Title:
Lighted sports game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides sporting equipment having lights.



Inventors:
Oister, Michael J. (Superior, CO, US)
Doherty, Thomas M. (Denver, CO, US)
Boettcher, William C. (Denver, CO, US)
Schmitt, David (Denver, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/429065
Publication Date:
11/04/2004
Filing Date:
05/01/2003
Assignee:
OISTER MICHAEL J.
DOHERTY THOMAS M.
BOETTCHER WILLIAM C.
SCHMITT DAVID
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/371, 473/220, 473/476, 473/494, 473/524, 473/588, 273/348
International Classes:
A63B43/06; A63B49/00; A63B57/00; A63B59/00; A63B61/00; A63B63/00; A63B67/14; A63B67/18; A63H33/18; F41J3/00; F42B6/00; F42B12/38; A63B37/00; A63B53/00; A63B59/06; A63B59/10; A63B59/14; A63B63/08; (IPC1-7): A63B43/06; A63B63/00; A63B69/36; F41J1/00
View Patent Images:
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20040005934Golf swing training systemJanuary, 2004Battaglia



Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOLLAND & HART, LLP (222 South Main Street, Suite 2200 P.O. Box 11583, SALT LAKE CITY, UT, 84147, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. An apparatus, comprising: a ball; the ball having an outer surface; at least one lighting element; the at least one lighting element comprising a light source and an elongated member; the elongated member capable of radiating light from the light source; and the at least one lighting element is couple to at least a portion of the outer peripheral surface.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the ball comprises at least one of a baseball, a soccer ball, a football, a volley ball, a basketball, a lacrosse ball, a shot-put, a discus, a hockey puck, a horseshoe, a golf ball, a bowling ball, a tennis ball, a racket ball, a softball, a squash ball, a handball, shuttlecock, a bocce ball, a croquet ball, and a ping pong ball.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the light source comprises at least one of a florescent light, an incandescent light, a halogen light, a light string, a lcd, a led, a laser, an electroluminescent light source, a chemical light source, a light tube, or a flexible light wire.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the at least one lighting element forms a design on the outer surface of the ball.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: at least one channel residing on at least a portion of the outer surface of the ball; and the at least one lighting element held in at least part of the at least one channel.

6. An apparatus, comprising: a handle portion; a striking surface portion; the handle portion is couple to the striking surface portion; at least one lighting element; the at least one lighting element comprising a light source and an elongated member; and the at least one lighting element is coupled to at least one the handle portion and the striking surface portion.

7. The apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the handle portion and striking surface portion form at least one of a baseball bat, a softball bat, a cricket paddle, a tennis racket, a badminton racket, a hockey stick, a golf club, croquet mallet, a racket ball racket, a lacrosse stick, and a field hockey stick.

8. The apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the light source comprises at least one of a florescent light, an incandescent light, a halogen light, a light string, a lcd, a led, a laser, an electroluminescent light source, a chemical light source, a light tube, or a flexible light wire.

9. The apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the at least one lighting element is coupled to at least one of a handle outer surface and a striking surface outer surface.

10. The apparatus according to claim 6, further comprising: at least one translucent portion; the at least one translucent portion forming at least a portion of at least one of the handle portion and the striking surface portion; wherein the at least one lighting element resides internal to at least one of the handle portion and the striking surface portion and light is radiated out the at least one translucent portion.

11. A sports game, comprising: a goal; the goal having at least a frame; at least one lighting element; the at least one lighting element comprising a light source and an elongated member; and the at least one lighting element coupled to the goal to provide lighting effects.

12. The sports game according to claim 11, wherein the goal comprises at least one of a football goal, a soccer goal, a lacrosse goal, a golf hole, a dart target, a hockey goal, a field hockey goal, water polo goal, a polo goal, and a rugby goal.

13. The sports game according to claim 11, wherein the goal comprises: a net; and the at least one lighting element is coupled to at least one of the frame and the net.

14. The sports game according to claim 11, wherein the goal comprises: a backboard; and the at least one lighting element is coupled to at least the backboard.

