Title:
Billiard cue stick
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A billiard cue stick which is typically constructed of aluminum or other lightweight metal and can be fitted with removable weights for imparting a selected weight and balance to the cue stick. In a preferred embodiment, the billiard cue stick is characterized by a shaft segment which is removably attached to a hollow butt segment. The extending front end of the shaft segment is terminated by a removable shaft cue tip for striking a cue ball in a game of billiards or pool. The butt segment includes a handle fitted with an elongated weight slot or multiple weight openings for removably receiving a selected number of spherical weights. The butt segment is further characterized by multiple, adjacent, longitudinal splines typically fitted with rubber or plastic strips. The front end of the butt segment, removably attached to the rear end of the shaft segment, is fitted with a removable extra cue tip to facilitate replacing the removable shaft cue tip with the extra cue tip on the shaft segment, as needed.



Inventors:
Pot, Rick D. (Lake Havasu, AZ, US)
Application Number:
09/730900
Publication Date:
06/13/2002
Filing Date:
12/07/2000
Assignee:
POT RICK D.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63D15/08; A63D15/12; (IPC1-7): A63D15/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John M. Harrison (2139 E. Bert Kouns, Shreveport, LA, 71105, US)
Claims:

Having described my invention with the particularity set forth above, what is claimed is:



1. A billiard cue stick comprising a butt segment, a weight slot provided in said butt segment, a selected number of spherical weights removably fitted in said weight slot, a shaft segment extending from said butt segment and a shaft cue tip terminating said shaft segment.

2. The billiard cue stick of claim 1 wherein said shaft segment is removably attached to said butt segment and said shaft cue tip is removably attached to said shaft segment, and comprising an extra cue tip removably attached to said butt segment, whereby said shaft cue tip is selectively removable from said shaft segment for fitting said extra cue tip on said shaft segment in place of said shaft cue tip.

3. The billiard cue stick of claim 1 comprising a butt segment interior substantially traversing said butt segment and a plurality of parallel splines substantially traversing said butt segment interior in spaced-apart relationship to each other.

4. The billiard cue stick of claim 3 wherein said shaft segment is removably attached to said butt segment and said shaft cue tip is removably attached to said shaft segment, and comprising an extra cue tip removably attached to said butt segment, whereby said shaft cue tip is selectively removable from said shaft segment for fitting said extra cue tip on said shaft segment in place of said shaft cue tip.

5. The billiard cue stick of claim 1 wherein said butt segment and said shaft segment are constructed of aluminum.

6. The billiard cue stick of claim 5 wherein said shaft segment is removably attached to said butt segment and said shaft cue tip is removably attached to said shaft segment, and comprising an extra cue tip removably attached to said butt segment, whereby said shaft cue tip is selectively removable from said shaft segment for fitting said extra cue tip on said shaft segment in place of said shaft cue tip.

7. The billiard cue stick of claim 5 comprising a butt segment interior substantially traversing said butt segment and a plurality of parallel splines substantially traversing said butt segment interior in spaced-apart relationship to each other.

8. The billiard cue stick of claim 7 wherein said shaft segment is removably attached to said butt segment and said shaft cue tip is removably attached to said shaft segment, and comprising an extra cue tip removably attached to said butt segment, whereby said shaft cue tip is selectively removable from said shaft segment for fitting said extra cue tip on said shaft segment in place of said shaft cue tip.

9. The billiard cue stick of claim 1 wherein said butt segment and said shaft segment are constructed of titanium.

10. The billiard cue stick of claim 9 wherein said shaft segment is removably attached to said butt segment and said shaft cue tip is removably attached to said shaft segment, and comprising an extra cue tip removably attached to said butt segment, whereby said shaft cue tip is selectively removable from said shaft segment for fitting said extra cue tip on said shaft segment in place of said shaft cue tip.

11. The billiard cue stick of clam 9 comprising a butt segment interior substantially traversing said butt segment and a plurality of parallel splines substantially traversing said butt segment interior in spaced-apart relationship to each other.

