US 3865376 A
A game apparatus including a game board which is divided into two playing areas by a series or wall of spaced pegs. The game includes a plurality of reboundable balls in one area on one side of the pegs which can be propelled from positions between the pegs toward pockets or holes at an end of the game board when struck by a cue ball which is located in a second playing area on the opposite side of the pegs. A cue stick or other hand manipulated instrument is used to propel the cue ball into contact with the reboundable balls. An automatic return mechanism is provided to eject the reboundable balls from the pockets or holes at the end of play to prepare the game apparatus for the next play. Confining walls are provided about the periphery of the board and the board is inclined so that the reboundable balls tend to come to rest at positions between the pegs.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,865,376 Glass et al. Feb. 11, 1975 GAME A PARATU Primary Examiner-Paul E. Shapiro  Inventors: Marvin 1. Glass, Chicago; Jeffrey D. At'orney' Agent or firm-Coffee Sweeney Breslow, Highland Park, both of Ill.
 Assignee: Marvin Glass & Associates,  ABSTRACT Chicago, Ill. A game apparatus including a game board which is di-  Flled: sePt- 1973 vided into two playing areas by a series or wall of [211 App] 393 59 spaced pegs. The game includes a plurality of reboundable balls in one area on one side of the pegs which can be propelled from positions between the  11.8. CI 273/125 A pegs toward pockets or holes at an end f the game  Int. Cl A63f 7/00, A63f 7/10 board when Struck by a cue b3 which i located in a  Field of Search 273/ 1 19-125, second playing area on the opposite Side of the pegs 273/l79 182 A cue stick or other hand manipulated instrument is used to propel the cue ball into contact with the rel56l References Cited boundable balls. An automatic return mechanism is UNITED STATES PATENTS provided to eject the reboundable balls from the pock- 795.130 7/1905 Keferstcin 273/123 R x ms or holes at the end of P y 10 Prepare the s P- 1,319,038 10/1919 Beeler 273/125 A paratus for the next play Confining walls are provided 1,689,476 10/1928 Brumder 273/179 A about the periphery of the board and the board is in- 2,544,992 3/l95l Jackson 273/l22 R clined so that the reboundable balls tend to come to rest at positions between the pegs.
11 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED FEBI 1 I975 SHEET 1 OF 2 1 GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to games, and in particular to games wherein reboundable balls are propelled across a playing surface into a cup-like receptacle.
2. Brief Description of the Prior Art Games of the type wherein a playing piece travels along a playing surface in an intended path of travel toward cup like receptacles responsive to the launching or shooting action of some element are well known in the art. Examples of such are the well known pool-type table games and miniature pool table games wherein players use elongated cue sticks to propel the pool balls, pinball games wherein players use a spring biased plunger to launch a ball onto an inclined playing surface where it randomly strikes posts and accumulates points as it rolls down the playing surface, and those types of games wherein players directly strike the playing piece with a cocked thumb or forefinger.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The best mode currently contemplated for carrying out the invention includes an inclined game board which is divided into two playing areas by a series or wall of spaced pegs across the playing surface. A plurality of resilient reboundable balls are rollingly supported in an upper playing area on one side of the pegs and are caused to travel toward pockets or holes at the uppermost end of the playing surface when struck by a cue ball. The cue ball is rollingly supported in a lower playing area on the opposite side of the pegs and impelled by a hand held instrument. The spacing between the pegs is less than the diameter of the balls so that the balls tend to come torest at positions between the pegs. An automatic return mechanism is provided to eject the balls from the pockets or holes at the end of play to prepare the game apparatus for another play. Walls are provided around the periphery of the inclined playing surface to provide confining means therefor. The object of the game is to impel a given number of the reboundable balls located in the upper playing area into particular holes or pockets at the uppermost end of the playing surface by causing the cue ball in the lower area to strike the reboundable balls when the cue ball is impelled by a hand held instrument.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the game apparatus embodying the concepts of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical section, on an enlarged scale, taken generally along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the ball ejectment mechanism in a retracted position;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary vertical section, on an enlarged scale, taken generally along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing theball ejectment mechanism in an extended position;
FIG. 4 is a vertical section, on an enlarged scale, taken generally along line 4-4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a broken-away section taken generally along line 5-5 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a broken-away enlarged perspective view of a portion of the ejectment mechanism showing the operation of the electrical contacts; and
FIG. 7 is a somewhat schematic illustration of the electrical system and wiring.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, the game apparatus, generally designated 10 (FIG. 1), includes a playing surface, generally designated 12, preferably molded integrally with a frame, generally designated 14, of plastic or other suitable material.