15. The sports game according to claim 13, wherein the goal further comprises a backboard and the at least one lighting element is coupled to the backboard.

16. A sports game, comprising: at least one accessory; the at least one accessory comprises at least one of a net, a flag, a pylon, a boundary, a bow, a flag, a pole, and a target; at least one lighting element; the at least one lighting element comprising a light source and an elongated member; and the at least one lighting element coupled to the at least one accessory to provide lighting effects.

17. The sports game according to claim 16, wherein the at least one accessory comprises a target, wherein the target is at least one of a lawn dart target, a dart target, and an archery target.

18. The sports game according to claim 16, wherein the at least one accessory comprises a flag, wherein the flag is at least one of a golf hole flag, a soccer corner flag, and a flag football flag.

19. The sports game according to claim 16, wherein the at least one accessory comprises a net, wherein the net is a volley ball net, a badminton net, a tennis net, and a ping-pong ball net.

20. The sports game, comprising: at least one piece of sporting equipment; means for providing light; and means for attaching, wherein the means for attaching couples the means for providing light to the at least one piece of sporting equipment.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to games and, more particularly, to sports games having a lighted component.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Many types of sports games exist. Some of the more popular sports games include, but are not limited to, croquet, Frisbee, baseball, football, soccer, basketball, hockey, golf, lacrosse, jai alai, field hockey, rugby, ping pong, and various target games such as horseshoes, bocce, darts, lawn darts, and the like. These games are typically played during daylight hours or under lights after dark. Often, when the available light drops below optimum levels, however, these games become impractical or even dangerous.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] To attain the advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, a sports game is provided with at least one item having a light source.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0004] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the present invention, and together with the description, serve to explain the principles thereof. Like items in the drawings are referred to using the same numerical reference:

[0005] FIG. 1 is a plan view of a sport ball illustrative of the present invention;

[0006] FIGS. 2-4 are sectional plan views of a light illustrative of the present invention;

[0007] FIGS. 5-15 are illustrations of some alternative lights illustrative of the present invention;

[0008] FIGS. 16-19 shows a cross-sectional view of a light attached to an item consistent with the present invention; and

[0009] FIGS. 20-46 show view of various sporting games with lights consistent with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0010] The present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 1-46. Referring first to FIG. 1, a ball 10 including a channel 12 that extends at least partially around a periphery 16 of ball 10 is shown. A lighting element 14 is housed at least partially within channel 12. Lighting element 14 can fill all or part of channel 12 as a matter of design choice. Also, lighting element 14 could be attached directly to periphery 16 of ball 10 without the use of channel 12, but it is believed channel 12 will provide some protection to lighting element 14 to increase durability. The ball 10 could be, for example, a baseball, a soccer ball, a football, a volley ball, a basketball, a lacrosse ball, a shot-put, a discus, a flying disc, a hockey puck, a golf ball, a bowling ball, a tennis ball, a racket ball, a softball, a squash ball, a handball, shuttlecock, a bocce ball, a croquet ball, a ping pong ball, or the like. In other words, ball is used generically. The specific examples given here and provided below, should be construed in an exemplary and non-limiting manner.

[0011] Although the ball 10 is shown having a single channel 12 extending around the periphery 16, multiple channels, partial channels, or other designs are possible. Further, channel 12 could be formed to depict figures or whimsical designs, such as, for example, a croquet ball could have the design of a mallet, a baseball a design of a batter, or other more abstract designs. Alternatively, lighting element 14 may extend around periphery 16 of ball 10 without residing in channel 12, in other words, channel 12 would not exist in periphery 16 of ball 10. Yet another alternative would be to have lighting element 14 or multiple lighting elements 14 reside, in part, in channel 12 and, in part, outside channel 12 to provide different lighting effects. Still further, reflective elements 14a could be placed on ball 10 to provide additional lighting effects, such as, reflection, refraction, dispersion, or prism effects.