12. The billiard cue stick of claim 11 wherein said shaft segment is removably attached to said butt segment and said shaft cue tip is removably attached to said shaft segment, and comprising an extra cue tip removably attached to said butt segment, whereby said shaft cue tip is selectively removable from said shaft segment for fitting said extra cue tip on said shaft segment in place of said shaft cue tip.

13. A billiard cue stick comprising a butt segment, a shaft segment removably attached to said butt segment, a shaft cue tip removably attached to said shaft segment and an extra cue tip removably attached to said butt segment, whereby said shaft cue tip is selectively removable from said shaft segment for fitting said extra cue tip on said shaft segment in place of said shaft cue tip.

14. The billiard cue stick of claim 13 comprising a butt segment interior substantially traversing said butt segment and a plurality of parallel splines substantially traversing said butt segment interior in spaced-apart relationship to each other.

15. The billiard cue stick of claim 13 comprising a plurality of weight openings provided in said butt segment and spherical weights removably seated in selected ones of said plurality of weight openings, respectively.

16. The billiard cue stick of claim 15 comprising a butt segment interior substantially traversing said butt segment and a plurality of parallel splines substantially traversing said butt segment interior in spaced-apart relationship to each other.

17. The billiard cue stick of claim 13 wherein said butt segment and said shaft segment are constructed of aluminum.

18. A billiard cue stick comprising a butt segment having a butt segment interior substantially traversing said butt segment, a plurality of parallel splines substantially traversing said butt segment interior in spaced-apart relationship to each other, a plurality of spline spaces extending between said splines and communicating with said butt segment interior and a plurality of spline braces provided in said butt segment interior in spaced-apart relationship to each other and connected to said splines; a shaft segment extending from said butt segment; and a shaft cue tip terminating said shaft segment.

19. The billiard cue stick of claim 18 comprising a plurality of weight openings provided in said butt segment and spherical weights removably seated in selected ones of said plurality of weight openings, respectively.

