Title:
BALL AND LADDER GAME FOR USE IN COMBINATION WITH AN INDOOR TABLE GAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ball toss game that is configured to be mounted to a game table includes a frame having a pair of vertical posts (vertical support members) arranged parallel to one another and at least three cross members extending between and coupled at their ends to the pair of vertical support member. The ball toss game also includes a pair of coupling members for mounting to two opposing vertical side surfaces of the game table. The coupling member has a receiving portion that receives a lower end of a respective vertical support member and a fastening means for releasably mounting the lower end to the coupling member such that the frame stands upright. The ball toss game includes a pair of objects attached to two ends of a cord to form a connected member that is tossed at the frame in order to score points if and depending upon where the connected member is temporarily secured to one cross member.



Inventors:
Cosenza, Anthony (Bay Shore, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/026924
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
02/06/2008
Assignee:
Regent Sports Corporation (Hauppauge, NY, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B63/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIU, RALEIGH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DARBY & DARBY P.C. (P.O. BOX 770 Church Street Station, New York, NY, 10008-0770, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ball toss game that is configured to be mounted to a game table comprising: a frame having a pair of vertical support members arranged parallel to one another and at least three cross members extending between and coupled at their ends to the pair of vertical support member; a pair of coupling members for mounting to two opposing vertical side surfaces of the game table, each coupling member having a receiving portion that receives a lower end of a respective vertical support member and a fastening means for releasably mounting the lower end to the coupling member such that the frame stands upright; and a pair of objects attached to two ends of a cord to form a connected member that is tossed at the frame in order to score points if and depending upon where the connected member is temporarily secured to one cross member.

2. The ball toss game of claim 1, wherein each end of the cross member includes a threaded bore that receives a threaded fastener that passes through a through opening in the adjacent vertical support member and threadingly engages the bore for attaching the cross member end to the vertical support member.

3. The ball toss game of claim 1, wherein the table game is selected from the group consisting of an air hockey table, a foosball table, a table tennis table, and a combination game table.

4. The ball toss game of claim 1, wherein the coupling member comprises a bracket having a pair of planar flanges that extend outwardly from a base portion that defines the receiving portion, each of the planar flanges being mounted to the vertical side surface.

5. The ball toss game of claim 4, wherein the receiving portion includes an arcuate side wall and a floor that is perpendicular to the arcuate side wall, the floor having a flat inner edge that seats against the vertical side surface.

6. The ball toss game of claim 5, wherein the arcuate side wall is U-shaped.

7. The ball toss game of claim 5, wherein the floor includes a through opening for receiving a threaded fastener that is threadingly engaged to a threaded bore formed in the lower end of the vertical support member to securely mount the vertical support member to the floor.

8. The ball toss game of claim 1, wherein the lower ends of the vertical support member are mounted to the coupling members at a height that is elevated relative to a ground surface which supports the table game.

9. In combination, a ball and toss game and a table game that includes a playing surface that is supported by and elevated from a ground surface by a plurality of legs, the table game including a perimeter side wall and wherein the ball and toss game includes a frame having a pair of vertical support members arranged parallel to one another and at least three cross members extending between and coupled at their ends to the pair of vertical support member, the frame being releasably mounted to the perimeter side wall such that the frame remains elevated and spaced from the ground surface and extends across and over the playing surface, the ball and toss game including a pair of objects attached to two ends of a cord to form a connected member that is tossed at the frame in order to score points if and depending upon where the connected member is temporarily secured to one cross member.

10. The combination of claim 9, wherein the ball and toss game includes a pair of coupling members for mounting to the perimeter side wall of the game table at two opposing locations, the coupling member having a receiving portion that receives a lower end of a respective vertical support member and a fastening means for releasably mounting the lower end to the coupling member such that the frame stands upright.

11. The combination of claim 10, wherein the coupling members comprise brackets.

12. The combination of claim 10, wherein the coupling members include a releasable snap-fit locking mechanism for locking the frame in an upright position.

