Title:

Kind
Code:

A1

Abstract:

An apparatus for playing a toss game includes a projectile consisting of two weights connected by a tether and a stand. The stand includes a base supporting a goal. The goal includes at least two crossbars, each of which is assigned a point value. Optionally, vertical members are also assigned point values. A method of playing a toss game is played in series. A series consists of competitors tossing a predetermined number of projectiles at the goal. The competitors score points with projectiles by looping over, wrapping around, or intersecting crossbars. Optionally, points are scored by encircling vertical members with the projectile suspended solely by the vertical member. Points are deducted if a projectile is dislodged from the goal. Competitors attempt to obtain an aggregate score equal to a target value. Procedures for resolving ties and tosses that cause competitors to exceed the target value may be employed.

Inventors:

Long, John Michael (Spokane, WA, US)

Van, John T. (Bigfork, MT, US)

Van, John T. (Bigfork, MT, US)

Application Number:

10/913673

Publication Date:

01/27/2005

Filing Date:

08/06/2004

Export Citation:

Assignee:

LONG JOHN MICHAEL

VAN JOHN T.

VAN JOHN T.

Primary Class:

International Classes:

View Patent Images:

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Primary Examiner:

GRAHAM, MARK S

Attorney, Agent or Firm:

Anderson & Morishita, L.L.C. (Suite 102, 2725 S.Jones Blvd., Las Vegas, NV, 89146, US)

Claims:

1. A method of playing a toss game between at least two competitors comprising: providing at least one projectile comprising two weights connected to one another by a flexible tether; providing a stand comprising a base resting on a surface and a goal extending upward from said base, said goal including a pair of uprights and at least two crossbars connecting said uprights, each of said crossbars being assigned a point value; conducting a series of play, said series comprising: each competitor tossing one or more projectiles at said goal until all competitors have each tossed a predetermined number of projectiles; and calculating an aggregate score for each competitor equal to the aggregate score from a previous series of play, if any, plus the point values for each crossbar a projectile looped over, wrapped, or intersected minus the point values for any projectile dislodged from the stand; and if any competitor has an aggregate score equal to a predetermined target value, declaring the competitor the winner, otherwise, conducting additional series of play until at least one competitor has reached an aggregate score equal to said target value.

2. A method of playing a toss game between at least two competitors comprising: providing at least one projectile comprising two weights connected to one another by a flexible tether; providing a stand comprising a base resting on a surface and a goal extending upward from said base, said goal including a pair of uprights and at least two crossbars connecting said uprights, said uprights defining vertical members, each of said crossbars and vertical members being assigned a point value; conducting a series of play, said series comprising: each competitor tossing one or more projectiles at said goal until all competitors have each tossed a predetermined number of projectiles; and calculating an aggregate score for each competitor equal to (a) the aggregate score from a previous series of play, if any, plus (b) the point values for each vertical member a projectile encircled with said projectile suspended only by said vertical member, plus (c) the point values for each crossbar a projectile looped over, wrapped, or intersected minus (d) the point values for any projectile dislodged from the stand; and if any competitor has an aggregate score equal to a predetermined target value, declaring the competitor the winner, otherwise, conducting additional series of play until at least one competitor has reached an aggregate score equal to said target value.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein each crossbar is assigned a different point value.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein the point values of each crossbar vary inversely with their distance from said base.

5. The method of claim 2 wherein each vertical member is assigned a different point value.

6. The method of claim 2 wherein at least one of the point values is increased if the projectile bounces off said surface before encircling said vertical member.

7. The method of claim 2 further comprising: if, during a series of play, a projectile tossed by a first competitor scores a point value that causes said first competitor's aggregate score to exceed the target value, not including the point value in calculating said first competitor's aggregate score and suspending play for said first competitor for the remainder of that series.

8. The method of claim 7 further comprising: if play is suspended for a first competitor and another competitor dislodges a projectile tossed by said first competitor, reducing said first competitor's score by the pount value of the first competitor's projectile dislodged and, if the dislodgment reduces said first competitor's aggregate score below said target value, lifting said suspension and allowing said first competitor to toss any remaining projectiles.

9. The method of claim 7 further comprising: if play is suspended for a first competitor and a second competitor obtains an aggregate score equal to said target value, lifting said suspension, allowing said first competitor to toss any remaining projectiles to dislodge said second competitor's projectiles, and, if any of said second competitor's projectiles are dislodged, deducting the point value scored for the dislodged projectile from the second competitor's aggregate score.

