US 3894736 A
A safe dart board comprising a board member having a plurality of protruding pegs arranged in a closely spaced relationship, and a dart that is of size to frictionally fit between the pegs, either of said dart or said pegs having at least portions that are resilient or yieldable to cause the dart to be held under friction when thrown at the peg board, and wherein the dart is provided with a soft resilient tip to prevent injury or damage to persons or furniture.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Foley 1 DART BOARD INCLUDING FINGER PROJECTIONS AND DART ENGAGEABLE THEREWITH Charles F. Foley, Minnetonka, Minn.
 Assignee: Research & Development,
221 Filed: Mayll, 1913 2| Appl.No.:359,509
 US. CL..." 273/95 R; 278/102 13; 273/1065 A  Int. Cl A6311 71/02 [58} Field of Search.... 273/106.5 A, 106.5 B. 95 R.
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 289.032 11/1883 Sears 273/102 R 1.075.264 10/1913 Morrison 273/1065 A 1.199.564 9/1916 Judge 1 t 273/102 B 1.737.871 12/1929 Vaughan 273/1065 A 2.770.460 11/1956 Deasy t 273/102 B 2.818.259 12/1957 Arenson 273/102 8 [451 July 15,1975
2940,758 6/1960 Richter 273/1065 B 3.396971 3/1968 273/102 8 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 23.754 9/1908 United Kingdom................. 273/104 1.478.028 6/1969 Germany 273/1065 A 234,255 5/1925 United Kingdom 273/1065 B Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerMarvin Siskind Attorney. Agent, or Firm-Dugger, Johnson & Westman  ABSTRACT A safe dart board comprising a board member having a plurality of protruding pegs arranged in a closely spaced relationship, and a dart that is of size to frictionally fit between the pegs. either of said dart or said pegs having at least portions that are resilient or yieldable to cause the dart to be held under friction when thrown at the peg board, and wherein the dart is pro vided with a soft resilient tip to prevent injury or damage to persons or furniture.
12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures DART BOARD INCLUDING FINGER PROJECTIONS AND DART ENGAGABLE THEREWITII BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention.
The present invention relates to safety dart boards and darts.
2. Prior Art.
The prior art shows devices that have protruding pegs for holding objects other than darts, but none which have the pegs arranged in a particular manner or with the particular relationship to the diameter of the dart which would insure proper operation. U.S. Pat. No. 3,396,971 issued to S. L. Estep shows a target for arrows that has a bundle of plastic rods held together under tension to compress them into a bundle, wherein the arrow fits into the bundle endwise.
The idea of using blunt darts for different targets is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,818,259 issued to H. Arenson but this one uses a celluloid foam material is the dart board and wherein the blunt dart penetrates into the foam material. A screen is used as a target area in U.S. Pat. No. 2,770,460. The Lemelson U.S. Pat. No. 3,032,345 shows a target game using the well known Velcro fasteners for the target and dart.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,182,808 shows an article holder for draftsmen that has a plurality of plastic pegs extending upwardly from a base. There are two sizes of the pegs, some short and some long, and these pegs are arranged in parallel rows and spaced so that they receive a triangle, pencil ruler or other drafting implement. The rows of pegs extend at right angles to each other so that the pegs form small squares.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,502,224 also shows a holder for pencils and the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a safety dart board and dart wherein the dart and board cooperate together so that no sharp points are utilized on the dart. The dart is made so that it will fit between the pegs on the board and be held each time it is thrown. The board comprises a support having protruding pegs of a deftnite length, and the pegs are spaced apart to form an opening just slightly smaller than the maximum diameter of the tip area of the dart so that the dart will be forced in between the pegs. Some resiliency in either the pegs or the dart is provided so that there will be some yielding of the resilient member to provide a frictional holding force to hold the dart in place. As shown, the pegs on the board can be molded from plastic material as a unit with the board. The plastic material has a certain amount of resiliency or yieldability which provides the holding power. Additionally, if desired, the pegs can be made rigid, and a resilient or compressible ring can be placed around the dart which compresses when engaging the rigid pegs to hold the dart in place. The yieldable ring of course could be replaced with any type of compressible portion at the end of the dart.
The darts themselves are made to simulate conventional darts as to balance, size, and throwing characteristics. The darts themselves have replaceable soft rubber tips as shown that yield to guide the dart in between the pegs on the dart board, and also yield to prevent damage to walls, floors, or furniture, and to prevent injury to people.