20. The billiard cue stick of claim 18 wherein said butt segment and said shaft segment are constructed of aluminum.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to cue sticks used in the game of billiards or pool and more particularly, to a billiard cue stick which is strong and lightweight and is typically constructed of aluminum, titanium or other lightweight metal and can be removably fitted with a selected number of weights to facilitate a desired weight and balance of the cue stick during use. In a preferred embodiment the billiard cue stick includes an elongated, hollow butt segment, the front end of which is typically removably threaded in the rear end of an elongated, hollow shaft segment. The front end of the shaft segment is terminated by a removable shaft cue tip for striking a cue ball in a game of billiards or pool, The butt segment includes a handle which in one embodiment is fitted with an elongated weight slot and in another embodiment includes multiple weight openings for removably receiving a selected number of spherical weights. The butt segment is typically characterized by multiple longitudinal splines which are spaced in adjacent relationship to each other around the circumference of the butt segment and typically fitted with rubber or plastic grip strips. The front end of the butt segment is fitted with a removable extra cue tip which can be removed from the butt segment and fitted on the shaft segment in place of the shaft cue tip, as needed under circumstances in which the shaft cue tip becomes excessively worn or damaged, for example.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] A number of different types of billiard or pool cue sticks which can be weighted to impart a selected balance to the cue sticks, are known in the art. One of the early cue stick designs in this regard is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 608,457, dated Aug. 2, 1898, to Hutzel and entitled, “Billiard Cue”. The Hutzel cue stick is characterized by an elongated shaft having a hollowed shaft interior, the rear end of which is closed by a removable handle. A selected number of disc-shaped weights is positioned on an elongated rod which extends from the handle into the shaft interior, and the weights are loaded against each other in non-sliding relationship in the shaft interior by means of compressed springs on respective sides of the weights. Another early billiard cue is described in U.S. Pat. No. 835,489, dated Nov. 13, 1906, to Adorjan. The Adorjan cue stick is characterized by a segmented shaft having front and rear shaft segments, and the front and rear ends of the rear shaft segment are each provided with a weight cavity for receiving multiple weight sleeves which are removably mounted on a shaft. The front weight cavity is closed by threading the front shaft segment on the rear shaft segment, and the rear weight cavity is closed by threading a cap on the rear end of the rear shaft segment. U.S. Pat. No. 935,218, dated Sep. 28, 1909, to Moore, details another billiard cue stick, the rear end of which is fitted with a hollow handle having a handle receptacle that is provided with a weight spring. A handle cap removably threaded in the handle receptacle is provided with a second weight spring from which extends a weight rod on which a selected number of disc-shaped weights is mounted. As the handle cap is threaded into the handle receptacle, the weights on the weight rod are compressed between the weight springs to prevent sliding of the weights in the handle receptacle during use. A weighted handle for a billiard cue is described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,342,498, dated Sep. 19, 1967, to Waldo. The Waldo billiard cue stick is preferably constructed of aluminum tubing and includes separable butt and shaft sections, the butt section of which is characterized by a rear handle portion provided with a handle interior. The handle interior is grooved and removably closed by means of a threaded cap, and receives a selected number of sleeve-shaped weights to impart a desired balance to the cue stick. An o-ring is removably inserted in one of the grooves and against the adjacent weights to secure the weights in non-slipping configuration in the handle interior during use of the cue stick. U.S. Pat. No. 5,267,730, dated Dec. 7, 1993, to Keaggy, describes yet another pool cue stick, the length and weight of which may be selectively varied as desired. The pool cue stick is characterized by multiple segments which can be removably connected to each other, and weighted segment connectors can be threaded between adjacent segments to impart a desired weight to the pool cue stick. U.S. Pat. No. 5,326,329, dated Jul. 5, 1994, to Doss, discloses a “Jump-Shot Pool Cue” which is used to cause a pool cue ball to jump from the surface of a pool table and thus, avoid striking an opponent's safety blocking ball during a game of pool. The Doss jump-shot pool cue is characterized by a cue stick which is about one half the length of a standard pool cue stick, and includes multiple apertures extending through a carrier which is pivotally mounted in a radial slot in the handle end of the stick. Cylindrical weights can be removably fitted in the apertures of the carrier, after which the carrier is pivoted to a closed position in the handle and locked in place to secure the weights in the handle.

[0005] An object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved billiard cue stick which is strong, durable and lightweight.

[0006] Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved billiard cue stick which is constructed of a lightweight metal such as aluminum or titanium

[0007] Still another object of the invention is to provide a billiard cue stick including a butt segment, the front end of which is removably attached to the rear end of a shaft segment and the front end of which shaft segment is fitted with a removable shaft cue tip that is conventionally used to strike a cue ball in a game of billiards or pool. The front end of the butt segment, typically removably threaded in the rear end of the shaft segment, is fitted with a removable extra cue tip, such that the shaft cue tip can be replaced on the shaft segment with the extra cue tip, as needed under circumstances in which the shaft cue tip is lost or becomes excessively worn or damaged, for example.

[0008] Yet another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved billiard cue stick the weight of which can be selectively varied to impart a desired balance to the cue stick, which bid cue stick is characterized by an elongated butt segment; an elongated shaft segment extending forwardly from the butt segment; a handle provided in the butt segment; an elongated weight slot provided in the handle; and a selected number of spherical weights removably fitted in the weight slot for imparting the desired weight and balance to the cue stick.

[0009] Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved billiard cue stick the weight of which can be selectively varied to impart a desired balance to the cue stick, which billiard cue stick is characterized by an elongated butt segment; an elongated shaft segment extending forwardly from the butt segment; a handle provided in the butt segment; multiple weight openings provided in the handle; and spherical weights removably fitted in selected ones of the weight openings for imparting the desired weight and balance to the cue stick.

[0010] A still further object of this invention is to provide a billiard cue stick characterized by a shaft segment which is terminated by a shaft cue tip for striking a cue ball in a game of billiards or pool, which shaft segment extends from a butt segment characterized by a central butt segment interior, multiple, parallel, longitudinally-extending splines disposed in adjacent, circumferentially spaced-apart relationship to each other and in surrounding relationship to the butt segment interior; spline spaces extending between adjacent splines and communicating with the butt segment interior; multiple spline braces provided in the butt segment interior in spaced-apart relationship to each other and connected to the splines; and grip strips provided on the exterior surfaces of the splines.