10. The method of claim 2 further comprising: if, during a series of play, a projectile tossed by a competitor scores a point value that causes the competitor's aggregate score to exceed the target value, not including the point value in calculating the competitor's aggregate score and allowing the competitor to continue playing the series until the competitor has thrown the predetermined number of projectiles.

11. The method of claim 2 further comprising: if, during a series of play, a projectile thrown by a first competitor scores a point value that causes said first competitor's aggregate score to exceed the target value, not including the point value in calculating said first, competitor's aggregate score, reducing said first competitor's aggregate score by the point value, and suspending play for said first competitor for the remainder of that series.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising: if play is suspended for a first competitor and a second competitor obtains an aggregate score equal to said target value, lifting said suspension,. allowing said first competitor to toss any remaining projectiles to dislodge said second competitor's projectiles, and, if any of said second competitor's projectiles are dislodged, deducting the point value scored for the dislodged projectile from the second competitor's aggregate score.

13. The method of claim 2 further comprising: if, at the completion of a series of play, two or more competitors have an aggregate score equal to the predetermined target value, conducting a playoff series comprising: each tied competitor tossing a predetermined number of projectiles; calculating a playoff score equal to the point values for each crossbar a projectile looped over, wrapped, or intersected minus the point values for any projectile dislodged from the stand by another projectile; and declaring the tied competitor with the highest playoff score to be the winner.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein each tied competitor serially tosses a single projectile until all tied competitors have tossed a predetermined number of projectiles.

15. The method of claim 2 wherein said step of calculating said aggregate score further comprises adding the point value of each opposing competitor's projectile dislodged by one of the competitor's projectile.

2. A method of playing a toss game between at least two competitors comprising: providing at least one projectile comprising two weights connected to one another by a flexible tether; providing a stand comprising a base resting on a surface and a goal extending upward from said base, said goal including a pair of uprights and at least two crossbars connecting said uprights, said uprights defining vertical members, each of said crossbars and vertical members being assigned a point value; conducting a series of play, said series comprising: each competitor tossing one or more projectiles at said goal until all competitors have each tossed a predetermined number of projectiles; and calculating an aggregate score for each competitor equal to (a) the aggregate score from a previous series of play, if any, plus (b) the point values for each vertical member a projectile encircled with said projectile suspended only by said vertical member, plus (c) the point values for each crossbar a projectile looped over, wrapped, or intersected minus (d) the point values for any projectile dislodged from the stand; and if any competitor has an aggregate score equal to a predetermined target value, declaring the competitor the winner, otherwise, conducting additional series of play until at least one competitor has reached an aggregate score equal to said target value.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein each crossbar is assigned a different point value.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein the point values of each crossbar vary inversely with their distance from said base.

5. The method of claim 2 wherein each vertical member is assigned a different point value.

6. The method of claim 2 wherein at least one of the point values is increased if the projectile bounces off said surface before encircling said vertical member.

7. The method of claim 2 further comprising: if, during a series of play, a projectile tossed by a first competitor scores a point value that causes said first competitor's aggregate score to exceed the target value, not including the point value in calculating said first competitor's aggregate score and suspending play for said first competitor for the remainder of that series.

8. The method of claim 7 further comprising: if play is suspended for a first competitor and another competitor dislodges a projectile tossed by said first competitor, reducing said first competitor's score by the pount value of the first competitor's projectile dislodged and, if the dislodgment reduces said first competitor's aggregate score below said target value, lifting said suspension and allowing said first competitor to toss any remaining projectiles.

9. The method of claim 7 further comprising: if play is suspended for a first competitor and a second competitor obtains an aggregate score equal to said target value, lifting said suspension, allowing said first competitor to toss any remaining projectiles to dislodge said second competitor's projectiles, and, if any of said second competitor's projectiles are dislodged, deducting the point value scored for the dislodged projectile from the second competitor's aggregate score.

10. The method of claim 2 further comprising: if, during a series of play, a projectile tossed by a competitor scores a point value that causes the competitor's aggregate score to exceed the target value, not including the point value in calculating the competitor's aggregate score and allowing the competitor to continue playing the series until the competitor has thrown the predetermined number of projectiles.

11. The method of claim 2 further comprising: if, during a series of play, a projectile thrown by a first competitor scores a point value that causes said first competitor's aggregate score to exceed the target value, not including the point value in calculating said first, competitor's aggregate score, reducing said first competitor's aggregate score by the point value, and suspending play for said first competitor for the remainder of that series.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising: if play is suspended for a first competitor and a second competitor obtains an aggregate score equal to said target value, lifting said suspension,. allowing said first competitor to toss any remaining projectiles to dislodge said second competitor's projectiles, and, if any of said second competitor's projectiles are dislodged, deducting the point value scored for the dislodged projectile from the second competitor's aggregate score.