13. The combination of claim 10, wherein the receiving portion includes an arcuate side wall and a floor that is perpendicular to the arcuate side wall, the floor having a flat inner edge that seats against the vertical side surface.

14. The ball toss game of claim 13, wherein the arcuate side wall is U-shaped.

15. A combination of indoor games comprising: a table game that includes a playing surface that is supported by and elevated from a ground surface by a plurality of legs, the table game including a side wall that extends around a perimeter of the playing surface and includes opposing coupling members attached thereto; and a ball and toss game including a frame having a pair of vertical supports arranged parallel to one another and upper, middle and lower cross members extending between and coupled at their ends to the pair of vertical supports, the frame being releasably mounted to the coupling members associated with the perimeter side wall, wherein heights of the vertical supports and locations of the coupling members along the perimeter side wall are selected so that a distance between the lower cross member and the playing surface is substantially the same as a distance between the middle and lower cross members and a distance between the middle and upper cross members, the ball and toss game including a pair of objects attached to two ends of a cord to form a connected member that is tossed at the frame in order to score points if and depending upon where the connected member is temporarily secured to one cross member.

16. A combination of indoor games comprising: a table game that includes a playing surface that is supported by and elevated from a ground surface by a plurality of legs, the table game including a side wall that extends around a perimeter of the playing surface and includes opposing coupling members attached thereto; and a ball and toss game including a frame having a pair of vertical supports arranged parallel to one another and upper, middle and lower cross members extending between and coupled at their ends to the pair of vertical supports, the frame being releasably mounted to the coupling members associated with the perimeter side wall, wherein locations of the coupling members along the perimeter side wall are selected so that when the ball and toss game is attached to the coupling members, the frame lies in vertical plane that is substantially parallel to two vertical planes defined at ends of the game table, the ball and toss game including a pair of objects attached to two ends of a cord to form a connected member that is tossed at the frame in order to score points if and depending upon where the connected member is temporarily secured to one cross member.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 60/893,493, filed Mar. 7, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to the field of games, and more particularly, relates to a game that involves the tossing of an article toward an object in order to secure points by having the article engage one or more supports of the object.

BACKGROUND

There are a vast number of games that can either be played indoors or outdoors or a combination thereof. For example, games can be of a board type, such as chess or checkers, or they can be games in which the person actively participates, such as golf, soccer, football, baseball, etc. One type of game is a game in which an article is tossed toward an object for scoring points and one game that follows this basic concept is the game of horseshoes or quoits. This type of game involves the throwing or tossing of a ring or horseshoe to engage an upright stake anchored into the ground. The stake can be anchored at a perpendicular angle to the surface of the ground or it can be anchored at another angle. The object of the game is to encircle the stake with the horseshoe or ring, which results in points being won by the player.

Other articles have been utilized to be tossed at an object, such as bean bags and weights tied at the ends of short cords. More specifically, ladder ball is an outdoor and/or indoor game that is similar in game play to horseshoes. The basic concept of the game is that a player tosses a “bola” (two weights on the ends of a cord (e.g., rope, etc.)) towards a short ladder structure. The object of the game is for players to cast their bolas around the rungs of the ladder structure. Ladder ball goes by a substantial number of alternate names and for example, this basic game is also referred to as bolo toss, rodeo golf, hillbilly golf, bolo golf, lasso golf, snakes and ladders, golf ball horseshoes, etc.

In the traditional game, the bola is a length of cord attached to two objects, one at each end. It is important for playing the game that the objects at each end are equivalent and the lengths of the cords are the same. To differentiate teams, either the cords or the objects fastened to them are a different color. Each ladder generally consists of three horizontal supports or bars that preferably have equal vertical spacing. The ladder frame has a base to permit the base to be free standing and a stand alone unit or it can have sharp stake-like structure as part of the frame to permit it to be driven into the dirt ground outside.

