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Publication numberUS3814422 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 4, 1974
Filing dateAug 4, 1972
Priority dateAug 4, 1972
Publication numberUS 3814422 A, US 3814422A, US-A-3814422, US3814422 A, US3814422A
InventorsB Girden
Original AssigneeB Girden
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rebound board for table handball
US 3814422 A
Abstract
Game apparatus for enabling the play of a hand or paddle ball like game either solo or in competitive play and incorporating a backboard for returning a lightweight ball such as a table tennis ball impinged thereon and adapted for free-standing association on a table defining a generally horizontal playing surface and enables the floor to be used as a continuation of the table playing surface. The backboard, while being adapted to be placed on a table tennis table has an upper backboard portion and a lower backboard portion. The lower backboard portion serves to support the upper backboard portion at an angle relative to a table tennis table surface. The upper and lower backboard portions are connected by a T-shaped groove and tongue configuration connection member.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

I United States Patent [191 Girden 1 REBOUND BOARD FOR TABLE HANDBALL [22] Filed: Aug. 4, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 277,895

[ 1 June 4, 1974 Primary ExaminerRichard Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Theatrice Brown Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Armand E. Lackcnbach [57] ABSTRACT Game apparatus for enabling the play of a hand or paddle ball like game either solo or in competitive play and incorporating a backboard for returning a lightweight ball such as a table tennis ball impinged thereon and adapted for freestanding association on a table defining a generally horizontal playing surface and enables the floor to be used as a continuation of the table playing surface. The backboard, while being adapted to be placed on a table tennis table has an upper backboard portion and a lower backboard portion. The lower backboard portion serves to support the upper backboard portion at an angle relative to a table tennis table surface. The upper and lower backboard portions are connected by a T-shaped groove and tongue configuration connection member.

2 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUH 419M 3.814.422 SHEET 2 0f 2 1 Q IHHIIHIH W I LL; L

This invention relates to game apparatus and, more particularly, to a hand or paddle ball-like game utilizing a playing board and a backboard with a suitable ball being batted against the backboard in a repetitive fashion by one or two players.

It is a primary object of the present invention to provide novel and improved game apparatus of a type related to hand or paddle ball or table tennis utilizing a gameboard and a backboard with a suitable ball being bounced against the backboard and the table board by one or two players.

Another primary object of the present invention, in addition to the foregoing object, is the provision of such game apparatus which may be utilized for competition between two players or for solo practice or play.

Yet another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such game apparatus which maybe utilized for a'solo player either for practice of hand or paddle ball or table tennis or as a competitive game without requiring any opponent.

Yet another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such game apparatus which may be utilized by two players in a minimum of space.

Yet still another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of theforegoing objects, is the provision of such game apparatus which provides a realistic simulation for a single player of a two-player table tennis or hand or paddle ball game or, for two players, ofa doubles hand or paddle ball or table tennisv game.

Yet another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of game apparatus for a hand or paddle ball or table tennis-like game which may be readily folded up for transport or storage.

Yet another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such novel game apparatus which is economical to produce and which may be stored in a minimal of space.

Yet another and still further primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such novel and improved game apparatus which may be set up on substantially any conventional table-like arrangement.

Yet still another further primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such novel game apparatus which may be set up and played on a table similar to a bridge table.

Another and yet still further primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such novel and improved game apparatus which is self-supporting and may be set up fully and completely in the absence of clamps, or the like.

Still another and yet further primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of game apparatus simulating a hand or paddle ball or table tennis-like game capable of being foldedinto a complete, compact assembly hav- 2 ing dimensions similar to or less than conveniently carried hand luggage.

Yet another primary object of the present invention,

- in addition to each of the foregoing objects is the provision of such a hand or paddle board game utilizing a backboard and a table, the backboard being constructed and arranged to enable the floor to be utilized as an extension of the playing surface.

Still another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such game apparatus having a foldable backboard.

Yet another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such game apparatus having a foldable table top.

Yet another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such game apparatus having a foldable combination of backboard and table top.

A still further primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of game apparatus involving the use of balls impelled either by hand or otherwise against a backboard wherein the backboard comprisesa plurality of angled sections such as to direct a playing ball impelled thereon back towards the player.

Yet still another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of such game apparatus wherein a ball may be bounced off a plurality of angularly disposed backboard portions so as to approacha player at a relatively low angle relative to a playing board.

A yet further primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is the provision of a reversible playing board for a hand or paddle ball game similar to table tennis having differing rebound characteristics on the obverse and reverse sides thereof to enable selection by the player of a fast rebound game or a slower rebound game.

