Title:
Spinning turntable hockey game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spinning turntable hockey game preferably includes at least one play piece, a base, a turntable, at least one play piece ejector, at least one slidable goalie unit and electronic scoring. The base may be placed on a table top or retained in a cabinet. A clear cover is preferably placed over the base. The turntable is preferably driven by a variable speed motor. A corrugated fence extends upward from the base, adjacent an outer perimeter of the turntable. At least one fence gap is formed in the corrugated fence. A single slidable goalie unit is retained, adjacent each fence gap. A play piece cavity is formed adjacent each fence gap. Manipulation of the slidable goalie unit prevents the play piece from entering the play piece cavity. A play piece ejector receives a play piece through one of the play piece cavities and ejects thereof back on to the turntable.



Inventors:
Hansen, Bryan P. (Fox River Grove, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/989205
Publication Date:
05/18/2006
Filing Date:
11/15/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/108.1
International Classes:
A63F7/07
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIU, RALEIGH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Donald, Ersler J. (725 Garvens Avenue, Brookfield, WI, 53005, US)
Claims:
1. A method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score, comprising the steps of: spinning a turntable with a play piece deflector formed in substantially a center thereof, said play piece deflector causing said play piece to be projected toward an outer perimeter of said turntable; surrounding said turntable with a structure, impact with said structure causing said play piece to bounce off thereof; forming at least one gap in said. structure, locating a play piece cavity adjacent each one of said at least one gap; locating a sliding deflector in each one of said at least one gap; and providing a play piece ejector for ejecting said play piece back on to said turntable when said play piece falls into said play piece cavity, said play piece ejector including a play piece retention section, a play piece ejector and an ejection path, said play piece falling into said play piece retention section, said play piece ejector ejecting said play piece along said ejection path, said ejection path extending above a top of said turntable.

2. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 1, further comprising the step of: placing a clear cover over said turntable.

3. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 1, further comprising the step of: retaining said turntable on a top of a cabinet.

4. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 1, further comprising the step of: displaying the score of each player.

5. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 1, further comprising the step of: ejecting at least one more additional play piece on to said turntable during game play.

6. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 1, further comprising the step of: allowing a player to change the speed of said turntable.

7. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 1, further comprising the step of: providing background music and sound effects through a sound transducer.

8. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 1, further comprising the step of: placing at least one additional turntable adjacent said turntable.

9. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score, comprising the steps of: spinning a turntable with a play piece deflector formed in substantially a center thereof, said play piece deflector causing said play piece to be projected toward an outer perimeter of said turntable; surrounding said turntable with a structure, impact with said structure causing said play piece to bounce off thereof; forming at least one gap in said structure, locating a play piece cavity adjacent each one of said at least one gap; locating a sliding deflector in each one of said at least one gap; providing a play piece ejector for ejecting said play piece back on to said turntable when said play piece falls into said play piece cavity, said play piece ejector including a play piece retention section, a play piece ejector and an ejection path, said play piece falling into said play piece retention section, said play piece ejector ejecting the play piece along said ejection path, said ejection path extending above a top of said turntable, directing an end of said ejection path toward a center of said turntable; and displaying the score of each player.

10. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 9, further comprising the step of: placing a clear cover over said turntable.

11. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 9, further comprising the step of: retaining said turntable on a top of a cabinet.

12. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 9, further comprising the step of: ejecting at least one more additional play piece on to said turntable during game play.

13. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 9, further comprising the step of: allowing a player to change the speed of said turntable.

14. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 9, further comprising the step of: providing background music and sound effects through a sound transducer.

15. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 9, further comprising the step of: placing at least one additional turntable adjacent said turntable.

16. A method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score, comprising the steps of: spinning a turntable with a play piece deflector formed in substantially a center thereof, said play piece deflector causing said play piece to be projected toward an outer perimeter of said turntable; surrounding said turntable with a structure, impact with said structure causing said play piece to bounce off thereof; forming at least one gap in said structure, locating a play piece cavity adjacent each one of said at least-one gap; locating a sliding deflector in each one of said at least one gap; and providing a play piece ejector for ejecting said play piece back on to said turntable when said play piece falls into said play piece cavity, said play piece ejector including a play piece retention section, a play piece ejector and an ejection path, said play piece falling into said play piece retention section, said play piece ejector ejecting the play piece along said ejection path, said ejection path extending above a top of said turntable, directing an end of said ejection path toward a center of said turntable.

17. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 16, further comprising the step of: placing a clear cover over said turntable.

18. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 16, further comprising the step of: retaining said turntable on a top of a cabinet.

19. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 16, further comprising the step of: allowing a player to change the speed of said turntable.

20. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 16, further comprising the step of: ejecting at least one more additional play piece on to the turntable during game play.

21. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 16, further comprising the step of: providing background music and sound effects through a sound transducer.

22. The method of moving a play piece for players to defend against a score of claim 16, further comprising the step of: placing at least one additional turntable adjacent said turntable.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to arcade games and more specifically to a spinning turntable hockey game that requires a player to prevent a play piece launched by the game from scoring a goal.

2. Discussion of the Prior Art

U.S. Pat. No. 3,642,281 to Green discloses a rotating game with peripheral catching members. The Green patent includes a game with at least one turntable rotated on a base having fencelike structures extending upwardly surrounding the turntable. A catching member is movable along one or more gaps, spaced along a perimeter of the turntable and operable by a player. However, the Green patent does not disclose an automatic play piece ejector, a variable speed turntable, electronic scoring, the use of multiple play pieces, background music or sound effects.

Accordingly, there is a clearly felt need in the art for a spinning turntable hockey game, which includes an automatic play piece ejector, a variable speed turntable, electronic scoring, the use of multiple play pieces, background music and sound effects.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a spinning turntable hockey game that requires a player to prevent a play piece launched by the game from scoring a goal. The spinning turntable hockey game preferably includes a base, a turntable, at least one play piece, at least one play piece ejector, at least one slidable goalie unit and electronic scoring. The base may be placed on a table top or retained in a cabinet. A clear cover is preferably placed over the base. The turntable is preferably driven by a variable speed motor. The speed of the motor is controlled by each player. The play piece is preferably a puck, but other types of play pieces may also be used, such as a ball.

A corrugated fence extends upward from the base, adjacent an outer perimeter of the turntable. At least one fence gap is formed in the corrugated fence. A single slidable goalie unit is retained adjacent each fence gap. A play piece cavity is formed adjacent each fence gap. Sliding manipulation of the slidable goalie unit by a player prevents the play piece from entering the play piece cavity. A play piece ejector is preferably located below the play piece cavity. The play piece ejector receives the play piece, when a goal is scored. The play piece ejector ejects the play piece back on to the turntable, when a new game is started. However, a play piece ramp may be located under each play piece cavity and each play piece ramp directed to a play piece inlet of a single play piece ejector. The electronic scoring keeps track of the number of goals scored against each player.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a spinning turntable hockey game, which includes at least one automatic play piece ejector.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a spinning turntable hockey game, which includes a variable speed turntable.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a spinning turntable hockey game, which includes electronic scoring.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a spinning turntable hockey game, which includes the use of multiple play pieces.

Finally, it is another object of the present invention to provide a spinning turntable hockey game, which includes background music and/or sound effects.

These and additional objects, advantages, features and benefits of the present invention will become apparent from the following specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of a base of a spinning turntable hockey game in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front view of a spinning turntable hockey game retained on a cabinet in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of a spinning turntable hockey game retained on a cabinet in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged front end view of a base of a spinning turntable hockey game in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged front end view of a base of a spinning turntable hockey game without two play piece ejectors in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged side end view of a base of a spinning turntable hockey game in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged side end view of a base of a spinning turntable hockey game with a bottom portion of a goalie unit removed to reveal a play piece ejector in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged rear view of a play piece ejector of a spinning turntable hockey game in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged side view of a play piece ejector of a spinning turntable hockey game in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged front view of a slidable goalie unit of a spinning turntable hockey game in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged top view of a slidable goalie unit of a spinning turntable hockey game in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown a top view of a base 10 of a spinning turntable hockey game 1. With reference to FIGS. 2-5, the spinning turntable hockey game 1 preferably includes a base 10, a turntable 12, at least one play piece 14, at least one play piece ejector 16, at least one slidable goalie unit 18 and electronic scoring. The base 10 may be placed on a table top or retained on a cabinet 22. The cabinet 22 includes a coin operation assembly 23, when the spinning turntable hockey game 1 is used in commercial settings. The base 10 preferably includes a top panel 24 a light panel 26 and a bottom panel 28. The light panel 26 is preferably fabricated from a clear colored plastic material, such as plexiglass. A light hole 30 is formed through the light panel 26 and a bottom hole 32 is formed through the bottom panel 28. A light source 34, such as a fluorescent light is mounted below the light and bottom holes. Light propagates from the light hole 30 to the edges of the light panel 26.