Ladder ball requires a long, narrow playing area. Ladders are placed approximately “ten paces” apart. After deciding which team tosses first, as by a coin toss or the like, one team begins the first round by tossing. Ladder ball is played in rounds, each round consisting of one player from each team tossing bolas. The first player tosses one bola, followed by a player from each remaining team. Bolas can be tossed in any manner the players choose so long as they are tossed individually.

The scoring of the game depends on the location of the bolas at the end of each round. Each rung is assigned a point value and each bola's points are added to the team's scope. Bolas that miss do not score points. The bottom rung is typically deemed the easiest to score on based on the fact that many times a bola will drop from one rung onto a lower one or a bola that is initially thrown too short may bounce off the ground and onto the bottom rung. Landing on the bottom rung is awarded one point. The top rung is the next in difficulty since many players use a high arc toss strategy to try to land the bola onto the top rung. Landing on the top rung is awarded two points. The middle rung is the hardest to land on and therefore, it is awarded the greatest point value. Landing on the middle rung is awarded three points.

Landing a bola on a rung can be accomplished a number of different ways, with the most common way being when the cord is draped over the rung with a ball on either side of the rung. Bolas bouncing off the ground and then landing on a rung do count in scoring. In other words, as long as a bola is supported by a rung, it scores. One other possible way for a bola to land is have the bola wrap around a bola that is already on the ladder. Both bolas are considered to be supported by the same rung and score the point value of the rung. There are a number of different scoring variations, for example, if the second bola that is supported by the first bola has one ball on either side of the next rung down, it scores points from both rungs. If the second bola is touching the ground, a ruling is needed regarding whether the second bola is truly being held and supported by the first bola.

In a traditional game, play continues until the round where at least one team's score reaches or passes twenty-one. The team with the highest score at the end of that round is the winner.

In addition, there are board and indoor table games that mimic sports that are played and watched by millions of people. For example, indoor games, such as indoor table games, simulate the games of soccer, hockey, baseball, etc. One popular type of game for indoor use is an air hockey table in which the puck glides along an air assisted top surface of the table game.

When dealing with indoor games, one consideration and concern is the amount of space that are occupied by the games. For example, if a person has several or more indoor games, such as table games and an indoor, stand alone ball and ladder game, the games occupy a significant amount of space. Since many people have only a limited amount of space to store and play games, it is desirable to provide a solution for minimizing the amount of space needed to store and play multiple indoor games.

SUMMARY

A ball toss game that is configured to be mounted to a game table includes a frame having a pair of vertical posts (vertical support members) arranged parallel to one another and at least three cross members extending between and coupled at their ends to the pair of vertical support member. The ball toss game also includes a pair of coupling members for mounting to two opposing vertical side surfaces of the game table. The coupling member has a receiving portion that receives a lower end of a respective vertical support member and a fastening means for releasably mounting the lower end to the coupling member such that the frame stands upright. The ball toss game includes a pair of objects attached to two ends of a cord to form a connected member that is tossed at the frame in order to score points if and depending upon where the connected member is temporarily secured to one cross member.

In another aspect of one embodiment of the present invention, a ball and toss game is combined with a table game that includes a playing surface that is supported by and elevated from a ground surface by a plurality of legs. The table game includes a perimeter side wall and wherein the ball and toss game includes a frame having a pair of vertical posts arranged parallel to one another and at least three cross members extending between and coupled at their ends to the pair of vertical support members. The frame is releasably mounted to the perimeter side wall such that the frame remains elevated and spaced from the ground surface and extends across and over the playing surface. The ball and toss game includes a pair of objects attached to two ends of a cord to form a connected member that is tossed at the frame in order to score points if and depending upon where the connected member is temporarily secured to one cross member.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, a combination of indoor games includes a table game that includes a playing surface that is supported by and elevated from a ground surface by a plurality of legs. The table game includes a side wall that extends around a perimeter of the playing surface and includes opposing coupling members attached thereto. The combination also includes a ball and toss game that includes a frame having a pair of vertical supports arranged parallel to one another and upper, middle and lower cross members extending between and coupled at their ends to the pair of vertical supports. The frame is releasably mounted to the coupling members associated with the perimeter side wall. The heights of the vertical supports and the locations of the coupling members along the perimeter side wall are selected so that a distance between the lower cross member and the playing surface is substantially the same as a distance between the middle and lower cross members and a distance between the middle and upper cross members.

