US 3781012 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Slane Dec. 25, 1973  Inventor: Gary R. Slane, 12667 Olive St., St. Louis, Mo. 63141  Filed:- Apr. 7, 1971  Appl. No.: 131,557
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1972 Barlow 273/101 12/1967 Belz 273/95 R 483,788 10/1892 O'Carroll 273/90 3,476,076 ll/l969 McDougall 273/90 3,582,075 6/1971 Glass 273/95 R Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney-Edmund C. Rogers et al.
[5 7] ABSTRACT A game designed to use relatively small objects in a manner requiring direct action on the part of a participant or player challenging to finger dexterity, hand and eye coordination, and three-dimensional vision. A small open-top box adapted to be disposed on a table, and the like, is provided with an upwardly extending tube to receive a small ball dropped by one hand of a participant. The tube directs the ball into an area of the box to be struck by a pencil or similar bat held by the other hand of a participant and extending through an opening in one side of the box. In the box is a partition or barrier over which the participant attempts to bat the ball as it drops from the tube. A ball return is provided.
7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 1 GRAVITY PROJECTOR BATTED BALL APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention 1 Thepresent invention relates generally to games of skill, and more particularly to a parlor game requiring direct action on the part of the participant, which is challenging to finger dexterity, hand and eye coordination, and three-dimensional vision.
2. Description of the Prior Art In the prior patented and unpatented art are many games particularly adapted for play on a table, and the like. Many such games require skills of hand and eye in proficient execution of the requirements established by the rules. However, in the area of games of skill, there always exists the need of new games which combine fun and physical skills. The present novel game fulfills these requirements in a most satisfying manner.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In brief, the present novel pencil ball game comprises a small open-top box adapted to be placed on a table or the like for play. A small diameter tube is supported by one side of the box in a slanting relation thereto with one end above and the other extending into the box. Within the box is a partition of shallow depth disposed near one end. An opening is formed in one side of the box permitting the hand of a participant to hold a pencil in position in the box to strike a small-ball dropped into and through the tube to bat it over the barrier. A ball return is provided.
Objects of the invention are to provide a novel game of skill which combines fun and physical skills, which can be played competitively or by a single participant, which is a sturdy structure adapted for years of use, and which otherwise fulfills the objects and advantages sought.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view ofa pencil ball game unit, a portion of the box being broken away for illustration of interior structure;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of said unit, less the ball and pencil bat; and
FIG. 3 is a vertical, longitudinal cross-sectional view taken on substantially the line 3-3 of FIG. 2, a corner being broken away for conservation of space.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings more particularly by refer ence numerals, indicates generally a pencil ball game unit constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. Broadly, the unit 10 includes a playing box 12, a ball-receiving tube 14, a ball return retainer 16, a ball 18, and a pencil or similar bat 20.
The box 12 may be of any suitable material, as wood, plastic, metal, and the like, and includes opposed side walls 22 and 24, opposed end walls 26 and 28, and a slanting bottom 30 (FIG. 3). Supporting feet 32 of rubber, felt, or other suitable material, are provided and are secured to the bottom edges of the walls by suitable return retainer 16 is shown as a wire element having the ends bent at right angles to the main body and extending into suitable openings provided in the walls 22 and 24 for support. Within the box 12 is a vertically disposed partition or barrier 36 which may be about onehalf inch from the box bottom 30, is about one third of the cutout or opening 38, as is indicated in FIG. 1'.
The tube 14 is mounted on the wall 22 by a strap member 42, the latter being secured in position by suitable screws 44 or the like. The tube 14 is maintained in selected position by frictional engagement with the curled upper end portion 46 of the strap member 42. The tube 14 is disposed at an angle about fifty-five degrees to the top edge of the wall 22 looking at FIG. 3, and about 15 to the wall 22, looking at FIG. 2. This angularity, of course, may be changed for particular units 10. The tube 14 may be of clear or other plastic, or other suitable materials. A clear material permits observation of the ball as it drops through the tube. If desired, the tube 14 may be curved to position the upper end as well as the lower end over the box 12, so that the ball 18 will drop into the box 12 and roll onto the ball return retainer 16 when the participant fails to drop it through the tube 14.