While the present invention is herein described and disclosed as applied to a table top game apparatus such as is utilized for a hand or paddle ball or table tennistype game, it will be understood that game apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention is usable in connection with substantially any ball return game both of the table top type or of a court type.

An important feature of this game is that the floor may become an extension of the table surface playing area and may be used for play.

The present invention resides in the combination, construction, arrangement and disposition of the various component parts and elements incorporated in improved game apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention. The present invention will be better understood and objects and important features other than those specifically enumerated above will become apparent when consideration is given to the following details and description, which when taken in conjunction with the annexed drawing describes, discloses, illustrates and shows a preferred embodiment or modification of the present invention and what is presently considered and believed to be the best mode of practicing the principles thereof. Other embodiments or modifications may be suggested to those having the benefit of the teachings herein, and

such other embodiments or modifications are intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the scope and spirit of the subjoined claims.

,IN THE DRAWING:

tion thereof;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional illustration taken along line 44 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional illustration taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional illustration taken along line 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a pictorial illustration similar to FIG. 1

showing anotherembodiment or modification of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a crosssectional illustration taken along line FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional illustration taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 7; and

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional illustration similar to FIGS. 5 and '9 illustrating yet another embodiment or modification of the present invention.

With reference now to the drawing, and particularly FIGS. 1-6 thereof, there is shown and illustrated game apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and designated generally by the reference character 10 which comprises a playing board or table-top board game apparatus comprising a backboard structure 22 and a table top or gameboard structure 24 constructed and arranged to be supported by supporting means, such as a bridge table or the like 26. The game apparatus 20 furtherincludes a plurality of paddles or bats 28 which may be generally of the type ordinarily used in table tennis or paddle ball and a ball-(not shown) preferably of light weight, such as a standard ping-pong or table tennis ball.

The backboard structure 22 may, as shown, comprise an upper angleboard 30 and a lower angle board 32 hingedly connected together along a hinge line 34, as by means of a hinge tape 36 extending across the seam 34 between the boards 30 and 32 to define a generally continuous playing surface while yet permitting the upper angle board 30 and the lower angle board 32 to be folded into generally parallel relationship to form a compact carrying assembly or pack as shown in FIG. 3 along the fold line 34 while being supported together by means of the hinge structure 36. Means, such as a hook and eye, a pair of hooks and eyes, straps, separable fasteners, snap fasteners, a strap and cooperating strap fasteners, aVelcro fastener and strap, elastic straps, or the like, may be provided for retaining the upper and lower backboard portions 30 and 32 in the folded or carrying position thereof.

The backboard assembly 22 may. as shown, further comprise a support member 38 for supporting the upper and lower angle boards 30 and 32, respectively, generally angularly oriented at, for example, substantially right angles relative each other and correctly angularly oriented relative the table top assembly 24 so that, for example, the lower backboard-portion 32 is disposed thereto at approximately a 45 angle. The support member 38 is preferably constructed and arranged asto maintain the upper and lower angle boards 30 and 32 correctly angularly oriented relative one another and, simultaneously, maintain the assembly thereof correctly oriented relative to the table top 24 primarily by maintaining the center of gravity of the backboard assembly generally beneath the fold line 34 thereof.

v Moreparticularly, and with particular reference now to FIG. 4,the upper angle board 30 may be provided with a plurality of generally L-shaped retaining members 40 and 42 extending generally rearwardly therefrom and generally towards each other so as to define therebetween a generally T-shaped slot 44' disposed generally centrally on the upper angle board 30 and generally vertically thereof. The support member 38 may be provided with a generally T-shaped extension portion 46 adapted to be slidably received within the T-shaped slot 44 generally between the L-shaped portions 40 and 42 so that, upon insertion of the support member 38 therewithin, the support member 38 will be substantially rigidly attached thereto. The generally T- shaped portion 46 of the support member 38 may be disposed at an appropriate angle so as to support the backboard portion 30 at substantially right angles to lower backboard'portion 32 and may extend generally upwardly from the lower or base portion 48 of the support member 38 so that the lower base portion 48 of the support member 38 is of generally triangular configuration having a lower edge 50 and a rearward edge 52 at generally right angles to one another and a forward supporting edge extending therebetween at substantially a 45 angle for supporting the lower backboard portion 32.

Accordingly, the support member 38 maybe slidably associated with the upper backboard portion 30 by insertion of the T-shaped portion 46 of the back support 38 into the T-shaped slot 44 so that the lower back-' board portion 32 of the backboard 22 rests upon the forward 45 edge of the back support 38. Moreover, the center of gravity of the back support and the backboard 22 should be generally within the triangular por- 'tion of the back support 38,so that the backboard portion 22 will be generally supported by the table top portion 24 in the desired position.

