Title:
Portable washer tossing game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable washer tossing game is described which includes a cylindrical carrying case having two ends, a plurality of washers, and at least two scoring boxes configured for storage within the carrying case along with the washers and further configurable to form a plurality of side walls. The game also includes a plurality of rigid channels configured to engage and stabilize the side walls. The game also includes two end caps configured to engage respective ends of the carrying case. The end caps are also configured for use as scoring cups when attached to the scoring boxes.



Inventors:
Zimmermann, Thomas J. (O'Fallon, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/899599
Publication Date:
02/02/2006
Filing Date:
07/27/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/336
International Classes:
A63B67/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Patrick W. Rasche;Armstrong Teasdale LLP (Suite 2600, One Metropolitan Square, St. Louis, MO, 63102, US)
Claims:
1. A washer tossing game comprising: a hollow, cylindrical carrying case comprising two ends; a plurality of washers; at least two scoring boxes configurable for storage within said carrying case along with said washers, wherein said scoring boxes are adaptable to form a plurality of side walls; a plurality of rigid channels configured to engage and stabilize the side walls; and two end caps configured to engage respective said ends of said carrying case, said end caps also configured for use as scoring cups when attached to said scoring boxes.

2. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 wherein said scoring boxes are configured to be rolled into a substantial cylindrical shape for insertion into said carrying case.

3. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 wherein said scoring boxes are configured with rectangular slots formed therein allowing folding of portions of said scoring boxes to form a plurality of substantially vertical side walls.

4. A washer tossing game according to claim 3 wherein said side walls comprise at least one of an end tab and an end, said end tab configured to fold around said end of an adjacent side wall.

5. A washer tossing game according to claim 4 wherein said end tab and said end are configured with retention devices, said retention devices configured to cause said end tab to remain in substantial contact with the adjacent side wall.

6. A washer tossing game according to claim 5 wherein said retention devices comprise at least one of an adhesive, a snap fitting fastener, and a hook and loop type fastener.

7. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 wherein said end caps each comprise a bottom, each said bottom comprising an attachment mechanism for attaching said end caps to said scoring boxes.

8. A washer tossing game according to claim 7 wherein said attachment mechanism comprises one of an adhesive, a snap fitting fastener, and a hook and loop type fastener.

9. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 wherein said scoring boxes comprise one of a rubber sheet, a woven material, and sheet plastic.

10. A washer tossing game according to claim 9 wherein said scoring boxes comprises one of an adhesive, a snap fitting fastener, and a hook and loop type fastener approximate a center of said scoring box for engaging one of said end caps.

11. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 wherein said end caps comprise one of a plastic and a metal.

12. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 wherein said carrying case comprises one of a plastic and a metal.

13. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 further comprising a carrying strap configured to engage said carrying case.

14. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 wherein to engage said ends of said carrying case, said end caps are configured with an inside diameter that fits snugly around an outside diameter of said ends of said carrying case.

15. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 wherein an inside diameter of said end caps and said ends of said carrying case comprise molded protrusions and indentations providing a snap fit of said end caps onto said ends of said carrying case.

16. A washer tossing game according to claim 1 wherein an inside diameter of said end caps and said ends of said carrying case each comprise threads, said threads on said end caps configured to engage said threads on said ends of said carrying case.

17. A scoring box for a washer tossing game, said scoring box comprising: a substantially rectangular sheet material that that be rolled into a substantially cylindrical shape for storage, said substantially rectangular sheet comprising: a plurality of slots formed therein, said slots enabling a user to form side walls, the side walls each having an end, for said box from said sheet material; and a plurality of end tabs, said end tabs resulting from the formation of said slots, said end tabs configured for folding around the end of the wall, a portion of each said end tab adjacent a portion of the wall; a plurality of rigid channels configured to engage and stabilize the side walls; and a plurality of retention devices configured to retain said end tabs in a position adjacent the respective wall.

18. A scoring box according to claim 17 wherein said sheet material comprises one of a sheet rubber, a woven material, and a sheet plastic.

