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Title:
Bingo method of scoring bowling
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A bowling game variation of the game of bingo bowling is provided which allows for a bowling game wherein the bowlers can eliminate the “race” element of the game, and instead, play a bingo bowling game with scoring points being awarded. According to the invention, the bowler is given a set of shot or frame outcomes to achieve, and is awarded points based on the completion of the shot or frame outcomes within a pre-set time period or within a pre-set number of frames. Scoring for the card can be accomplished using a computer based system. This system allows for a wider variety of games to be played by a bowler.


Inventors:
Lavoie, Brian Lawrence (Thornhill, CA)
Paule, Hans Helmut (Pickering, CA)
Application Number:
09/985983
Publication Date:
05/08/2003
Filing Date:
11/07/2001
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63D5/04; A63D1/00; (IPC1-7): A63D1/00
View Patent Images:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARKS & CLERK (350 BURNHAMTHORPE ROAD WEST, MISSISSAUGA, ON, L5B 3J1, CA)
Claims:

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:



1. A method for playing a bingo bowling game wherein a bowler plays a shot or a frame by rolling one or a set number of bowling balls down a bowling lane with the aim of achieving one of a number of pre-set shot or frame outcomes, characterized in that the length of the bingo bowling game is controlled by either establishing a pre-set time period for achieving the shot or frame outcomes, or is controlled by establishing a pre-set number of frames for achieving the shot or frame outcomes.

2. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein said bowling lane is automated and computerized so that each lane will have a pin-setting mechanism, and a computerized scoring system.

3. A method as claimed in claim 2 wherein said pin-setting mechanism automatically set the pins in place, provides mechanisms for clearing balls and fallen pins from the lane during the frame, and mechanisms for resetting the pins in place after the completion of a frame.

4. A method as claimed in claim 2 wherein said computerized scoring system is able to determine when a ball has been thrown, and is able to determine which pins have been knocked down on each ball thrown in a frame.

5. A method as claimed in claim 4 wherein said computerized scoring system is able to determine which, of any, pre-set frame or shot outcomes have been achieved.

6. A method as claimed in claim 5 wherein said computerized scoring displays to the bowler different strategy choices, and allows the bowler to select these strategy choices through a bowler input panel.

7. A method for playing a bingo bowling game as claimed in claim 1 wherein a bowler plays a shot or a frame by rolling one or a set number of bowling balls down a bowling lane with the aim of achieving one of a number of pre-set shot or frame outcomes, characterized in that each shot or frame outcome possible is rated so as to have a point reward associated with said outcome, and the bowler attempts to maximize their point total by achieving any or all of the pre-set shot or frame outcomes within the bingo bowling game.

8. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the bowler is awarded with time extensions or additional games for achieving one or more predefined shot outcomes in a bowling game, or in a previous bowling game.

9. A method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the number of balls, pins and their arrangement, is compatible with standard bowling protocols so that the number of balls allowed per frame, and the number of pins used, are fully compatible with conventional pin-setting equipment.

10. A bingo bowling game wherein a bowler, either as an individual or as part of a team, plays a frame with the aim to achieve one of a number of pre-set shot or frame outcomes, characterized in that each shot or frame outcome possible or desired, is rated so as to have a point reward associated with said outcome, and the bowler attempts to maximize their point total by achieving any or all of the pre-set shot or frame outcomes within the bingo bowling game.

11. A bingo bowling game as claimed in claim 10 wherein said bingo bowling game is limited to a pre-set time period or a pre-set number of frames.

12. A bingo bowling game as claimed in claim 10 wherein said bowling lane is automated and computerized so that each lane will have a pin-setting mechanism, and a computerized scoring system.

13. A game as claimed in claim 12 wherein said pin-setting mechanism automatically set the pins in place, provides mechanisms for clearing balls and fallen pins from the lane during the frame, and mechanisms for resetting the pins in place after the completion of a frame.

