|Publication number||US3901508 A|
|Publication date||Aug 26, 1975|
|Filing date||Nov 4, 1974|
|Priority date||Nov 4, 1974|
|Publication number||US 3901508 A, US 3901508A, US-A-3901508, US3901508 A, US3901508A|
|Inventors||Robert W Spangler|
|Original Assignee||Robert W Spangler|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (21), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
[451 Aug. 26, 1975 1 TABLE BASKETBALL Robert W. Spangler, 4620 E. Calle Tuberia, Phoenix, Ariz. 85018  lnventor:
 US. Cl. 273/85 C; 273/85 E  Int. Cl. A63f 7/06  Field of Search 273/85 C, 85 D, 85 E  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 935,585 9/1909 Campbell 273/85 C 1.713.247 5/1929 Young 273/85 E 1,827,885 10/1931 Emcnhiser 273/85 E 1,917,700 7/1933 Clark 273/85 E 1769,6353 11/1956 Knapp 273/85 D FQREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 827,765 l/l952 Germany 273/85 E 509.932 3/1952 Belgium 273/85 E 1,020,662 11/1952 France 273/85 E 1,066.485 H1954 France 273/85 C 500.761 11/1954 ltaly 273/85 D 297.880 4/1954 Switzerland 273/85 E 1,085,791 8/1954 France 273/85 D 509.340 H1955 ltaly 273/85 C 1.137573 1/1957 France 273/85 D 334,354 1/1959 Switzerland 273/85 E Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerHarry G. Strappello Attorney, Agent, or FirmWarrcn F. B. Lindsley  ABSTRACT A table type amusement device which simulates the game of basketball includes a simulated basketball court and a transparent top to form an enclosed casing. The court is provided with a plurality of spaced apart funnel shaped cavities forming recesses extend ing through the court for receiving and passing through a simulated basketball to a collection tray disposed beneath the court. Each of the cavities contains a cup shaped ball projecting member which is fixedly mounted to the end of a manually operable actuating rod. The actuating rods are mounted within the casing for rotation about a horizontal axis. The other end of each of the actuating rods extends outside of the casing and terminates in a manually graspable handle. Either the recesses or their associated cup shaped members are colored, half being marked with one color and the other half with another color. Half of the actuating rods extend through one side of the casing toward the recesses or associated cup shaped member having the one color marking while the other half ex tend through the opposite side of the casing toward the recesses or associated cup shaped member having a different color marking. A basket is mounted adjacent each end of the court for receiving a ball projected by the cup shaped members upon rotation of its associated actuating rod. Also included are a plurality of deflection plates one mounted across each inside corner of the casing. Each of the actuating rods is spring biased so that the cup shaped members are nonnally in their lowered positions within the cavities.
PATENTEI] AUG 2 6 I975 SHEET 2 UF 2 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to an improved amusement device for playing a simulated basketball game.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention is particularly directed to an improved amusement device which includes a table mounted court having manually operated mechanical ball propelling apparatus associated therewith which may be used by two or more players to engage in a simulated game of basketball.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Many kinds of amusement devices employing a combination of manual and mechanically operated means for playing simulated games such as baseball have been devised and utilized by two or more players taking alternate turns. Some of these amusement devices have been inexpensive to manufacture and others very expensive to produce because of the elaborate nature of the court or enclosure and the complicated nature of the mechanism utilized for propelling the ball around the court. Most of the devices were played by one player at a time in a sequential manner.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, a new and improved table mounted amusement device in the form of a simulated basketball court is provided having manually operable mechanical means associated therewith for propelling the ball around the court and through the baskets with two or more players simultaneously playing a simulated game of basketball.
It is, therefore, one object of this invention to provide a simplified, inexpensive amusement device or table mounted basketball game that may be used by two or more players simultaneously to compete in a simulated game of basketball.
Another object of this invention is to provide a table mounted amusement device which includes a simulated basketball court having a see through (transparent) top surface and two individual sets of manually operable mechanisms for propelling the ball about the court which requires close observation, quick action and considerable dexterity on the part of the players to make baskets and score points.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an amusement device in the form of a table mounted simulated basketball game that is simple in design and sturdily constructed of a minimum number of stationary and movable component parts that are inexpensive to manufacture, quickly and easily replaceable when necessary and which may be readily associated with conventional coin operated mechanism to control the duration of play, if so desired.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds and the features of novelty which characterize this invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming part of this specification.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The present invention may be more readily described and understood by reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the complete table top basketball game amusement device.
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the device taken substantially through its longitudinal center on the line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the table basketball game or device shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with a portion of its transparent top broken away to better illustrate the playing court and its mechanical components.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the general arrangement of the device's mechanical components as they would appear when removed from the floor of the court.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 5-5 showing the relationship of the ball flippers to the slots formed in the depressions of the court's floor.