13. The method of claim 2 further comprising: if, at the completion of a series of play, two or more competitors have an aggregate score equal to the predetermined target value, conducting a playoff series comprising: each tied competitor tossing a predetermined number of projectiles; calculating a playoff score equal to the point values for each crossbar a projectile looped over, wrapped, or intersected minus the point values for any projectile dislodged from the stand by another projectile; and declaring the tied competitor with the highest playoff score to be the winner.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein each tied competitor serially tosses a single projectile until all tied competitors have tossed a predetermined number of projectiles.

15. The method of claim 2 wherein said step of calculating said aggregate score further comprises adding the point value of each opposing competitor's projectile dislodged by one of the competitor's projectile.

Description:

The present application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/342,869, entitled “Apparatus and Method for Playing a Toss Game,” filed Jan. 13, 2003 by Applicants, herein, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,773,015.

The present invention is a toss game. More specifically, the present invention is an apparatus and method for playing a toss game in which projectiles are tossed at a goal with the purpose of obtaining a pre-determined target score and, in an optional embodiment, preventing other competitors from obtaining a predetermined target score.

Toss games are well known in the art. Examples of known toss games are horseshoes and ring toss games, where players toss U-shaped or circular projectiles, respectively, at a vertical stake. In such games, players are typically rewarded for striking the target but may also be rewarded based on the proximity of the projectile to the stake.

One toss game is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,882,010 to Geror. Geror discloses a game in which flat rings are tossed at a target with the shape of a square tray with a central cup. Players alternate tossing rings at the target and score points for tossing rings into the central cup, into the square tray, adjacent, but not in, the square tray, or outside the square tray but within one foot of the target.

The drawback of Geror and other toss games is that projectiles are used only offensively to score points. More specifically, projectiles in such games are not used defensively to prevent the other participants from scoring points or subtract points from other participants' scores.

Another example of an apparatus for a toss game is disclosed in Reid, U.S. Pat. No. 6,308,956. Reid utilizes projectiles consisting of balls secured at the ends of a tether that are tossed at a ladder with removable rungs. The shortcoming of Reid, however, is that while Reid illustrates projectiles draped over the rungs, it does not disclose how points are scored or the method of play of such a toss game. Additionally, Reid discloses that projectiles can be draped over the rungs but shows spacing between the rungs that would probably not allow the projectiles to wrap around the rungs.

An apparatus for a toss game includes a projectile and a stand. The projectile includes two weights connected to one another by a flexible tether. Optionally, the weights are secured on the tether but left free to move along the tether. The stand includes a base resting on a surface and a goal extending upward from the base. The goal includes a pair of uprights with at least two crossbars connecting the uprights. The uprights also define vertical members. In an optional embodiment, where the total length of the projectile is given as L, the spacing between the crossbars is greater than or equal to L/2 such that the projectile is free to wrap around a crossbar without striking an adjacent crossbar when the midpoint of the tether strikes a crossbar.

A method of playing a toss game between at least two competitors, either individual players or teams of players, with the apparatus described above begins with providing at least one projectile and at least one stand. In an optional embodiment, a set one or more projectiles is provided to each competitor. Each of the crossbars, and in an optional embodiment each of the vertical members, is assigned a point value. Optionally, the point value for each crossbar is different. In a further optional embodiment, the point values vary inversely with the distance from the surface the base rests on. For example, if three crossbars are provided, the lowest crossbar may have the highest point value, the highest crossbar may have the lowest point value, and the middle crossbar may have an intermediate point value, in such an optional embodiment. Similarly, in an optional embodiment, the point value for each vertical member is different. In an optional embodiment, one or more of the point values may be increased if a projectile bounces off the surface before looping over, wrapping, or intersecting a crossbar.

Play according to the method is conducted in discrete units called series. Each series includes each competitor tossing one or more projectiles at the goal until all competitors have each tossed a predetermined number of projectiles. In an optional embodiment utilizing sets of projectiles, each competitor may in turn toss a complete set. After all competitors have tossed the predetermined number of projectiles, an aggregate score is calculated for each competitor. The aggregate score is equal to (a) the aggregate score from a previous series of play, if any, plus (b) the point values for each crossbar a projectile looped over or wrapped, plus, in an optional embodiment, (c) the point values for each vertical member encircled where the projectile is suspended only the the vertical member, minus (d) the point values for any projectile dislodged from the stand. In an optional embodiment, points may also be added for crossbars intersected by projectiles looped or wrapped around an upright but resting on the crossbar. If any competitor has an aggregate score equal to a predetermined target value, the competitor wins. Otherwise, additional series of play are conducted until at least one competitor has reached an aggregate score equal to the target value. In other words, the goal is to have an aggregate score equal to a target value at completion of a series after all the competitors have tossed the predetermined number of projectiles.