[0012] Channel 12 and/or lighting element 14 may include a transparent, translucent or semi-translucent protective covering (not specifically shown in FIG. 1, but described in relation to FIGS. 17 and 18) to protect lighting element 14, at least a portion of which is light transmissive (i.e., transparent, translucent, or semi-translucent). Varying degrees of translucence (from opaque to transparent) could be used as a matter of design choice to provide patterns of light and shading. The protective covering may include, for example, a flexible sheeting material such as a fabric, polymer or other material to protect lighting element 14. Various protective covering materials and configurations, for example, are described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,450,678 entitled “Interior Decorating Item and Use of an Optical Wave Guide as Decorative Thread on Such Interior Decorating Items” issued to Bernhard Bayersdorfer on Sep. 17, 2002, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The protective covering may alternatively include a rigid or semi-rigid material, such as a clear plastic, glass, colored plastic, colored glass, a frosted glass-like surface or the like.

[0013] As shown in FIG. 2, lighting element 5, for example, may include an elongated member 6 and a light source 7. Elongated member 6 may emit light over its entire length, a portion of its length, only at one or both of its ends, or combinations thereof. Elongated member 6 may be rigid or flexible. Elongated member 6, for example, may include one or more fiber optic strands, glass fibers, plastic fibers, elongated thermoplastic strands, optical wave guide materials, or the like. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,450,678 entitled “INTERIOR DECORATING ITEM AND USE OF AN OPTICAL WAVE GUIDE AS DECORATIVE THREAD ON SUCH INTERIOR DECORATING ITEMS” issued on Sep. 17, 2002, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, discloses optical wave guides including materials such as glass, plastic or poly-methyl-methacrylate (PMMA) fibers. Further, U.S. Pat. No. 5,879,076 entitled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LIGHT TRANSMISSION” issued on Mar. 9, 1999, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, discloses elongated members including substantially transparent or clear thermoplastic material of a form commonly known as a hot-melt adhesive, which includes an adhesive primarily comprised of ethylene-vinyl acetate, a low-density polyethylene, a polypropylene thermoplastic or a polyamide adhesive. Other light sources include light carrying tubes, such as the light carrying tubes described in, U.S. Pat. No. 5,485,335, titled “ELECTROLUMINESCENT LIGHT SOURCES,” issued on Jan. 16, 1999, U.S. Pat. No. 5,860,930, titled “ELECTROLUMINESCENT LIGHT SOURCE WITH A MIXTURE LAYER FILLED WITH A TRANSPARENT FILLER SUBSTANCE,” issued on Feb. 9, 1999, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,400,093, titled “FLEXIBLE ELECTROLUMINESCENT LIGHT SOURCE WITH ACTIVE PROTECTION FROM MOISTURE,” issued Jun. 4, 2002, all of which are incorporated by reference. Electro luminescent light sources are sometimes known as flexible light wire. Other light sources include chemical luminescent compositions, which are sometimes known as light sticks, such as U.S. Pat. No. 4,313,843, titled “SUPERIOR OXALATE ESTER CHEMICAL LIGHTING SYSTEM,” issued on Feb. 2, 1982, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,678,608, titled “CHEMILUMINESCENT COMPOSITION,” issued on Jul. 7, 1987. All of which are incorporated herein by reference. Other similar materials are also known for use in carrying and emitting light waves may suitably be used within the scope of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 3 depicts another lighting element 5 including multiple elongated members 6 and multiple light sources 7. As shown in FIG. 3, light sources 7 may be arranged on one or both ends of elongated members 6. Further, although FIG. 3 shows two elongated members 6 and three light sources 7, any number of elongated members 6 and light sources are possible. Further, a single light source may illuminate multiple elongated members or a single elongated member may receive light waves from multiple light sources arranged at one or both ends of the elongated member.

[0015] Light source 7 may include a light-emitting diode (LED), a light bulb, a laser diode or other light sources known in the art. Alternative light sources may include, for example, a single florescent light tube, multiple rows of florescent light tubes, incandescent lights, halogen lights, light strings (such as Christmas lights) or the like. Light source 7 may comprise one or more different colors and may provide for any number of lighting effects. In general, almost any arrangement of light can be provided depending on the lighting effect desired. For example, the individual elements of light source 7 may flash or blink at the same or different rates frequencies. Further, light source 7 could be a strobe light or other light that has an on and off feature, similar to a timer or a string of blinking Christmas lights. Still further, it would be possible to have a dimmer to manually or automatically control the brightness of light source 7. Finally, a timer could be used to control an on and off pattern of the lights and the dimmer.

