Title:
GAME HAVING MAGNETICALLY INDEXED SPINNING DISCS
United States Patent 3633916


Abstract:
A spinning disc game including first and second discs having indicia thereon and mounted on a supporting structure for rotation relative thereto. The second disc is also movable along a path and a driving connection between the two discs is formed in response to movement of the second disc in one direction along such path to thereby permit simultaneous driving of both discs. The second disc is urged in the other direction along such path so that when the second disc is released, it moves in such other direction to thereby break the driving connection between the discs. Thereafter, the discs may rotate relatively independently. Magnetic means cause the discs to stop rotating with the indicia thereof in substantial alignment.



Inventors:
THOMAS SAMUEL J
Application Number:
05/019247
Publication Date:
01/11/1972
Filing Date:
03/13/1970
Assignee:
SAMUEL J. THOMAS
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/142JB
International Classes:
A63F5/04; (IPC1-7): A63F5/04
Field of Search:
273/142,143
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
0451956N/A



Foreign References:
GB397351A
FR716567A
CH390763A
Primary Examiner:
Oechsle, Anton O.
Assistant Examiner:
Kramer, Arnold W.
Claims:
I claim

1. A game comprising:

Description:
The present invention relates to a spinning disc game of the type in which two or more relatively rotatable discs have indicia thereon and the radial alignment of such indicia upon cessation of disc rotation controls the progress or scoring of each player.

More particularly, spinning disc games typically include a supporting structure and first and second discs rotatably mounted on said supporting structure. Each of the discs have indicia on an outer face thereof and particular combinations of such indicia in generally radial alignment at the termination of rotation of the disc controls each player's scoring or progress.

One problem with games of this type is how to easily rotate both discs independently of each other. Although this could be accomplished by separate manual rotation of each disc, it is desirable to facilitate disc rotation to as great an extent as possible.

According to the present invention, both discs can be spun and will ultimately rotate relative to each other by merely rotating one of the discs. This is advantageously accomplished by mounting the second rotatable disc for movement in both directions along a predetermined path, relative to the supporting structure. The predetermined path preferably extends axially. Means is provided which is responsive to the movement of the second disc in one direction along such path to drivingly connect the rotatable discs for rotation together. Therefore, by placing the second disc in the proper axial position and then manually spinning such disc, both discs are simultaneously rotated.

As particular combinations of indicia in radial alignment on the rotatable discs control the scoring of the game, it is necessary that the rotatable discs rotate relative to each other. To provide the relative rotation between the rotatable discs, the driving connection between such discs is broken after sufficient rotational impetus is imparted to the discs.

According to the present invention, this is advantageously accomplished by automatically urging the second disc in the other direction along such predetermined path to thereby automatically break the driving connection between the rotatable discs. The urging force can advantageously be supplied by a spring. Thus, when the player releases the second disc, the spring automatically moves the second disc to break the driving connection and thereafter each disc is free to rotate independently. During the time that the discs rotate independently, they will rotate relative to each other due to several factors such as the difference in masses of the two discs, the differences in the forces of friction resisting such rotation, etc.

If the termination of rotation of the two rotatable discs were left entirely to chance, there would be instances in which the radial alignment of the indicia on the discs could not be accurately ascertained. In order to assure that the indicia on the faces of the two discs will be in substantial radial alignment when the discs stop spinning, the present invention provides magnetic means appropriately arranged to provide this function.

Preferably the rotatable discs are substantially coplanar during the time they are rotating independently and one or more magnets and one or more elements of magnetic material are appropriately positioned on the two discs, respectively, adjacent their confronting peripheries. The magnets and elements of magnetic material must be appropriately located so that the force of attraction therebetween will cause the discs to stop rotating with the indicia in substantial radial alignment.

Although the number of discs which are utilized can be varied, it is preferred to provide at least one fixed disc. The fixed disc also has indicia thereon, and the magnetic means causes appropriate radial alignment thereof with the indicia of the rotatable discs to thereby further enlarge the number of possible combinations.

Preferably the rotatable discs and the fixed disc are substantially coplanar during the time that the rotatable discs are rotating independently of each other. Preferably the fixed disc is the outer disc and the two rotatable discs are the inner and intermediate discs, respectively. According to the present invention, both of the rotatable discs are mounted for rotation on a shaft which in turn is mounted on the supporting structure. The intermediate disc is rotatably mounted by a boss which circumscribes the shaft. The intermediate disc is connected to the boss by webs or arms.

The driving connection between the rotatable discs can advantageously be provided by providing a second boss connected to the inner rotatable disc. Both of the bosses have confronting engageable teeth which are cooperate to cause the inner disc to drive the intermediate disc. A spring acting between the inner disc and the shaft biases the teeth out of driving engagement.