The ball and toss game also includes a pair of objects attached to two ends of a cord to form a connected member that is tossed at the frame in order to score points if and depending upon where the connected member is temporarily secured to one cross member.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

The foregoing and other features of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description and drawings figures of illustrative embodiments of the invention in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional air hockey table game;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a conventional combination table which permits multiple games to be played on a common player surface;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a ball and ladder game according to one exemplary embodiment of the present invention attached to a conventional game table;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of coupling members for coupling the ball and ladder game to the table game;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the ball and ladder game coupled to the table game, shown partially; and

FIG. 6 is a close-up, exploded perspective view of one end of horizontal support member (cross member) of the ball and ladder game and a fastener for attachment to a vertical post thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Now referring to FIG. 1 in which a conventional indoor table game 100 in the form of an air hockey table is illustrated. The game 100 has a main playing area 110 that includes a playing surface 112 and in the case of an air hockey table, the main playing area is horizontal and parallel to the floor or ground on which the game 100 is supported. The game 100 includes a number (e.g., 4) of legs 120 that support and elevate the main playing area 110 off the floor or ground. In the case of the illustrated air hockey game 100, the playing surface 112 is a planar surface that resembles an ice rink and has two opposing ends 114 and two opposing sides 116 extending between the ends 114 and has four rounded corners 118 where one side 116 joins the end 114. Centrally located at each end 114 is a goal 130.

Tiny pin-like openings or holes are formed across the entire playing surface 112 and the game 100 has an actuatable motor that generates air that is distributed to all of the openings such that thin streams of air are discharged through the openings formed across the playing surface 112. The streams of air permit a puck 140 to easily glide along the playing surface 112 during play of the game. The game 100 also includes a pair of pushers 150, each player holding one pusher 150 for contacting and striking and directing the puck 140 so that it glides along the surface 112 toward the other player's goal 130.

The main playing area 110 includes a vertical side wall 160 which protrudes slightly about the planar playing surface for providing side boards that help contain the puck 140 within the area of the playing surface 112. The side wall 160 extends around the periphery of the entire main playing area 110. A lower portion of the side wall 160 encloses the inner working components, such as the motor and conduits (tubing) that deliver the air to the openings formed in the main playing area 110.

FIG. 2 illustrates a conventional combination game table 300. Combination game tables, such as table 300, are designed so that a number of different games can be played on a common table. The illustrated table 300 is a 7-in-1 combination table (meaning 7 different games can be played); however, the table can equally be a 5-in-1 combination table (meaning 5 different games can be played). As with the other table games, the table game 300 includes a playing surface 310 and legs 320 that support the playing surface 310. A side wall 330 extends around the playing surface 310.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention and as illustrated in FIGS. 3-6, a ball and ladder game 400 is adapted to be used in combination with a table game, such as table games 100 and 300; however, it will be appreciated that the ball and ladder game 400 can be used with other table games and is not limited to only being used with table games 100 and 300. The ball and ladder game 400 includes a frame 410 that is defined by a pair of vertical posts 420, 430 and a plurality of horizontal support members. In the illustrated embodiment, the frame 410 includes a first horizontal support member 440, a second horizontal member 450 and a third horizontal member 460, each of which is attached at its ends to the two vertical posts 420, 430.

