Title:
Game set including projectiles with internal distance measuring means
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a game set for use in an object throwing game in which projectiles are rolled, tossed or otherwise moved towards a target object. Each projectile includes a distance measuring means disposed within the projectile that can send and receive signals from a control device. The distance measuring system including the measuring means and the control devices allow for an individual or individuals playing the game to measure in a highly accurate manner the positioning of the projectiles with regard to the target object and with regard to one another in order to determine the exact locations of the projectiles, and which projectile or projectiles are positioned closer to the target object than the remaining projectiles. All information regarding the distance between the projectiles and the target object can be received and displayed on the control device for easy administration of the game.



Inventors:
Hickey, Charles P. (Monroe, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/441316
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
05/25/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/371, 273/460, 473/410, 473/415
International Classes:
A63F9/02; A63B67/00; A63F9/24; F41J5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mathew E. Corr;BOYLE, FREDRICKSON, NEWHOLM, STEIN & GRATZ, S.C. (250 Plaza, Suite 1030, 250 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI, 53202, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A game set for use in playing a game, the game set comprising: a) a target object; b) at least one projectile that can be directed towards the target object; and c) a distance measuring system including distance measuring means disposed within each projectile and target object.

2. The game set of claim 1 further comprising at least one device capable of receiving signals from the various distance measuring means within each projectile and target object.

3. The game set of claim 1 wherein the game set includes a number of target objects.

4. The game set of claim 3 wherein the number of target objects are adapted to be positioned within or beneath a playing surface.

5. The game set of claim 1 wherein the target object is a ball.

6. The game set of claim 1 wherein the target object is engagable with a playing surface to project above the playing surface.

7. The game set of claim 1 wherein the distance measuring means each include a receiver, a transmitter and a power source.

8. The game set of claim 7 wherein the power source is a replaceable power source.

9. The game set of claim 7 wherein the power source is a rechargeable power source.

10. The game set of claim 1 wherein the distance measuring means are fixedly disposed within the target object and the at least one projectile.

11. The game set of claim 1 wherein the distance measuring means are removably disposed within the target object and the at least one projectile.

12. The game set of claim 2 wherein the device includes: a) a receiver; b) a transmitter; and c) a control unit operably connected to the receiver and the transmitter, the control unit configured to process signals received by the control unit from the distance measuring means in the target object and the at least one projectile, and to transmit signals to the distance measuring means in the target object and the at least one projectile.

13. The game set of claim 12 wherein the control unit of the device is configured to calculate the exact distance between the target object and the at least one projectile.

14. The game set of claim 13 wherein the control unit of the device is configured to compare the relative distances between the target object and a number of projectiles to determine the projectile that is closest to the target object.

15. The game set of claim 14 wherein the device includes a display to visually illustrate the exact distances of the projectiles from the target object.

16. The game set of claim 15 wherein the control unit of the device is configured to award points based on the exact distances measured by the control unit.

17. A method for playing a game comprising the steps of: a) providing a game set including a target object, at least one projectile, and a distance measuring system including distance measuring means disposed within the target object and the at least one projectile; b) throwing the at least one projectile towards the target object; and c) measuring the distance between the at least one projectile and the target object.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the distance measuring system includes a device capable of determining the distance between the target object and the at least one projectile as a result of receiving signals from the distance measuring means and transmitting signals to the distance measuring means, and wherein the step of measuring the distance between the at least one projectile and the target object comprises operating the device to calculate the exact distance between the at least one projectile and the target object.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from Provisional U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 60/685,272, filed May 27, 2005, the entirety of which is expressly incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to games including a target towards which projectiles are rolled, tossed, thrown, or otherwise moved towards a target by players of the game, and more specifically to a game set used to play a particular game in which the projectiles include means for determining relative distances between both the target and other projectiles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many different types of games involving the rolling, throwing or other movement of projectiles, such as balls, towards a target have been developed for amusement purposes. The winner of these games is often determined by measuring the distances between the resting position of the projectile moved towards the target and the target itself, in order to determine how close the projectile has come to the target. In prior art games of this type, distance was measured by approximating varying distances utilizing the individual game player's or official's eyes, or by more accurately measuring the distance utilizing certain measuring devices, including tape measurers or other instruments having the ability to measure length.

However, in certain cases where it is difficult to visually determine the resting place of the projectile due to various circumstances resulting from game play, or where two or more projectiles have come to rest at locations approximately equidistant from the target, it is often difficult to accurately determine the actual distance of the projectile to the target.