The invention, both as to its organization and method of operation together with further features and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a spinning disc game constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view taken generally along line 2--2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken generally along line 3--3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view showing the two bosses, the shaft for mounting the bosses and portions of the arms for connecting the lower boss to the intermediate disc.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view showing how the magnetic means causes the discs to stop with the indicia thereof in proper radial alignment.

Referring to the drawing and in particular to FIGS. 1-3 thereof, reference numeral 11 designates a spinning disc game constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention. Generally the game 11 includes a supporting structure 13, an intermediate disc 15 and an inner disc 17 mounted for rotation on the supporting structure. The supporting structure 13 and the discs 15 and 17 can advantageously be molded from plastic material.

More particularly, the supporting structure 13 includes a bottom wall 19 (FIG. 3), a peripheral wall 21 and an upper wall 23. The bottom wall 19 has a thickened tubular region 25 for receiving and fixedly mounting a shaft 27 which, in the embodiment illustrated, extends generally perpendicular to the bottom wall 19. The shaft 27 may be retained within the tubular region 25 in any suitable manner.

In the embodiment illustrated, the peripheral wall 21 is formed in one or more sections and suitably affixed to the bottom wall 19. The peripheral wall 21 is inclined radially inwardly and it extends outwardly from the bottom wall 19.

A portion of the upper wall 23 forms a fixed disc 29. The fixed disc 29 has a plurality of segments 31 formed by circumferentially spaced, radially extending lines 33 (FIGS. 1 and 5). In the embodiment illustrated, the disc 29 is integral with and forms a portion of the upper wall 23 although the disc 29 could be a separate disc member mounted on the upper wall 23. The segments 31 are preferably not separate discreet members but are merely formed by the lines 33 which may be ridges or grooves on the surface of the disc 29 or other appropriate markings.

The fixed disc 29 has a plurality of elements 35 of ferromagnetic material. In the embodiment illustrated, one of the elements 35 is embedded in each of the segments 31 with the element 35 being exposed at the inner periphery of the disc 29. Each of the elements 35 is located centrally in a circumferential direction in its respective segment 31.

The upper wall 23 has a relatively large diameter circular opening 37 (FIG. 3) formed therein. The disc 15 in the embodiment illustrated is an annular member and fits within the opening 37. The outer face of the disc 15 is divided into a number of segments 39 (FIGS. 1 and 5) corresponding in number to the segments 31. The segments 39 are formed by radial lines 41 which, when the segments 31 and 39 are radially aligned, form extensions of the radial lines 33 and may be formed in the same manner as the lines 33.

The disc 15 carries a single magnet 43 which, in the embodiment illustrated, is embedded therein and exposed at the outer periphery of the disc 15. The magnet 43 attracts the elements 35 of ferromagnetic material so that when the disc 15 stops, it will be radially aligned with one of the elements 35 as shown, for example, on FIG. 5.

In order that the segments 31 and 39 will be radially aligned as shown in FIG. 5, it is important that the magnet 43 be positioned circumferentially in a location which corresponds to the circumferential positions of the elements 35. In the embodiment illustrated, this means that the magnet 43 must be located centrally, in a circumferential direction, of one of the segments 39.

The disc 15 has a plurality of elements 45 of ferromagnetic material embedded therein and exposed at the inner periphery thereof. Preferably each of the elements 45 is also located centrally in a circumferential direction relative to the segment 39 in which such element is placed. The number of the elements 35 and 45 and the number of magnets 43 can be varied depending upon numerous factors such as the strength of the magnets, the number and circumferential dimensions of the segments 31 and 39, etc.

The disc 15 is mounted for rotation on the shaft 27 by a spider 47. The spider 47 includes a boss 49 having a bushing 51 therein and a pair of arms 53 and 55 interconnecting the boss and the underside of the disc 15. The lower axial ends of the boss 49 and bushing 51 rest on the upper face of the tubular region 25 and supported thereby. The bushing 51 surrounds the shaft 27 in sliding engagement therewith. The arms 53 and 55 extend radially of the boss 49 and then radially and axially of the boss toward the disc 15. The disc 15 and the arms 53 and 55 may be integrally constructed of plastic material.

The inner disc 17 is circular in plan and the outer face thereof has a plurality of circumferentially spaced radially extending lines 57 (FIG. 1) defining a plurality of segments 59 equal in number to the segments 39. The disc 17 has a single magnet 61 (FIG. 1) embedded therein and exposed at the outer periphery thereof for cooperation with the elements 45. The magnet 61 is positioned centrally in the circumferential direction in one of the segments 59. The inner and outer peripheries of the disc 15 are closely adjacent the periphery of the disc 17 and the periphery of opening 37, respectively. As the magnets 43 and 61 and the magnetic elements 35 and 45 are located at the peripheries of their respective discs, this orientation maximizes the effectiveness of the magnets.