The first, second and third horizontal support members 440, 450, 460 are in the form of elongated rail-like structure and can have any number of different cross-sectional shapes, including a circular cross-section, a square cross-section, triangular cross-section, hexagonal cross-section, octagonal cross-section, oval cross-section, etc. The lengths of the first, second and third horizontal support members 440, 450, 460 are preferably the same.

The vertical posts 420, 430 represent the sidewall pieces of the ladder construction, while the first, second and third horizontal support members 440, 450, 460 represent the rungs of the ladder construction. The two vertical posts 420, 430 are spaced apart from one another and are positioned so that they are parallel to one another.

Any number of different techniques can be used to securely attach the two ends of each of the first, second and third horizontal support members 440, 450, 460 to the two vertical posts 420, 430. In the frame 410, the first horizontal support member 440 represents the topmost rung of the ladder; the second horizontal support member 450 represents the middle rung of the ladder; and the third horizontal support member 460 represents the bottom rung of the ladder. Opposing ends 442 of the first horizontal support member 440 can be attached to the two spaced vertical posts 420, 430 by using threaded fasteners 470. In particular, the ends 442 can include threaded bores 490 that threadingly mate with a complementary threaded fastener 470. The vertical posts 420, 430 can include a first pair of through openings (bores) 480 formed therein at locations that are equidistant from the tops of the respective vertical posts 420, 430 and therefore are axially aligned with one another. The first horizontal support member 440 is placed on the inside of the two vertical posts 420, 430 so that the threaded bores 490 at ends 442 are aligned with the through openings 480 formed in the posts 420, 430. One fastener 470 is passed through one opening 480 and is threadingly mated with the threaded bore at one end 442 of the first horizontal support member 470, while, the other fastener 470 is passed through the opposite opening 480 and is threadingly mated with the threaded bore 490 at the other end 442 of the first horizontal support member 470. Once the fasteners 470 are tightened, the first horizontal support member 440 is securely attached at a right angle to and between the two vertical posts 420, 430. In this manner, the first horizontal support member 440 represents an upper rung of the ladder structure.

The process is repeated with the second horizontal support member 450, 460 so that ends 452 of the second horizontal support member 450 and ends 462 of the third horizontal support member 460 are attached to the vertical posts 420, 430 by means of threaded fasteners 470 that pass through openings (through holes) 480 that are formed along the vertical posts 420, 430 and into the respective threaded bores 490 at ends 452, 462. In this manner, three rungs of the ladder construction (frame 410) are formed.

The first, second and third horizontal support members 440, 450, 460 are preferably arranged so that the distance between the first and second horizontal support members 440, 450 is equal to the distance between the second and third horizontal support members 450, 460.

It will be appreciated that a number of different ways and techniques can be used to attach the first, second and third horizontal support members 440, 450, 460 to the vertical posts 420, 430. For example, the vertical frame 410 can be formed as a number of fitted pieces and in particular, each of the vertical posts 420, 430 can be formed of a number of different pieces that are connected with connectors, such as T-shaped connectors that not only connect two vertical post pieces but they also provide a fitting that receives a cross member (one of the horizontal support members). In this manner, the cross members are locked into place relative to the vertical posts in a friction fit manner. To prevent rotation of the cross member relative to the vertical post, the cross member can have a cross-sectional shape other than a circle, e.g., octagonal shape.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention and unlike conventional ball and ladder games, the ball and ladder game 400 of the present invention is not a stand-alone unit since it does not include a base or similar structure that permits the frame 410 to stand upright by itself. Instead, the ball and ladder game 400 is configured to be mounted to and supported by the underlying table game.

For purpose of illustration only, the ball and ladder game 400 is described below and is illustrated in FIGS. 3-6 as being attached to the game table 100 (air hockey table); however, it will be understood that this is merely one application for the ball and ladder game 400 since the ball and ladder game 400 can equally be securely attached to another game table, such as table 300.