As a result, it is desirable to develop projectiles for a game set that can be used to play a game in which the projectiles are provided with internal means capable of measuring the distance between the respective projectiles and the target, as well as potentially between the multiple projectiles, when applicable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a primary aspect of the present invention, a game set is provided in which the game set includes a target, e.g., an object or line, positioned on the field of play and a number of projectiles, such as balls that are to be rolled, tossed, thrown or otherwise moved towards the target by the game participants in order to get the projectiles as close as possible to the target. Each projectile includes an internal distance measuring means capable of sending and receiving signals to a separate measuring means disposed within the target object in order to accurately determine the position or distance between the projectile and the target. The measuring means can also compare this distance with the distances of other projectiles from the target in order to specifically and accurately determine the projectile or projectiles which are closest to the target, and/or the relative position of the projectiles with respect to the target. The measuring means disposed within the projectile(s) allow for the determination of the distance from the projectile to the target with a level of accuracy that is greater than that obtainable using any prior art system.

According to another aspect of the present invention, the projectile(s) includes the distance measuring means disposed within the projectile(s) in a manner in which allows the projectile to easily be utilized in the play of the game, while also preventing the measuring means from being damaged while the projectile is in use.

Numerous other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will be made apparent from the following detailed description taken together with the drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings illustrate the best mode currently contemplated in practicing the present invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of the game set including the distance measuring means disposed within the various projectiles utilized in the game of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a second embodiment of the game set of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of a third embodiment of the game set of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to the drawing figure in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the disclosure. A game set is indicated generally at 10 in FIG. 1. The game set 10 can include any number or type of target objects 12 and projectiles 14a, 14b, 16a and 16b that are used to play a particular game in which one or more targets and one or more projectiles to be moved toward the target are used. The target object 12 can take the form of any suitable target used in the particular game, including a flag, a ball, a post, a basket or a line or zone on a playing surface, among others. The projectiles 14a-16b can also take any form to be used for the particular game, such as a ball of any sort, a bag, a horseshoe, a curling stone or an arrow, among others.

In a first embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1, the game set 10 includes a target object 12, a first set of projectiles 14a-14b, a second set of projectiles 16a-16b, such as for use in playing bocce or petanque, and a pair of hand-held devices 18 and 20. Each of the target object 12, first set of projectiles 14a-14b, and second set of projectiles 16a-16b includes a distance measuring means 22 positioned within the respective object 12 and projectiles 14a-16b.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, each measuring means 22 is positioned within the center of each object 12 and projectile 14a-16b to minimize any damage from being done to the measuring means 22 during the use of the object 12 or projectile 14a-16b. The measuring means 22 can be positioned within the object 12 and the projectiles 14a-16b in any suitable manner, such as by molding or otherwise forming the object 12 and projectiles 14a-16b around the measuring means 22, or by initially forming the object 12 and projectiles 14a-16b to include a channel or opening (not shown) therein that can receive and retain the measuring means 22. Optionally, the object 12 and the projectiles 14a-16b can include a type of shock-absorbing structure or material (not shown) within the object 12 and/or projectiles 14a-16b and within which the measuring means 22 is positioned that provides additional protection to the measuring means 22 from shock and other vibrations transmitted through the object 12 or projectiles 14a-16b during gameplay.

The measuring means 22 can be constructed to have any desired configuration that provides the distance measuring functions for the means 22, but preferably includes a receiver 24 and a transmitter 26 operably connected to one another and capable of receiving signals generated from the hand-held devices 18 and 20, as well as from other measuring means 22, which all form a distance measuring system 200 for the game set 10, and to transmit a return signal to the hand-held devices 18 and 20. The measuring means 22 preferably takes the form of a computer-like chip having a size easily containable within the respective object 12 and projectiles 14a-16b. Additionally, the measuring means 22 disposed within each object 12 and projectile 14a-16b includes a type of power source 23 operably connected to the receiver 24 and transmitter 26 to allow operation of the measuring means 22. The power source 23 can take any suitable form, such as a battery disposed within the object 12 and the projectiles 14a-16b with the measuring means 22 that can also be rechargeable by removing the battery from the object 12 or projectile 14a-16b or connecting the battery to a separate power supply using a plug. Also, the power source 23 for the measuring means 22 can be one that utilizes the motion of the object 12 or the projectiles 14a-16b to create the power for the operation of the measuring means 22.

The object 12 and the projectiles 14a-14b, 16a-16b themselves are preferably generally spherical in shape for this embodiment, but can have other suitable shapes as well. In addition, the target object 12 and projectiles 14a-14b, 16a-16b are formed of any suitable and durable material, such that they can be utilized repeatedly to play a number of games utilizing the set 10. Preferably, the target 12, and projectiles 14a-14b, and 16a-16b are formed of a lightweight and rigid material, such as a plastic material, that allows the target 12 and projectiles 14a-14b, 16a-16b to be easily utilized and transported when not in use.