The turntable 12 is preferably driven by a variable speed motor 36. A drive end of the variable speed motor 36 is mounted to a bottom of the top panel 24 with at least two fasteners 38. A play piece deflector 40 and the turntable 12 are attached to a drive hub 42 with at least two fasteners 44. The play piece deflector 40 is preferably shaped as a star, but other designs of play piece deflectors may also be used. The drive hub 42 is attached to a drive shaft (not shown) of the variable speed motor 36. The turntable 12 is preferably fabricated from a thin sheet of plexiglass and decorated with appropriate graphics. Applicant hereby incorporates by reference U.S. Pat. No. 3,642,281 to Green. At least one additional turntable may be placed adjacent the turntable 12 as shown in FIG. 7 of the '281 patent. The play piece 14 is preferably a puck, but other types of play pieces may also be used, such as a ball.

A corrugated fence 44 is retained, adjacent an outer perimeter of the turntable 12. A shape of the play piece deflector 40 causes the play piece 14 to be whipped against the corrugated fence 44 during rotation of the turntable 12. The shape of the corrugated fence 44 causes the play piece 14 to bounce off thereof back toward the play piece deflector 40, another portion of the corrugated fence 44 or a fence gap 46. At least one fence gap 46 is formed in the corrugated fence 44. However, at least two fence gaps 46 must be formed in the corrugated fence 44 for a competition between two or more players. A play piece cavity 48 is formed through the top panel 24 between each fence gap 46. At least one cavity play piece deflector 50 is attached to a top of the top panel 24. Each cavity play piece deflector 50 causes the play piece 14 to be deflected into the play piece ejector 16. However, a play piece ramp (not shown) may be located under each play piece cavity 48 and connected to a single play piece ejector 16.

With reference to FIGS. 6-9, the play piece ejector 16 preferably includes a base plate 52, a first play piece rail 54, a second play piece rail 56, a third play piece rail 58, a solenoid 60 and a back plate 62. The base plate 52 includes a play piece inlet 64, which receives the play piece 14 through one of the play piece cavities 48. The first play piece rail 54 is attached to the base plate 52, adjacent the play piece inlet 64 with at least two fasteners 59. The first play piece rail 54 includes a first play piece retention section 55 formed on end thereof. One end of the second play piece rail 56 is attached to the base plate 52, adjacent the first play piece retention section 55 with the at least two fasteners 59. A second play piece retention section 57 is formed on the first end of the second play piece rail 56. The third play piece rail 58 is attached to the base plate 52 with the at least two fasteners 59, such that a play piece ejector path 66 is formed between the second and third play piece rails.

The solenoid 60 is attached to a bottom of the base plate 52 with at least two fasteners 61, such that a first armature rod 68 contacts a bottom of the play piece 14. The back plate 62 is attached to the base plate 52 with a plurality of standoff fasteners 63. An optoreceiver 70 is attached to the base plate 52 with at least two standoff fasteners 65 and an optotransmiter 72 is attached to the back plate 62 with the at least two standoff fasteners 65. The optoreceiver 70 and optotransmitter 72 are placed in-line with each other, such that the optoreceiver sees a beam of light from the optotransmitter 72. If the optoreceiver 70 does not see a beam of light, a play piece 14 is resting between the first and second play piece retention sections. The play piece 14 must be resting between the first and second play piece retention sections to be ejected at a later time. However, other methods of detecting the presence of the play piece 14 may also be used, such as a proximity sensor or a microswitch.

An optional second solenoid 74 is retained adjacent, substantially a middle of the first rail 54. A second armature rod 76 of the second solenoid 74 is used to place only one play piece 14 over the first solenoid 60, when at least one more play piece 15 is used. The back plate 62 includes a play piece deflector 78 that extends upward above a top of the base plate 52. An end 80 of the play piece deflector 78 is bent outward to deflect the path of the ejected play piece 14, 15. At least one base tab 82 extending from the base plate 52 and at least one back tab 84 extending from the back plate 62 are attached to the top panel 24 with fasteners 59 or the like.

