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Title:
Custom Bowling Center Ball System
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A bowling center bowling ball system has a mechanism to size a bowler's hand. The mechanism provides the bowler with a hand size, selected from a small number of hand sizes, that corresponds to the best bowling ball fit for the bowler. A plurality of bowling balls each having a desired weight and hole set is provided. The hole sets corresponds to the small number of hand sizes. The plurality of individual balls are coded such that once the bowler has his hand size and ball weight, the bowler can select his specific bowling ball using the coded system on the bowling balls to provide the bowler with a desired weight bowling ball and finger hole set that corresponds to the bowler's hand size.


Inventors:
Tessmar, Lori (Bruce Township, MI, US)
Bernhardt, David A. (Romeo, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/766273
Publication Date:
12/25/2008
Filing Date:
06/21/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/54
International Classes:
A63D5/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS, DICKEY & PIERCE, P.L.C. (P.O. BOX 828, BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI, 48303, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bowling center bowling ball system comprising: a mechanism for sizing a hand of a bowler, said mechanism providing the bowler with a hand size, selected from a small number of hand sizes, that correspond to the best fit for the bowler; a plurality of bowling balls, each said bowling ball having a desired weight and finger hole set; said finger hole sets correspond to the small number of hand sizes, said plurality of balls being individually coded such that once the bowler has his hand size, the bowler can select a bowling ball from said plurality of bowling balls by using the coding of the bowling ball to provide the bowler with a desired weight bowling ball and a finger configuration corresponding to the bowler's hand size.

2. The bowling center bowling ball system of claim 1, further comprising said small number of hand sizes being between 4 to 12.

3. The bowling center bowling ball system of claim 1, wherein said mechanism includes finger and thumb hole sets corresponding to said small number of hand sizes for enabling the bowler to insert his hand into said finger and thumb hole sets until the bowler determines his hand size.

4. The bowling center bowling ball system of claim 1, wherein said plurality of bowling balls including finger holes and a thumb insert.

5. The bowling center bowling ball system of claim 4, further comprising a plurality of thumb inserts available to the bowler for enabling the bowler to choose the desired insert and couple it with the thumb insert in the chosen bowling ball.

6. The bowling center bowling ball system of claim 1, wherein said plurality of bowling balls is color coded for weight and hand size.

7. The bowling center bowling ball system of claim 1, wherein said plurality of bowling balls include an indicia code for weight and hand size.

8. The bowling center bowling ball system of claim 1, wherein said plurality of bowling balls include color coding for weight or hand size and indicia coding for hand size or weight such that said ball include a color code and an indicia code.

9. A method of choosing a house bowling ball comprising: entering a venue that includes bowling alleys; positioning a hand in at least one finger hole set to determine a hand size; determining a hand size for a bowling ball to be used on said bowling alleys; choosing a bowling ball from a plurality of house bowling balls at said venue, said choosing including reviewing information providing a code that matches said desired hand size with a desired bowling ball of said plurality of house balls; removing the desired bowling ball from its resting position.

10. The method according to claim 9, further comprising choosing a desired thumb insert for coupling with said desired bowling ball.

11. The method according to claim 9, wherein said code includes choosing a bowling ball with a specific color, indicia or both.

12. The method according to claim 9, wherein said code includes choosing a desired bowling ball weight.

13. A method of providing a plurality of house bowling balls comprising: obtaining hundreds of bowling balls with finger holes including a specific depth and angle in said bowling balls; and a thumb hole at a specific distance from said finger holes in said bowling balls; said finger holes and thumb hole forming a hole set on each bowling ball; providing a small number of hole sets on all of said bowling balls, corresponding to a small number of hand sizes; providing removable thumb inserts for coupling with said hundreds of bowling balls for providing a desired fit to a user's hand after the user has found his desire hand size from said small number of hand size.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein coding said bowling balls by color to correspond to hand size.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein coding said bowling balls by indicia to correspond to hand size.

16. The method of claim 13, wherein coding the weight of the bowling balls.

Description:

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to bowling and, more particularly, to a system of customized bowling balls for public bowlers on a walk-in basis.

BACKGROUND

The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may not constitute prior art.