FIG. 6 is a side elevation view illustrating one method of attaching the lever arms of the ball flippers to the transversely extending actuating shafts of the spring biased twist grips and the relationship of the same to the slots and depressions in the floor of the court and the side wall of the enclosure with these components shown in phantom line.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring more particularly to the various views of the drawings by characters of reference, FIG. 1 illustrates the complete table mounted simulated basketball game amusement device 10 of this invention comprising a substantially rectangular shaped box like enclosure having vertical side walls 11 and 12, vertical end walls 13 and 14, a horizontal bottom panel 15 to which the side and end walls are secured in rigid vertical relationship and a slidably removable horizontal, transparent top or top cover panel 16. The side, end walls and bottom panel of the enclosure are preferably fabricated of hard wood or high impact strength plastic and the slidable removable, transparent top cover panel is preferably fabricated of unbreakable glass or transparent acrylic plastic having good visual characteristics. The cover panel 16 is provided at one end with spaced pull knobs or grips 17 to assist in the installation or removal of the panel which is adapted to slide in a horizontal plane in a slot or rabbet 18 formed adjacent the top edges of one end and the side walls and through the opposite end wall of the enclosure.
The vertical side walls 11 and 12 and the end walls 13 and 14 are reduced in thickness for about two thirds of their total width. This design configuration forms an inside peripheral ledge 19 around the entire enclosure on which the bottom surface 20 of a thick sub-floor 21 is adapted to rest at its outer edges in parallel and level relationship to the horizontal bottom panel 15 and transparent top cover panel 16 fon'ning upper and lower separated compartments 22 and 23, respectively.
The upper enclosed compartment 22 is utilized as the playing area or basketball court and is provided at each end with pairs of vertical ball deflector auxilliary walls 24 and 25. These walls are positioned in a predetermined angular relationship across each of the four corners of the compartment and extend vertically from the top surface 26 of the sub-floor 21 to which it is rigidly attached to the underside surface of the transparent top cover panel 16 which is adapted to rest lightly on the top edges of said walls. These walls together with their associated central backboard portions 13' and 14' form a ball deflecting means.
The enclosed upper compartment or court 22 is also provided with the usual baskets or goals 27 and 28, located one at each end of the court on the longitudinal center-line thereof in close proximity to the central backboard portions 13' and 14' of the vertical end walls 13 and 14. These baskets are preferably fabricated of metal or plastic wire like material and are tapered from their large diameter upper open end to their smaller diameter bottom open end. Each basket is mounted on and secured to the top open ends of one of the vertical tubular members 29 and 30, the inside diameters of which is somewhat larger than basketballs 31 used in play. They are also long enough to support the baskets so their top ends are about midway between the top surface 26 of the sub-floor 21 and the underside surface of the transparent top cover panel 16, and extend through aligned vertical apertures 29 and 30' formed in the sub-floor 21. These tubular members provide passageways for the balls through the open bottom ends of the baskets into the lower enclosed compartment 23 and thence into a suitable ball return trough or pan 32, access to which may be gained, if necessary, by the removal of the horizontal bottom panel 15 of the enclosure.
The transparent top cover panel 16 is provided with an aperture 16' the diameter of which is slightly larger than the balls 31 to be used in play which is located in the exact center of the rectangular cover panel and in direct vertical alignment with the exact center of the rectangular sub-floor 21 s top exposed surface 26. The top surface 26 of the sub-floor 21 which is preferably formed or molded of high impact strength plastic is provided with a plurality of circular conical shaped depressions 33. These depressions have open circular bottom ends which are formed by their association with a like number of central apertures 34 extending vertically through the sub-floor 21 to communicate with the lower enclosed compartment 23 of the enclosure and the ball return trough or pan 32 mounted therein. As the balls drop through apertures 34 and likewise baskets 27 or 28 and the tubular members 29 and 30 associated therewith, they will automatically be returned on the sloping floor of the ball return trough or pan 32 to an opening 35 in the vertical side wall 11 and thence into a ball rack 36 that is attached at 21 depending angle to the side wall 11.
Each of the conical shaped depressions 33 are provided with one radially deployed narrow slot 33' that is located on the longitudinal center line of each of the three rows of adjacent depressions. These slots extend from the apertures or openings 34 in the centers of the depressions to a point near the top circular rim of each depression and in opposite directions in each adjacent depression as shown in FIG. 3.
Slots 33' all extend in longitudinal vertical relationship from the sloping surface of each depression to and through the horizontal bottom surface of the subfloor 21 and preferably are formed with angular depending outer end surfaces 37 which serve as stops for pivoted lever arms 38 of the semi-circular throw cups 39. These lever arms normally rest in horizontal relationship one in each of the openings formed by the vertical apertures 34 in the bottom of each depression 33.