14. A game as claimed in claim 12 wherein said computerized scoring system is able to determine when a ball has been thrown, and is able to determine which pins have been knocked down on each ball thrown in a frame.

15. A game as claimed in claim 14 wherein said computerized scoring system is able to determine which, of any, pre-set frame or shot outcomes have been achieved.

16. A game as claimed in claim 15 wherein said computerized scoring system displays to the bowler different strategy choices, and allows the bowler to select these strategy choices through a bowler input panel.

17. A game for playing a bingo bowling game as claimed in claim 10 wherein a bowler plays a shot or a frame by rolling one or a set number of bowling balls down a bowling lane with the aim of achieving one of a number of pre-set shot or frame outcomes, characterized in that each shot or frame outcome possible is rated so as to have a point reward associated with said outcome, and the bowler attempts to maximize their point total by achieving any or all of the pre-set shot or frame outcomes within the bingo bowling game.

18. A game as claimed in claim 10 wherein the number of balls, pins and their arrangement, is compatible with standard bowling protocols so that the number of balls allowed per frame, and the number of pins used, are fully compatible with conventional pin-setting equipment.

19. A game as claimed in claim 18 wherein the number of pins standing at the beginning of each frame is either 5 or 10 pins.

20. A game as claimed in claim 19 wherein 2 or 3 balls are thrown per frame.

21. A bingo bowling game system for use with a bowling lane having a plurality of bowling pins, wherein a bowler rolls one or more balls down the lane to knock the pins down, the system comprising: pin-setting equipment for automatically setting the pins at the beginning of a frame, clearing balls and pins from the lane during the course of play of a frame, and re-setting the pins to their initial position at the end of the frame; and a bingo bowling computerized scoring system comprising: a game initiating means for selecting one or more bingo bowling games; a display system for displaying a set of shot or frame outcomes to be achieved during said bingo bowling game; sensors for detecting when a ball is thrown and the number and location of the pins knocked over by said ball; a comparison means for determining whether the pins knocked over by each ball of the frame meet any of the pre-set shot or frame outcome objectives in the set; a display system for displaying when the bowler has successfully achieved a shot or frame outcome objective in the set; a score calculation means for awarding a point score for each shot or frame outcome objective achieved in the set, in accordance with a pre-set table of point awards; and, game termination means for terminating said bingo bowling game after a pre-set time period, a pre-set number of frames, or after achievement, by one or more teams or players, of all pre-set outcomes of said set.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention generally relates to bowling, and, more particularly, to a variation of a bowling game commonly known as “bingo” bowling.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Bowling is a very popular pastime throughout the world. The basic concept of a standard bowling game is to roll a series of balls (typically 2 or 3) down a bowling lane to knock down a plurality of pins (typically 5 or 10 pins) at the far end of the lane. Each set of two or three balls is termed a frame, and after the two or three balls have been thrown, the frame has ended and the pins are re-set to their initial position. Knocking down all pins on the first ball is typically called a “strike”, and knocking down all pins with two balls is called a “spare”. Knocking down all pins also ends the frame. At the end of the frame, a score is awarded for the number of pins knocked down. A game generally consists of 10 frames.

[0003] Bowling games using non-standard scoring techniques and/or objectives are also known. For example, bowlers occasionally play the non-standard bowling game frequently called “bingo” bowling. In bingo bowling, the bowler receives a card (or a list) of a number of possible frame or shot outcomes and attempts to achieve all of the frame or shot outcomes listed on the card in the shortest period possible. For example, the card could list possible outcomes, such as, a strike, a spare, a score of 3, 5, 8 or the like. This variation of the game is described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,437,575 (Douglass, Jr.) and, in a related manner, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,017,278 (Benko), although the basic bingo bowling game has been known for a number of years.