[0016] Light source 7 may further include any power supply known in the art. For example, the power supply may include and an A.C. or a D.C. source, but it is contemplated simple batteries would be most useful such as an alkaline, nickel-cadmium, lithium or zinc air battery, a thin-film battery, a fuel cell, a solar cell, an A.C. voltage converted to a D.C. voltage or the like.

[0017] FIG. 4 shows still another arrangement of light element 5. Light element 5 shows multiple light sources 7 arranged between alternative elongated members 6. The light source arrangement of FIG. 4 could have all the features identified above.

[0018] FIGS. 5 and 6 depict an alternative lighting element 11A. Lighting element 11A includes a backing strip 12A and a front strip 13A. Lighting element 11A is shown in more detail in FIG. 6 and further includes elongated member 16A, at least one light source 7 (see FIGS. 2-4), conductive strips 18A and 19A. Front strip 13A is preferably an elongated strip of light-transmissive material, such as a transparent, translucent or semi-translucent strip of material. The backing strip 12A may be an opaque, light-reflective material, or a transparent, translucent or semi-translucent material through which light may be transmitted. If lighting element 11A is to be attached to an opaque item through which light will not transmit or if the light generated is preferred to be focused in only a portion of the possible directions from lighting element 11A, for example, an opaque, light reflective material may be used as backing strip 12A in order to reflect the maximum intensity of the light from the elongated member through front strip 13A. If it is desired that the lighting element 11A transmit light in all directions, however, backing strip 12A may include a light transmissive material, such as a transparent, translucent or semi-translucent strip of material.

[0019] FIGS. 7-9 show another embodiment of a lighting element 41. Lighting element 41 includes a backing strip 42, a front strip 43 and a plurality of elongated members 44. Backing strip 42 preferably comprises a reflective elongated strip, and front strip 43 comprises an elongated lens, which may be glass or plastic (such as vinyl) for magnifying the light emitted from elongate members 44. Elongate members 44 and at least one light source 7 (shown in FIGS. 2-4) are positioned within the tube or casement formed by strips 42 and 43. A circuit board 46 containing a power supply circuit and a battery pack 47 may be included to provide power for the circuit. The lens may diffuse light from elongated members 44 more evenly along the entire lengths of the elongated members. The lighting element may thus project light a substantial distance in either a constant glow or as a flashing or blinking light. Alternatively, the lens may provide refract the light, provide a prism effect, or the like

[0020] Yet another lighting element 51 is shown in FIG. 10 in which the lighting element comprises a backing strip 52, a front strip 53 and one or more elongated members 54 positioned between light sources 55 and 56. Light sources 55 and 56 are directed in opposite directions to direct light into the elongated member 54 from either end.

[0021] FIG. 11 shows another lighting element 61 including an elongated member 60 having an irregular profile with a rounded top surface 62 and a recessed lower surface 63. Elongated member 60, for example, may be formed of a hot-melt adhesive plastic. Longitudinally spaced light sources 64 are received within recessed surface 63 of elongated member 60. Light sources 64, such as LEDs, may be embedded in a material 65 such as a hot-melt adhesive plastic formed around light sources 64. Material 65 may be the same material as elongated member 60, but could also be a different material. Light sources 64 are further positioned to direct light along the length of elongated member 60. Suitable connections 66 to provide power and control to light sources 64 are also embedded in material 65.

[0022] FIG. 12 shows yet another lighting element 67 similar to lighting element 61 shown in FIG. 11. Lighting element 67 includes an elongated member 74 having an irregular profile with a rounded top surface 68, a concave recess 69 on the lower surface receiving longitudinally spaced light sources 71, such as LEDs, embedded within a material such as a hot-melt adhesive plastic. Light sources 71 are positioned to direct light along elongated member 74. One or more reflective devices, such as light reflective prisms 73, enhance the light transmission characteristics of elongated member 74.