To further support the backboard support member 38 generally perpendicular the upper backboard portion 30 and the lower back portion 32, the rear surface of the lower backboard portion 32 may, as more particularly shown in FIGS. 3 and6, .be provided with a pair of struts 54 and 56 for engaging opposite'sides of the backboard support 3 38 at the triangular portion 48 thereof generally adjacent the upper or 45 angle edge 53 so as to lock the back support 38 generally firmly relative the backboard assembly 22 when the lower backboard portion 32 is positioned or assembled there- Such a playing surface 24 may be provided, for example, by positioning the backboard assembly 22 on any desired playing surface, such as any desired table, including a dining room table, or the like, or the entire backboard assembly 22 may be associated with a playing board assembly 24 and positioned on any supporting apparatus, such as a bridge table 26, or the like. It is to be expressly understood that when the backboard assembly 22 is associated with a playing board assembly 2,4 and positioned on an auxiliary support surface such as a bridge table 24, the auxiliary support surface or bridge table 24 does not form a part of the present invention but may comprise substantially any appropriate support.

The playing board assembly 24 may, as illustrated,

similarly be constructed and arranged as to be enabled to be folded into a relatively compact and easily handled folded assembly and may comprise a pair of playing board portions 58 and 60 hingedly connected together by means of a hinge strip 56.

The playing board portion 24 and the playing board sections 52 and 54 are of generally planar construction with the hinge strip 56 thereof comprising, for example, a hinge tape of generally fabric form which provides a generally smooth and continuous playing surface or, as shown, the hinge strip 26 may be a rigid strip hingedly connected with the playing board portions 58 and 60 along a pair of binge lines 64 and 66. The adjacent edge portions of the playing panel portions 58 and 60 may be relieved or rabbited as indicated at 68 and 70.

The playing board portions 58 and 60 may be further provided with a plurality of reinforcing struts, such as, for example, a pair of struts 72 and 74 extending generally longitudinally-beneath the playing board portion 58 and a pair of struts 76 and 78 extending generally longitudinally beneath the playing board portion 60. The struts 72, 74, 76 and 78 may be associated with the respective panel portions 58 and 60 in any convenient manner, as by means of adhesive bonding thereto. Moreover, the inner pair of struts 74 and 78 are preferably spaced from the hinge strip 62 differing distances, as are the outer pair of reinforcing struts 72 and 76 so that, upon folding of the panel portions 58 and 60 to a generally parallel folded configuration as illustrated in FIG. 2 the struts 74 and 76 and the outer pair of struts 72 and 78 will interleave, as shown, so as to take up a minimal thickness. The hinge strip 62 may be of an appropriate width so as to enable such interleaving of the reinforcing struts 72, 74, 76 and 78 and such parallel positioning of the playing board portion 58 and 60. Appropriate means may be provided for latching the playing board portions 58 and 60 into the folded configuration shown in FIG. 2. Additionally, appropriate handle means may be provided for carrying the playing board 24 when in the folded configuration thereof and appropriate handle means may be similarly provided for carrying the backboard assembly 22 when in the folded position thereof. Yet further, means, such as a pair of hooks 80 and a pair of strap members 82 may be provided for enabling the panels or backs 28 to be secured with one of the backboard or table assemblies 22 and 24, such as the upper backboard panel 30 of the backboard assembly 22 for storage thereof.

As heretofore pointed out, the backboard assembly 4 22 when assembled with the support 38 is selfsupporting, self-standing, and self-balancing so as to enable it to resist the impact of ping-pong balls thereon.

As a further aid in providing proper positioning thereof, the lower edge portion of the lower backboard 32 may be provided with a generally wedge-shaped foot portion 84 extending thereacross to provide both reinforcement for the lower backboard portion 32 as well as to provide a more secure base therefor. Additionally, to assure proper positioning of the backboard assembly 22 on the playing board 24, alignment means, such as a pair of pins 86 may be provided extending generally outwardly from the foot portion 84 adapted to be engaged within mating apertures 88 provided in the playing board portions 58 and 60. The support 38 may be similarly provided with a pin (not shown) adapted to be engaged within an aperture 90 provided in'the hinge strip 62. The playing board portions 58 and 60 may, as shown, be provided with appropriate tapes or marking such as a generally longitudinally extending pair of tapes 92 and a pair of generally transversely extending tapes 94 separating the playing surface into appropriate sections defining service I and boundary lines. The marking tapes 92 may be secured with the backboard portion 22 and manually extendable across the playing surface, if desired.