The board can be made transparent, and target sheets can be supported behind the board to provide any desired type of target. The targets can be changed at will. Additionally, elastic or rubber bands can be placed over the pegs at any desired configuration to form a target outline or bull's-eye, or different scoring areas on the target board.
The darts are long lasting because the points can be replaced. The replaceable points can be utilized with conventional darts if desired. Additionally, the board is not punctured by sharp pointed darts, used conventionally, and thus the life of the board is greatly increased without deterioration in holding power or appearance.
The board can be easily molded as a unitary piece to lower cost of manufacturing, and the darts are also simply made to keep the game low cost and safe as well as being fun and playable just as ordinary dart games.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a dart board made according to the present invention mounted on a vertical surface;
FIG. 2 is a top sectional view taken as on line 22 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top sectional view taken as on line 33 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view of an end portion of a safety dart made according to the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view ofa safety dart showing a modified tip portion; and
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken as on line 66 in FIG. 5.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The safety dart board illustrated generally at 10, as shown is hexagon in shape and forms a wall member 11 (see FIG. 2) that has a plurality of outwardly extending pegs or finger like projections 12 mounted on the wall member and protruding therefrom in direction away from the wall, toward the player. The wall 11 also has a peripheral rib 13 along the sides or edges 11A, 11B, 11C and 11D. This rib or wall I3 is used, as will be explained in one form of the invention, for supporting a printed target sheet behind the wall 11 when the unit is made of a clear plastic so that the target sheet, indi cated at 14 can be seen through the clear wall 11 and viewed by the player for showing where the bulls-eye and other scoring portions of the target should be.
The pegs or fingers 12 are arranged in a particular pattern, as can be perhaps best seen in the bulls-eye area indicated at 15 in FIG. I. As can be seen, the pegs 12 are arranged in a hexagon pattern with a center peg member. Viewing the pattern another way, the pegs are arranged so that four of the pegs will always form a diamond shape on the board and three adjacent pegs form an equilateral triangle. Seven of the pegs form a hexagon and a center peg. For example, the pegs 12A through 12F form a hexagon and the addition of the peg 126 in the center makes the pegs 12A, 12B and 12G form a triangle, and pegs 12A, 12G, 12E and 12F form a diamond, to illustrate the configuration of the pegs on the board member. This insures that three adjacent pegs form a triangular enclosure that is of a particular size, with equal distance between the pegs. Each peg is a common point of four different equilateral triangles.
A safety dart illustrated generally at as shown comprises a shank 21, and a feather end 22. The head end 23 of the dart is constructed in a unique manner, and includes an outer metal cap 24 for a balance member. The cap 24 has an interior chamber 25 that is threaded as at 26 to fasten the cap onto the end of the shank 21. The chamber 25 has an interior shoulder 26, which surrounds an end opening 27. A rubber resilient plug 28 which has a protruding tip 29, and a head is positioned in the chamber 25 with the tip 29 extending through the opening 27. Then when the cap 24 is threaded in place, the head 30 of the resilient plug is trapped in the opening by shoulder 26, and the tip 29 protrudes outwardly beyond the head 23 of the dart a short distance. This plug 28 is of relatively soft rubber, for example approximately the hardness of a pencil eraser, and will deflect when it strikes a surface to not only prevent damage or injury to persons and property, but as will be explained to help deflect the dart into position between three of the pegs 12 on the dart board.
The dart 20 has an outer metal cap 24, and the rigid cap is used when the pegs or fingers 12 are at least semi-resilient so that the pegs will deflect slightly to yieldably hold the head or cap 24 of the dart between three of the pegs when the dart strikes the board. In other words the diameter of the head 24 at its maximum portion is larger than the normal at rest diameter of a circle that can be described between three adjacent pegs 12 which form the equilateral triangle.
The head of the cap 24 has a gently curved end indicated at 31, which also helps to guide the dart in between the pegs, and the pegs also have rounded ends.