To attach and mount the ball and ladder game 400 to the table game 100, a pair of coupling members 500 are provided and are attached to opposing points of the side wall 160. The coupling members 500 are constructed to securely, yet releasably hold the vertical posts 420, 430 of the frame 410 such that the entire frame 410 remains in an upright position, with the cross members (horizontal members 440, 450, 460) extending between the vertical posts 420, 430.

The pair of coupling support members 500 is provided for securely holding the assembled frame 410 in an upright position. In the illustrated embodiment, each of the coupling support members 500 is generally in the form of a bracket that has a pair of side flanges 520, 522 that provide mounting surfaces which are seated against and mounted to the side wall 160 of the game table 100. Each of the support members 500 includes a main receiving body 530 that is formed between the side flanges 520, 522 and is constructed to receive and hold a lower end of the vertical post 420, 430. For example, the main body 530 can include a side wall 532 and a floor 534 that is perpendicular to the side wall 532. The side wall 532 preferably has an arcuate shape (e.g., U-shape) and in combination with the floor 534, the side wall 532 and floor 534 define an interior compartment 540.

The coupling support member 500 can be formed as a single, integral component and therefore, the two side flanges 520, 522 and the side wall 532 are formed as a single contiguous structure. Similarly, the floor 534 can be integrally formed with the side wall 532.

One edge 536 of the floor 534 that faces toward the side wall 160 is a planar, flat edge since the edge 536 seats against the flat, planar edge of the side wall 160. The edge 536 and the side flanges 520, 522 generally lie within the same plane since, once again, the inner faces of the flanges 520, 522 and the inner edge 536 seat against the same planar side wall 160 to permit direct mounting of the support member 500 to the side wall 160.

In one embodiment, the floor 534 includes an opening or bore 550 formed therethrough to permit a fastener, such as threaded fastener 470, to pass therethrough and into the interior compartment 540. When the support member 500 is disposed and mounted to the side wall 160, the side wall 160 closes off the open side of the interior compartment 540 since the side wall 160 extends across the open side of the side wall 532. The shapes of the side wall 532 and the floor 534 are complementary to the shape of the vertical post 420, 430 to permit receipt thereof such that there is only a slight gap between the vertical post 420, 430 and the side wall 532.

Each coupling support member 500 is mounted to the respective locations along the side wall 160 opposite one another and across the playing surface by using conventional means, including the use of fasteners 470. The two side flanges 520, 522 can each include a number of openings (through holes) that permit the fasteners 470 to be passed therethrough and into the side wall 160 to establish a connection between the support member 500 and the side wall 160. The fasteners 470 can be any number of different types of fasteners, including bolts or screws (e.g., metal screws) so long as they securely mount the support member 500 to the side wall 160.

The coupling support members 500 are arranged so that the coupling support member 500 is mounted to the side wall 160 at one location and the other coupling support member 500 is mounted to the side wall 160 at another location that is opposite the one location. In other words, the coupling support members 500 are mounted across the playing surface from one another and preferably, the locations of the coupling support member 500 are such that, when mounted, the ball and ladder game 400 lies in a vertical plane that is parallel to the two vertical planes defined at the ends of the game table 100. More specifically, the distance from the coupling support member 500 to the first end of the game table is the same as the distance from the other coupling support member 500 to the same first end.

The lower ends of the vertical posts 420, 430 are similar in construction to the ends of the respective first, second and third horizontal support members 440, 450 and 460 in that the ends include a threaded bore formed therein. To mount the lower end of each vertical post 420, 430, the lower end is inserted into the interior compartment 540 of the support member 500 that is mounted to the side wall 160. In the embodiment where the floor 534 includes the opening or bore 550 and the lower end of the vertical post 420, 430 includes a threaded bore, the opening 550 and the threaded bore are axially aligned and then the threaded fastener 470 is passed through the opening 550 and threadingly engages the threaded bore resulting in the vertical post 420, 430 being securely attached to the floor 534 and therefore, to the coupling support member 500.

