US 3853322 A
A board game simulating an athletic contest utilizes a plurality of spinner cards to provide the players with options. The spinner cards carry indicia associating them with positions on the game board corresponding to positions of the contestants on the playing field. A plurality of cards are necessary to allow the participant to choose various moves having different probabilities of success.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Mercer Dec. 10, 1974 BOARD GAME  Inventor: Donald W. Mercer, Pittsburgh, Pa.  Assignee: Donbee Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa.
 Filed: June 29, 1972  Appl. N0.: 267,399
 US. Cl.. 273/134 ES, 273/134 AD, 273/141 R  Int. Cl. A63f 3/00  Field of Search.... 273/134 ES, 134 E, 134 DE, 273/134 CB, 134 AD, 134 AB, 134 A, 134
CA, 135R, 135 AC  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,144,927 6/1915 Wunsch 273/134 AD 1,310,390 7/1919 Clark 273/134 AD 1,518,306 12/1924 Clegg 273/134 AD FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 790,150 11/1935 France 273/134 CA OTHER PUBLICATIONS Cadaco, 1970, Catalog, 200 5111 Ave., NY. 10010, March, 1970, Toy Fair.
Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Marvin Siskind Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Buell, Benko & Ziesenheim 57 ABSTRACT A board game simulating an athletic contest utilizes a plurality of spinner cards to provide the players with options. The spinner cards carry indicia associating them with positions on the game board corresponding to positions of the contestants on the playing field. A plurality of cards are necessary to allow the participant to choose various moves having different probabilities of success.
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures BOARD GAME This invention relates to a board game which simulates an athletic contest. It is more particularly concerned with such a board game including novel spinner means for determining by chance the outcome of plays available to the players of the game. v
Board games simulating athletic contests are wellknown. These usually employ a board representing the playing field of the contest and markers of some sort which are placed on the board to simulate the position of contestants on the playing field. These games are played by two people. Hereinafter, the term player signifies one or the other of the people who are playing the board game while the term contestant" signifies one of the contestants in the athletic contest simulated by the game.
In one class of board games, the outcome depends ultimately on chance, which is invoked by rolling dice, spinning a spinner device, or by other means. The spinner device is essentially a pointer arm freely rotatable about a pivot in the center of a card containing a circular scale, the circumference of which is marked off into divisions representing various outcomes of the play. The player spins the spinner to determine his success or failure. My invention is concerned with board games of this class.
lt is an object of my invention to provide a board game having a plurality of spinner means corresponding to options available to the players, which spinner means are associated with positions occupied by the contestants on the playing field by indicia on the board and on the spinner means. It is another object to provide a board game as above-described in which the spinner means may represent more than one option. It is another object to provide improved spinner means for board games. Other objects of my invention will appear in the course of the description thereof which follows.
An embodiment of my invention presently preferred by me is a board game simulating tennis, which will be described and illustrated hereinafter. It will be understood however, that my invention is not limited to tennis, but is adapted to other athletic contests as well.
My preferred embodiment is illustrated in the attached FlGS. to which reference is now made.
FIG. 1 is a plan of my game board,
FIG. 2 is a plan of a spinner card, and
FIG. 3 is a perspective of my spinner device.
My game board ll carries the representation of a regulation singles tennis court l2, slightly modified as will appear. FIG. l is shaded for color. The two backcourt areas l3-'l3 are the same color, green. The two short forecourt areas 14-l4 are the same color, blue. A deep portion 15 of each forecourt adjoining backcourt area 13 is colored red. The two service or serve return positions 16l6 behind each back line are colored the same color, red. The two backcourt positions 17 behind the back line are colored green. The numerals 1 through 10 which appear on board 11 in the places shown on each side of the court 12 are indicia affixed to the game board 11, and are not reference characters.
The game includes a marker for each contestant which is placed on game board 11 in the appropriate location as well as a marker for the ball, which may likewise be placed on the game board. These are not illustrated and require no further description because they are not part of my invention.
My game offers each player options at every stage thereof. Each option requires a different spinner device to determine its success or failure. It is a feature of my invention that the plurality of different spinner cards is comprehended by a detachable spinner mechanism described hereinafter which is used with any desired spinner card. The options and the spinner cards therefore are associated with the positions of the contestants on the tennis court. For example, the contest begins with one contestant serving from a service position 16 to the other contestant in the diagonally opposite court. In the simpler form of my game the server has the option of two serves, denominated the power serve and the spin serve, respectively. Each of these has its own spinner card. The spinner is spun by the player having the serve and it indicates if the ball is returnable, and if so, whether it must be returned from area 9 or 10 as marked by the numerical indicia on the board 11. My fully elaborated game also gives the server the option of trying to gain the net, which requires two more spinner cards, one for each type of service. The receiver has a total of eight options, depending on the servers choice of option, corresponding to different strategies in returning the serve. These require eight spinner cards. Furthermore, the outcome of each option is different for backhand or for forehand returns, which returns are predetermined by the portion of the court from which the serve must be returned, that is to say either area 9 or 10 on the appropriate side of the board.
