US 3860239 A
An electronic ball game in which two players representing opposing teams actuate transmitters for the purpose of pitching a ball and hitting it in flight. The trajectory of the pitched ball is displayed on a screen, and the player "at bat" is required to control the transmitter within a predetermined time interval for the purpose of scoring a successful hit. The screen displays the progress of the ball game, the kind of hit that has been made, and the location of the runners on a baseball diamond.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feuer et al.
[4 Jan. 14, 1975 3,655,189 4/1972 Alexander, Jr. 273/88 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Harry G. Strappello  ABSTRACT An electronic ball game in which two players representing opposing teams actuate transmitters for the purpose of pitching a ball and hitting it in flight. The trajectory of the pitched ball is displayed on a screen, and the player at bat is required to control the transmitter within a predetermined time interval for the purpose of scoring a successful hit. The screen displays the progress of the ball game, the kind of hit that has been made, and the location of the runners on a baseball diamond.
13 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures ELECTRONIC BASEBALL GAME  Inventors: Peter R. Feuer, 713 Mourning Dove Rd., Audubon, Pa. 19401; Emil Rotar, 1618 W. Olney Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19141  Filed: Aug. 8, 1973 [211' Appl. No.: 386,720
 US. Cl. 273/88  Int. Cl. A63f 9/00  Field of Search 273/1 E, 85 R, 88
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,583,538 6/1971 Hurley 273/85 R X 3,637,212 l/l972 Hurley 273/85 R F1475? s I (d/117M fella-rat) m 49 FF cz/r PATENTED JAN] 4 I975 sum 1 OF 3 PATENTEU JAN I 41975 SHEET 20F 3 PATENTEUJAN14|975 Y "3.860239 SHEET30F3 Flaa Fla. 4
am lllllll -ll HHIIIIHHIHII'HUU'LUHMM Wm/WW ELECTRONIC BASEBALL GAME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Electronically-operated games have been known in the arts. The conventional electronic games, however, do not provide for a baseball game with a display on which the score of the game, and the progress of the game, may be observed and monitored. Conventional electronic games, furthermore, do not provide the electronic logic circuitry by which the location of runners on the baseball diamond may be displayed as the runners progress. Conventional electronic games, moreover, do not provide apparatus equipped with a predetermined design interval during which the player is required to execute an operation for the purpose of scoring a successful hit on a pitched ball.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an electronic baseball game in which players representing opposing teams may control remote transmitters to hit pitched balls, the trajectories of which are displayed on a screen viewable by the players.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an electronic baseball game of the foregoing character which displays runners advancing around the bases with intermediate positions between bases included.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an electronic baseball game in which the players are required to execute an operational step in the game within a predetermined time interval in order to score a successful hit.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide an electronic ball game with a display which retains the progressive score of the players of the game, and which displays the kind of hit made by a player at the appropriate time.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an electronic baseball game in which the players control the pitching and subsequent hitting of the ball by means of a single transmitter. A particular object of the present invention is to provide an'electronic baseball game in which the length of the game is not determined by a specified number of turns at bat, but in a manner similar to real baseball with the number of innings being the only constraint.
It is an essential object of the present invention to provide an electronic baseball game in which the electronic logic circuitry for generating display signals and carrying out the sequential steps of the game, is comprised substantially of minimum equipment which is highly reliable in service and has long-operating life.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The objects of the present invention are achieved by providing an electronic baseball game in which the ball is pitched at the beginning of each play by the activation of the transmitter. The trajectory of the pitched ball is traced on a screen by illuminating sequential locations of the ball with signal outputs from. a counter. To score a successful hit, the player of the game is required to release control of the transmitter within a predetermined time interval by responding to the time in which the batter is to hit the ball to score successfully. Within this time interval, the player may score a single, double, triple, home run, sacrifice, or an out. The kind of hit made by the player is recorded on the display screen by output of a counter which is operative during this predetermined time interval. Separate scoring counters store the respective scores of the players, and apply their signal outputs to the display screen for the purpose of displaying the scores on the screen. The number of the prevailing inning, as well as the number of outs incurred by the team at bat, are also displayed on the screen through signals generated by the logic circuitry of the electronic baseball game of the presen invention.
The novel features which are considered characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the Drawing and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2, the baseball game, in accordance with the present invention, has a coin box 15 into which coins may be deposited to start the game. A counter 17 is provided to register the amount of money deposited and to provide credit for more than one game if a sufficient amount of moneyhas been deposited. Thus, whenever coins are inserted into the coin box 15, a circuit closure therein appliesa signal to counter 17, in
the conventional manner. Whereas the coin box 15 and counter 17 may be installed in the baseball game when used in conjunction with commercial application, these elements may be omitted when the baseball game is in: tended solely as a recreational device for home use, for example.