It is contemplated that a projectile tossed during a series causes a competitor to exceed the target value could be handled in a number of different ways. For example, in one optional embodiment, the point value received on the exceeding toss, or the points received in the entire series, is not used in calculating the competitor's aggregate score and play is suspended for that particular competitor for the remainder of that series. In another optional embodiment, the point value received on the exceeding toss is not used in calculating the competitor's aggregate score but the competitor is permitted to continue playing the series until the competitor has tossed the predetermined number of projectiles. In yet another optional embodiment, the point value earned on the exceeding toss, or the points earned in the entire series, is not included in calculating the competitor's aggregate score and the competitor's aggregate score is reduced by the point total of the exceeding toss. Play is also suspended for the competitor for the remainder of that series.

In any of the embodiments in which play is suspended for a competitor who exceeds the target value, an option for lifting the suspension may also be provided. In one optional embodiment, if a first competitor is suspended and another competitor dislodges a one of the first competitor's projectiles that reduces the first competitor's aggregate score below the target value, the suspension may be lifted and the first competitor may be allowed to toss his remaining projectiles. Additionally or alternatively, in an optional embodiment, if a first competitor is suspended and a second competitor obtains an aggregate score equal to the target value, the suspension may be lifted so the first competitor may toss any remaining projectiles to attempt to dislodge one or more of the second competitor's projectiles. If, in such an optional embodiment, the first competitor successfully dislodges any of the second competitor's projectiles, another series is conducted.

It is also contemplated that a number of methods could be used to resolve ties. That is, if, at the completion of a series of play, two or more competitors have an aggregate score equal to the predetermined target value the game could be resolved in any number of ways. For example, in an optional embodiment, a playoff series could be conducted. In one optional playoff series, each tied competitor tosses a predetermined number of projectiles. In a further embodiment, each tied competitor serially tosses a single projectile until each tied competitor has tossed a predetermined number of projectiles.

After all tied competitors have tossed the predetermined number of projectiles, a playoff score is calculated. The playoff score is equal to the point values for each crossbar a projectile looped over, wrapped, or intersected minus the point values for any projectile dislodged from the stand by another projectile. The competitor with the highest playoff score wins. If a playoff series ends with two or more competitors with tied playoff scores, in an optional embodiment, additional playoff series are conducted with all tied competitors.

FIG. 1 shows a front view of a projectile according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows an elevated perspective view of a stand according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows a front view of a stand according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows a top view of a course according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a flowchart of a game method according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Reference is now made to the figures wherein like parts are referred to by like numerals throughout. Referring first to FIGS. 1-3, the present invention includes an apparatus for playing a toss game. Shown in FIG. 1 is a projectile **10** according to an embodiment of the present invention. The projectile includes two weights **12** connected to one another by a tether **14**. The weights **12** are optionally spherical, such as balls, and optionally formed from a resilient material that has at least some ability to bounce. For example the weights **12** could be golf balls.

The weights **12** are secured to one another using a tether **14**. The tether **14** is a flexible material such as rope or cord formed from a natural or synthetic material. The tether **14** in an optional embodiment is diamond braid nylon cord that provides an amount of rigidity yet is flexible enough to permit the tether **14** to wrap around the goal as described below.

In an optional embodiment, the tether **14** and weights **12** are connected by running the tether **14** through a through-hole in the weights **12** and knotting **16** the tether or otherwise preventing the weights **12** from sliding off the ends of the tether **14**. It is important to note that it is contemplated that in an optional embodiment, the weights **12** are prevented from sliding off the tether **14** but may be left free to slide along the tether **14**. In other words, in the optional embodiment of FIG. 1, the tether **14** is only knotted **16** to one side, the end-side, of the weights **12** but not to the other side, the inside, of the weights **12**. Thus, in such an optional embodiment, nothing prevents the weights **12** from sliding away from the ends of the tether **14** except whatever centripetal forces may be exerted on the weights **12** by the spin,. if any, imparted during a toss.

Shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 is a stand **20**. The stand **20** includes a base **22** and a goal **24** extending upward from the base **22**. As shown in the optional embodiment of the figures, the base **22** is optionally quadrilateral, such as a square or rectangle, although it is contemplated that the base **22** could take any shape capable of supporting the goal **24**.