[0023] While shown as rounded members, elongated members 60 and 74 could have various alternative geometric shapes, such as concave, convex, elliptical, oval, circular, triangular, rectangular, or the like. Further, random or irregular shapes are also possible.

[0024] Elongated members 60 and 74 of FIGS. 11 and 12 may be extruded from a suitable extruder and the light sources and embedding materials may be applied to the elongated members as they exit the extruder. Also, suitable rollers or other components may be used to provide the prism surface of elongated member 74.

[0025] Another embodiment of a lighting element 81 is shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 in which elongated strips of a transparent, translucent or semi-translucent material such as nylon, polypropylene or polyester of a hook and loop material (e.g., VELCRO, a registered trademark of the Velcro Company, or COSMOLON, a registered trademark of YKK, or similar hook and loop material) are used to form a protective housing for elongated members 87 and light sources 88. The protective sheeting is formed of a backing strip 82 including loop material 83 and a front strip 84 that includes hooks 85. Elongated members 87 and light sources 88 are sandwiched between the backing strip 82 and the front strip 84. Alternatively, backing strip 82 may include hooks and front strip 84 may include loop material, or the backing strip and/or front strip may include other known connecting materials such as pressure sensitive adhesives, snaps, buttons, zippers and the like. Backing strip 82 may further comprise a reflective layer to reflect the light emitted from elongated members 87 towards front strip 84, and front strip 84 is preferably transparent, translucent or semi-translucent to allow the light emitted from elongated members 87 to pass through.

[0026] Another lighting element 91 is shown in FIG. 15 in which an elongated member 92 is surrounded by a transparent, translucent or semi-translucent longitudinal strip 92A. Projecting ends 94 and 95 are connected together, such as along a weld line 96, thereby forming a hollow opening 93 through which elongated member 92 extends and a fastening strip 97 comprising ends 94 and 95. Lighting element 91 of FIG. 15 is further shown attached to an item 100, such as a ball, a bat, a wicket, a mallet, a racket, a target, or other sporting device, in FIG. 16. Item 100 is comprised of a first portion 102 and a second portion 104, between which fastening strip 97 extends. First portion 102, second portion 104 and fastening strip 97 are connected together via a fastening means 106, such as using pins, screws, adhesives, rivets, clamp, snap-locks, friction fitting, and the like.

[0027] FIG. 17 shows a cross-sectional view of an alternative means of attaching a lighting element to an item 110. Item 110 includes a channel 112 for receiving at least a portion of lighting element 114. A transparent, translucent, or semi-translucent material 116, such as, for example, plastics, glass, or the like, bonded or otherwise attached to item 110 surrounds lighting element 114. Material 116 could surround lighting element 114 as shown in FIG. 17 or simply a cover for channel 112 that encloses lighting element 114 (not specifically shown in FIG. 17). Also, instead of placement in channel 112, material 116 could be used to form a rigid such that item 110 comprises a ribbed feel. Material 116, for example, may include an adhesive that holds lighting element 114 within channel 112 of the item. Bonding material 116 to item 110 could include the adhesive as mentioned, stitching, thermal or fusion bonding, glues, rivets, embossing, welds, solders, pins, or the like.

[0028] FIGS. 18 and 19 show a cross-sectional and plan view of another means of attaching a lighting element 124 to an item 120. Item 120 includes, optionally, a channel 122 for receiving lighting element 124. Alternatively, channel 122 may comprise a seam or other region in which the lighting element 124 may be placed. Conversely, lighting element 124 could be placed on the surface of item 120 without channel 122. A thread (which could be cloth, plastic, or the like) 126 extends across lighting element 124 along the length of lighting element 124, holding the lighting element in place around a portion of a periphery (not specifically labeled in FIG. 18) of the item 120. Lighting element 124, for example, may be stitched in a channel or seam formed by panels of a ball, such as a volleyball or a soccer ball. Item 120, however, need not include such a channel or seam and the lighting element may be stitched to the periphery of item 120.