The devices 18 and 20 also include a receiver 24 and a transmitter 26 to allow the devices 18 and 20 to receive and transmit signals between the object 12, the projectiles 14a-16b, and each other. The devices 18 and 20 also include a control unit 28 that can preferably be utilized to process the signals received by the devices 18 and 20 to measure the distance between the object and one or more of the projectiles 14a-16b based on one or more parameters of the signals generated by the measuring means 22, such as the time required for a signal to be sent and received between the target object 12 and a projectile 14-16b.

In addition to the receiver 24, transmitter 26 and the control unit 28, the hand-held devices 18 and 20 also include a number of switches 30 capable of switching on power to the devices 18 and 20 and operating the various features of the devices 18 and 20 including, but not limited to, sending and receiving signals from the devices 18 and 20 to the measuring means 22 disposed within the object 12 and the various projectiles 14a-14b and 16a-16b, and measuring the distances between the target object 12 and the projectiles 14a-14b, 16a-16b. Each device 18 and 20 also includes a display 32 that visually displays the calculated distances between the respective objects. Other optional functions that can be performed by the devices 18 and 20 include, but are not limited to, keeping track of or recording: 1) the elapsed time of the current game; 2) scores from previous games; and 3) the players participating in the previous and current games, among other features.

In operation according to the embodiment of FIG. 1, the game set 10 is utilized to play the game by taking the target object 12 and throwing or otherwise placing the object 12 at a location within the playing field 100. Each player/team then takes their respective set of projectiles 14a-14b, 16a-16b, and steps a specified distance away from the specified target object 12. Each player then takes turns throwing, rolling or otherwise attempting to position the projectiles 14a-14b, 16a-16b as close to the target object 12 as possible. After each of the projectiles 14a-14b and 16a-16b have been thrown towards the target object 12, each player/team may then operate the hand-held devices 18 and 20 to send and receive signals from the respective distance measuring means 22 within each projectile 14a-14b and 16a-16b to accurately measure the distances between the respective projectiles 14a-14b and 16a-16b and the target object 12. As the distances are calculated electronically, the accuracy in the calculated distance is very high, and the score or points to be awarded based upon the final positions of the projectiles 14a-14b and 16a-16b can be awarded quickly. This allows the players to collect the projectiles 14a-14b and 16a-16b and quickly begin a second round of play, or conclude the game, as desired.

Each device 18 and 20 may also be utilized electronically keep score based on the signals transmitted to the device 18 or 20 from the various distance measuring means 22. Also, based on the measurements obtained by the devices 18 and 20 from the distance measuring means 22, the devices 18 and 20 can determine any projectiles 14a-14b or 16a-16b which are out of bounds with regards to the target object 12, thereby removing these projectiles automatically from play. Therefore, the distance measuring means 22 within each projectile 14a-14b and 16a-16b, in conjunction with the hand-held devices 18 and 20 allow for variations and improvements in game play which heretofore have not been available due to the ease of measurement and accuracy of measurements obtained utilizing the game set 10 with the measuring means 22 and the devices 18 and 20.

In addition to utilizing means 22 within projectiles 14a-14b and 16a-16b, the means 22 can also be utilized in other types of projectiles or balls for distance measuring purposes and other types of games. For example, in the embodiment of the game set 10 illustrated in FIG. 3, the measuring means 22 are positioned within a target 12, such as a flagstick 34, and the measuring means 22 are located within projectiles 14a-16b, such as golf balls 36. Thus, in this embodiment, the devices 18 and 20 can be utilized to send and receive signals from a number of measuring means 22 disposed within the golf balls 36 to measure the distances between the golf balls 36 and the flagstick 34.

Additionally, in the embodiment of the game set 10 illustrated in FIG. 4, the measuring means 22 is secured within a football 38. During normal football gameplay, the measuring means 22 disposed within the football 38 can interact with one or more of the devices 18 and 20 to measure the distance between the measuring means 22 within both the football 38 and other target objects 12 positioned around and beneath a football field 102, such as at an end line 104, a side line 106 or a goal line 108, in order to enable the devices 18 and 20 to determine the exact positioning of the football 38 on the field 102 in the above-described manner for situations where a player (not shown) carrying the football 38 is tackled, when the football 38 or player carrying the football 38 is knocked out of bounds, or when it is unclear due to the positions of the players on the field whether the football 38 has crossed the goal line 108.

Various alternatives are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter regarded as the invention.





 
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