With continued reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, the goal **24** includes uprights **26** extending away from the base **22** and at least two crossbars **28** connecting the uprights **26**. The uprights **26** themselves may take many different forms and may not necessarily be straight, parallel, coplanar, or of equal height. The uprights **26** define vertical members **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37**. In an optional embodiment, the vertical members **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37** are segments of the uprights **26** between the crossbars **28**, **30**, **32**.

In the optional embodiment of the figures, three crossbars **28**, **30**, **32** are disposed between the uprights **26**. The crossbars **28**, **30**, **32** shown in the optional embodiment of the figures are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the uprights **26**. However, it is not necessary that the crossbars **28**, **30**, **32** be straight, parallel, coplanar, of equal length, or perpendicular to the uprights **26**. While the crossbars **28**, **30**, **32** could be spaced at any distance, in one optional embodiment in which the total length of a projectile **10** is equal to L, the distance between a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** and an adjacent crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** is at least L/2 such that the projectile **10** may wrap around a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** without striking an adjacent crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** when the midpoint of the tether **14** strikes the crossbar **28**, **30**, **32**.

The stand **20** is optionally formed from pipe fitted together with joints. While any material could be used, such as polymers, metal, or other natural or synthetic materials, schedule **40** polyvinylchloride (“PVC”) polymer pipe is utilized in an optional embodiment. PVC is used in an optional embodiment because of its weather resistance, and strong, yet elastic, material properties. Again, however, any material that can withstand impact from the projectiles **10** would be suitable for use in the stand **20**.

The present invention further includes a method of playing a toss game using a projectile **10** and stand **20** like that discussed above. The method is played between two or more competitors. It is contemplated that a competitor could be a single player or a team of players. The number of competitors playing the game could be any number but for simplicity, the examples below will be utilize two or three competitors. These exemplary embodiments should not be considered limiting in any way.

With reference to FIG. 4, a course is constructed by setting the stand **20** on a surface. While it is contemplated that any surface could be used, in an optional embodiment a surface that is flat and firm to permit some bouncing of the projectiles **10**. The stand **20** is positioned at a predetermined distance from the competitors. In the optional embodiment of the figures, the competitors stand twenty-five feet from the stand **20** on a line perpendicular to the plane formed by the uprights **26**. During play, the predetermined distance may optionally be maintained by marking the position of the stand **20** and marking a foul line **34** for the competitors.

Optionally two stands **20** are placed parallel to one another at the predetermined distance so that competitors completing a series by tossing at a first stand **20** can commence the subsequent series by retrieving the projectiles **10** from the first stand **20** and tossing at a second stand **20**. To give the players room to toss the projectiles **10**, the stands **20** may optionally be offset from one another and the foul line **34** may optionally extend from each stand **20**.

Referring to FIG. 5, play is conducted in one or more series **40**. A series is completed when all competitors have each tossed **42** a predetermined number of projectiles **10**. A number of series **40** may be required for resolution of a game. Additionally, a playoff series **58**, explained in greater detail below, may also be needed to resolve a game.

In tossing the projectiles. **10** in a series **40**, competitors may take turns tossing **42** projectiles **10** or, alternatively, each competitor may toss **42** a set of one or more projectiles **10** before completing the competitor's turn in the series **40**. For example, in one optional embodiment, a series **40** consists of each competitor tossing **42** a set of three projectiles **10** at the goal **24**. After a competitor tosses **42** his or her set of projectiles **10**, the player is finished for that series **40**.

Each crossbar **28**, **30**, **32**, and in an optional embodiment each vertical member **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37**, is assigned a point value. Optionally each crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** is assigned a different point value. In a further optional embodiment, the point value of the crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** varies inversely with the distance of the crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** from the base **22** resting on the surface. For example, in one optional embodiment having three crossbars **28**, **30**, **32**, such as that shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a higher crossbar **28** is assigned a point value of one, a middle crossbar **30** is assigned a point value of two, and a lower crossbar **32** is assigned a point value of three. Similarly, in an optional embodiment, each vertical member **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37** or pair of vertical members is assigned a different point value. Thus, in the optional embodiment of FIGS. 2 and 3, the upper pair of vertical members **27**, **29** could have a point value of five, a middle pair of vertical members **31**, **33** could have a point value of six, and a lower pair of vertical members **35**, **37** could have a point value of seven. It is contemplated that the point values assigned to the crossbars **28**, **30**, **32** and the vertical members **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37** need not remain static across series and that the point values may change from series to series.