[0011] Another object of this invention is to provide a billiard cue stick characterized by an elongated butt segment having multiple, parallel, longitudinally-extending splines provided in circumferentially spaced-apart relationship to each other; a handle provided in the rear end section of the butt segment and an elongated weight slot or multiple, circular weight openings extending through the handle; a shaft segment removably attached to the front end portion of the butt segment; a removable shaft cue tip provided on the extending front end of the shaft segment and an extra cue tip removably fitted on the front end of the butt segment, which shaft cue tip can be selectively removed and replaced with the extra cue tip on the shaft segment, as needed under circumstances in which the shaft cue tip is lost or becomes excessively worn or damaged; and wherein a selected number of spherical weights can be removably fitted in the weight slot or weight openings in the handle of the butt segment for imparting a selected weight and balance to the billiard cue stick.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] These and other objects of the invention are provided in a new and improved, lightweights strong and durable billiard cue stick which is typically constructed of aluminum or other lightweight metal such as titanium and can be fitted with a selected number of removable weights for adjusting the weight and balance characteristics of the cue stick. In a preferred embodiment, the billiard cue stick is characterized by an elongated shaft segment the rear end of which is removably attached to an elongated, hollow butt segment and the extending front end of which shaft segment is terminated by a removable shaft cue tip, The rear end portion of the butt segment includes a handle provided with an elongated weight slot in one embodiment and multiple weight openings in another embodiment for removably receiving a selected number of spherical weights. The butt segment is further characterized by multiple, longitudinal splines provided in parallel, spaced-apart relationship to each other around the circumference of the butt segment, the outside surfaces of which splines are typically fitted with rubber or plastic grip strips. The front end of the butt segment, removably attached to the rear end of the shaft segment, is fitted with a removable extra cue tip. Accordingly, the shaft cue tip can be removed from the shaft segment and the shaft segment removed from the butt segment to facilitate removing the extra cue tip from the butt segment and replacing the shaft cue tip with the extra cue tip on the shaft segment, as needed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] The invention will be better understood by reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the billiard cue stick of this invention;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a perspective view, partially in section, of the butt segment portion of the billiard cue stick illustrated in FIG. 1;

[0016] FIG. 3 is an exploded, perspective view, partially in section, of the shaft segment and butt segment portions of the biliard cue stick, more particularly illustrating removable threaded attachment of the shaft segment to the butt segment;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a top view, partially in section, of the butt segment portion of the billiard cue stick, more particularly illustrating a spherical weight removably fitted in an elongated weight slot (partially in section) of the butt segment;

[0018] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view, taken along section lines 5-5 in FIG. 4, of the butt segment portion of the billiard cue stick;

[0019] FIG. 6 is an exploded, perspective view of the boilliard cue stick;

[0020] FIG. 7 is a perspective view, partially in section, of the butt segment portion of another embodiment of the billiard cue stick, with multiple weight openings extending through the handle of the butt segment and illustrating spherical weights seated in respective ones of the weight openings;

[0021] FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view, taken along section lines 8-8 in FIG. 7, of the billiard cue stick, with a spherical weight (illustrated in section) seated in one of the weight openings;

[0022] FIG. 9 is an exploded, perspective view, partially in section, of the butt segment portion of the billiard cue stick illustrated in FIG. 7, more particularly illustrating mounting of a seat plate in the handle of the butt segment and insertion of multiple spherical weights in the respective weight openings of the handle;

[0023] FIG. 10 is a perspective view, partially in section, of the butt segment portion of still another embodiment of the billiard cue stick, with multiple weight openings extending through the handle of the butt segment and illustrating spherical weights seated in respective ones of the weight openings;

[0024] FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view, taken along section lines 11-11 in FIG. 10, of the billiard cue stick, with a spherical weight (illustrated in section) seated in one of the weight openings; and

