United States Patent 3586323

An aquatic game wherein buoyant balls are placed in a floating receptacle through an inlet located below the water surface. The receptacle comprises a basketlike container with a tubular member having one end extending through its bottom surface and the other end, into which the balls are placed, located well below the water surface. The object of the game is either to place the most balls in the receptacle within a given time or place a given number of balls in the receptacle in the shortest time.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
A63B67/00; A63B63/08; (IPC1-7): A63F9/00
Field of Search:
273/1 272
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US Patent References:
3136241Coffee maker with combination coverJune 1964Price
3095197Submersible target for underwater exercisesJune 1963Weitzman
1566858Swimming ringDecember 1925Guinzburg

Primary Examiner:
Pinkham, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Shapiro, Paul E.
What I claim is

1. An aquatic game comprising

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the sidewall of the tubular member has an inlet for solid buoyant objects.

3. The device of claim l wherein one end of the tubular member extends above the bottom surface of the container.

4. The device of claim l having float means attached to the outside surface of the sidewalls.

5. The aquatic game of claim l wherein the tubular member has a plurality of different sized inlets.

6. The aquatic game of claim 1 wherein the container and the balls each have visually distinguishable marks.

7. The aquatic game of claim l including a perforated container to remove balls from the floating container.


My invention is directed to an aquatic recreational apparatus that may be used for amusement or competition purposes. In use it is intended to test the players' manipulative and swimming skills by requiring him to place a buoyant object such as a Ping-pong ball through an inlet orifice that is submerged in a body of water. The device includes a receptacle that is disposed at the surface of the water and has a tube or other suitable guide means that extend downwardly into the water, there being an orifice formed in the submerged portion of the tube to enable the buoyant object to be inserted into the tube. Once in the tube the buoyant object floats upwardly through the tube and into the receptacle.

The invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings:

FIG. l is an isometric view of the device with a portion of the outer wall of the receptacle taken away;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of an alternative embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a scoop that may be used in connection with the device;

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a modification of my invention wherein the guide tube is formed from wire; and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the lower end of the guide tube illustrating an enlarged inlet attachment;

FIG. l shows a basketlike receptacle l0 having a base portion l2 and an outer wall 14 that extends about and upwardly from the base portion; the receptacle 10 is adapted to be supported at the surface of a body of water. Guide means, including a tubular member 16, is mounted to or formed integrally with the base portion 12 of the receptacle 10 and extends downwardly into the water when the receptacle 10 is supported at the water surface. The downwardly extending, submerged end of the tube 16 defines an inlet 18 through which a buoyant object such as a Ping-pong ball 20 may be introduced to enable the ball 20 to float upwardly through the tube 16 and into the receptacle 10. It is not necessary that the inlet 18 be located at the end of the tube 16 as long as it is submerged. Thus the inlet may be located along the length of the tube 16 as indicated by the reference character 18' . I have found a tube 16 approximately 3 feet long to be of a satisfactory length although this may be varied to suit the players' swimming abilities. The upper end of the tube 16 may extend upwardly beyond the level of the base portion 12 thus defining an inner wall 17 to preclude a ball 20 that has already been disposed within the receptacle 10 from blocking the interior passageway of the tube 16. The inner wall 17 should be of a height such that when the ball 20 jumps through the surface of the water it may pass over the wall 17.

The device may be supported at the surface of the water by means of stabilizing floats 22 that are secured to the receptacle 10 by conventional means. When using such floats it is preferable to arrange them about the periphery of the receptacle 10 so that they extend outwardly therefrom thus providing effective stabilization of the device and tending to reduce oscillation within the water. An alternative means of floating the device in the water would be to provide a buoyant ring 23 (FIG. 4) or to fabricate the receptacle 10 from a sufficiently buoyant material, care being taken to insure that the tube 16 is properly weighted so that it will extend downwardly into the water. The tube 16 may be weighed as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5 by means of a relatively heavy ring 23 (FIG. 4) attached to the bottom of the tube 16.