Points are scored with projectiles **10** by looping a projectile **10** over, or wrapping a projectile **10** around, a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32**. In an optional embodiment, points may also be scored by looping a projectile **10** over, or wrapping a projectile **10** around, an upright **26** such that the projectile **10** rests upon and intersects a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32**. In such an optional embodiment, points may be awarded even if the projectile **10** hangs to the outside of the goal **24**, if the projectile **10** would intersect a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** if extended.

In an optional embodiment, points may also be scored by encircling a vertical member **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37** such that the projectile is suspended only by the vertical member **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37**. That is, points for encircling a vertical member **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37** are only scored if the projectile does not rest on a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** or a joint between a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** and a vertical member **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37**.

In a further optional embodiment, increased points are awarded for bouncing the projectile **10** before looping over, wrapping around, or intersecting a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** or encircling a vertical member **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37**. For example, if a competitor bounces a projectile **10** and the projectile **10** wraps around any crossbar **28**, **30**, **32**, five points may be scored. In another example, if a competitor bounces a projectile **10** before encircling a vertical member, ten points may be scored. Thus, the following optional score table could be constructed for an embodiment including three crossbars **28**, **30**, **32** and six vertical members **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37**:

TABLE 1 | |

Action | Point Value |

Loop over, wrap around, or intersect high crossbar | 1 point |

Loop over, wrap around, or intersect middle crossbar | 2 points |

Loop over, wrap around, or intersect lower crossbar | 3 points |

Encircle and suspend from either upper vertical member | 5 points |

Encircle and suspend from either middle vertical member | 6 points |

Encircle and suspend from wither lower vertical member | 7 points |

Bounce the loop over,m wrap around, or intersect and | 5 points |

crossbar | |

Bounce then encircle and suspend from any vertical | 10 points |

member | |

In a series, each competitor earns an aggregate score **48**. In an initial series **40**, the aggregate score **48** is the sum of all the point values of the crossbars **28**, **30**, **32** that the competitor's projectiles **10** loop over, wrap around, or intersect plus, in an optional embodiment, all the point values of the vertical members **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37** that the competitor's projectiles encircle and suspend solely from. In subsequent series **40** of such an optional embodiment, the aggregate score **48** is the sum of the aggregate score from the preceding series plus the point values of the crossbars **28**, **30**, **32** that the competitor's projectiles **10** loop over, wrap around, or intersect plus the point values of the vertical members **27**, **29**, **31**, **33**, **35**, **37** that the competitor's projectiles encircle and suspend solely from.

In calculating the aggregate score **48**, it is important to note that any points scored by a projectile **10** are not counted toward the aggregate score **48** if the projectile **10** is dislodged. Put another way, if a projectile **10** scores by wrapping around a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32**, and that projectile **10** is dislodged later in the series **40** from a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32**, such as by another competitor's projectile **10**, then those points originally earned by projectile **10** are subtracted from the competitor's aggregate score **48**. For example, assume competitor A and competitor B are playing a series **40**. Competitor A tosses **42** three projectiles **10** and scores nine points by wrapping all three projectiles **10** around a lower crossbar **32**. In tossing **42** his projectiles **10**, competitor B dislodges one of competitor A's projectiles **10** from the lower crossbar **32**. Competitor A's aggregate score **48** at the end of the series is six because the points earned by the dislodged projectile **10** are not included in competitor A's aggregate score **48**.

It is contemplated, however, that points deducted for a dislodged projectile may be added to the competitor's score who tossed the dislodging projectile. For example, if Competitor A's aggregate score is fourteen and Competitor B, with an aggregate score of twelve, successfully dislodges one of Competitor A's three point projectiles, Competitor A's score becomes eleven and Competitor B's score becomes fifteen.

The object of a game is to finish a series with an aggregate score **48** equal **52** to a predetermined target value **50**. Several series may be played before one or more competitors to reach an aggregate score **48** equal **52** to the target value **50**. In an optional embodiment, the target value **50** is twenty-one points, although any target value **50** could be used.

During the course of a series, it is possible that a competitor may toss a projectile **10** that results in the competitor's aggregate score **48** to exceed **44** the target value. A number of different “exceeding toss” procedures **46** could be employed to handle the situation. In an optional embodiment, the point value received on the exceeding toss is not counted toward the competitor's aggregate score but the competitor is permitted to continue tossing projectiles **10** until the competitor has tossed the predetermined number of projectiles **10** for that series. For example, in a series where each competitor tosses three projectiles **10**, if competitor A has an aggregate score of twenty points and competitor A tosses a first projectile **10** that scores three points, the three points are not counted toward competitor A's aggregate score but competitor A is allowed to toss his or her two remaining projectiles **10** to attempt to score the one point required.