19. A scoring box for a washer tossing game, said scoring box comprising a sheet material that that be rolled into a substantially cylindrical shape for storage and a plurality of rigid channels configured to engage and stabilize portions of said sheet material, said sheet comprising: a substantially square bottom portion having four sides; a plurality of substantially rectangular side portions, each said side portion comprising a first end and a second end opposite said first end, one said side portion extending from each side of said bottom portion, said side portion configured to be folded upward from said bottom portion to form walls, said first end configured for attachment to said second end of an adjacent side portion, said rigid channels configured to engage and stabilize the walls.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to washer tossing games and more particularly, to a portable washer tossing game apparatus.

Traditionally, washer tossing games include two scoring boxes each having a can or a cup mounted within. The scoring boxes include an interior portion for capturing tossed washers. At least some of the known washer tossing games include scoring boxes constructed from wood pieces attached in a rectangular or square shape with a bottom piece of wood attached thereto. In the simplest of forms, the cup attached therein is a paint can or other container that can be attached to the bottom piece of wood. The washers tossed into the cans within the scoring boxes are scored at a higher point level than washers tossed into the scoring boxes.

While functional, such home made washer tossing games are not easily portable to gatherings and events away from the home and present a bit of a storage problem. Some washer tossing games are known to exist where the scoring boxes and cup are formed from a single piece of extruded plastic and are stackable. While alleviating the portability and storage problems somewhat, it is believed that another solution to portability and storage would be beneficial.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, a washer tossing game is provided which comprises a cylindrical carrying case comprising two ends, a plurality of washers, and at least two scoring boxes configured for storage within the carrying case along with the washers. The scoring boxes are adaptable to form a plurality of side walls and the game also comprises a plurality of rigid channels configured to engage and stabilize the side walls. The washer tossing game further comprises two end caps configured to engage respective ends of the carrying case. The end caps are also configured for use as scoring cups when attached to the scoring boxes.

In another aspect, a scoring box for a washer tossing game is provided. The scoring box comprises a substantially rectangular sheet material that may be rolled into a substantially cylindrical shape for storage. The sheet further comprises a plurality of slots formed therein enabling a user to form side walls, the side walls each having an end, for the box. The sheet further comprises a plurality of end tabs resulting from the formation of the slots. The end tabs are configured for folding around the end of the wall, a portion of each end tab configured to be adjacent to a portion of the wall. The scoring box further comprises a plurality of retention devices configured to retain the end tabs in a position adjacent the respective wall.

In still another aspect, a scoring box for a washer tossing game is provided which comprises a sheet material that that be rolled into a substantially cylindrical shape for storage and a plurality of rigid channels configured to engage and stabilize portions of the sheet material. The sheet comprises a substantially square bottom portion having four sides, a plurality of substantially rectangular side portions, each side portion comprising a first end and a second end opposite the first end. One side portion extends from each side of the bottom portion, and each side portion is configured to be folded upward from the bottom portion to form walls. The first end is configured for attachment to the second end of an adjacent side portion. The rigid channels are configured to engage and stabilize the walls.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a breakout view of a portable washer tossing game.

FIG. 2 is a top view of an unassembled scoring box for the portable washer tossing game of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top view of an alternative embodiment of a scoring box for the portable washer tossing game of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a view of the scoring box of FIG. 2, assembled, and with a cup placed therein.

FIG. 5 is an end view of a rigid channel for strengthening side walls of the scoring box of FIGS. 2 and 4.