The manually operated mechanism which is utilized for actuating the lever arms 38 and their integrally attached throw cups 39 from their at-rest position in the bottom of the depressions 33 to their partially rotated radial position as shown in dotted line in FIGS. 2, 5 and 6 is best illustrated in the perspective view of the mechanism shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings.
The preferred mechanism for accomplishing the above described purpose includes at least eight twist grips or knobs 40 having knurled outer surfaces four of which are located on and project laterally out from each of the vertical side walls 11 and 12 of the enclosure in opposite directions. Each of these twist grips are provided with small diameter rod extensions 41 that are fixed therein and sized to fit with slight clearance in transverse parallel aligned bores 41' spacedly provided in the sub-floor 21 of the enclosure. The serrated outer end portions 42 of each rod mate with and extend through similar serrated holes 43 in the outer ends of the lever arms 38 of the semi-circular throw cups 39 when they are inserted in the slots 33' in their at-rest or horizontal position, thus providing a means for the pivoted radial movement of said throw cups. The plain, unserrated, slightly larger diameter portions 42' of the rod extensions 41 serve as bearings in the transverse aligned bores 41 in the sub-floor 21 of the enclosure.
The twist grips 40 and their rod extensions 41 are utilized by the players of the simulated basketball game to throw or propel the basketball about the court and into the baskets 30 by the pivoting action of the lever arms 38 and consequent radial movement of their integral throw cups 39. These twist grips may be twisted or rotated any degree up to the point where the lever arm 38 contacts the angular outer end surfaces 37 of the slots 33'. The degree of such a twist or rotative action will thus automatically determine the trajectory or arcuate path of the ball as it leaves the throw cup 39. The throw cups and their pivoted lever arms are returned immediately to their at rest position in the bottom of the conical depressions 33 to prevent the ball from dropping through the vertical apertures 34 into the ball return pan 32. Such action in this game could constitute a foul and for this reason, each of the twist grips and their rod extensions are provided with suitable biasing means in the form of a return spring 44.
This tension type spring is adapted to surround the projecting ends of each rod extension 41 between the outer face of the vertical side walls 11 and 12 and the inner ends of the twist grips 40 to each of which the opposite ends of the springs 44 are attached. Their automatic unwinding upon the release of the twist grips by the player causes the immediate return of the ball throw cups 39 to their at rest position in depressions 33 to thus prevent entry of the ball into the vertical apertures 34, as described, by quick action on the part of the player.
it should be noted that the end top surfaces 26' of sub-floor 21 upon which the ball in play is often in contact with directly under and in front of the baskets 27 and 28 are slightly raised above the level of the larger top surface area 26 of the sub-floor 21. These end top surfaces 26 are provided with a center and several radially disposed ridges that slope downwardly and outwardly toward the side walls 11 and 12 of the enclosure so as to guide any ball that might contact them away from the center longitudinal row of depressions and into one of the depressions in the outside longitudinal rows to therefore make the play of the game more difficult.
It also should be noted and understood that even though the box like court or enclosure is shown in some of the views of the drawings as mounted on four suitable legs 45 having adjustable leveling pads or extensions 46 on their bottom floor contacting ends, it is conceivable that the device could be constructed in a scaled down version with the legs 45 omitted and the leveling pads 46 installed on the bottom removable panel of the enclosure mounted and leveled on any suitable table.
Various rules, regulations and methods of scoring may be formulated for playing the simulated basketball game, or the players could mutually devise their own, but it is intended that the game be played and scoring accomplished as near as possible to the official game of basketball.
OPERATION The game is adapted to be played by two or more participants, but it is suggested that more skill and interest would be developed if it were played by four persons comprising two teams with two members of each team stationing themselves on the opposide sides of the court with each players hands being adjacent and readily available for manipulating two of the dour twist grips 40 projecting from each side of the enclosure. After determining that all of the simulated basketballs are available in rack 36 for play, teams can begin play.
This would be accomplished by allowing one of the players or a disinterested party to take one of the balls 3] from the rack 36 and drop it through aperture 16 in the exact center of the transparent top cover panel 16 in the nature of ajump ball used in an official basketball game. Other apertures may be formed through the top above given recesses if so desired. While the ball is dropping, the players of both teams may twist their respective twist grips or knobs 40 to actuate the throw cups 39 closest to the point on the court floor 21 where the ball would normally fall radially into their upward pivoted position from their at rest position. This action is intended to try to intercept and cause the ball to move into one of the colored depression 33 representing its team. The throw cups and associated mechanism of each team are adapted to propel the ball in only one direction toward that teams basket or goal 27 or 28 at the opposite ends of the court.