For convenience. the game apparatus will be described as though supported on a horizontal surface such as a table top, in the position generally seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. Side-walls 16 of the frame 14 extend upwardly past the playing surface 12 to provide confining means for retaining a plurality of rollingly supported reboundable balls 18. A series of pegs 20, which may be molded integrally with the playing surface I2, are provided to form a wall which divides the playing surface 12 into two distinct playing areas, an upper playing area 24 and a lower playing area 26. The pegs are spaced less than the diameter of the balls 18 such that the reboundable balls located in the upper playing area 24 cannot roll between adjacent pegs 18 into the lower playing area 26. The pegs 20 are spaced apart enough such that the reboundable balls 18 will rest between two adjacent pegs 20 and protrude slightly into the lower playing area 26.
A series of holes 28, slightly smaller in diameter than balls 18, are provided at the uppermost end of the playing surface 12, in playing area 24 as shown on the right in FIGS. 1 and 2. A back wall is provided with semicircular or cup-like portions 32 which are connected together and with sidewalls 16 by a plurality of upright wall portions 34 to provide guide means to direct the reboundable balls 18 into the holes 28. Each cup-like wall portion 32 is also provided with a vertical ridge 36 to guide the balls 18 into the holes 28.
A cue ball 40 is rollingly supported in the lower playing area 26. A narrow end wall 42 is provided at the lowermost portion of the lower playing area 26, as shown on the left in FIGS. 1 and 2, to provide launching positions for the cue ball 40. The height of the end wall 42 is approximately one fourth of the diameter of the cue ball and also is provided with a plurality of vertical ribs 44 on the side thereof facing the lower playing area 26 to prevent the cue ball 40 from rolling from side to side. Two tapered walls 46 connect the end wall 42 with the sidewalls 16 thereby forming a complete peripheral enclosure of the inclined playing surface 12. The end wall 42 and the tapered walls 46 are preferably molded integrally with the frame sidewalls l6 and the playing surface I2.
A platform 48 is provided, as a continuation of the playing surface 12, extending from the end wall 42 and tapered walls 46 to the front end of the frame. Two scoring discs 50 are rotatably mounted on the underside of the platform 48, as by rivets 51 (FIG. 1), such that indicia on the scoring discs 50, (e.g., representing victories by each player of the game) is visible through square holes 52 near the lower end of the platform 48. Additional cut-outs 54 are providedat the juncture of the platform 48 and an end-frame wall 56 through which the scoring discs 50 protrude such that they may be manually rotated.
Hand held impelling instruments, for striking the cue ball 40, are provided in the form of either conventional cue sticks 58 or of the spring biased plunger type 60. In the latter, a notched plunger 62 is depressed against a biasing spring and held in cocked position by a pawl receivable in one of the notches. The pawl then is moved out of the notches by depressing tabs 64 formed integrally with the pawl whereafter the plunger 62 is spring biased outwardly to strike the cue ball 40. The cue ball is launched from a selected position between any two ribs 44 on the inner face of wall 42 and propelled toward one of the reboundable balls 18 for impact therewith to impel it towards one of the holes 28 in the uppermost end of the playing surface 12.
An automatic ball return mechanism, generally designated 70 (FIGS. 2 and 4), is provided to eject the reboundable balls 18 from the holes 28 at the end of a game. The return mechanism 70 includes a horizontal shaft 72 which is journalled at its ends and its midpoint in cars 74 depending from the underside of the playing surface 12. A plurality of ejecting arms 76 are secured on the shaft 72 directly under each hole 28 in the playing surface 12. The ejecting arms 76 are provided with a central slot 78 thus providing two prongs 80 on each arm 76. A vertical tab 82 is provided on each prong 80 for contact with the balls 18.
A crank arm 86 is secured to the shaft 72 at its right end as viewed in FIG. 4, and is pivotally connected by means of a pin 88 to a connecting rod 90 on its lower end (FIG. 2). The other end of the connecting rod 90 is rotatably secured by means of a pin 92 to a rotatable disc 94 which drives the ball return mechanism 70.
The drive mechanism, generally designated 100 (FIG. is mounted on two flanges 102 depending from the underside of the playing surface 12. A motor 104 drives the mechanism 100 through a pinion gear 106. A double gear 108 is mounted on a shaft 110 journalled in the flanges I02. Gear 108 is in mesh with the pinion gear 106 and the main drive disc 94 through a second double gear I12 which is also journalled between the flanges 102. The gear 112 is formed as a unitary member with a large diameter shaft H4 and the drive disc 94. A bell H6 is also supported on the left hand flange I02 by a post I18. A small disc 120 is secured on the left end of shaft III) as shown in FIG. 5. A loose fitting washer-type hammer I22 is supported on disc 120 by a post 124 and strikes the bell 116 as gear 108 rotates.
When energized, the motor 104, through pinion 106, gear 108 and gear 112 rotate the main drive disc 94. The drive disc 94, through the connecting arm 90 and the crank 86 cause the shaft 72 to rotate counterclockwise, as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 3, during one half of a rotation of the drive disc 94 and clockwise through the remaining halfofa rotation. Thus, the ejecting arm tabs 82 contact the balls 18 in the holes 28, eject the balls, and then the ejecting arms 76 return to their original position during one rotation of the main drive disc 94.