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of a cup for the portable washer tossing game of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a view illustrating operation of the portable washer tossing game of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a breakout view of a portable washer tossing game 10. Game 10 includes a hollow, cylindrical carrying case 12 having a strap 14 which serves as a handle or shoulder strap, and a plurality of scoring boxes 16 that are configured to be rolled for insertion and storage within carrying case 12. Game 10 further includes two end caps 18 and a plurality of washers 20. In various embodiments, washers 20 are coated with a plastic, a rubber, a paint, or a powdered coating which can supply a coloring to washers 20, and therefore enable an ease of recovery of tossed washers. The various coatings may also lessen a bounce of a tossed washer 20, improving a quality of the game. End caps 18 are configured to fit onto and engage ends 22 of carrying case 12. End caps 18 are further configured to be utilized as cups which are placed in a center of scoring boxes 16 for reception of one or more well tossed washers 20 as further described herein. As such, end caps 18 and cups 18 are referred to interchangeably herein.

For storage, and as described above, scoring boxes 16 are configured to be rolled up into a substantial cylindrical shape and inserted into carrying case 12 for storage. In the preferred embodiment, the rolling of scoring boxes 16 will result in a bundle 24 of a size that fits snugly within carrying case 12. In one embodiment, washers 20 are then placed within carrying case 12 at one or more ends 26 of bundles 24 and end caps 18 are placed onto ends 22 of carrying case 12. While any number of embodiments exist, in one preferred embodiment, end caps 18 are configured with an inside diameter that fits snugly around an outside diameter of carrying case 12. In another embodiment, outside diameter of carrying case 12 and inside diameter of end caps 18 are configured with molded protrusions (not shown) and indentations respectively that allow for a snap fit of end caps 18 onto carrying case 12. Still another embodiment incorporates threads on the outside diameter of carrying case 12 and inside diameter of end caps 18. Again, many embodiments for end caps 18 and carrying case 12 exist, and in one particular embodiment both are formed from a plastic, which allows for easy coloring of the various pieces. The various pieces may also be formed from a clear material. In another embodiment, end caps 18 and carrying case 12 are constructed from a lightweight metal. In one embodiment, strap 14 has an adjustable length allowing for sizing to the particular person carrying game 10.

FIG. 2 is a top view of one unassembled scoring box 16 for portable washer tossing game 10 (shown in FIG. 1). In one embodiment, scoring boxes 16 are made from a material that is easy to roll up for storage, also lays out flat easily without attempting to retain the rolled up configuration. One preferred material is a sheet rubber. Other materials includes certain sheet plastics and certain heavier woven materials that can retain a shape.

Scoring box 16 is a substantially rectangular sheet with a plurality of narrow rectangular slots 30 formed therein. Rectangular slots 30 allow the folding of side walls 32 and side walls 34 upward to form the walls of scoring box 16. The formation of narrow slots 30 also result in side walls 34 having end tabs 36 at each end which are then folded around respective ends 38 of side wall 32 to substantially complete assembly of vertical walls of scoring boxes 16. In one embodiment, scoring box 16 includes retention devices 40 near ends 38 of side walls 32 and on tabs 36. Retention devices 40 are utilized such that end tabs 36 remain in substantial contact with side walls 32 upon folding. Examples of retention devices 40 include adhesives which can be easily separated, hook and loop type fasteners, snap fitting fasteners, and other similar fasteners. It should be noted that FIG. 2 is one of many possible configurations for side walls 32 and other configurations are contemplated, for example, each side wall 32 and 34 can be configured with a single end tab 36 configured to engage the adjacent side wall 32 and 34. In another embodiment (not shown), side walls 32 and 34 are respectively configured with a slot formed therein for insertion of a folded portion of the adjacent side wall.

A cup mount 42 is located near the substantial center of scoring box 16 for placement of one of end caps 18. Cup mount 42 is also selected from one of the adhesives, and hook and loop type, snap fitting, and similar fasteners above described. The arrows indicate one of the directions from which scoring box 16 can be rolled up into the substantial cylindrical shape.