[0004] Bingo bowling is particularly useful in “team” application where a number of bowlers of different skill levels are joined together in order to compete against other teams by achieving all of the listed outcomes on the card as quickly as possible. Using this arrangement, bingo bowling enables bowlers of widely different skill levels to compete (as individuals or as part of a team) with one another.

[0005] Operators of bowling centres are constantly looking for ways to interest broader segments of the population in bowling. However, bingo bowling games can take a comparatively long time to play since the game generally requires at least one or two shots which may be difficult to achieve, particularly for a group of unskilled bowlers. Also, bingo bowling is generally only of interest if more than one team is available, since bingo bowling requires competition between teams to determine which team is first to complete all of the outcomes listed on their card.

[0006] Further, since the various bowlers are competing against one another, difficulties arise if one lane is prevented from bowling due to, for example, mechanical problems such as pinsetter problems like pin jams, string tangles and the like. In this scenario, all lanes playing the game will stop until the one lane is again ready for play.

[0007] Additionally, once one team has won the game, all other teams are considered to have lost the game, and it is difficult to allocate prizes to anyone on the basis that they finished second, third, etc. Yet further, it is essentially impossible to calculate league standings for traditional bingo bowling over a number of games based on a simple won/lost approach, or to have other teams compete in the same game, at a different time.

[0008] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the present invention to provide a bowling game variation which is played over a definite time or a pre-set number of frames.

[0009] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a game wherein a single team or bowler can play alone or against the clock, so that their game score might be compared to other teams or bowlers at a later time.

[0010] Additionally, it is an object of the present invention to provide a bowling game variation in which the performance of each of the individual players or teams can be ranked in order to determine the relative performance of each of the players or teams compared to other players or teams.

[0011] These and other objects are at least partially attained by providing a bingo bowling game in which play is restricted to variations wherein the players attempt to complete the card outcome requirements in the fewest frames possible. Alternatively, the objects of the invention are at least partially attained by providing a bingo bowling game in which play is restricted to clearing the most requirements from the card in a set time period and/or in a set number of frames.

[0012] Most preferably, however, the objects of the invention are met by providing a bingo bowling game wherein each frame and/or shot outcome is rated according to a point system and the players attempt to score as many points as possible in the fewest frames and/or within a set time period.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] Accordingly, the present invention provides a method for playing a bingo bowling game wherein a bowler plays a shot or a frame by rolling one or a set number of bowling balls down a bowling lane with the aim of achieving one of a number of pre-set shot or frame outcomes, characterized in that the length of the bingo bowling game is controlled by either establishing a pre-set time period for achieving the shot or frame outcomes, or is controlled by establishing a pre-set number of frames for achieving the shot or frame outcomes.

[0014] In a further embodiment, the present invention provides a bingo bowling game wherein a bowler, either as an individual or as part of a team, plays a frame with the aim to achieve one of a number of pre-set shot or frame outcomes, characterized in that each shot or frame outcome possible or desired, is rated so as to have a point reward associated with said outcome, and the bowler attempts to maximize their point total by achieving any or all of the pre-set shot or frame outcomes within the bingo bowling game. In this variation, the bingo bowling game might be based on the prior art system of playing until one player or team completes all of the pre-set shot or frame outcomes listed, however, preferably, the bingo bowling game is limited to a pre-set time period or a pre-set number of frames, as described hereinabove with respect to the present invention. At the end of the pre-set time period, or after the pre-set number of frames have been played, the point totals of the individual teams and/or players can be totaled, and the teams and/or players can be ranked according to their point totals.

[0015] Thus, the present invention also provides a method for playing a bingo bowling game wherein a bowler plays a shot or a frame by rolling one or a set number of bowling balls down a bowling lane with the aim of achieving one of a number of pre-set shot or frame outcomes, characterized in that each shot or frame outcome possible, is rated so as to have a point reward associated with said outcome, and the bowler attempts to maximize their point total by achieving any or all of the pre-set shot or frame outcomes within the bingo bowling game. Preferably, the bingo bowling game is limited to a pre-set time period or a pre-set number of frames.