The electrical system (FIG. 7) illustrates an embodiment of the invention wherein four holes 28 and four balls 18 are used. Four electrical contacts 126, 127, I28 and 129 are mounted on ears 132 which depend from the playing surface, one directly under each hole 28. These contacts 126, 127, 128 and 129 are normally open (FIG. 3) and are closed by the weight ofa ball 18 when it falls into a hole 28 (FIG. 2).
It can be seen in FIG. 7 that when the combination of contacts 126 and I28 or I27 and 129 are closed by the weight of ball I8 in their respective holes, a circuit is completed between the electric motor 104 and batteries 134. This causes the shaft 72 to rotate and the ejecting arms 76 to eject all the balls 18 from the holes 28. This, however, would open the electrical contact combinations 126 and 128 or 127 and 129 and thus open the circuit and stop the motor. To prevent this occurence, an override switch, generally designated 138, is provided on the right end of the shaft 72 (FIGS. 4 and 6). The override switch is mounted on a post which depends from the playing surface 12 (FIG. 7). A switch arm 142 is secured on the shaft 72 such that when the shaft 72 begins to rotate, the override switch 138 is closed before the combination of switches I26 and I28 or 127 and 129 is opened. Thus the circuit is then closed until the drive disc 94 makes one complete revolution whereupon the switch arm 142 opens the override switch 138 and de-energizes the motor. The reboundable balls 18 then are again in their starting position for another game. of course, other combinations ofholes" (or all of the holes) for ejecting the balls are contemplated by the invention. The object is to be the player whose impelled ball is the first to fill a hole which fills the combination which closes the circuit to the motor to eject the balls.
The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as some modifications may be obvious to those skilled in the art.
1. A game apparatus comprising:
means defining a playing surface having peripheral confining means substantially thereabout;
a plurality of upstanding spaced pegs disposed on and extending substantially across said playing surface and dividing the playing surface into separate first and second playing areas;
target means disposed in said first playing area;
at least one reboundable playing piece supported for movement over the playing surface in said first playing area for movement toward said target means. said playing piece being of a size and shape so as to be exposed to striking from said second playing area through the spaces between said pegs but not of sufficiently large size to pass through said spaces; and
a cue piece for movement over the playing surface in said second area toward said pegs to strike a reboundable playing piece when disposed at a space between said pegs to propel the reboundable playing piece toward the target means in said first playing area.
2. The game apparatus of claim 1 wherein the playing surface in said first playing area is inclined downwardly from said target means to said pegs so that said reboundable playing piece tends to return toward said pegs after being struck by said cue piece.
3. The game apparatus of claim 1 wherein the playing surface of said second playing area is inclined downwardly from said pegs to a forward launching area so that said cue piece tends to return to the launching area after being launched toward the reboundable playing piece at the pegs.
4. The game apparatus of claim 3 wherein the playing surface in said first playing area is inclined downwardly from said target means to said pegs so that said reboundable playing piece tends to return toward said pegs after being struck by said cue piece.
5. The game apparatus of claim 1 wherein said target means comprises receptacle means to hold and retain said reboundable playing piece.
6. The game apparatus of claim 5 including means for automatically ejecting a reboundable playing piece from said receptacle means at the end of a game.
7. A game apparatus comprising:
means defining a playing surface having peripheral confining means substantially thereabout;
apertured wall means disposed on and extending substantially across said playing surface dividing the playing surface into separate first and second playing areas;
target means disposed in said first playing area and including a plurality of target receptacles for holding and retaining a reboundable playing piece;
a plurality of reboundable playing pieces supported for movement over the playing surface in the first playing area for movement toward said receptacles, said playing pieces being of a size and shape so as to be exposed to striking from said second playing area through the apertures in said wall means but not of sufficiently large size to pass through said apertures;
a cue piece for movement over the playing surface in said second area to strike said reboundable playing pieces when disposed at said apertures in the wall means to propel said reboundable playing pieces toward said receptacles in said first playing area; and
means for automatically ejecting said reboundable playing pieces from said receptacles when a predetermined number of said target receptacles less than the total number thereof are occupied by playing pieces.
8. The game apparatus of claim 7 including means to automatically activate said ejecting means in response to a given combination of said target receptacles being occupied by said playing pieces.
9. The game apparatus of claim 8 wherein the means for activating the ejecting means includes a plurality of normally open switches mounted on the frame, one beneath each target receptacle such that the weight of the playing piece in said receptacle will close the switch causing the ejecting means to be activated. when a predetermined series or combination of switches have been closed.
10. A game apparatus comprising:
means defining a playing surface on said frame;
means defining a plurality of target receptacles on