It will be appreciated that the vertical posts 420, 430 can be attached to the coupling support members 500 using other conventional means, besides the use of fasteners. For example, a mechanical interface or fit can be formed between the two components, as by a snap-fit or some other type of fit.

It will be appreciated that when the ball and ladder game 400 is not in use and when the game table to which it is attached, such as table 100, is likewise not in use, the ball and ladder game 400 can remain attached to the game table 100 to reduce the overall space needed to store both games. When it is desired to use the game table 100, the ball and ladder game 400 is easily and quickly detached from the game table 100 to permit playing on the game table 100. The coupling support members 500 do not interfere with play on the game table 100 since they are conveniently located on the side wall 160 of the game table 100 remote from the playing surface.

Due to the nature of the mounting components, existing game tables, such as tables 100 and 300, can easily be retrofitted and converted so that they can be used in combination with and to support the ball and ladder game 400. For example, the coupling support members 500 can easily be attached to the side wall of the game table and then the ball and ladder game 400 is mounted thereto as described above. Thus, the ball and ladder game 400 can be supplied with the mounting components (brackets 500) to permit a consumer to easily retrofit an existing game table.

The ball and ladder game 400 includes a bola 600 that has a conventional design in that it includes a length of cord attached to two objects. The bola 600 can be formed in any number of different ways. For example, the bola 600 can include a length of cord 610 that has two objects 620, 630 attached to the two free ends of the cord 610. In one embodiment, the objects 620, 630 are molded plastic balls that resemble golf balls with an eye-loop integrally molded into the ball. The balls can come in multiple colors and can be made of hollow plastic and are generally flexible, although they are not sufficiently elastic to bounce well. The eye-loop is used to tie the cord (e.g., a nylon cord) to each ball using a conventional knot. The cord is typically not elastic. As previously mentioned, to differentiate teams, either the cord and/or the balls attached to the cord have a specific color that is different from another team's color. For example, there can be three sets of blue balls for one team and three sets of red balls for another team and if there are additional teams, each team has their own respective color.

Alternatively and as shown, the bola 600 can be formed of two balls 620, 630, such as molded plastic balls, that each contains an axial through hole or bore 602 extending therethrough from one side to the other side of the ball 620, 630. The cord 610 is attached to each ball 620, 630 by passing one end of the cord 610 through the opening 602 clearly through the entire ball until the cord 610 reappears on the opposite side and then a knot is tied in the cord 610 on the other side of the ball 620, 630 resulting in the ball 620, 630 being securely attached to the cord 610.

It will be appreciated that other techniques can be used to attach the cord 610 to the two objects (balls) 620, 630. In addition, the objects 620, 630 can likewise come in any number of different forms, besides hollow plastic balls, including solid balls, bean bags, etc.

While the ball and ladder game 400 is shown as being mounted close to one end of the game table 100, it will be appreciated that the ball and ladder game 400 can be mounted anywhere along the length of the game table 100 including at a more central location.

The ability to easily mount the ball and ladder game 400 to an existing game table, such as table 100, quickly and easily converts the table into a combination table permitting at least two games to be played at the table. In the case of the 7-in-1 combination table 300 of FIG. 2 which permits the following games to be played Air Hockey, Knock Hockey, Bowling, Shuffle Board, Finger Football, MagnetDarts, Magnet Baseball, a person can now play 8 different games.

While exemplary drawings and specific embodiments of the present invention have been described and illustrated, it is to be understood that the scope of the present invention is not to be limited to the particular embodiments discussed. Thus, the embodiments shall be regarded as illustrative rather than restrictive, and it should be understood that variations may be made in those embodiments by workers skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the present invention as set forth in the claims that follow, and equivalents thereof. In addition, the features of the different claims set forth below may be combined in various ways in further accordance with the present invention.