With particular reference now to FIGS. 7, 8 and 9, there is shown and illustrated another embodiment or modification of the present invention which is sufficiently similar to the previous embodiment that like reference characters were utilized for the various parts. However, the reference characters will be primed to indicate corresponding parts which are not identical to those previously described although similar in form or function. Moreover, parts which are not significantly different from the parts previously described will not be described further, it being expressly understood that any such parts as are shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 and not specifically called out are substantially similarto corresponding parts in the previous figures.

In the game apparatus 20' shown and illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9, the backboard assembly 22, rather than being removable from the playing board assembly 24' is foldably secured therewith along a hinge line defined by the forward edge of the foot portion 84 of the lower backboard portion 32, as by means of an adhesively bonded tape 92 extending thereacross and bonded with both the face of the lower backboard portion 32 and with the surface of the playing surface portion 24'. Further, the back support 38 may be hingedly connected with the upper backboard portion 30 by means of a tape portion 94 so as to be foldable into a flat configuration thereon or thereagainst when the backboard assembly 22' is folded generally forwardly along the hinge strip 92 to enable the triangular portion 48 of the back support 38' to be disengaged from the strips 54 and 56. Hence, the entire backboard assembly 22 may be folded generally flat against the playing top or surface 24 as shown in phantom in FIG. 7.

As heretofore pointed out, the backboard assembly 22 may be utilized on a specially designed playing top such as the top 24 or the backboard portion 22 may be utilized on any standard table of sufficient size, two backboard portions 22 being arranged, for example, back-to-back at the center of a conventional ping-pong or table tennis table. To aid in maintaining the backboard portions 22 positioned when utilized on a conventional ping-pong table or other flat surface, as well as to prevent scratching thereof by the backboard assembly 22, the lowermost edges of the foot portion 84 and of the support portion 38 may be covered with a high friction, relatively soft and preferably resilient material, such as a pair of sponge rubber strips 96 and 98 extending across the lower edges of the foot portion 84 and of the support member 38, respectively, as shown in cross-section in FIG. 10.

While the upper and lower angle boards 30 and 32, respectively, have been hereinabove described as being disposed at substantially right angles to one another and at substantially 35 angles to the playing surface 24, it is to be emphasized that these angles are exemplary only. Rather, the specific angles of the upper and lower angle boards 30 and 32, relative one another and relative the gameboard structure or horizontal playing surface 24 are dependent upon-theparticular dimensions thereof and may be further varied dependent upon the ball being utilized, as well as the age, size, strength, and skill of the player or players. It is critical, however, that the upper angle board 30 be disposed tilted generally obliquely downwardly so as to deflect a ball impinged thereon downwardly toward the playing surface or game-board structure 24 while the lower angle board 32 must be disposed tilted generally obliquely upwardly so as to tend, to deflect a ball impinged thereon generally upwardly and away from the horizontal playing surface or gameboard 24. Hence, a ball hit fast into the upper angleboard 30 will, in general, be deflected so as to bounce off the gameboard structure 24 at a relatively low angle and be returned quickly to the player, if playing solo, or to the other player in competitive play. Conversely, a ball hit onto the lower angleboard 32 will tend to be deflected upwardly into a'relatively high arc and in general, if hit hard or fast, will not bounce on the gameboard structure 24 but, rather, will bounce on the floor beyond the structure 24, enabling the floor to be utilized as an extension of the playing surface since balls hit off the lower angleboard 32, in view of thehigh arc imparted thereto will, in general, after bouncing from the floor, bounce high enough to enable return thereof to the backboard structure 22. Hence, the angled backboard structure 22 of thepresent invention enables the floor to be utilized as a continuation of the playing surface and enables, therefore, a game to be played having high interest and attention-getting factors utilizing only-a relatively small and compact game apparatus.

Moreover, the speed of play and the distance of rebound may be further controlled by selection of the material and surface characteristics of both the backboard structure 22 and the gameboard structure 24. A hard, smooth surface, for example, for either or both of the backboard structure 22 and the gameboard structure 24 will result in a fast game with hard rebound of the ball. A softer and/or textured surface, on the other hand, will absorb substantial energy upon impact and will result in a slower, easier or softer bounce. A very slow, soft game may be produced if the surface of one or more of the backboard structure 22 and gameboard structure 24 is covered with a fabric, loose textile-like fibers, rubber or soft plastic coating, flocking, or the like. A very hard, smooth and dense surface, such as wood or dense plastic will result in a hard, fast game. A game having selectable characteristics may, further, be assembled by forming the backboard structure 22 and/or the gameboard structure 24 from a pressed and glued fiberboard having one smooth, dense surface and the opposite surface being rough or textured. A commercial board of this type is that which is sold under the brand name Masonite and such material has been found ideal since if the smooth surface thereof is utilized as the playing surface, a fast game results and if the reverse or back side, which is a textured surface, is used, then a slower game apparatus is produced which is especially suitable for use by children and beginners.