[0025] FIG. 12 is an exploded, perspective view, partially in section, of the butt segment portion of the billiard cue stick illustrated in FIG. 10, more particularly illustrating mounting of multiple ball seat o-rings in the handle of the butt segment and insertion of multiple spherical weights in the respective weight openings of the handle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0026] Referring initially to FIGS. 1 and 6 of the drawings, in a preferred embodiment the billiard cue stick of this invention is generally illustrated by reference numeral 1. The billiard cue stick 1 includes an elongated, hollow butt segment 2 and an elongated shaft segment 19, typically traversed by a continuous shaft segment bore 20 and the rear end 19a of which is removably attached to the front end portion 2a of the butt segment 2 as illustrated in FIG. 6 and hereinafter described. The butt segment 2 and shaft segment 19 are typically constructed of aluminum. As further illustrated in FIG. 6, a shaft cue tip 23, the purpose of which will be hereinafter described, is removably attached to the shaft segment 19, typically by threading a cue tip nipple 24, provided with nipple threads 24a, of the shaft cue tip 23 in the shaft segment bore 20 at the front end 19b of the shaft segment 19. An o-ring 22 is typically interposed between the front end 19b of the shaft segment 19 and the head portion of the attached shaft cue tip 23. The shaft segment 19 typically tapers slightly from the rear end 19a to the smaller-diameter front end 19b thereof.

[0027] Referring next to FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 6 of the drawings, a handle 3 is provided in the rear end section of the butt segment 2, and is typically fitted with a rubber or plastic handle cap 4. Multiple, elongated splines 9 typically taper slightly from the solid front end portion 3a of the handle 3 to the smaller-diameter, solid front end portion 2a of the butt segment 2. As illustrated in FIG. 5, each of the splines 9 is typically wedge-shaped in cross-section, and a butt section interior 2b traverses the center of the butt section 2 between the front end portion 3a of the handle 3 and the front end portion 2a of the butt segment 2, with the apices of the respective splines 9 disposed in surrounding relationship to the butt section interior 2b. Spline spaces 10 defined between the adjacent splines 9 communicate with the butt segment interior 2b. As illustrated in FIGS. 1, 4 and 6, multiple, spaced-apart spline braces 11 typically interrupt the central butt section interior 2b (FIG. 5) and each is typically continuous with or welded to the surrounding splines 9, as further illustrated in FIG. 5. The splines 9 of the butt segment 2 are typically fitted with elongated, rubber or plastic grip rods or strips 8 which enhance gripping capability of the billiard cue stick 1 in use as hereinafter described. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the grip strips 8 are typically seated in strip channels (not illustrated) provided in the exterior surfaces of the respective splines 9, and each grip strip 8 is typically bonded or otherwise secured to the corresponding spline 9, according to the knowledge of those skilled in the art. The grip strips 8 extend from the front end portion 3a of the handle 3 and terminate typically at approximately the longitudinal midpoint of the respective spines 9. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 6, a connecting nipple 13, fitted with nipple threads 13a and having a nipple interior 13b, extends from the front end portion 2a of the butt section 2, and defines a nipple shoulder 13c at the base of the connecting nipple 13. Accordingly, as further illustrated in FIG. 6, the nipple interior 13b of the connecting nipple 13 is adapted for removably receiving the smaller-diameter cue tip nipple 16 of an extra cue tip 15, similar in construction to the shaft cue tip 23 heretofore described and the purpose of which will be hereinafter described. The cue tip nipple 16 of the extra cue tip 15 is fitted with nipple threads 16a which engage companion connecting nipple threads (not illustrated), provided in the nipple interior 13b of the connecting nipple 13. A rubber or plastic o-ring 17 is typically interposed between the nipple shoulder 13c of the connecting nipple 13 and the adjacent nipple shoulder (not illustrated) of the extra cue tip 15. With the extra cue tip 15 removably threaded in the nipple interior 13b (FIG. 6) of the connecting nipple 13 as heretofore described and illustrated in FIG. 3, the butt segment 2 is removably attached to the shaft segment 19 by initially inserting the extra cue tip 15 in the shaft segment interior 20 at the rear end 19a of the shaft segment 19, and engaging the nipple threads 13a of the connecting nipple 13 with shaft threads (not illustrated), provided in the shaft segment bore 20 at the rear end 19a of the shaft segment 19.