The ball 18 is substantially three-eighths of an inch in diameter and is of wood'in a working unit of the present game. It may be of plastic, rubber, or other material as desired, and the size may be varied depending upon the overall dimensions of the unit 10, the specific internal diameter of the tube 14, which is one-half inch in the mentioned working unit 10, etc. The pencil bat 20 may be a standard lead pencil or-equivalent piece.
In play, a participant holds the pencil bat 20 in position in the box 12 by one hand 40 and with the upper hand 50 he attempts to drop the ball 18 into the upper end of the tube 14. The distance the ball 18 is held above the upper end of the tube 14 may be varied depending upon the players or participants involved. The distance may be short, as illustrated in FIG. I, or it may be lengthened to add the requirement of greater skill in accurately dropping the ball 18 into the upper end of the tube 14. At any rate, the participant attempts to drop the ball 18 into and through the tube 14 and subsequently to bat the ball 18 over the partition 36 with the pencil bat 20 to score a point. The ball 18 rolls down the sloping box bottom 30 onto the ball return retainer 16 from which it may be readily retrieved, whether it is batted over the partition 36 or is missed and drops into the area to the right of the partition 36, considering FIG. 1.
The rules of the game may be elaborate or simple, but for fun at a party, or the like, each participant is afforded, say, three drops of the ball 18 and earns an additional drop each time the ball 18 passes through the tube 14 and is batted over the partition 36. A predetermined number of points, such as 11, may be selected as a winning score for an individual participant or for a team. As indicated, these simple rules may be varies to suit particular use of the instant novel pencil ball game unit 10. For example, the ball may be dropped by one person and struck at by a second, etc.
Some dimensions have been furnished above as a matter of guidance. In the working unit alluded to, the box 12 is substantially 7 inches long by 4% inches wide by five inches high. The dimensions of the box 12 and of other elements, etc., of the unit 10 may be established, as desired. The support for the tube 14 may be modified.
it is manifest from the foregoing that the present novel game unit 10 fulfills the objects and advantages sought therefor.
It is to be understood that the foregoing description and the accompanying drawing have been given by way of illustration and example. It is also to be understood that changes in form of the elements, which will be obvious to those skilled in the art, are contemplated as within the scope of the present invention which is limi'ted only by the claims which follow.
What is claimed is:
l. in combination, a game of skill comprising a box bounded by four side and end walls and having an open top portion, barrier means mounted in said box for clividing the box into two compartments, hollow tube means, means for mounting the hollow tube means to said box for receiving a projectile at its upper end and directing it out its lower end into one of said compartments, elongatebat means adapted for extension into said one compartment to strike the projectile, an opening in one of the side walls of said one compartment through which said bat means may be extended for uni versal movement of said bat means, whereby a participant attempts to bat the projectile dropped through the hollow tube means over the barrier.
2. The game of skill of claim 1 in which the hollow tube means and the side wall opening are located in positions permitting a single participant to drop the projectile towards said hollow tube means with one hand and to strike at the projectile as it drops into the one compartment with the bat means with the other hand.
3. The game of skill of claim 1 in which said projectile is a ball and said box includes a floor sloping downwardly from the one compartment to the other said barrier being above the floor a distance permitting a ball to roll thereunder.
4. The game of skill of claim 3 in which the end of the box at the lower end of the floor has an opening at the bottom thereof through which the ball may pass for recovery. 5. The game of skill of claim 4 in which a retainer means is mounted at the end of the box having the opening adapted to receive and retain balls passing through the opening in said end.
-6. The game of skill of claim 1 including means for mounting said tube on said box. I
7QThe game ofskill of claim 1 and including means for returning batted and missed balls to positions for recovery.