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Publication numberUS3889955 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 17, 1975
Filing dateJul 5, 1974
Priority dateJul 5, 1974
Publication numberUS 3889955 A, US 3889955A, US-A-3889955, US3889955 A, US3889955A
InventorsDreama B Hinton, Verlon Welch
Original AssigneeDreama B Hinton, Verlon Welch
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Legislative board game apparatus
US 3889955 A
Abstract
A game adapted to simulate the procedural steps in enacting public laws. The procedural steps include legislative consideration, executive action of legislative bills passed by the legislature and action taken by the legislature to override any executive veto. The game apparatus includes a playing board having spaces marked thereon. A plurality of distinctive playing pieces carry indicia to designate a legislative bill being sponsored by each player. The determination of the path and extent of movement of each playing piece for each player is determined by chance in accordance with prescribed rules of play.
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United States Patent 11 1 1 1 3,889,955

Welch et a1. 1 1 June 17, 1975 LEGISLATIVE BOARD GAME APPARATUS 3,545,762 12/1970 Atkinson 273/134 B Inventors: verlon Welch 7,709 Arlen 3,643.958 2/1972 Sperber 273/134 AD Annandale, Va. 22003; Dreama B. Hinton, 4903 Southland Ave., Alexandria, Va. 22312 [22] Filed: July 5, 1974 57 ABSTRACT [21] Appl. No.: 486,253 A game adapted to simulate the procedural steps in enacting public laws. The procedural steps include legislative consideration, executive action of legisla- [52] 273/134 273/134 3 tive bills passed by the legislature and action taken by [5]] Int Cl A6 3/00 the legislature to override any executive veto. The i g apparatus includes a p y g board h g [58] held of Search 273/134, 137 spaces marked thereon. A plurality of distinctive p dicia to designate a legislative bill [56] References CIted pleces carry m bemg sponsored by each player. The determ1nat1on of UNITED STATES PATENTS the path and extent of movement of each playing 398,233 2/1889 Clarke 273/134 C UX i e for each player is determined by chance in ac- 2,209,117 7/1940 Garrett.. 273/134 C cordance with prescribed rules of play.

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TO REPORT BILL SUBCOMMITTEE SU BOOM MITTEE LEGISLATIVE BOARD GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an educational game which simulates the legislative procedure required to enact public laws from legislative bills introduced and passed by the legislature and acted upon by the executive branch of the Government.

While the Government of the United States is a unique one in the world, there are many people in the United States who do not fully understand the governmental and political processes involved. More specifically, even though the structure and procedures of the United States Government are taught in all the schools, there still remain many people who do not fully under stand how a public law is enacted. Such an understanding many times can only be effected when a person has the opportunity to actually perform the steps in the procedure.

PURPOSE OF THE INVENTION I The primary object of this invention is to provide a game that is educational in nature in that each player may introduce a bill into the House of Representatives or the Senate of the United States Congress and carry it through to final approval in the executive branch.

It is another object of this invention to provide an educational game which incorporates the steps and rules as are actually used in the United States Congress and as are guided by a parliamentarian.

A further object of the invention is to provide a game board having two alternative legislative paths corresponding to the movement of a legislative bill through either the House of Representatives or the Senate of the United States Congress with subsequent movement of the bill through appropriate parliamentary procedural steps leading either to the enactment or failure of the proposed legislation.

A still further object of the invention is to provide spaces on a playing board which designate the action ofjoint conference committees, executive action on an approved legislative bill, and subsequent Congressional action where the executive vetoes the legislative bill.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION These and other objects are accomplished through the use of the game apparatus as described herein. The game comprises, in combination, a playing board having spaces located thereon. A first plurality of the spaces defines alternative legislative playing paths including a common starting space and finishing spaces representing executive review. Certain of the first plurality of spaces include play regulating legends representing sequential procedural steps. Others of the first plurality of spaces are interspersed among the legended spaces which bear indicia representing certain alternative parliamentary rulings. The parliamentary rulings are requested in a prescribed manner of a player designated as the parliamentarian by any player whose playing piece lands on such a space. Each player has a playing piece adapted to indicate specific bills corresponding to each of the several players. That is, each playing piece includes means disposed thereon for designating either a House or a Senate bill being processed by a specific player. The particular path and extent of movement of each playing piece is determined by chance such as by dice or a spinner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS Other objects of this invention will appear in the following description and appended claims, reference being made to the accompanying drawings forming a part of the specification wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.