When the dart board is made with pegs 12 that are rigid, a dart as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 is utilized. in this particular instance, the dart indicated generally at also has the shank 36, and the feather end 37, and a head portion 38 that is made substantially like the previous dart head portion. The head includes a screw on cap 39, a resilient plug member 40 mounted inside the cap in the same manner as before, and further includes a yieldable or resilient external ring or portion 41 that is mounted in a provided angular groove 42 around the periphery of the head member. This resilient ring or portion 41 is capable of compressing a sufiicient amount so that if rigid pegs 12 are used there is a gripping frictional force between the resilient ring 41 and the edges of the pegs. The particular material for the yieldable ring can be selected as desired but should have a sufficiently high coefficient of friction so that the dart will be held in metal pegs 12. The outer diameter of the resilient ring 41 is greater than the diameter of a circle that can be described between the inner peripheries of three of the pegs 12 which form an equilateral triangle. The ring 41 will compress when the darts engage the pegs if the pegs are not yieldable.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the outer periphery of target area such as the bulls-eye 15 can be defined with a resilient member or band 45 that fits down over the pegs forming the outer periphery of the bull's-eye. This band 45 can be a rubber band normally used at home and office, and is under tension when it is placed around a particular number of pegs to form a configuration as desired. The band is pushed down to the base of the pegs against the wall 11. As shown, a hexagon shape is formed for the bulls-eye. In order to aid in the insertion of the rubber band 45 over the desired pegs, a plurality of sleeves 46 are provided, and the sleeves 46 have heads 47, an internal chamber 48 that is of size to slip over the individual pegs l2, and a tapered end surface 49 adjacent the end opposite from the heads 47. These sleeves 46 are placed over the desired pegs 12 that are to form the comers or main boundary areas of the desired target portion, and then the rubber band can be easily slipped over the head because the sleeves 46 extend upwardly above the level of the pegs 12. The rubber band can be pushed down into place with a tool indicated at 50 that has a blade end 51 that is of size to go between the individual pegs l2 and push the clastic band 45 down to the wall 1 1. As shown the opposite end of the tool 50 has a hook indicated at 52 that can be used for engaging the band 45 when the band is to be removed from the pegs. The hook 52 can be forced between the band 45 and the outer surface of the wall 1 1 so that the band can be lifted off the pegs if the target area configuration is to be changed.
Thus, the use of pegs 12 on a safe dart board permits changing of the bulls-eye or other target area size, shapes, or locations. Any type of design can be made, including the outlines of animals or funny figures, and the target areas can be placed in any desired location on the board 10.
As shown in FIG. 2, the resilient tip 29 is made so that it helps to guide the dart in between three of the pegs 12 when the darts are thrown at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the pegs in their at rest position. The soft end or tip 29 bends as shown schematically in dotted lines in FIG. 2, to tend to guide the dart then in between three of the pegs. The rounded end surface 31 of the dart also guides the dart in between the pegs and the dart will come to rest in a position as shown in solid lines in FIG. 2 even though the initial entry may be at an angle to the dart board surface.
In previous safety dart devices, one of the drawbacks has been that the dart does not look or feel like a regular dart, and the dart had to come toward the board nearly perpendicular to the board before the dart could be assurred of staying in the board. With the present device, the dart can come in at different angles, and the players can stand at different positions without fear that the dart will not stick into the board.
The darts can be made exactly with the same balance as previous darts, and have metal ends without fear of harming anybody. The sharp points are gone in the combination shown, but it also is to be understood that the darts can have replaceable tips of any type.
The plugs 28 can be replaced, if desired, with elongated flexible points, longer than those shown at 29, and even can be replaced with needle or regular dart points that have a head end, and an elongated shank with the point of the dart on it. In this manner, the head of the point member would take the place of the head 30 of the plug, and the needle like point would project outwardly beyond the cap 24. The cap would be screwed in place to hold the head securely. A filler plug would be used behind the head. in other words the dart point would look something like a nail and would be held in place within the screw on cap 24.
The use of the flexible tip 29 prevents the puncturing of skin or injuring eyes, and will not dent wood, plaster or dry wall construction. It also will not damage the floor if the dart should fall from the board. The tips are readily replaceable because of the cartridge replaceable design, and if the tips break the entire dart does not have to be thrown away. The darts will not chew up or destroy the dart board as in conventional darts, and the flexible tips 29 will guide the darts into position from different angles with respect to the surface of the dart board. The tips 29 shown give or compress when they engage a surface. The tips bulge out ahead of the metal head or cap of the darts so the metal head does not strike the board. The durometer or hardness range is selected so that the tips compress before damaging the surface they strike.