[0029] Although FIGS. 16 to 19 depict a lighting element such as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 being attached to various items, any of the lighting elements described above, or any variations of those lighting elements may be similarly attached as would be readily recognized by one of skill in the art. Similarly, the elongated member of any lighting element may be attached to an item such as described herein and extend to a light source that is remote to a connection of the elongated element to the item. For example, the power supply and/or light sources of the lighting element may be connected to the item remote from the channel or seam (e.g., on the periphery of or internal to the item).

[0030] FIG. 20 shows a volleyball 130 comprising a plurality of panels 136 connected at a plurality of seams 134. Volleyball 130 further includes lighting elements 132, which may be attached to the volleyball along a portion of seams 134 formed by the panels 136, as shown, or attached directly to one or more portions of panels 136. Lighting elements 132 may be attached to volleyball 130 along all or any portion of seams 134 of volleyball 130, or may be attached to the volleyball at any other portion. Also, while shown as attached to provide light effects to a portion of volleyball 130, lighting elements 132 could be arranged to form designs, such as a soccer (or football) player, random designs, whimsical designs, or the like.

[0031] FIG. 21 shows a football 140 including lighting elements 142 and 146 attached to football 140. Lighting elements 142 may be attached around the perimeter of football 140 and/or near ends 148 of football 140, which may enhance the visibility or replace the stripes found on many conventional footballs. Further, lighting element 146 may be attached to football 140 along a seam 144 and/or underneath, around, or above laces 149 of football 140. Once again, the various lighting elements may be used to form a design.

[0032] FIG. 22 shows a net 150, such as used for volleyball, badminton, tennis, or the like. Net 150 includes a lighting element 152 attached to the net along the top edge of the net. Further lighting elements are also possible to highlight other portions of the net of interest, such as the poles, along a sideline, vertical portions of the net, a bottom or full outline of the net, or the like. FIGS. 23 and 24 further show a racquet 160 (e.g., a badminton racquet, a racquet ball racquet, a tennis racquet, or the like) and a shuttlecock 170. Racquet 160 includes a lighting element 162 that may be attached along a periphery 164 of the head of the racquet, as shown, or woven into a racket net 161 or along a handle 163 (lighting elements not specifically shown on net 161 or handle 163). Shuttlecock 170 includes a lighting element 172 extending around the periphery adjacent a head 174 of shuttlecock 170. While not specifically shown, lighting elements may be woven into a tail 175 of shuttlecock 170.

[0033] FIGS. 25 and 26 show a soccer ball 180 and a basketball 190 each including lighting elements 182 and 192, respectively, attached along the seams of the soccer ball 180 and the basketball 190. Once again, other arrangements of lighting elements 182 and 192 are possible.

[0034] FIG. 27 further shows a basketball backboard 200 and rim 202 including lighting elements 204 and 206. Backboard 200 includes lighting element 204 attached in a square target located above rim 202. Rim 202 may include lighting element 206 located around the periphery of the rim 202. Rim 202, for example, may further include one or more lighting elements woven into a net 208. While simple lighting effects are shown, lighting elements 204 and 206 could be arranged to form a design.

[0035] FIG. 28 shows a ball 210, such as a baseball, softball, tennis ball, racket ball, or the like, including panels 212 attached at seam 214. A lighting element 216 is attached along seam 214 to provide lighting enhancements including greater visibility of ball 210. FIG. 29 further shows a bat 220 including optional channels 222 in which lighting elements 224 are attached. FIGS. 30 and 31 show bases 230 and 232 for use with a baseball or softball style game, such as, for example, a sandlot package. Bases 230 and 232 each include a lighting element 234 extending around the periphery of the bases. Other configurations of lights are also possible.

[0036] FIG. 32 shows a perspective view of a Frisbee or flying disc 240. Frisbee 240 includes a disc 241 and a rim 242. Frisbee 240 further includes a lighting element 244 attached to rim 242 of Frisbee 240. Lighting element 244, for example, may be attached to the exterior of rim 242 of Frisbee 240 or along the bottom or top edge of rim 242. Alternatively, lighting element 244 may be attached along an internal edge of rim 242 or may be embedded within the rim 242 if the rim 242 is transparent, translucent or semi-translucent. Other configurations of lighting element 244 include lights in disc 241.