FIGS. 1 and 1A are complementary plan views which when juxtaposed show a game board made in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a playing piece made in accordance with this invention; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another playing piece made in accordance with this invention.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS More specifically, reference being made to the drawings, a substantially square game board, generally designated20, includes a playing surface 18 having peripheral portions 21. A plurality of playing spaces 22 are marked with suitable indicia along the peripheral portions 21. Legends 23 represent sequential procedural steps and numbers interspersed among the legended spaces 23 represent certain alternative parliamentary rulings.

A first plurality of the spaces are located along the peripheral portion 21 and include a common starting space 25 designated Bill Hopper." The first plurality of spaces defines alternative legislative playing paths 26 and 27 and are labeled House Bill and Senate Bill, respectively.

A player may introduce a bill into either the House or the Senate as indicated. The House Bill" path 26 includes a House portion 28 extending along one side of the board 20 and a Senate portion 29 extending along a second side of the board 20. The Senate Bill" path 27 includes a Senate portion 30 extending from the Bill Hopper space 25 along one side of the board to a House portion 31 extending along a further side of the board. The house and Senate Bill paths 26 and 27 come together in a common finishing space 32 located diagonally across board 20 from the common starting space 25. Square 32 follows three playing spaces in each path 26 and 27 successively legended Bill Fails to Pass," Bill Passes, and Request Conference With House (or Senate).

A plurality of playing spaces 33 constitute a conference path and are numbered 1 through 8. In this particular embodiment, the conference path extends obliquely and inwardly of the common space 32 forming an arrow pointing to the playing space 34 designated White House. Playing spaces 33 include divided and legended portions 1 through 6 which indicate conference action and subsequent House and Senate concurrence. The conference path spaces 33 extend the legislating playing paths 26 and 27 formed along the peripheral portions 21. Once the bill reported by the conference committee has been concurred in by both the House and the Senate, it is enrolled and sent to the White House space 34 for executive approval.

If approved, the bill" follows a signature route from White House space 34 to an adjacent playing space 35 designated Public Law Signed. If vetoed, the bill may move into playing spaces 36 constituting a veto route where the executive veto may be overridden. If the legislature fails to override the veto, it is sustained and the player must introduce a new bill. If both houses of Congress override the veto, the bill is advanced to playing space 37 constituting Public Law Without Signature.

A playing piece 14 shown in FIG. 2 includes a transparent window or slide 15 which receives an indicia bearing card 16. The indicia identifies the legislative bill by its house of origin and the number, e.g., HR 10. The embodiment of FIG. 3 shows playing piece 12 having an upper surface adapted to receive an erasable mark or a self-adhering label 17 marked with an appropriate bill designation.

The movement of the several bills" or playing pieces 12 and 14 along the game board 20 is determined by chance using selecting means such as dice or a spinner. The objective of the game is to be the first player to move one or a specified number of playing pieces or bills" through the legislative processes to become a law.

RULES OF PLAY The use of a single die is assumed for the chance selecting means. An odd number indicates that the House path 26 will be followed since the House of Representatives has 435 members, an odd number. An even number means to follow Senate path 27 because the United States Congress has 100 Senators, an even number. A playing piece is then selected and marked with an appropriate number by each player. The roll of the die or other selecting means then determines the extent of each player's move or turn through the legislative paths 26 and 27. However, different rules apply for the movement of the playing pieces through the Conference, Bill Signing, and Veto routes as described hereinbelow.

As the players pieces are moved along the path 26 and path 27, they may land on the legended spaces 23. The legended spaces 23 indicate consideration of pending legislation by subcommittees, full committees and by the Rules Committee in the House of Representatives before consideration and/or debate by the House or Senate. The legends 23 are used to regulate the movement of the playing piece landing thereon. If a bill" is rejected in any of the legended spaces 23, the player must introduce a new bill in the same body where such rejection occurred. If the bill is rejected in the second legislative body having progressed through the first legislative body, the rejected bill may be reintroduced in the second body. This is accomplished by placing the new bill on the appropriate diagonal corner space 38 or 39. The diagonal spaces 38 and 39 are not counted in the normal movement of a bill from one body to the other.

The numbered squares 24 correspond to play regulating parliamentary procedural rulings similar to those used in Congress. When a bill lands on a numbered space 24, the player must ask the parliamentarian for the applicable rule in the prescribed manner before completing his turn. Failure to inquire will constitute forfeiture of that turn and require the players bill to be returned to where it was before that turn of play began.

Except when the Vice-President presides over the Senate, the presiding officer in each house of Congress is a member elected by a majority vote of his colleagues in each body. The presiding officer of the Senate is known as the President of the Senate. He is addressed as Mr. President. The presiding officer selected in the House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House" and is addressed as Mr. Speaker.