In another optional embodiment, the exceeding toss is not counted toward the competitor's aggregate score and play for the competitor in the series is suspended even if the competitor has projectiles **10** remaining. For example, in a series where each competitor tosses three projectiles **10**, if competitor A has an aggregate score of twenty points and competitor A tosses a second projectile **10** that scores two points, the two points are not counted toward competitor A's aggregate score and play is suspended for competitor A in that competitor A is not permitted to toss his or her remaining projectile **10**.

In a related optional embodiment, when a competitor scores points that cause the aggregate score to exceed the target value, none of the points earned in the series are counted toward the competitor's aggregate score and play is suspended for the player in that series. For example, in a series where each competitor tosses three projectiles **10**, if competitor A has an aggregate score of sixteen points and competitor A tosses a first projectile **10** that scores three points and a second projectile **10** that scores three points, the six points earned in the series are not counted toward competitor A's aggregate score and play is suspended for competitor A even though the first projectile **10** did not cause the competitor to exceed the target value.

In yet another optional embodiment, the exceeding toss is not counted toward the competitor's aggregate score, play is suspended for the competitor in the series, and the points scored on the exceeding toss are deducted from the competitor's aggregate score. For example, in a series where each competitor tosses three projectiles **10**, if competitor A has an aggregate score of nineteen points and competitor A tosses a first projectile **10** that scores three points, the three points are not counted toward competitor A's aggregate score, play is suspended for competitor A in that competitor A is not permitted to toss his or her two remaining projectiles **10**, and the three points are deducted from competitor A's aggregate score such that competitor A's aggregate score at the end of the series is sixteen, that is, nineteen minus three.

Once again, a related optional embodiment for an “exceeding toss” is contemplated in which none of the points scored in a series are counted toward the competitor's aggregate score, play is suspended for the competitor in the series, and the points scored on the exceeding toss, or optionally the entire series, are deducted from the competitor's aggregate score. For example, in a series where each competitor tosses three projectiles **10**, if competitor A has an aggregate score of nineteen points and competitor A tosses a first projectile **10** that scores three points, the three points are not counted toward competitor A's aggregate score, play is suspended for competitor A in that competitor A is not permitted to toss his or her two remaining projectiles **10**, and the three points are deducted from competitor A's aggregate score such that competitor A's aggregate score at the end of the series is sixteen, that is, nineteen minus three.

In any of the embodiments discussed, a suspension could persist until the end of a series or could be lifted before the end of the series. In an optional embodiment, a suspended competitor may be reactivated if another competitor dislodges one of the suspended competitor's projectiles to reduce the suspended competitor's score below the target value. If a suspension is lifted, the formerly suspended competitor is allowed to toss any remaining projectiles. For example, if Competitor A begins a series with a score of twenty and loops a two point crossbar with his first projectile to exceed the target value of twenty one, Competitor A is suspended, but the suspension may be lifted and Competitor A may be allowed to toss additional projectiles if Competitor B dislodges Competitor A's two point projectile.

In another optional embodiment, a suspended competitor may be reactivated if another competitor obtains an aggregate score equal to the target value. If the suspension is lifted, the formerly-suspended competitor is allowed to toss any remaining projectiles. If the formerly suspended competitor successfully dislodges the other competitor's projectiles, the point values for the dislodged projectile are deducted and the game continues. For example, if Competitor A has an aggregate score that exceeds the target value and is suspended with two projectiles remaining, and Competitor B tosses one projectile obtain an aggregate score equal to the target value, Competitor A is reactivated and is allowed to toss his two remaining projectiles to attempt to dislodge Competitor B's projectile.

As discussed above, if only one competitor ends a series with an aggregate score **48** equal to the target value **50**, that competitor is the winner **56** of the game. In the event that two or more competitors finish a series with aggregate scores **48** equal **54** to the target value **50**, a tie may be declared and a tie-breaking procedure may optionally be applied. While the tie result could stand or tie could be broken in any fashion, in an optional embodiment, a playoff series **58** is played in the event of a tie. In such an optional embodiment, the tied competitors toss **60** a predetermined number of projectiles **10**. Optionally, tied competitors take turns tossing **60** a single projectile **10** until each tied competitor has tossed **60** the predetermined number of projectiles **10**. For example, if competitor A and competitor B are tied, competitor A and competitor B alternate tossing **60** a single projectile **10** until both competitor A and competitor B have each tossed **60** three projectiles **10**.