[0028] As further illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, an elongated, typically elliptical weight slot 5 extends through the handle 3 of the butt segment 2 and defines a pair of opposing handle sides 5a, which weight slot 5 is typically separated from the central butt segment interior 2b (FIG. 5) by the intervening solid front end portion 3a of the handle 3. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the interior facing surfaces of the handle sides 5a inside the weight slot 5 are each typically provided with a pair of parallel seat strip grooves 7a (one pair of which is illustrated), each of which seat strip grooves 7a receives an elongated, resilient, typically rubber or plastic seat strip 7 which is typically bonded or otherwise secured to the corresponding handle side 5a in the seat strip groove 7a. The seat strips 7 protrude into the weight slot 5 and, as illustrated in FIG. 2, an elongated weight seat 6 is defined between each pair of protruding seat strips 7 on the corresponding handle side 5a in the weight slot 5. Accordingly, as further illustrated in FIG. 2, a selected number of spherical weights 25, typically constructed of marble, metal or plastic having a suitable density and weight, can be inserted in the weight slot 5 and removably lodged in the opposing weight seats 6 between the respective pairs of adjacent seat strips 7 on the interior surfaces of the respective handle sides 5a. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the weights 25 remain securely lodged in the weight slot 5 by operation of the opposing pairs of protruding seat strips 7, and the spherical weights 25 are thus incapable of inadvertently shifting along the transverse dimensions or rolling along the longitudinal dimension of the handle 3 in the weight slot 5, during use of the billiard cue stick 1 as hereinafter described.

[0029] Referring again to FIGS. 1-3 and 6 of the drawings, in typical application of the billiard cue stick 1, the shaft segment 19 is removably attached to the butt segment 2 as heretofore described with respect to FIG. 3, by threading the connecting nipple 13 (with the attached extra cue tip 15) in the shaft segment interior 20 (FIG. 3) at the rear end 19a of the shaft segment 19. A selected number of the spherical weights 25 are typically removably seated in the weight slot 5 of the handle 3 as heretofore described with respect to FIG. 2, in order to impart the desired weight and balance characteristics to the billiard cue stick 1. The billiard cue stick 1 is grasped by gripping the handle 3 or the splines 9 at the grip strips 8, and the felt-tipped shaft cue tip 23 (removably threaded on the front end of the shaft segment 19) is used in conventional fashion to strike a cue ball (not illustrated) resting on the surface of a billiard or pool table (also not illustrated) during a game of billiards or pool. Under circumstances in which the felt contact surface 23a of the shaft cue tip 23 is lost or becomes excessively worn or damaged after extended use of the billiard cue stick 1, the shaft cue tip 23 can be replaced on the shaft segment 19 with the extra cue tip 15. This is accomplished by initially unthreading the shaft segment 19 from the butt segment 2 at the connecting nipple 13, as illustrated in FIG. 3; unthreading the extra cue tip 15 from the connecting nipple 13, as illustrated in FIG. 6; unthreading the wore or damaged shaft cue tip 23 from the shaft segment 19; threading the extra cue tip 15 on the shaft segment 19; and threading the shaft segment 19 back on the connecting nipple 13 of the butt segment 2.

[0030] Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 5 of the drawings, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the billiard cue stick 1 of this invention is strong, durable, deformation resistant and lightweight due to the aluminum construction of the butt segment 2 and shaft segment 19 in combination with the hollow design of the butt segment 2 with the longitudinal splines 9. The butt segment 2 is typically constructed by cutting the butt segment interior 2b and communicating spline spaces 10 in solid cylindrical aluminum stock to form the splines 9 and spline braces 11, using conventional machining techniques known to those skilled in the art. It will be further appreciated by those skilled in the art that the number and distribution of the spherical weights 25 in the weight slot 5 of the handle 3 can be selected to impart a desired weight and balance to the butt segment 2 and “feel” to the billiard cue stick 1. Whereas in a preferred embodiment of the invention the butt segment 2 and shaft segment 19 are constructed of aluminum, it is understood that the butt segment 2 and shaft segment 19 can be constructed of titanium or other lightweight metal instead.