The board is quite light in construction, and can be molded from suitable plastic. lf molded, the pegs of course will have some draft or taper, but this is kept to a minimum and the spacing between the pegs is still held closely in relation to the diameter of the head portion of the darts so that the pegs will deflect and exert a gripping force on the darts themselves. Theboard does not lose its holding power after use, because the flexible pegs will always return to their original position, and when made out of plastic the board is completely weatherproof and not affected by any moisture or other adverse conditions.
The rubber tips also act as a shock absorber to reduce the energy of the flying dart to eliminate the chance of a rebound. In other words, the head portion will absorb much of the force of the thrown dart when the tip 29 strikes the board. The rear or center of the head portion of the dart can be slightly larger in diameter than the portion adjacent the leading end so that there is a taper to the dart to insure that it will be wedged in place as it moves inwardly between the pegs 12. The pegs or fingers l2 deflect slightly to help guide the dart into a position between the pegs to be held securely. The length of the fingers of course is important and approximately two-thirds of the length of the weighted head or cap portion 24. The normal length of the pegs as shown is approximately three-fourths of an inch long, with approximately inch diameter at the base. The end surfaces or tips of the pegs 12 are rounded to deflect and guide the darts between the pegs. The rubber tips also extend outwardly approximately one-eighth to one-fourth fourth of an inch from the head of the dart so that they will deflect slightly. The tips should not protrude less than one-eighth inch. They are of relatively soft rubber or elastomeric material, for example, rubber in the range of 40-80 durometer measured on the Shore A scale is satisfactory. The softer ranges have better shock absorbing properties and a range of generally around 40-60 durometer is preferred.
What is claimed is:
l. A game apparatus comprising a projectile having a unitary closed leading end portion when projected, and a target for use in combination with said projectile, said target comprising support means forming a game board, a plurality of spaced finger like projections extending from said support means, said finger like projections having rounded outer ends, said support means positioning said finger like projections in a substantially uniform pattern covering the entire game board whereby any three adjacent finger like projections define an enclosed area comprising an equilateral triangle and have an interference fit with the leading end of a projectile positioned in said enclosed area, and at least one portion of one of said leading end and finger like projections including means which yieldably move when the projectile engages any three adjacent finger like projections to form an interference frictional fit between the leading end of said projectile and any three adjacent finger like projections.
2. The combination as specified in claim 1 wherein said projectile is a dart having a leading end that is substantially circular in cross section, said end having a rounded leading end surface.
3. The combination as specified in claim 2 wherein said finger like projections are made of a yieldable material.
4. The combination as specified in claim 1 wherein said support means comprises a board member, and wherein said finger like projections and said board member are integrally molded, said finger like projections being unitary members individually spaced apart.
5. The combination as specified in claim 1 wherein said board member is transparent, and means to support a target sheet behind said board member.
6. The combination as specified in claim 1 wherein said finger like projections are substantially rigid, and the means which yieldably move comprises an annular member adjacent the leading end of said projectile and positioned to be engaged by said finger like projections when the projectile is positioned between said finger like projections.
7. The combination as specified in claim I wherein said projectile comprises a dart member, said dart member having a body with a leading end portion, and a single unitary yieldable tip member of smaller diameter than the body of the dart member extending from the leading end portion thereof.
8. The combination as specified in claim 7 wherein said yieldable tip comprises a member having a head and a shank of smaller cross section than said head, said leading end portion of said dart comprising a cap having a receptacle therein of size to receive and hold said head on the interior of said cap, and an opening through said cap through which said shank passes, said cap being replaceably removably mounted on said dart member.
9. A game board for use in combination with a dart projectile having a leading end, said game board comprising a first support member, a plurality of finger like projections protruding from said first support member, said game board and a dart projectile usable therewith including cooperating means whereby a dart projectile will be retained on said game board when a dart projectile is thrown at and engages said game board, and resilient band means positioned around a plurality of said finger like projections to form a design target outline on said game board.
10. The combination as specified in claim 9 and sleeve means of size to fit over said finger like projections and extend outwardly from said support member beyond said finger like projections, said sleeve means forming members around which said resilient band means can be placed for ease of insertion of said resilient band means onto said finger like projections, said sleeve means being removable after said resilient band means is in place.
11. The combination as specified in claim 10 and a tool member for pushing said resilient band means inwardly toward said support member when said resilient band means is mounted over said sleeve means.
12. The combination as specified in claim 10 wherein each of said sleeve means has a head at an outer end thereof, and a tapered surface at the end of said sleeve means adjacent said support member when said sleeve means are positioned over said finger like projections. l =8 I