If the serve is returned in play, the server then has a number of options open to him depending on whether the return is short or long, on his forehand or backhand, whether he has elected to go to the net or stay in the backcourt, and so on. in fact, the tennis game which I have devised to provide each player with most of the options available to a contestant on the court requires 56 spinner cards, nearly all of which have double scales as will be described. Without some quick and convenient way of associating or keying the appropriate spinner card with the positions of the contestants on the court, the effort required of the players would be greater than the game would support.
I have devised an effective means for associating the appropriate spinner cards with the positions of the contestants on the court employing corresponding indicia on the board and on the spinner cards. l utilize indicia of two types color and numerals. Both of these appear on the board 11 illustrated in FIG. 1 which I have described. The spinner cards, to be described, are likewise identified by color and by numerals which associate the cards with the positions of the contestants on the court.
A typical spinner card is illustrated in FIG 2. This card 19 is provided with a central circular area 20 divided by a diameter into semi-circles 21 and 22. It is also provided with an inner circular scale 23 surrounding circular area 20 and an outer circular scale 24 surrounding inner scale 23. The card 19 is formed with a circular hole 25 concentric with circle 20 and circular scales 23 and 24 for the spinner mechanism of FIG. 3 to be described. Scales 23 and 24 are marked off in divisions indicating the outcome of the stroke which card 19 represents. Semi-circle 21 is colored the same color as the zone of the court occupied by the opposing contestant and semi-circle 22 is colored the same color as the zone occupied by the player having the ball in his court. In FIG. 2, semi-circle 21 is lined for green, indicating that the opposing contestant is in the backcourt 13, and semi-circle 22 is lined for blue indicating that the ball to be returned is in the short forecourt zone 14. Semi-circle 22 also is marked with two numerals, l and 3. These numerals are not reference characters but indicia applied to the spinner card 19 like the numerals which are applied to board 11 of FIG. 1. The numberal 1, which is applied as a white numeral on a black background, indicates that inner scale 23 must be used, which is likewise colored black with white numerals and legends. Numeral 3, which is applied as a black numeral on a white background, indicates that outer scale 24 must be used, which is likewise 'colored white with black numerals and legends. These numerals l and 3 on semi-circle 22 correspond to numerals 1 and 3 in blue court zone 14 of FIG. 1 and represent the position of the ball in the blue zone and accordingly the position in that zone occupied by the player who must return the ball. The position, of course, has resulted from the outcome of the preceding return of the opposing player, not here described, but determined by a spin of another spinner device with its own card.
The scales 23 and 24 of FIG. 2 indicate, by the legend out, that the ball was outside the court, by the legend net," that it went into the net, by the legend win," that it was not returnable, or by one of the numerals that it fell within the opponent's court in the area corresponding to the numeral indicated. The scales comparable to scales 23 and 24 on the other spinner cards are generally similar.
My spinner device is illustrated in FIG. 3. A shaft 27 is provided on one end with a finger grip portion 28 of somewhat greater diameter. Pivoted for free movement about shaft 27 adjacent finger grip 28 is a pointer arm 29 which has a pointer indicator 30 on one end. The other end of arm 29 terminates in a counter balance 31. Arm 29 is pivoted at a point intermediate indicator 30 and counter balance 31.. A disk 32 of transparent material. preferably plastic, is fixed to shaft 27 so that pointer arm 29 is pivoted between disk 32 and finger grip 28. The end 33 of shaft 27 projects through disk 32 a distance sufficient to permit it to be inserted into hole 25 of spinner card 19 previously described. My spinner device is thus adapted for use with any one of a plurality of spinner cards which has a center hole 25 of the size adapted to receive end 33 of spinner shaft 27.
1. In a board game simulating an athletic contest played on a playing field and including a board representing that playing field andspinner means for determining by chance the outcome of plays selected by a player of the game, the improvement comprising indicia and color on the board designating zones of the playing field occupied by the contestants during the course of the contest and a plurality of spinner cards each adapted to receive and releasably hold the spinner means and each having first indicia determining by chance with said spinner means the outcome of a play and each carrying second indicia independent of the first indicia the indicia and color of the second indicia on a given spinner board indentically corresponding to the indica and color on a given area of the playing field corresponding to the players assumed position on said field. which associate that card with a pair of designated zones, one for each of the contestants.
2. The board game of claim 1 in which the indicia on the board comprise different colors applied to those zones and the indicia on a spinner card comprise a pair of colored areas, the colors being those of two of the zones.
3. The board game of claim 2 in which the colored areas of a spinner card are adjoining semi-circles in the central portion of the card.
4. The board game of claim 1 in which the indicia on the board comprise at least two different numerals in a zone, and the indicia on a spinner card comprise a pair of numerals of that zone.
5. The board game of claim 4 in which the spinner card carries'at least two different concentric circular scales indicating the outcome of a different play selected by a player of the game, each scale being associated by color with one of the numerical indicia on the card.
6. The board game of claim 2 in which the athletic contest is singles tennis, the board represents a regulation tennis court, and the zones of the playing field designated by the indicia are the areas of a tennis court between the lines thereon.
7. The board game of claim 6 in which the backcourt areas on both sides of the net are the same color, and the forecourt areas on both sides of the net are divided by lines parallel to the net into a short forecourt portion adjacent the net and a deep forecourt portion remote from the net, and those portions are colored differently from each other and from the backcourt area but the same on both sides of the net.
8. The board game of claim 7 including at least two different numerical designations applied to different parts of a colored area.