[0016] For the purposes of the present invention, the term “bingo bowling” is used to describe any bowling game wherein a bowler attempts to achieve a number of pre-set frame or shot outcomes by rolling one or more balls down a bowling lane, having a plurality of bowling pins, in order to knock down one of more of the pins. The game is normally played with either 5 or 10 pins standing at the beginning of each frame, although other pin numbers may be used. A frame is generally defined as a series of either 2 or 3, and possibly more, balls rolled down the lane. Each frame ends after all of the pins have been knocked down, or the bowler has delivered the maximum number of balls allowed per frame.

[0017] Further, it is now commonplace for bowling lanes to be automated and/or computerized so that each lane will have a pin-setting system, and a computerized scoring system. The pin-setting system preferably automatically set the pins in place, provides mechanisms for clearing balls and fallen pins from the lane during the frame, and mechanisms for resetting the pins in place after the completion of a frame.

[0018] With respect to the prior art, the computerized scoring system is preferably able to determine when a ball has been thrown (such as with an electronic beam which is broken as the ball passes), and for determining which pins have been knocked down on each ball thrown in a frame. Accordingly, the computerized scoring system would be able to calculate and display frame scores and game totals to the players. Further, the computerized scoring system also preferably interfaces with the pin-setting system so that, on command, the pin-setting system will act.

[0019] With respect to the present invention, the computerized scoring system would also be able to determine which pins have been knocked down for each ball. Accordingly, the computerized scoring system would thus be able to determine which, of any, pre-set frame or shot outcomes have been achieved. Based on this information, the computerized scoring system could display to the player different strategy choices, and allow the player to select these strategy choices through a bowler input panel. This panel could consist of one or more push buttons on a console, but could also be located on a standard computer keyboard, on a touch-screen display, or by some other input device.

[0020] Accordingly, in an additional aspect, the present invention also provides a bingo bowling game system for use with a bowling lane having a plurality of bowling pins, wherein a bowler rolls one or more balls down the lane to knock the pins down, the system comprising:

[0021] pin-setting equipment for automatically setting the pins at the beginning of a frame, clearing balls and pins from the lane during the course of play of a frame, and re-setting the pins to their initial position at the end of the frame; and

[0022] a bingo bowling computerized scoring system comprising:

[0023] a game initiating means for selecting one or more bingo bowling games;

[0024] a display system for displaying a set of shot or frame outcomes to be achieved during said bingo bowling game;

[0025] sensors for detecting when a ball is thrown and the number and location of the pins knocked over by said ball;

[0026] a comparison means for determining whether the pins knocked over by each ball of the frame meet any of the pre-set shot or frame outcome objectives in the set;

[0027] a display system for displaying when the bowler has successfully achieved a shot or frame outcome objective in the set;

[0028] a score calculation means for awarding a point score for each shot or frame outcome objective achieved in the set, in accordance with a pre-set table of point awards; and,

[0029] game termination means for terminating said bingo bowling game after a pre-set time period, a pre-set number of frames, or after achievement, by one or more teams or players, of all pre-set outcomes of said set.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0030] In the preferred embodiment, the number of balls, pins and their arrangement, is compatible with standard bowling protocols so that the number of balls allowed per frame, and the number of pins used, are fully compatible with conventional automatic bowling equipment. For example, the number of pins and their arrangement is preferably compatible with bowling lane pin-setting equipment that normally clears the lane of all knocked down pins after each ball roll, and/or resets the pins into their starting configuration after, for example, the player has rolled two successive balls, in a tenpin or rubber duckpin game, or after three balls in a fivepin, candlepin, or hard-belly duckpin game.

