. A toy device as defined in'claim 2 and' consisting