One of the duties of each presiding officer is to promote the flow of debate and to regulate the procedure in discovering the purpose and/or impact of proposed legislation. Many times during debate, a member of the body becomes unsure of the time alloted, the germaneness of an amendment, or of other parliamentary questions that require clarification. Accordingly, a request is made of the Speaker or the President for an appropriate ruling. Therefore, a player whose playing piece lands on a numbered playing space 24 in the Senate portions 29 and 30 states his request Mr. President, a parliamentary inquiry for space number Similarly, a player whose playing piece lands on a numbered playing space 24 in the House portions 28 and 31 should request Mr. Speaker, a parliamentary inquiry for space number Appropriate responses are made by the parliamentarian for the several numbered spaces as follows:

1. Subcommittee Chairman not agreeable to holding hearings at this time. Lose next turn.

2. Printing problem with report. Lose next turn.

3. Committee Chairman has approval to go straight to Floor Debate."

4. Lincoln Day Recess. Lose next turn.

5. Non-controversial bill. Move to last day of floor debate.

6. Committee Staff organizing material. Lose next turn.

7. Memorial Day recess. Lose next turn.

8. Prolonged debate; held over until the next day.

Stay in place until next turn.

9. Receive word of Presidential Veto if bill remains in present form. Return to full Committee to work out the differences.

10. President asks for early action. Move through debate and request conference with other body.

1 1. Majority Leader asks for immediate action. Skip next space.

12. Senate filibuster. Must roll a l or 6 to continue.

13. Night session necessary. Go again.

14. No Quorum. Lose next turn.

15. Delay necessitated by scheduling of emergency legislation. Lose next turn.

16. Leadership modifies position. Move forward one space.

Regardless of the die number rolled, each player must stop at the space numbered 1" and designated Conferees Named at the beginning of the Conference route on the playing spaces 33. Each player is allowed to move only one space per turn on roll of the die through the first three spaces of the Conference route. A player with a House bill must roll an odd number. A player with a Senate bill" must roll an even number. The right to move to the Conference route spaces 4 and 5 is determined by rolling either an odd or even number as before. However, each player on the next turn rolls the die to determine whether two spaces will be moved with an even roll or if one space will be movedwith an odd roll. If the playing piece lands on space 4, the bill" must be moved back to space 2 in the Conference route. Unless a player reaches the Conference route space 5 by the third attempt, a new bill must be introduced into the Bill Hopper 25.

To move to Conference route spaces 6 and 7, each player must first roll to determine the right to move as indicated above. The players must then again roll to determine how manyspaces will be moved as discussed above. To move to the Conference route space 8, a player must roll an uneven number whereupon his bill moves directly to the White House space 34.

In enacting a law, it is required that a bill must be passed by both houses of Congress in identical form before it can be presented to the President for his signature. Thus, the rules for the Conference route portion introduce increased difficulty in movement of the playing pieces. A representative group named from each body forms a conference committee. The conference committee resolves differences in past legislation and presents an identical bill to both bodies. Only after an identical bill has been reported by the conference committee and approved by both houses of Congress can the enrolled bill be presented to the President for his consideration.

Depending upon the roll of the die or the operation of a selecting means, the bill is either signed by the President and moved to the Public Law space 35, remains at the White House" space until the next turn or is vetoed. For example, if the player rolls a 1 or a 6", the player might move his piece to space 35. If a 3" or a 5 is rolled, the bill remains in the White House until the next turn. If the player rolls either a 2" or a 4, the bill has been vetoed.

To override the veto in either body, a player must roll a predetermined number such as a 1 or a 6 before moving from one block to another following the arrows 40 and 41. When the veto is overridden in both houses, the bill is advanced as indicated by arrows 42 and 43 to the Public Law Without Signature space 37. However, after three attempts without rolling either a 1 or a 6, the veto is sustained and the player must introduce a new bill at the Bill Hopper space 25.

To override a presidental veto, each house of Congress must vote to override by at least a two'thirds majority of those present and voting as provided in the Constitution of the United States. Therefore, the degree of difficulty of movement of the bill is increased through this portion of the game board. With 435 members of the House present and voting, it would require 290 votes to override the veto. With all 100 Senate members present and voting, it would require 67 senators to override the veto.

While the legislative game has been shown and described in detail, it is obvious that this invention is not to be considered as being limited to the exact form disclosed, and that changes in detail and construction may be made therein within the scope of the invention, without departing from the spirit thereof.