[0031] In one example implementation, paper scoring sheets may be used to play the bowling games. In accordance with another aspect provided by this invention, however, in one preferred embodiment, scoring is performed automatically using a computerized scoring system. In this computerized embodiment, grids of pre-set shot and/or frame outcomes are automatically displayed on a visual display such as a video monitor. As bowlers successfully bowl to match boxes in the grid, the computer automatically records the shot or frame outcomes achieved, and changes the appearance of the grid display to reflect the bowler's success. For example, the computerized scoring section of the bowling system might cause the boxe(es) the bowler has already matched to flash or be displayed in a different colour, or to be removed from the screen. Upon achieving all of the pre-set boxes defined by the grid, that set may flash or change colour to indicate that the bowler has successfully completed the game.

[0032] Further, the computerized system can be used to record the number of frames bowled, and the time elapsed since the beginning of the game, and thus can advise the player when an optional, pre-set game time or frame number has been reached.

[0033] Additionally, in a game wherein points are awarded, the computerized system can be used to calculate the number of points awarded for each player or team. The final point totals for the game can be displayed for all players. Additionally, a “running” score total can be displayed to all teams so that the teams can adjust their strategy to attempt different shots based on their position or standings.

[0034] For the bowling lane operator, new games are begun within a set time period, or within a set number of frames. With the potential for an increased number of games, the bowlers have a higher interest level since new games may occur more frequently.

[0035] The present invention thus provides a new approach to bowling that maintains a higher level of player interest while offering the challenge of a game of strategy and skill and providing frequent winners. Also, since the pre-set shot or frame outcomes are to be achieved in a pre-set time or pre-set number of frames, and/or since the point value of the shot or frame outcomes are calculated, games (and in particular, league games) can be played at different times and the results compared later.

[0036] The shot and/or frame outcome requirements provided to the player in the card at the beginning of the bingo bowling game will be dependent on the type of bowling game selected. For example, in tenpin bowling, each of the ten pins is worth one point, and the bowler is allowed two balls per frame. Thus, as described in the patent to Benko, the frame outcome could include a strike (all balls knocked down with one ball), a spare (all pins knocked down with two balls), or some variation of pins knocked down with the first and second ball (e.g. “7-2” meaning 7 pins knocked down with the first ball, and 2 with the second ball).

[0037] In a regular game of fivepin bowling, the centre pin is typically worth a score of 5, the two pins adjacent to the centre pin are each worth a score of 3, and each of the two outside pins are worth a score of 2. A frame in fivepin bowling typically consists of rolling 3 balls. Thus, the pre-set outcomes in a game of fivepin bingo bowling typically relate to the score achieved in the frame, with three ball score totals of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15 being possible.

[0038] Other values such as a strike or a spare, as defined with respect to tenpin bowling, can be included as pre-set shot or frame outcomes. Further, in fivepin bowling, the outcome of the first ball of the frame can also be recorded depending on the outcome of the ball. For example, hitting only the centre (or “head” pin) can be recorded as “H”. Other outcomes are also possible, as described hereinbelow in Table 1. Accordingly, the points scale used for fivepin bingo bowling can include these first shot outcomes.

[0039] The bingo bowling game of the present invention is suitable for use in traditional fivepin or tenpin bowling lanes. However, the bingo bowling game may be used in any bowling situation including games having more or less than five or ten pins. Also, the shape of the pins may vary so that traditional fivepin or tenpin bowling pins may be used, as well as other pin variants such as candlestick pins, duck pins (both hard belly and rubber) and the like. These different pin types are well known to those skilled in the art.