After the tied competitors have tossed **60** all the projectiles **10** permitted in the playoff series, a playoff score **62** is calculated by summing the point values of each crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** looped over, wrapped around, or intersected less the points for each projectile **10** dislodged. That is, as with a regular series, the points earned by a tossed projectile **10** is only included in the playoff score if the projectile **10** remains on the goal **24** at the end of the playoff series. If a projectile **10** scores but is dislodged, the dislodged projectile **10** earns no points for the playoff series **58**. The tied competitor with the highest playoff score wins **66** the playoff series **58**. In the event that a playoff series **58** ends with two or more competitors with the highest playoff scores in a tie **64**, additional playoff series **58** may optionally be conducted. If more than two competitors participate in a playoff series **58**, in an optional embodiment, all the tied competitors advance to an additional playoff series **58** even if only the highest two competitors tie in the playoff series **58**. In other words, if the two competitors in a playoff series **58** finish the playoff series **58** with the highest playoff scores **64** are tied, all the competitors in the playoff series **58** compete in the additional playoff series **58** without regard to whether the other competitors tied **64** the highest score or not.

The principles of the game thus explained, the steps of a game will be described. A series begins **40** with the determination of the order in which competitors will toss projectiles **10**. The order could be determined in any number of ways but it is contemplated that in an initial series, the order could optionally be determined randomly. In a further optional embodiment, the order in a series is in reverse order of aggregate score.

The competitors toss **42** projectiles **10** from the foul-line to the goal **24**. In an optional embodiment, the competitors may not cross the foul line **34** and each projectile **10** must travel at least half the distance to the goal **24**. Points are scored for each projectile **10** that loops over, wraps around, or intersects a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32** and deducted for each projectile **10** dislodged from a crossbar **28**, **30**, **32**. That is, each competitor's aggregate score **48** for a series is the sum of the competitor's aggregate score from the preceding series, if any, plus the points scored by projectiles **10** tossed by the competitor remaining on the goal **24**, i.e. not dislodged from the goal **24**, at the end of the series. Additional series are played until at least one competitor completes a series with an aggregate score equal **52** to the predetermined target value **50**. If only one competitor finishes a series with an aggregate score **50** equal **52** to the target score, the competitor wins **56**. In the event that a competitor scores points on a toss that cause the competitor's aggregate score to exceed **44** the predetermined target value, an “exceeding toss” procedure **46** is optionally applied. Similarly, if two or more competitors complete a series with an aggregate score equal **54** to the target value, a tie procedure such as a playoff series **58** may optionally be applied.

For example, in a game in which the target value is twenty-one, competitor A has nineteen points at the beginning of a series and scores two points on his or her first projectile **10**. Competitor A then holds the remaining two projectiles **10** while competitor B tosses his or her three projectiles **10**. If competitor B does not score the points needed for an aggregate score of twenty-one or dislodge competitor A's two point projectile **10**, competitor A wins after tossing the final two projectiles **10** without exceeding twenty-one or dislodging his or her own two point projectile **10**.

In another example, with the same target value, competitor A reaches twenty-one points on a second projectile **10** of a series. Competitor A holds the remaining projectile **10** while competitor B tosses his or her projectiles **10**. If competitor B is successful in dislodging one of competitor A's projectiles **10** but is unsuccessful in scoring twenty-one points, another series begins since competitor A did not finish the series with twenty-one points. If competitor B is successful in dislodging one of competitor A's projectiles **10** and in scoring twenty-one points, competitor A is permitted to toss his or her saved projectile **10** to attempt to tie competitor B. In other words, in an optional embodiment, if competitor chooses to hold a projectile **10** after scoring reaching the target value during a series and one of the competitor's projectiles **10** is dislodged from the goal, the competitor is optionally not permitted to toss the held projectile **10** unless another competitor reaches the target value.

In yet another example, competitor A scores twenty-one with projectiles **10** remaining. Competitor B reaches twenty-one on his or her final projectile **10**. Competitor A then has the option to use the held projectiles **10** to dislodge one of competitor B's projectiles **10** or go into a playoff round.

In a related example, competitor A scores twenty-one with projectiles **10** remaining. Competitor B reaches twenty-one with projectiles **10** remaining. Competitor A again has the option to toss the held projectiles **10** to dislodge one of competitor B's projectiles **10** or hold the remaining projectiles **10** (perhaps because competitor A does not want to accidentally dislodge one of his or her own projectile **10**). However, if competitor A chooses to hold the remaining projectiles **10**, competitor B has the option to toss his or her held projectiles **10** to dislodge one of competitor A's projectiles **10** or hold the remaining projectiles **10** as well. If both competitor A and competitor B hold their remaining projectiles **10**, a playoff round is conducted.

While certain embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described it is to be understood that the present invention is subject to many modifications and changes without departing from the spirit and scope of the claims presented herein.