[0037] FIGS. 33 and 34 show a horseshoe set including target poles 250 and a horseshoe 260. Poles 250 each include lighting elements 252. Horseshoe 260 includes lighting elements 262 attached to the horseshoe along one or both sides of the horseshoe. Alternatively, horseshoe 260 may include a lighting element along a sidewall 264 of the horseshoe 260.

[0038] FIGS. 35 and 36 show a croquet mallet 270 and a representative wicket 280 that may be used with a ball, such as shown in FIG. 1, as part of a croquet set. Mallet 270 includes lighting elements 272 extending around a barrel of mallet 270. Lighting elements could also be included on a handle 273 (separately or in combination with other lights on mallet 270). The colors of lighting elements 272 of different mallets may include various colors that can be matched to colors of croquet balls to form a complete croquet set. Further, wicket 280 includes a lighting element 282 on one or both sides of the wicket 280. Alternatively, wicket 280 may include lighting elements along an internal periphery 284 or an external periphery 286 of the wickets so that a lighting element may be viewed from either side. Lighting elements on wickets 280 may be arranged to show an order of wickets, for example, the first wicket could have 1 light, the second wicket could have 2 lights, etc.

[0039] FIGS. 37 and 38 show a golf cup 290 and a golf flagstick 300. Cup 290 includes lighting element 292 that may extend around the periphery of the top edge of cup 290. Flagstick 300 may include lighting element 302 extending around the periphery of the flag 304 and/or extending along flagstick 300.

[0040] FIG. 39 shows a side view of a hockey puck 310. Hockey puck 310 may include one or more channels 312 that extend around a perimeter of the puck 310. Channel 312 receives a lighting element 314, which is held within channel 312 by one or more attachment means described above.

[0041] FIG. 40 shows a golf ball 320. The golf ball 320 includes one or more channels 312 extending around a perimeter of golf ball 320. Channel 322 may receives a lighting element 324, which is held within the channel 322 by one or more attachment means described above.

[0042] FIG. 41 shows a hockey stick 330 having a handle portion 330h and a striking surface portion 330s including at least one lighting element 332 extending along the side of stick 330. A golf club, not specifically shown, would be similar to a hockey stick. Preferably, lighting element 332 is attached to both sides of stick 330 or along an edge 334 of stick 330 so that lighting element 332 is visible from both sides of stick 330.

[0043] FIGS. 42 and 43 show a dartboard 340 and a dart 350, respectively. Dartboard 340 includes a plurality of lighting elements 342 located between, in, or a combination thereof the scoring regions. Dartboard 340 may further include lighting elements located on numbers 344 labeling the scoring regions to more easily identify the regions in poor lighting. Dart 350 shown in FIG. 43 includes lighting elements 354 affixed to flights 352 of dart 350, although lights could be attached to the body of dart 350 as well.

[0044] FIGS. 44 and 45 show a pylon 360 and a line 370 that may be used for marking the perimeter of a sporting field. Other sport accessories known in the art include flags, poles, targets (such as dart board targets or archery targets), bows, arrows, and the like may also be used. Pylon 360 includes a cone 362 and a base 364. Lighting elements 366 may be arranged vertically along the edge of cone 362. Lighting elements 366, however, may be arranged in other configurations, such as horizontally around the perimeter of the cone or in other designs. Line 370 is shown in FIG. 45 and includes a lighting element 372 that is attached along at least a portion of the length of the line 370. Lighting element 372 may be attached to the line by any means, such as described above, or may be woven among the strands of a rope that may comprise line 370. Line 370, which may be cloth or plastic, may be arranged along a playing field to outline boundaries, or may be used in targets, such as a target circular for lawn darts.

[0045] FIG. 46 shows a goal 380 that may be used in various sporting games, such as soccer, lacrosse, hockey, football, and the like. Goal 380 may include posts 384 and crossbar 386. A lighting element 382 may be attached along the front edges of posts 384 and crossbar 386, or may be attached along a side edge of posts 384 and crossbar 386.

[0046] While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to particular embodiment(s) thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various other changes in the form and details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.