FIG. 3 is a diagram of an alternative embodiment of a scoring box 50 for a washer tossing game. Scoring box 50 is also formed from a sheet material, for example, sheet rubber, that that be rolled into a substantially cylindrical shape for storage, for example, within carrying case 12 (shown in FIG. 1). Scoring box 50 includes a substantially square bottom portion 52 having four sides 54. Scoring box 50 further includes a plurality of substantially rectangular side portions 56, each side portion 56 having a first end 58 and a second end 60 opposite first end 58. Upon folding, each side portion 56 extends upward from the respective side 54 of bottom portion 52 forming walls. First ends 58 are configured for attachment to adjacent second ends 60 such that the resulting walls retain their substantially upward fold. A cup mount 42 is located near the substantial center of scoring box 50 for placement of one of end caps 18 as described above and utilizing the fastening methods described above.

FIG. 4 is a view of the scoring box 16 of FIG. 2, assembled, and with an end cap 18 placed therein. FIG. 4 illustrates end tabs 36 of side walls 34 wrapped around and affixed to ends 38 (not shown in FIG. 4) of side walls 32 to form the substantially vertical walls of scoring box 16. In addition, FIG. 4 includes a view of an optional accessory which can be utilized with scoring boxes 16. Specifically, on side wall 42 a substantially rigid channel 70 is fitted on to a substantial portion of top 72 of side wall 42. As scoring boxes 16 are fabricated from materials that are easily rolled for insertion into carrying case 12, for example, sheet rubber, side walls 32 and 34 tend to be somewhat flexible when scoring boxes 16 are assembled. Therefore, the striking of side walls 32 and 34 by a tossed washer 20 may tend to flex the struck wall, resulting in a less than true bounce off the wall. Further, the flexible nature of the sheet rubber may result in a side wall 32 and 34 that is bowed in one or more of the vertical and horizontal directions upon assembly of scoring box 16. To provide a solution, individual rigid channels 70 may be inserted onto respective side walls 32 and 34 to provide an improved shape and rigidity to the walls of scoring boxes 16.

FIG. 5 is an end view of one embodiment of a rigid channel 70. As shown, rigid channel 70 includes two substantially parallel side members 74 connected by an end portion 76 thereby forming channel 78 which engages portion of side walls 32 and 34 of scoring boxes 16. In a particular embodiment, channel 78 has a width that provides for a snug fit with side walls 32 and 34 such that rigid channel 70 is easily held in place on one of the side walls of scoring box 16. In a particular embodiment, portable washer tossing game 10 includes eight rigid channels 70, one for each of side walls 32 and 34 of the two scoring boxes 16 of game 10. For storage within carrying case 12, rigid channels 70 are placed within the substantial cylindrical shape of rolled up scoring boxes 16. Alternatively, scoring boxes 16 are rolled around the group of rigid channels 70 and placed within carrying case 12. Rigid channels 70 are also operable with scoring box 50 (shown in FIG. 3).

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of cup 18 for portable washer tossing game 10. FIG. 6 illustrates a retention device 80 which retains end cap 18 on cup mount 42 (shown in FIG. 2). Retention device 80 also is one of the adhesives, snap fitting fasteners, and hook and loop type fasteners above described.

FIG. 7 is a view illustrating operation of portable washer tossing game 10. Scoring boxes 16 are placed a distance apart with end caps 18 inserted therein. The players toss washers 20 from an area 90 near or behind one scoring box 16 towards the other scoring box 16 attempting to land the washers inside the other scoring box 16 and preferably within end cap 18, for a higher point value, similar to the game of horseshoes.

Washer tossing game 10 provides a solution to the problems of storing and portability of known washer tossing games by providing scoring boxes 16 that can be substantially reduced in size as compared to known washer tossing game scoring boxes. In addition, game 10 provides storage for washers 20 and utilizes end caps 18 as both part of the game and as part of the storage solution. Embodiments where the retention device utilized for holding end caps 18 in place are also utilized for attachment to the carrying strap 14 are also contemplated. Other embodiments of game 10 are also foreseen, for example, embodiments where cups 18 and rigid channels 70 are formed from a glow in the dark material or incorporate other lighting methods for playing game 10 after sunset. It is believed that the portability and storage capabilities herein described will result in an increased popularity to washer tossing.

While the invention has been described in terms of various specific embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the claims.