The receptacle 10 need not be restricted to the particular shape shown in FIG. l, this being merely an illustrative embodiment of the invention. For example, the device may take the form illustrated in FIG. 2 wherein the partially submerged receptacle 10' has an opening 18 formed at a submerged portion thereof for receiving the ball 20. In this embodiment of the invention the submerged portion of the receptacle 10' would serve to communicate the ball 20 to the water surface and the upper portion of the receptacle 10' would serve to collect and confine the balls in a defined area at the water surface.

The receptacle 10 may be provided with openings or perforations 24 provided that none of them are large enough to allow the buoyant balls 20 to pass therethrough. Similarly the tube 16 may be of any design that will effectively guide the buoyant objects 20 from the submerged inlet 18 to the receptacle 10. The tube may be constructed from coated wire as shown in FIG. 4 by the reference character 16' . The relative dimensions of the interior of the tube 16 and the buoyant objects 20 should be such as to allow the balls to float freely upwardly through the tube 16. Perforations 26 may be formed in the tube 16 to aid in the free passage of the balls 20 upwardly through the tube 16 .

The device may be used simply as an object of amusement or in connection with a competitive sport, the basic object in all the methods of play being to deposit the buoyant objects (the balls 20) in the receptacle 10 by introducing them to the inlet 18 of the tube 16 so that they may float upwardly through the tube 16 and into the receptacle 10. The relative dimensions between the ball 20 and the inlet 18 of the tube 16 may be varied to vary the skill required in introducing the ball 20 to the inlet 18, e.g. a relatively narrow clearance between the ball 20 and the inlet 18, will require a correspondingly higher degree of manipulative skill. The tube 16 may be provided, as shown in FIG. 5, with a removable inlet member 27 so that another inlet member 27 of a different size may be substituted thus varying the skill required in inserting the ball 20 into the tube 16.

The degree of skill required may be increased by requiring as a rule of play that the ball 20 may be transported only by a scoop 28 as illustrated in FIG. 3. The scoop 28 may be perforated to facilitate its movement through the water. When a player has properly positioned the scoop 28 under the inlet 18 of the tube 16 the scoop is rotated to allow the ball 20 to float free of the scoop 28 and up through the tube 16. The scoops 28 are preferably buoyant so that if a player drops the scoop it will float to the surface and be easily retrieved.

Any number of methods of play may be used. For example, the balls 20 may be of varying sizes, thus requiring a greater degree of skill for the larger balls 20, and a lesser degree of skill for the smaller of the balls 20. The balls may be of different colors or may be numbered to indicate which of them would require a greater or lesser degree of skill in placing them within the tube 16.

When used in competition a number of floating receptacles 10 may be used and each of them could be of a different color so as to readily distinguish one from the other. A set of identically colored balls may be provided with each of the floating receptacles and the rule of play may require that balls of a certain color be deposited in the goal of the same color.

In competition a receptacle serves as a goal and one may be placed at each end of the swimming area, the balls being placed in the water at a point equidistant from each goal. Competition may be started by the players diving in the water or with the players already in the water.

The games may be played with free floating receptacles or, as an alternative, the receptacles may be restrained by means of a tether line that is secured to the edge of a pool or other fixed object.

The number of methods of play is limited only by the player' imagination. Some suggested methods are as follows:

Method No. 1 contemplates competition between two players or teams using two goals of different colors and two sets of correspondingly colored balls. One set of balls and one goal is assigned to each team. The first team to deposit their set of balls in the proper goal is the winner.

Method No. 2 may include one goal for each of the players and one set of balls of varying sizes having correspondingly varied point values in accordance with the degree of skill required for each ball. The player who collects the greatest point value within his goal and within a fixed period of time is the winner.

Method No. 3 requires only one goal and one set of balls and may be played either in competition or individually. This method would require that each player be allotted a fixed time to deposit as many balls in the goal as possible, the player depositing the largest number in the allotted time, being the winner.

It should be understood that the foregoing embodiments of my invention are intended to be illustrations in nature and should not be considered as limiting my invention, the scope of which is defined in the following claims.