Moreover, inasmuch as the backboard structure 22 may be carried by a structure of approximately half the size of a conventional table tennis table, two such backboard structures may be positioned, back to back, generally at the net line of a conventional table tennis table or similar structure to enable a very high density of players in a combined area.

While the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in terms of certain embodiments or modifications which it has assumed in practice, the

scope of the invention should not be deemed to be limited by the precise embodiments or modifications hereindescribed, disclosed, illustrated or shown, such other embodiments or modifications as may be suggested to those havingthe benefit of the teachings herein being intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the scope and breadth of the claims here appended.

What is claimed is: v

. 1. Game apparatus'comprising, in combination. an upper backboard portion, a lower backboard portion and support means for supporting said upper and lower backboard portions angularly orientated one above the other to define a self-standing backboard for positioning on a generally horizontal playing surface to return a light weight ball impinging thereon; hinge means connecting said upper and lower backboard portions together and enabling folding thereof around said hinge means into a relatively compact, suitcase-shaped package'fo'r transport and storage; said support means comprising a supporting member having a generally triangular base portion adapted to'be disposed generally perpendicularly beneath said lower back portion, and an extension arm extending upwardly therefrom, said extension arm being of a generally T-shaped configuration'and being adapted to be secured with said upper backboard portion, said upper backboard portion having a pair of generally L-shaped members extending rearwardly therefrom and towards each other to define therebetween a generally T-shaped slot and being adapted to slidably receive said T-shaped extension arm for securing saidsupport to said upper backboard portion; a pair of generally parallel narrowly spaced apart strips secured on the underside of said lower backboard portion for engaging said triangular base portion on opposite sides thereof; said playing top comprising a pair of playing portions of generally rectangular configuration hingedly secured together and a plurality of reinforcing ribs extending generally longitudinally therebeneath and spaced differentially from said hinge means; and said hinge means comprising-a flexible strip adhesively secured with the adjacent surfaces ing on a generally horizontal playing surface to return a light weight ball impinging thereon; hinge means connecting said upper and lower backboard portions together and enabling folding thereof around said hinge means into a relatively compact, suitcase-shaped package for transport and storage; said support means comprising a supporting member having a generally triangular base portion adapted to be disposed generally perpendicularly beneath said lower back portion, and an extension arm extending upwardly therefrom, said extension arm being of a generally T-shaped configuration and being adapted to be secured with said upper backboard portion, said upper backboard portion having a pair of generally L-shaped members extending rearwardly therefrom and towards each other to define therebetween a generally T-shaped slot and being adapted to slidably receive said T-shaped extension arm for securing said support to said upper backboard portion; a pair of generally parallel narrowly spaced apart strips secured on the underside of said lower backboard portion for engaging said triangular base portion on opposite sides thereof; said backboard being provided with pegs extending generally downwardly therefrom and said playing top being provided with mating apertures therefor to enable such backboard to be fixedly orientated relative said playing top by engagement of said pins within said apertures; said playing top comprising a pair of playing portions of generally rectangular configuration hingedly secured together and a plurality of reinforcing ribs extending generally longitudinally therebeneath and spaced differentially from said hinge means; and said hinge means comprising a flexible strip adhesively secured with the adjacent surfaces of said backboard portions, said playing top, and said support portions, respectively.

Patent Citations
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US2128948 *Jul 31, 1935Sep 6, 1938Kleinman Jacob LTennis set
US2203780 *Sep 15, 1938Jun 11, 1940Leo B GatzTennis table
US2545064 *Apr 6, 1945Mar 13, 1951Alch LessingCollapsible sectional top table
US3468536 *Aug 29, 1966Sep 23, 1969Minshull Allen JRacket and ball game
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4134585 *Dec 21, 1977Jan 16, 1979Alex SemonTable tennis return board
US4364562 *Apr 17, 1980Dec 21, 1982White John MBaseball rebound target
US5531449 *Apr 14, 1995Jul 2, 1996Denton; William H.Portable stoopball striker
US5655979 *Jun 20, 1996Aug 12, 1997Blue; John D.Table tennis style game with basketball backboards, hoops, nets and foam ball
US6729982 *Nov 22, 1999May 4, 2004Wilk Patent Development Corp.Table tennis table, conversion kit and associated method
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/435
International ClassificationA63B67/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/0097, A63B2209/00, A63B2208/12, A63B67/04, A63B71/0045, A63B2210/50
European ClassificationA63B67/04