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Publication numberUS3884466 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 20, 1975
Filing dateApr 27, 1973
Priority dateApr 27, 1973
Publication numberUS 3884466 A, US 3884466A, US-A-3884466, US3884466 A, US3884466A
InventorsRichard A Macdonald, James A Macdonald, Joseph J Andrews
Original AssigneeThingamajig Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game ball
US 3884466 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 MacDonald et al.

GAME BALL Inventors: Richard A. MacDonald, Del Haven; James A. MacDonald, Villa, both of N.J.; Joseph J. Andrews, Philadelphia, Pa.

Assignee: Thingamajig Corporation, Vineland,

Filed: Apr. 27, 1973 Appl. No.: 354,935

US. Cl. 273/65 EC; 273/65 EE; 273/65 EF; 273/65 156; 273/D1G. 20

Int. Cl A63b 41/00 Field of Search 273/106, 1065, 58, 65, 273/199 R, 55 R; 46/60, 74

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Eaton 273/199 R 1 May 20, 1975 1,554,781 9/1925 Blecker 46/60 1,597,308 8/1926 Brandt 273/65 EC 1,825,221 10/1931 Pearson 273/58 C 2,705,148 3/1955 Waller.... 273/106 R 3,216,727 11/1965 Hunter 273/106.5 R X 3,264,776 8/1966 Morrow 273/106 R X 3,550,940 12/1970 Ball 273/65 EE Primary Examinr-George J. Marlo [57] ABSTRACT A game ball shaped like a football includes an air passage extending along the longitudinal axis thereof. The diameter of the air passage tapers from the opposite ends thereof to a constricted opening midway of the length thereof. The ball may be provided with a symmetrical arrangement of relatively heavy weights encircling the constricted opening.

3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures GAME BALL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention pertains to missiles and, more particularly, to missiles, such as game balls, adapted to be thrown through the air.

2. Description of the Prior Art US. Pat. Nos. 1,023,504, 1,346,991, 1,597,308, 1,826,221, 2,902,023 and 3,002,314 are representative of prior art devices relating to aerial missiles; however, such prior art devices are specifically structured for specific purposes unrelated to the present invention.

In throwing or hurling a missile, such as a game ball, hand grenade or the like, distance and accuracy are dependent upon control of the missile in the hand. Distance and accuracy are particularly difficult to control for missiles having a longitudinal axis longer than a lateral axis, such as a football, in that the missile must be perfectly thrown to rotate or spin about the longitudinal axis in order to obtain maximum distance and accuracy. The precision and coordination required to throw a football limits the number of people who can enjoy all facets of the sport of football as well as the number of people who can find enjoyment and relaxation in simply passing and catching a football.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is generally characterized in a missile adapted to be thrown through the air including a body and wall means forming a passage extending through the body to permit air flow therethrough, the body having an inconstant cross section therealong.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present in vention to overcome the above-described difficulties in throwing a missile by constructing a missile with an air passage therethrough.

Another object of the present invention is to construct a missile with an air passage therethrough of inconstant cross section therealong.

A further object of the present invention is to form an air passage having a venturi-like configuration in a missile having an oblate spheroid shape, such as a football.

The present invention has an additional object in that rotation of a missile about its longitudinal axis is enhanced by channeling air through a central constriction in a passage aligned with the longitudinal axis such that the missile rights or adjusts itself to rotate about the longitudinal axis.

Yet another object of the present invention is to dispose weights in a body of a missile symmetrically about an axis transverse to an axis along which an air passage extends through the body.

Some of the advantages of the present invention over the prior art are that the missile of the present invention can be thrown great distances with increased accuracy and can be easily and inexpensively produced.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an aerial missile according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross section taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG, 3 is a cross section taken along line 3-3 of FIG.

FIG. 4 is a broken view in longitudinal section of a modification of the missile of the present invention;

and

FIG. 5 is a broken view in longitudinal section of another modification of the missile of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT An aerial missile 10 according to the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 and includes a body 12 having an oblate spheroid configuration, such as that of a football, with transverse longitudinal and lateral axes 14 and 16, respectively, longitudinal axis 14 being longer than lateral axis 16 and defining an axis of rotation for the missile when thrown through the air. The body 12 is generally hollow and formed of any suitable material which is lightweight, pliable and easily molded; in the particular embodiments of the present invention, a plastic material was utilized. Body 12 includes an outer casing 18 having equally spaced grooves 19 therein and providing the football-like, oblate spheroid configuration and a pair of continuous, frusto-conical walls 20 and 22 forming an air passage 24 from an opening 26 on one side of the body 12 to an opening 28 in the opposite side of the body. The passage 24 is coaxial with the longitudinal axis 14 of the body and is symmetrical about the lateral axis 16 of the body.