[0040] The points awarded for achieving the pre-set shot or frame outcomes can also vary depending of the type and nature of the game played. An example of a suitable fivepin bingo bowling point scale which might be used is presented in Table 1. However, it will be clearly understood by the skilled artisan that other point scale tables may be used in place of the exemplified table. 1

TABLE 1
Example of a Fivepin Bingo Bowling Game Point Set
Frame Score orRelative
First Ball OutcomeExplanationDifficultyPoints
6Frame Score10 50
9Frame Score8-940
AHead pin and both 3 pins735
on first ball
12 Frame Score6-730
XStrike425
RAll pins except outside523
right 2 pin on first ball
LAll pins except outside523
left 2 pin on first ball
CHead pin, 3 pin and 2 pin520
from one side on first
ball
SHead pin and one adjacent518
3 pin, from either side,
on first ball
15 Frame Score415
HHead Pin only on first415
ball
/Spare315
13 Frame Score313
11 Frame Score4-511
10 Frame Score210
8Frame Score4-58
7Frame Score27
5Frame Score15
3Frame Score4-53
4Frame Score24
2Frame Score12
FFree Cell00

[0041] Use of this scoring system allows the bowler to use some strategy in determining their next shot within a frame. For example, if the bowler removes only the centre (head) pin on their first shot, they have the option of taking the 5 points for a frame score, 15 points for the head pin only (“H”), or the option to carry on throwing the remaining two balls in an attempt to achieve other scores (such as, for example, a score of 9 with a point value of 40).

[0042] Further, if a player or team realizes that it needs a given number of points to win the game, it can attempt to achieve the outcomes which will provide it with the necessary points.

[0043] Generally, each bingo bowling card of the present invention will have a series of frame or first shot outcomes, and once that score or outcome is achieved, there is no further advantage to repeating that score or outcome unless the score or outcome appears twice on the card.

[0044] Each player or team can play using the same card for a particular game, or each player or team could have its own card. Further, card could be grouped so as to provide the same maximum points per card. For example, a 5 by 5 card with 25 possible scores or outcomes, might have a maximum total score available of, for example 300 to 600 points for an average game. Different cards having the same point total could be used to provide games of the same relative difficulty for a particular group of players. Thus, cards could be made having easily achievable scores for novice or junior players, or could be made extremely difficult for the more advanced player.

[0045] Also, the cards could be set up to emphasize only certain shots. For example, the card could be set up so that only first shots hitting the head pin are accepted, or so that only corner pins are accepted (point totals of 4 only for the frame), or that only strikes are accepted.

[0046] Further, the cards could be set up to provide a bonus award for completing the outcome of a particular box. The location of the bonus box could be kept secret so that winning the bonus will be random or the bowler will need to keep track of all possible outcomes to try to determine which box is the bonus box. Thus, the bowler might adjust their strategy in order to try to locate the bonus box, and thus achieve the bonus box score.

[0047] In a further variation, the bonus box might move from box to box on the card as the game progresses. To win the bonus box, the frame or shot outcome would have to be achieved when the bonus box had moved to that box.

[0048] Using a computerized system, the scoring system could be programmed to automatically select an outcome and start a new frame once a outcome has been achieved, and no other outcome is possible. For example, if the head pin only is removed on the first ball, and only an outcome of “H” or “4” is left on the scorecard, the computer could automatically select the “H” outcome. In this situation, throwing the two remaining balls of the frame would be counterproductive since an outcome of “4” would not be possible on this frame.

[0049] Alternatively, or additionally, the computerized scoring system could allow for early selection of an outcome (even though other outcomes are still possible) in order that the player or team can use some strategy to obtain points at that particular time, and thus end the frame prematurely.

[0050] In the most preferred embodiment, the computerized systems automatically tracks the score of each player or team for a specified time period or for a specified number of frames. The scores of each player or team can then be compared and the results of the bingo bowling game can be presented to each player or team.

[0051] The computerized scoring system of the bingo bowling system can also be used to synchronize game play amongst a number of teams or players so that, for example, each team or player begins a game at the same time. The computerized scoring system can also automatically record scores and scoring details in order to provide information on player statistics, game scoring histories, and the like, and allow league play where different teams play various cards on a given game day, but would play the same cards over the course of a league series.

[0052] This type of computerized scoring system would be ideally suited for a system wherein a series of “scoring” computers are located at or near the lanes where the games are being played, and the scoring computers are connected to a master computer which records information from the scoring computer units.