An alternate action of the opposing players at this time would be to let the ball drop, bounce or roll into any one of the adjacent depressions representing it and throw cup and quickly twisting that particular twist grip 40 to loft and throw the ball toward its basket in an attempt to make a basket. Continuing this action, the player or players on the opposing teams would attempt to make baskets and score points every time the ball rolled into their color coded respective depressions and throw cups by quickly twisting and releasing that particular twist grip which controlled the pivoting and ball propelling function of that throw cup. Should the throw cups not be allowed to automatically return to their at rest position in any of the depressions because the player failed to quickly release the twist grip or because he preferred to hold the throw cup in its uppermost position to thereby block a shot of the opposing player thus allowing the ball to enter any one of the vertical apertures 34 in the center of the depressions, the ball would drop into the ball return pan 32 and thence into the ball rack 32. The player whom allowed this action to take place would be charged with a foul and a player on the opposing team would then be allowed to drop another ball through the aperture 16' for another jump ball to resume the game to score additional points as a free throw would be permitted in an official game.
It should be noted and understood that considerable accuracy, alertness and observation would be required to play this table basketball game and this could be acquired only by practice. Due to the novel features built into the court, it is possible for any player to shoot a basket from any of the depressions on the court floor.
Even though all of the throw cups in all of the depressions are designed to throw and loft the ball in parallel straight longitudinal lines toward either end of the court, the easiest shot for producing a basket and consequently a score would be from any one of the longitudinal center row os depressions. This is obvious since they are in direct alignment with the baskets but with practice and developed skill, a basket could be made and scored from any of the outside longitudinal rows of depressions by causing the ball to leave the throw cup with the proper force and speed produced by the correct manipulation of the twist grips to cause the ball to strike or impinge at the desired level on one of the auxilliary angular disposed vertical walls 24 or 25 at the ends of the court and thereby be deflected into the baskets.
Although but one embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention or from the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A simulated basketball game comprising:
an enclosed casing having a playing floor, a pair of side walls, a pair of end walls, and a transparent top,
at least one ball,
said floor being provided with a plurality of spaced funnel shaped cavities forming recesses extending through said floor for receiving and passing through said ball,
a plurality of lever arms arranged to extend through and inwardly of each of said side walls above said floor with one end of a different one of said lever arms terminating adjacent a different one of said recesses,
a plurality of cup shaped members one formed to fit within the cavity of a different one of said recesses each mounted on said one of a different one of said lever arms,
half of said lever arms being fulcrumed on said side walls for rotating said cup shaped members on their ends toward one end of said casing and the other half of said lever arms being fulcrumed on said side walls for rotating said cup shaped members toward the other end of said casing,
a pair of baskets one mounted adjacent each of said end walls inside of said casing for receiving a ball projected by said cup shaped members upon rotation of its associated lever arm, and
a plurality of deflection plates one mounted across each inside corner of said casing between a side wall and one of said end walls and positioned for deflecting a ball projected toward it by a lever arm laterally of and toward the longitudinal axis of the floor of the casing.
2. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 1 wherein:
said deflection plates are positioned for deflecting a ball projected toward it by a lever arm toward the basket at the associated end of said casing.
3. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 1 wherein:
the periphery of said cup shaped members of said lever arms are flush with the playing floor when at rest within its associated cavity.
4. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 1 in further combination with:
spring means one for each of said lever arms connected between said lever arms and the side walls of said casing in which it is mounted for normally biasing said lever arm to position its associated cup in the associated cavity of the recess.
5. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 1 wherein said cup shaped members are colored, half with one color and half with another color, and
said lever arms extending into said casing from one of its side walls extending toward recesses and associated cup shaped member having one color marking and the lever arms extending into the casing from the other side wall extending toward recesses and associated cup shaped members having a different color marking.
6. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 1 wherein:
said top is provided with at least one aperture therethrough for passing a ball for introducing it into play.
7. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 6 wherein:
at least one of said apertures is formed in said top above one of said recesses.
8. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 4 in further combination with:
knobs mounted one at each end of said lever arm outside of said casing for rotating said lever arms against the baising action of its associated spring means for projecting the ball toward one of said baskets.
9. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 1 in further combination with:
a collection rack mounted on said casing outside of its enclosure, and
trough means mounted below each of said baskets and each of said recesses for funneling the balls used in said game to said collection rack.
10. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 9 in further combination with:
a coin control means for controlling the flow of balls into said collection rack for regulating the playing of the simulated basketball game.
1 1. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 1 wherein:
said baskets are mounted adjacent said end walls at substantially a point midway of its length and midway of its width.
12. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 1 in further combination with:
tubular members connected to each of said baskets for directing the balls through apertures in said floor of said casing.
13. The simulated basketball game set forth in claim 1 wherein:
said floor is grooved adjacent the end walls for directing the ball toward one of various recesses in said floor.
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|International Classification||A63F7/06, A63F7/20|
|Cooperative Classification||A63F2009/0273, A63F7/0612, A63F7/249|