Each of the segments 31, 39 and 59 has certain indicia suitably inscribed thereon such as the objects and numerals illustrated by way of example in FIG. 5.

A boss 63 having a bushing 65 therein is suitably affixed at its upper end to the disc 17 to thereby permit the boss 63 to mount the disc 17 on the shaft 27 for rotation and axial movement relative thereto. In the embodiment illustrated, the disc 17 has a central aperture 67 therein through which the upper end of the shaft 27 projects.

A spinning element or actuator 69 is suitably affixed to and forms a part of the disc 17. The spinning element 69 has a handle 71 which can be easily manually grasped to spin the disc 17 about the shaft 27. The spinning element 69 includes a spring guide 73 which, in the embodiment illustrated, is coaxial with the shaft 27. A spring 75 within the spring guide 73 acts between the spinning element 69 and the upper end of the shaft 27 to urge the disc 17 into the position shown in full lines in FIG. 3 in which the discs 15, 17 and 29 are coplanar.

To permit driving of the intermediate disc 15 by the handle 71, the bosses 49 and 63 are provided with coacting teeth 77 and 79 (FIG. 4), respectively. The teeth 77 and 79 are formed on the confronting end faces of the bosses 49 and 63, respectively. Preferably the teeth 77 and 79 have sloping side surfaces 81 and 83, respectively, to facilitate engagement of the teeth.

To play the game, the player grasps the handle 71 and moves it, the disc 17 and the boss 63 axially inwardly to the position shown in dashed lines in FIG. 3. This causes the sloping side surfaces 81 and 83 to cause driving engagement between the teeth 77 and 79 thereby drivingly connecting the discs 17 and 15. Such axial inward movement of the handle 71 also compresses the spring 75 between the spinning element 69 and the upper end of the shaft 27. The player then spins the handle 71 to drive the disc 17 directly and to drive the disc 15 through the bosses 63 and 49 and the arms 53 and 55. After imparting the desired magnitude of spinning force, the player releases the handle 71 and the spring 75 then returns the entire disc 17 including the spinning element 69 to the position shown in full lines in FIG. 3 to thereby disengage the teeth 77 and 79.

Thereafter, the discs 15 and 17 are no longer drivingly interconnected and can rotate relative to each other. Because the discs 15 and 17 are of different shapes and masses and because of the inherent difference in frictional resistance to rotation of the discs, one of the discs will slow down and stop sooner than the other of the discs thereby causing relative rotational movement between the discs 15 and 17. If desired, the game 11 could be constructed so as to purposely provide additional resistance to the rotation of one of the discs. For example, the confronting surfaces of the boss 49 and the tubular region 27 could be roughened to thereby slow down the disc 15 more rapidly than the disc 17.

Assuming that the disc 15 stops first, the magnet 43 carried thereby will be attracted to one of the ferromagnetic elements 35 carried by the fixed disc 29 to thereby assure that upon termination of rotation of the disc 15, the magnet 43 will be directly radially aligned with one of the elements 35. This in turn assures that each of the segments 39 will be radially aligned with one of the segments 31 as shown in FIG. 5.

The magnet 61 carried by the inner disc 17 similarly cooperates with the ferromagnetic elements 45 to assure proper radial alignment of each of the segments 59 with the segments 39. Thus, each of the segments 59 will be properly radially aligned with one of the segments 39 and one of the segments 31.

The game can be played in many different ways. For example, after having spun the discs 15 and 17, a player may note the combination of indicia in radial alignment at a start position S (FIG. 1). The player may then be permitted to advance his token (not shown) a number of segments 31 corresponding to the algebraic summation of the numerical indicia in radial alignment at the starting position S. Certain bonus values may be assigned depending upon particular combinations of object indicia in radial alignment at the start position S. For example, for particular combinations, a player may be permitted to withdraw a certain number of chips or other objects with each of such objects having preassigned values. After each player has had a turn, the first player again spins the discs 15 and 17 and then notes the combination of indicia in radial alignment with his particular token. The first player to move his token completely around the disc 27 and return to the starting position S may be permitted to withdraw a given number or all of the remaining chips with the player having at that time collected the greatest number of chips being the winner.

The game may also be used as an educational device to teach addition and subtraction. It may be used to teach younger children to recognize various combinations of object indicia.

Although an exemplary embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, many changes, modifications and substitutions may be made by one having ordinary skill in the art without necessarily departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.