When a sufficient amount of money has been deposited and registered by counter 17, the output signal of this counter 17, which is applied to an inverter 46, is dropped, and the inverter 46 applies an operative signal to an AND gate 48. At this time, the output of flip flop 44, which is connected to the AND gate 48, is operative, and therefore gate 48 transmits to the delay circuit 50. v
The output of delay circuit 50 resets the flip flop 44 as well as score counters 28 and 30. The score counters 28 and 30 store the scores of the respective teams. The delay circuit 50 provides a sufficient time interval in which the players may prepare for the next game, in the event that coins have been deposited for more than one game.
The players are provided with a transmitter 11 which may be located remotely from the electronic unit and the display screen. The remote transmitter 11, when actuated, applies a signal to a receiver 13 in the electronic unit, and the output of receiver 13 is, in turn, ap-
plied to an AND gate 10. In the operation of the game, the player at bat actuates transmitter 11 by pushing a button on the transmitter, for example. The pushing of such button on transmitter 11 corresponds to throwing the pitch.
The gate has two inputs which cause this gate to transmit until the player releases the button on transmitter 11. Flip flop twelve connected to the output of gate 10 is set by this gate, and the output of the flip flop 12, in turn, enables the counter 14 which commences counting operation from the instant that flip flop 12 is set by gate 10. Counter 14 commences operation at the instant that the ball is pitched, and the outputs of counter 14, when appropriately decoded, are applied to the display of FIG. 1 to sequentially trace the position of the ball while in flight, after having been pitched. Thus, referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing, eight positions of the ball, 101 through 108, are displayed on the screen to trace the path of the ball while in flight from the pitcher to the batter. These eight positions of the ball displayed on the screen in this manner are illuminated by decoded signals 14a from the outputs of counter 14. Counter 14 is a conventional digital counter well known in the art, and the decoding of the outputs of the counter is achieved through conventional means or, for example, a diode matrix. In the illustrated embodiment, eight positions of the ball are shown and, therefore, counter 14 has a corresponding quantity of outputs for these respective positions of the ball. In practice, however, any number of outputs from counter 14 and corresponding positions of the ball displayed on the screen, may be selected.
The last signal from counter 14 designates the end of the trajectory of the ball in flight, and this last count signal 14b is applied to a circuit unit 18. Upon receipt of signal 14, unit 18 generates a signal 18a, denoting the end of the trajectory sequence which is displayed on the screen in FIG. 1. The output signal 18a is applied to the flip flop 12 to reset this flip flop, as well as counter 14, which is also reset thereby.
The unit 18 includes a counter 18b, shown in FIG. 3, which becomes operative during a predetermined design interval while the ball is in flight as traced by the trajectory shown in FIG. 1. This predetermined interval, during which the counter 18b is operative, corresponds to the time interval in which the ball is to be hit by releasing transmitter 11 in order to score a successful hit. This predetermined design interval, during which counter 18b is operative, may correspond to the interval between positions 107 and 108, for example, shown in FIG. 1, or it may last for two such positions of the ball as, for example, 106 through 108.
The counter 18b becomes operative, accordingly, at the instant when the ball is at position 107 in FIG. 1. The signal 14c, which illuminates this position on the screen is also used to actuate the counter 18b. Thus, the signal 14c is applied to AND gate 19, shown in FIG. 3. Also applied to this AND gate 19 is the output 16a of flip flop 16 which was set when FF 12 was in the reset state. A third input to gate 19 is derived from a clock or pulse generator, as well known in the art.
Upon starting operation of the counter 18b by the signal 14c, the counter 18b provides decoded output 180, representing the possible outcomes of the player attempting to hit the ball within the required design time interval. When the player releases the button on transmitter 11, flip flop 16 is reset by the loss of output from the gate 10 propagating through the inverter, and the corresponding state of the output signal 16a prevents further clock pulses from being transmitted by gate 19. As a result, counter 18b is stopped in operation when flip flop 16 is reset.