With reference to FIGS. 10-11, the slidable goalie unit 18 preferably includes a base bracket 86, a pair of slide rods 88, a slide block 90, a slide knob 92, a goalie bracket 94 and a goalie play piece deflector 96. The base bracket 86 includes a pair of opposing rod legs 98, top attachment tabs 100 and a top attachment flange 102. The pair of slide rods 88 are retained between the pair of opposing rod legs 98 with at least four fasteners 104. The slide block 90 includes a pair of slide bores 106 that are sized to slidably receive the pair of slide rods 88. The slide knob 92 is attached to the slide block 90 with any suitable method. A slide slot 108 is formed through the base bracket 86 to provide clearance for the sliding movement of the slide knob 92. The goalie bracket 94 is attached to a bottom of the slide block 90 with at least two fasteners 110. The goalie bracket 94 may be formed from more than one piece of material. The goalie play piece deflector 96 is attached to an end of the goalie bracket 94 with at least one fastener 112.

The variable speed motor 36 is preferably controlled by a slow speed button 114 and a fast speed button 116 for each player, retained on a top of the top panel 24. The slow speed button 114 slows the speed of the turntable 12 rotation from a fast speed. The fast speed button 116 increases the speed of the turntable 12 rotation from a slow speed. The control of the speed is preferably implemented by use of a Saturn III game controller board 119 sold by Gametek of Lombard, Illinois. The slow and fast speed buttons are connected to a microprocessor in the game controller board 119. The fast speed is preferably a DC voltage supplied to the variable speed motor 36 and the slow speed is preferably a square wave voltage of about 60% duty cycle supplied to the variable speed motor 36. However, other variable motor speed control methods may also be used. The first player to press either the slow or fast button will control the speed of the turntable 12, until they release the slow or fast button. A start button 117 is provided for each player. A vessel hole 118 is preferably formed through the top, light and bottom panels to receive a cup or can. A vessel stop 120 is attached to a bottom of the bottom panel 28 to prevent the cup or can from falling through the vessel hole 118.

A clear cover 120 is preferably attached to a top of the top panel 24. The clear cover 120 is shown as having a bubble shape, but other shapes may also be used. A scoring display 122 is attached to an inside top of the clear cover 120. A separate scoring display 122 faces each player. However, other types of electronic scoring may also be used, such as a series of LEDs that light-up when a goal is scored. The microprocessor in the game controller board 119 receives input from both pairs of the optoreceivers 70 and the optotransmitters 72 and the scoring display 122 receives input from the microprocessor. When a beam of light is broken between one of the pairs of optoreceivers 70 and the optotransmitters 72, the opponent receives a point. The scoring display 122 may be purchased from Gametek of Lombard, Ill. A plurality of light emitting devices 124 are placed on a bottom of the scoring display 122 to illuminate the turntable 12. A plurality of white LEDS are preferably used for the plurality of light emitting devices.

A Spaz Ball 126 is preferably attached to a bottom of the scoring display 122. The Spaz Ball 126 includes a plurality of colored LEDs that spin and flash at a high rate of speed. The Spaz Ball 126 is used to attract players to spend money to play the spinning turntable hockey game 1. The Spaz Ball may be purchased from Glowrks of Roseville, Minn. A plurality of sound openings 128 are formed through the cabinet 22 to allow sound to emit from a sound transducer, such as a speaker 130. Background music and sound effects are preferably supplied to the speaker 130 through the game board controller 119.

The spinning turntable hockey game 1 is started by one of the players pressing the start button 117. The play piece 14 is ejected from one of the play piece ejectors 16. The player slides the goalie play piece deflector 96 with the slide knob 92 to prevent the play piece 14 from entering the play piece cavity 48, adjacent the goalie play piece deflector 96. The rotation of the turntable 12 causes the play piece 14 to bounce between the play piece deflector 40 and the corrugated fence 44 and toward one of the play piece cavities 48. The speed of the turntable 12 is controllable through a slow and fast button for each player. If the play piece 14 enters the play piece cavity 48, the play piece 14 falls into the play piece ejector 16. The opponent player receives a score, when the player allows the play piece 14 to enter the play piece cavity 48. The play piece 14 is then ejected back on to the turntable 12 and the game resumes. More than one play piece 14 may be used during play. The spinning turntable hockey game 1 may modified to include 1, 3 or 4 players.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects, and therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.