[0031] Referring next to FIGS. 7-9 of the drawings, in another embodiment of the billiard cue stick generally illustrated by reference numeral 27, the elongated weight slot 5 heretofore described with respect to FIGS. 1-6 is replaced by multiple, circular weight openings 28 which extend through the handle 3 of the butt segment 2 in adjacent relationship to each other, each of which weight openings 28 is capable of removably receiving a spherical weight 25. As illustrated in FIG. 9, an elongated, resilient, typically rubber or plastic seat plate 29, characterized by multiple, connected, circular weight seats 30 each having a central seat opening 31, is mounted in the handle 3, with the side edges 29a of the seat plate 29 inserted in opposing plate slots 40 provided in the respective handle sides 5a of the handle 3, as illustrated in FIG. 8. The seat openings 31 of the respective weight seats 30 of the seat plate 29 are disposed in substantially concentric relationship to the respective weight openings 28 in the handle 3. Because the seat openings 31 have a diameter which is slightly smaller than the diameter of the weight openings 28, each weight seat 30 protrudes into the corresponding weight opening 28 as further illustrated in FIG. 8. Accordingly, the spherical weights 25 can be removably inserted in selected ones of the weight openings 28 and friction-fitted in the corresponding concentric seat opening 31 of the resilient seat plate 29 to achieve a selected weight distribution and balance of the handle 3.

[0032] Referring next to FIGS. 10-12 of the drawings, in still another embodiment of the billiard cue stick, generally illustrated by reference numeral 33, the seat plate 29 described above with respect to FIGS. 7-9 is replaced by multiple ball seat o-rings 34, each of which is seated in a corresponding set of opposing ring slots 45 provided in the respective handle sides 5a of the handle 3 as illustrated in FIG. 11 Each ball seat o-ring 34 is disposed in surrounding, substantially concentric relationship with respect to a corresponding one of multiple, adjacent circular weight openings 28 which extend through the handle 3. The ball seat o-rings 34, having a diameter which is slightly smaller than that of the weight openings 28, protrude into the weight openings 28 to facilitate removably friction-fitting the spherical weights 25 in the ball seat o-rings 34 in selected ones of the weight openings 28, as illustrated.

[0033] It is understood that any of the features of the billiard cue stick described above can be provided in the billiard cue stick either alone or in combination with any of the other features. For example, the handle 3 with the weight slot 5 or weight openings 28 and removable weights 25 can be provided on the butt segment 2 of a billiard cue stick having the shaft segment 19 fixedly, rather than removably, attached to the butt segment 2, with or without the splines 9 in the butt section 2. In that case, the extra cue tip 15 on the butt segment 2 for discretionary installation on the shaft segment 19 as heretofore described, would be eliminated. Alternatively, the handle 3 can be provided with any design of weight-carrying facility known to those skilled in the art in combination with the spline 9 construction of the butt segment 2, the extra cue tip 15 feature with the shaft segment 19 removable from the butt segment 2, or both the spline 9 and extra cue tip 15 features. Still further in the alternative, the extra cue tip 15 feature with the butt segment 2 and detachable shaft segment 19 can be provided in the billiard cue stick either alone or in combination with the spline 9 construction and/or handle 3 and handle slot 5 or weight opening 28 design. In a most preferred embodiment of the invention, for optimum weight and balance characteristics of the billiard cue stick 1, the butt segment 2 has the spline 9 construction in combination with the handle 3 having the handle slot 25 or weight slot 28 for receiving a selected number of the spherical weights 25, in addition to the shaft segment 19 removable from the butt segment 2 and fitted with the removable extra cue tip 15,

[0034] While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been described above, it will be recognized and understood that various modifications can be made in the invention and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications which may fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.