Depending on the particular state of counter 18b when stopped, the decoded output 18c may correspond to a single hit, a double, triple, home run, or sacrifice. Thus, each of the outputs of the counter, A through E, represents a different outcome as a result of releasing the transmitter 11 by the player at the respective instant of time. The last count signal 14b is used to sample also the counter 18b to determine the state of the outcome which is then displayed on the screen or dis play of FIG. 1. The resultant outcome is stored by memory means, not shown, as such memory means is well known in the art. It is essential that the player release the pushbutton on transmitter 11 within the predetermined design interval corresponding to the interval between positions 107 and 108 of the ball, for example, in order to score a successful hit.
Depending on the outcome of the players action by releasing the transmitter 11, and denoted by a respective signal output from counter 18b, the shift register 20 is advanced a corresponding number of states for the purpose of advancing the runners if the outcome is a single, double, triple, or home run, for example. Two shift pulses are applied to the shift register 20 for movement of the runner'between two successive bases. A new runner signal 18d, from control unit 18, is applied only on the first shift pulse of the register 20. The signal outputs 20a of the shift register 20 are applied to the display of FIG. 1. where the runners are illuminated in correspondence to the outcome of the hit achieved by the'batter. Two such signal outputs are provided for each base by shift register 20, so that runners at intermediate positions between the bases can be appropriately illuminated also.
,While theabove description applies to one intermediate position between bases, any number of intermediate positions are possible by extending the length of the shift register and generating an appropriate number of shift pulses. For example, using l2 shift register stages and 3 pulses per base advance, we have 2 intermediate positions. I v
The signal output from the shift register 20 between third base and home, is applied to gates 22 and 24. The outputs of these two gates 22 and 24 are applied, respectively, to counters 28 and'30. The counter 28 retains the score applicable to to team A, for example, whereas counter 30 retains the score applicable to the opposing team B. The other inputs to gates 22 and 24 are connected to the outputs of a flip flop 26. The state of this flip flop 26 determines which team is at bat. Accordingly, when a runner passes through third base and home, either counter 28 or 30 is advanced, depending upon the state of flip flop 26 which determines which team is to be credited with the run. Thus, the zero out= put of flip flop 26 is connected to gate 22 whereas, the
out signal l8e from the control unit 18. The outputs 32a of the counter 32 are also applied to the display of FIG. 1 after being appropriately decoded in the conventional manner, so that the players may observe the number of outs that have been obtained.
When a sacrifice is generated, then counter 32 is also advanced, since a sacrifice counts as an out. At the same time, two shift pulses are applied to the shift register 20, without, however, a new runner signal being generated. As a result, the shift register 20 is shifted without any new data entry being applied. Thus, the contents within the register 20 become shifted during a sacrifice, but no new data (i.e., no new runner) is inserted into the register.
The.2 output from counter 32 is applied to the control unit 18 which thereupon converts a sacrifice to a regular out. The 3 out signal from counter 32 is applied to flip flop 26 for the purpose of changing the state of that flip flop and thereby changing teams. At the same time, the 3 out signal from the counter 32 is used to reset this counter 32 and to clear the shift register 20.
When the 3 out signal is generated and flip flop 26 is in the I state, then gate 34 applies a signal to the innings counter 36 to advance this counter. The signal output of the counter 36 represents the prevailing inning,'and this output of counter 36, after being appropriately decoded in the conventional manner, is applied to the display board or screen of FIG. 1.
The signal from counter 36 which denotes the last inning; is applied to gates 38 and 40. Considering gate 38, the next signal applied to the counter 36 also causes the gate 38 to transmit and thereby generate an end of game" signal.
Considering next gate 40, if the team N (National) is at bat and the score for the N team is greater than that for the A team (American) in the last half of the last inning, then gate 40 would generate an end of game signal unless a home run has just occurred, and the inverter 40a will inhibit gate 40 from transmitting until all shifting has been completed in register 20, so that the home run has been completely registered.
Once all actions and events have been fully registered, such as shifting and counting the outs, the control unit 18 generates a batter enable signal 18f which is applied to gate 10. The application of this signal l8f to gate 10, enables the player to participate further and continue the game, and to removethe previous outcome associated with the last hit batter. The end of game signal 39a transmitted by gates 38 and 40 through the OR gate 39, sets the flip flop 44 so that the l output of this flip flop 44 is applied to the display of FIG. 1. to indicate that the game is over. At the same time, this end of game signal 39a is applied to counter 17 to decrease the count of this counter by one unit. Thus, if sufficient money has been deposited in the coin box for two games, for example, then reducing counter 17 by one unit allows the players to participate in one more game. Once the flip flop 44 is set, gate 48 will provide an output when receiving an input from inverter 46. If, however, the state of the counters 17 is at zero, then inverter 46 will provide no output, so that gate 48 and hence delay circuit 15 will also provide no outputs. As a result, the game circuitry will remain inactive until additional money has been depos ited in the coin box 15 and counter 17 has been correspondingly advanced to a count other than zero.