[0053] Other game formats are possible wherein the same card is used for a number of games but the player or team is required to meet certain patterns in the card (e.g. on a 5 by 5 card, achieve the result shown in all four corners and the centre “box”, or the top row only, or the left column only, or any similar selection).

[0054] Thus, the present invention provides a game of skill wherein the quantity of pins the bowler knocks down with each roll of the bowling ball is compared with a predetermined pattern for a possible match; and the outcome of the game is determined by the attainment, through the skill of the bowler in knocking down certain quantities or patterns of pins with the bowling ball, according to predetermined rules.

[0055] In a further variation, however, the bingo bowling game of the present invention can also be set up to award bowlers for achieving certain point or frame or shot outcomes. For example, a bowler could be awarded a “free” game for achieving a set number of points in a set number of frames, or in a given time period. The bowler could also be given time extensions to complete the game or a subsequent game, as an award for completing some task in a game played. The award system might also be set-up in a manner similar to a video game, wherein, on completing a set of shot or frame objectives, the bowler would be given a new card having a different, and potentially more difficult, set of frame or shot outcomes. In this manner, a single bowler (or a single team of bowlers) would be encouraged to continue bowling in order to attempt to complete a series of cards in order to reach a card with a certain difficulty level. This variation could provide a method for bowlers to practice a series of bowling shots while providing some feed-back on their bowling skills.

[0056] Other features of the present invention, as well as other objects and advantages attendant thereto, are set forth in the following description and the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals depict like elements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0057] A preferred embodiment of the bowling bingo game of the present invention will now be described by reference to the following drawings wherein:

[0058] FIG. 1 is a depiction of the pin arrangement for a standard fivepin and tenpin bowling game;

[0059] FIG. 2 is a depiction of a bingo bowling card of use in the present invention;

[0060] FIG. 3 is a depiction of a series of bingo bowling cards each of which has a point value of 300 points;

[0061] FIG. 4 is a depiction of a series of bingo bowling cards each of which has a point value of 450 points;

[0062] FIG. 5 is a depiction of a series of different bingo bowling cards showing a variety of different game options; and

[0063] FIG. 6 shows an example automated bowling computer system providing game play in accordance with this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0064] In FIG. 1, one end of a bowling lane 10 is shown wherein the pins for a standard fivepin (FIG. 1A), and a standard tenpin (FIG. 1B) bowling game are shown. As is commonly known, the bowler stands at one end of the bowling lane and rolls a bowling ball to knock over all of the pins. In a tenpin game, each pin 11 is typically given a value of 1 point. Accordingly, knocking down all pins results in a minimum score of 10 points. In a fivepin game, the centre pin 12 is generally given a value of 5 points. The two pins 14 adjacent the centre pin 12 are each given a value of 3 points. The outside comer pins 16 are given a value of 2 points each. Accordingly, knocking down all pins results in a minimum score of 15 points in that frame.

[0065] In FIG. 2, a bingo bowling scorecard 20 is shown of use in a fivepin bingo bowling game. The card has 25 boxes arranged in a 5 by 5 pattern. The player or team attempts to achieve all of the 25 scores (or outcomes) shown on the card or as many as possible during the time and/or frame restrictions for the game. The symbols used on the card are those symbols described hereinabove in Table 1.

[0066] Using the scoring system described in Table 1, the point value of this card is 300, meaning that, if all outcomes were achieved, the player or team would score 300 points. If only part of the card were completed at the end of the game (either as a result of time, frame numbers, or others completing their cards), the team would received the points for only those outcomes on the card that were achieved.

[0067] The card can be printed on paper and provided to the players. However, in a preferred embodiment, the “card” is generated by a computerized scoring system and displayed on a screen. The points won by the player or team are then calculated automatically by the computerized scoring system.

[0068] In FIG. 3, four additional cards 30, 32, 34 and 36 are shown with different frame or shot outcomes. However, the point value for completing each card is 300 points. Thus, for a given skill level, a number of different games may be played.