As is shown in FIG. 2, the passage 24 has a venturilike configuration with the constriction or point of smallest cross section 30 disposed at the lateral axis 16 such that openings 26 and 28 have greater crosssectional areas than constriction 30. While passage 24 is preferably defined by frusto-conical walls as described above and shown in FIG. 2, the passage 24 can have any desired configuration with the cross section thereof being inconstant or varying along the longitudinal axis 14 to channel air through the body 12.

A pair of discs 32 and 34 are disposed in the body 12 symmetrically with respect to lateral axis 16 and in parallel planes transverse to the longitudinal axis 14. The discs 32 and 34 are formed of a heavy material, such as lead, to add additional weight to the missile 10 and can be mounted between walls 20 and 22 and casing 18 in any suitable manner, such as by being partially embedded therein or by retaining ribs formed on the body 12.

Modifications of the missile 10 are illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 wherein additional weight is provided for the missile by a cylindrical band 36 of heavy material, such as lead, embedded in the casing 18 aligned with the lateral axis 16 and by forming the casing 18 with a pair of annular, thickened ribs 38 and 40 disposed in parallel planes transverse to the longitudinal axis 14 and symmetrical about the lateral axis 16, respectively.

In order to throw the aerial missile 10 of the present invention, one wraps his hand around outer casing 18 in the same manner as a football is grasped and, upon throwing movement of the arm, the missile 10 is released to impart a spin or rotation to the missile generally about the longitudinal axis 14. The channeling of air through the passage 24 will correct for any imprecision in release of the football to assure its rotation about the longitudinal axis; and, since air resistance is minimized with the missile rotating about its longitudinal axis, the missile can be thrown great distances with increased accuracy. The symmetrical arrangement of the additional weight in accordance with any of the modifications of FIGS. l5 provides momentum and stability for the missile without creating any imbalance which would adversely affect rotation about the longitudinal axis.

While the body 12 of the missile 10 has been illustrated as an oblate spheroid, the body can have any desired configuration, such as a sphere, a spheroid, an ellipsoid or the like, such configuration preferably being a shape of figure or revolution. Thus, any conventional game ball, such as a baseball, a softball, a football or the like, as well as any object or projectile adapted to be thrown or projected through the air can be constructed in accordance with the present invention. The passage 24 can have any cross section inconstant along its length, such as a hyperbola, a venturi funnel, or any irregular cross section, it being preferable that the configuration of the passage 24 permit smooth laminar-like air flow therethrough.

Inasmuch as the present invention is subject to many variations, modifications and changes in detail, it is intended that all matter described above or shown in the accompanying drawings be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Whatis claimed is:

l. A ball having an oblate spheroid contour being substantially symmetrical about a longitudinal axis and adapted to be manually thrown through the air, having a through passage in said longitudinal direction, said passage forming a cross-sectional air passage which has maximum crosssectional area at opposing longitudinal ends of said ball and continuously decreasing to a minimum cross-sectional area at substantially a mid-point region between said opposing ends.

2. The ball as recited in claim 1 where said ball includes weight means disposed symmetrically about said mid-point region with respect to said longitudinal axis.

3. The ball as recited in claim 2 where said weight means includes at least a pair of disc members secured internal said ball on opposing sides of said mid-point region.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4003574 *Mar 4, 1975Jan 18, 1977Thingamajig CorporationGame ball
US4241918 *Apr 12, 1979Dec 30, 1980Massino Chester FLighter and softer recreational balls
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US8187126Apr 24, 2007May 29, 2012Marc Gregory MartinoSelf-propelled football with internally ducted fan and electric motor
US8403778 *Jun 29, 2010Mar 26, 2013Allen WallachGame ball having a beverage receptacle and raised symbol gripping aspect
US8579742Feb 15, 2012Nov 12, 2013Wilson Sporting Goods Co.Game ball having optimally positioned grooves and/or ridges
US8777785Mar 11, 2011Jul 15, 2014Marc Gregory MartinoSelf-propelled football with gyroscopic precession countermeasures
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US8932160 *Jun 26, 2013Jan 13, 2015Dallas TurnerOblong throwing ball with central passage
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US20110009218 *Jun 29, 2010Jan 13, 2011Allen WallachGame ball having a beverage receptacle and raised symbol gripping aspect
US20110237151 *Mar 11, 2011Sep 29, 2011Marc Gregory MartinoSelf-Propelled Football with Gyroscopic Precession Countermeasures
US20130296085 *Jul 1, 2013Nov 7, 2013Pete ParentiFlexible hole ball with angled hole walls
US20150005116 *Jun 26, 2013Jan 1, 2015Dallas TurnerOblong Throwing Ball with Central Passage
USRE33449 *Oct 20, 1989Nov 20, 1990 Helically grooved foam football
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EP1494766A1 *Feb 20, 2003Jan 12, 2005Breaker, John V.Practice sport projectile having a through hole
EP1494766A4 *Feb 20, 2003Dec 14, 2005Richard C BreakerPractice sport projectile having a through hole
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/613, 273/DIG.200
International ClassificationA63B43/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B43/002, A63B2243/007, Y10S273/20
European ClassificationA63B43/00C