To obtain a successful hit, the batter is required to hit the ball within a predetermined design time interval as noted above. It is during this time interval that the player at bat is required to release transmitter 11 in order to obtain a successful hit. During this predetermined design interval, counter 18b in FIG. 3 is advanced or actuated by clock pulses transmitted by gate 19. In the embodiment illustrated, counter 18b has states A through E, and upon reaching the last stage of this counter, the latter is reset to the first stage A upon receipt of the subsequent clock pulse. Each of the states of counter 18b (A through E) represents a unique outcome. Thus, the output state A of the counter 18b represents a single, whereas outputs B through E represent, respectively, a double, a triple, a homerun, and a sacrifice. The relationship of the signal outputs of the counter 18b with respect to the clock signal, as well as signals 14c and 16a, are shown in FIG.
To limit the duration of the game, as well as to make the game interesting from the viewpoint of skill re quired by the players, it is desirable to provide for the condition that outs may be obtained within the predetermined design interval, in addition to positive outcomes. For this reason, it is desirable that alternate states of counter 18b represent outs instead of positive outcomes. This is illustrated in the bottom portion of FIG. 4. If a successful hit is regarded as a positive outcome and an out is regarded as a negative outcome, then alternate states of the flip flop 19a, actuated by clock pulses from gate 19, will provide for alternate outs as well as allow for alternate positive outcomes. By providing alternate outs in this manner, there is at least a 50 percent possibility that an out will be obtained even within the predetermined design time interval. Since, however, a sacrifice is also registered as an out, the probability of obtaining an out during the predetermined design interval, is greater than 50 percent. In operation, the flip flop 19a and counter 18b are reset to their initial states before generating the predetermined design time interval. The leading edge of signal coincides with the end of a clock pulse and there are an even number of clock pulses within the predetermined design interval. To allow for all output states, the predetermined design interval must encompass 2N clock pulses for N counter states. Release of the transmitter outside this interval will always result in an out, since x will be 0 at such times.
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention, that others, by applying current knowledge, can readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute the essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations are intended to, and should, be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An electronic baseball game comprising, in combination, trajectory tracing means for tracing the trajectory of a pitched ball; display means connected to said tracing means for displaying said trajectory to at least one player; signalling means operated by said player for signalling when the ball is to be hit by the batter; outcome determining means connected to said tracing means for determining the outcome after said player has operated said signalling means for hitting said ball, said outcome being displayed on said display means; means in said outcome determining means for establishing said outcome as a successful hit when said signalling means is operated within a predetermined time interval, said predetermined time interval being subdivided into a plurality of sections representing a variety of possible successful hits, the specific outcome within said time interval being dependent on the instant of time when said signalling means is operated by said player; and sections representing outs between sections of successful hits within said predetermined time interval, said outcome determining means registering an out when said signalling means is operated outside of said predetermined time interval, said sections representing outs between said sections of successful hits reducing substantially the duration of the game being played, the outcome upon operation of said signalling means by said player being independent of the action of another player and being dependent on the duration of time between the instant that the ball is pitched and the instant that said signalling means is operated by said player.
2. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for establishing a successful hit within said predetermined time interval comprises an electronic digital counting means.
3. The electronic baseball game, as defined in claim 1, including means for storing the scores of the game being played, and displaying the scores on said display means.
4. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 1, including means for storing the inning of the game being played and displaying said inning on said display means, the duration of the game being dependent only on the number of innings played.
5. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 1, including means connected to said outcome determining means for displaying runners in varied positions on a baseball diamond displayed on said display means.
6. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 1, including money receiving means for receiving money prior to starting the game by said player.
7. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 6, including means in said money receiving means for storing and registering the number of games for which money has been received by said receiving means.
8. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 1, wherein said signalling means is operated by said player remotely from said display means.
9. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 1 including means in said signalling means for signalling when the ball is to be pitched and subsequently hit.
10. The electronic baseball game is defined in claim 9 wherein said signalling means comprises a single transmitter.
11. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 5 including means for displaying runners around bases including intermediate positions between bases.
12. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 1, wherein said sections representing outs between said sections of successful hits reduces the chance by substantially 50 percent that the player score a successful hit.
13. The electronic baseball game as defined in claim 1, wherein the sequence of said sections representing outs and successful hits is constant during the game.