Having thus set forth and disclosed the nature of this invention, what is claimed is:

1. A game adapted to increase appreciation and knowledge of procedural steps for enacting a public law, said game comprising in combination:

a. a game board having spaces located thereon,

b. a first plurality of said spaces defining alternative legislative playing paths including a common starting space,

c. a space representing executive review,

d. a second plurality of said spaces extending from the executive review space and defining a veto overriding route terminating in a space designated Public Law,

e. several of said first plurality of spaces having legends thereon representing sequential procedural steps and others of said first plurality of spaces being interspersed among said legended spaces and bearing indicia representing certain alternative parliamentary rulings,

f. a plurality of playing pieces adapted to indicate specific bills corresponding to each of the several players, and

g. means for determining by chance the path and extent of movement of each playing piece.

2. A game as defined in claim 1 wherein said alternative legislative paths include a first path representing legislative action on bills introduced in a House of Representatives and a second path representing legislative action on bills introduced in a Senate.

3. A game as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said playing pieces includes means disposed thereon for designating a House or Senate bill being processed by a specific player.

4. A game as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said playing pieces includes a finished surface thereon adapted to receive indicia designating a House or Senate bill being processed by a specific player.

5. A game as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said playing pieces includes a transparent window thereon adapted to slidably receive an indicia bearing member to designate a House or Senate bill being processed by a specific player.

6. A game adapted to increase appreciation and knowledge of procedural steps for enacting a public law, said game comprising in combination:

a. a game board having spaces disposed thereon,

b. a first plurality of said spaces defining alternative legislative playing paths including a common starting space,

c. a preselected number of said first plurality of spaces having legends thereon representing sequential legislative steps and the remaining spaces being interspersed among said legended spaces and including indicia representing certain alternative parliamentary rulings,

d. a second plurality of said spaces defining alternative conference paths leading from said alternative legislative paths to an executive review space designated White House,

e. a third plurality of said spaces extending from said executive review space and defining alternative veto overriding paths terminating in a space designated Public Law,

f. a plurality of playing pieces adapted to indicate specific bills corresponding to each of the several players, and

g. means for determining by chance the path and extent of movement of each playing piece.

7. A game as defined in claim 6 wherein each of said playing pieces includes means disposed thereon for designating a House or Senate bill being processed by a specific player.

8. A game as defined in claim 6 wherein each of said playing pieces includes a finished surface thereon adapted to receive indicia designating a House or Senate bill being processed by a specific player.

9. A game as defined in claim 6 wherein each of said playing pieces includes a transparent window thereon adapted to slidably receive an indicia bearing member to designate a House or Senate bill being processed by a specific player.

10. A game adapted to increase appreciation and knowledge of the procedural steps involved in the enactment of a public law, said game comprising in combination:

a. a game board having a first plurality of spaces disposed along its peripheral portions,

b. said spaces constituting two alternative legislative playing paths including a common starting space and a common finishing space,

c. certain of said spaces including first indicia representing sequential legislative steps and others of said spaces being interspersed among said certain indicia bearing spaces,

(1. said other spaces including second indicia repreg. said third plurality of spaces defining alternative veto overriding paths terminating in a space designated Public Law Without Signature,

h. a plurality of playing pieces including means adapted to indicate specific bills and corresponding to each of the several players, and

means for determining by chance the path and extent of movement of each playing piece along the spaces on the game board.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US398233 *Jun 26, 1888Feb 19, 1889 clarke
US2209117 *Jul 20, 1939Jul 23, 1940Edward L GarrettGame board
US2693961 *Jun 14, 1951Nov 9, 1954Jr Glenn Q RipleyGame apparatus
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3977680 *Jan 15, 1976Aug 31, 1976Lavine Matt PBoard game apparatus involving criminal justice
US4354684 *Dec 4, 1980Oct 19, 1982Mckinley Paul FBusiness strategy board game
US4682778 *Mar 13, 1986Jul 28, 1987Willis Wayne HPolitical game utilizing die with interchangeable faces
US4706960 *Nov 18, 1985Nov 17, 1987Nowacki Robert SFields of law and legal process card and board game apparatus
US6416055 *Jul 6, 2000Jul 9, 2002Kenneth Shaw, Sr.Board game and method for teaching fundamental aspects of advocacy, debating, negotiation and judicial decision-making
US20090197227 *Nov 12, 2008Aug 6, 2009Mccall DannyRelationship performance system and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/257
International ClassificationA63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/00138, A63F3/00006
European ClassificationA63F3/00A22