[0069] In FIG. 4, four additional cards are shown 40, 42, 44 and 46 with different shot or frame outcomes. The point values for these cards, however is 450 points indicating that these cards are generally more difficult to complete than the cards shown in FIG. 3.

[0070] In FIG. 5, five additional cards are shown 50, 52, 54, 56 and 58. These cards are generally speciality cards used for selected practice, or for specific groups. Card 50 has a point count of only 60 points and includes a number of “free” boxes (denoted as “F”). This card would be suitable for children or novice bowlers. Card 52 has a point count of 175 and would be suitable for junior bowlers. Card 54 is set to allow only strikes and has a point score of 600 with one free box. Card 56 displays a game where the head pin must be hit on the first ball. The point score for this card is 545 points. Card 58 displays a game wherein only the corner pins can be removed. Thus, the score for each frame will be 4 if both corner pins are knocked down without disturbing the remaining pins. The point total for this card is 100 points.

[0071] All of the games shown on these scorecards can be played until one player or team completes the card. However, in a preferred embodiment, a time restriction and/or a restriction on the number of frames can be imposed. In this manner, new games are begun on a regular basis, and the interest level of the bowler is maintained.

[0072] In FIG. 6, an automatic bingo bowling computerized scoring system 100 is shown. In this example, bingo bowling computerized scoring system 100 includes a master computer 102 electronically connected to a number of various scoring computers 116, which in turn, are connected to scoring stand displays 115 with bowler pushbuttons, and overhead lane displays 114. Additionally, scoring computers 116 are connected, in this example, to bowling lane equipment (not shown) which automatically senses when a bowling ball has been bowled down a lane, and automatically detects which bowling pins have been knocked down by the bowling ball. Such automatic control by a computer of bowling lane equipment is known by those of ordinary skill in the art.

[0073] Master computer 102 is also connected to a printer 103.

[0074] In accordance with the present invention, master computer 102 and scoring computers 116 are used in this example for the purposes of initiating and coordinating games based on the scorecards described hereinabove with respect to the present invention. Master computer 102 is used for building, storing, recalling and editing a multitude of game cards, which are individually displayed to the bowler(s). The point totals won by each player or team on a given lane may be kept by scoring computers 116, wherein points are awarded in accordance with a pre-set table of point awards, such as the pre-set table shown above in Table 1.

[0075] In response to commands inputted from the system operator via the master computer, the scoring computer generates scorecards from memory and displays them to the bowlers through displays 114. The frame outcomes may be determined automatically by the scoring computer, or may, in limited circumstances such as, for example, where two scoring options are available, be inputted by the bowler through the push buttons located on scoring stands 115. Scoring computers 116 may automatically monitor and tabulate the bowling results achieved by each player or team, and can display to each player or team the outcomes or frame scores which have been achieved, and their current point total won for the game. Scoring computer 116 can also be capable of terminating one or all of the games being played when one team has completed all outcomes on the scorecard, or can terminate the game(s) at the end of a set number of frames or after a pre-set time period. Scoring computer 116 can then transfer game results to the master computer 102. Master computer 102 can then record a variety of information concerning the game card (e.g. best score, quickest time etc.), or can record statistics for the individual bowlers or teams. These results can be printed from the master computer using printer 103.

[0076] Thus, it is apparent that there has been provided, in accordance with the present invention, a bingo bowling game which fully satisfies the means, objects, and advantages set forth hereinbefore. Therefore, having described specific embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that alternatives, modifications and variations thereof may be suggested to those skilled in the art, and that it is intended that the present specification embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations as fall within the scope of the appended claims.

[0077] Additionally, for clarity and unless otherwise stated, the word “comprise” and variations of the word such as “comprising” and “comprises”, when used in the description and claims of the present specification, is not intended to exclude other additives, components, integers or steps.