Numerous bowling centers are prevalent throughout the United States and the world. Novice bowlers, as well as first time bowlers that have not been exposed to the sport, ordinarily do not have their own equipment. Thus, often times when these new bowlers go bowling at a bowling center, their enjoyment level is not always fulfilled. One of the reasons is that the bowling balls, at the bowling centers, commonly known as “house balls”, are balls that have already been predrilled with fixed fingers as well as thumb holes. These new bowlers must go from rack to rack in search of a bowling ball that somewhat fits their hand so that they are ready to bowl. A ball that does not fit a bowler's hand limits the ability and enjoyment of the already novice bowler. Also, the bowler may experience agitations, such as blisters or the like, from a bowling ball that does not fit their hand. Further, since there are different weights of bowling balls, while the bowler might find a ball that may fit their hand, the weight of the ball is either too heavy or too light. Thus, it would be desirable to have a ball system which would enable a custom fit to the walk-in bowler.

SUMMARY

Accordingly, the present disclosure provides a novice bowler or a walk-in bowler with a system that enables the bowler to find a ball that fits his/her hand. The present disclosure provides a plurality of bowling balls having varying finger and thumb hole sets that may be rapidly sized to the particular bowler. The present disclosure provides a jig that measures the bowler's hand size or span. After determining the size or span, the bowler can easily chose a bowling ball from the provided house balls. Also, the present disclosure provides a plurality of interchangeable thumb inserts that are sized to the particular bowler and are removable positioned into the house ball.

Accordingly to the present disclosure, a bowing center bowling ball system comprises a mechanism to size the bowler's hand. The mechanism provides the bowler with a hand size, selected from a small number of hand sizes, that correspond to the best fit or custom fit for the bowler in a bowling ball. The plurality of bowling balls each has a desired weight and finger hole configuration. The finger hole configurations correspond to the small number of hand sizes. The plurality of balls are individually coded so that once the bowler has his hand sized, the bowler can select a bowling ball from the plurality of bowling balls, using the coding, to provide the bowler with the desired ball with a desired weight and desired finger configuration. A plurality of removable thumb inserts is available to the bowler to provide a proper thumb size hole for the bowler, which can be inserted into the chosen ball. A small number of hand sizes are generally between 4 and 12. Also, the mechanism includes finger and thumb hole sets that correspond to the small number of hand sizes to enable the bowler to insert his hand into the finger and thumb hole sets until the bowler determines his hand size. The bowling balls can be color coded for weight, hand size or both. Also, the bowling balls can be coded with indicia for weight, hand size or both.

According to an additional embodiment of the disclosure, a method of choosing a house ball comprises entering a venue that includes bowling alleys. Positioning the bowler's hand into at least one finger hole set to determine the bowler's hand size. The bowler chooses a bowling ball from a plurality of house balls at the venue. The choosing process includes reviewing information that provides a code that matches the desired hand size with a desired bowling ball from the plurality of house balls. The desire house ball is ready for use. Additionally, a removable thumb insert may be chosen to couple with the bowling ball. The code includes choosing a bowling ball with a specific color, indicia or both. Also, the code may include information on the desired bowling ball weight.

In accordance with an additional embodiment of the disclosure, a method of providing a plurality of house bowling balls comprises obtaining hundreds of bowling balls with specific finger hole and thumb hole sets. The finger holes have a specific depth and angle. Also, the thumb holes are spaced a specific distance from the finger holes. Finger holes and thumb holes form a hole set on each bowling ball. A small number of hole sets are available and are formed into all of the bowling balls corresponding to a small number of hand sizes. Removable thumb inserts are provided to couple with the hundreds of bowling balls to provide a desired fit to a user's hand after the user has found his desired hand size from the small number of hand sizes. The bowling balls are coded by color to correspond to the desired hand size. The bowling balls include indicia to correspond to the hand size. The weight of the ball is also coded.

Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. It should be understood that the description and specific examples are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS

The drawings described herein are for illustration purposes only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure in any way.

FIG. 1 is a perspective schematic view of a bowling center.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a mechanism to measure a bowler's hand size.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a plurality of thumb inserts.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a bowling ball of the present disclosure.

FIGS. 6(a)-(d) are elevation views of coding sequences for the bowling balls.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the present disclosure, application, or uses.

Turning to the figures, specifically FIG. 1, a bowling center is illustrated and designated with the reference numeral 10. The bowling center 10 includes a plurality of bowling alleys 12 with ball return stations 14. Also, a plurality of balls 16 are positioned in racks about the bowling center 10. The balls can number to as many as 400 to 500 based on the size of the bowling center. Also, the bowling center 10 generally includes an information center 18 where various supplies may be obtained.

Most bowling centers have open bowling which is opened to anyone who walks in the door. The open bowling times are when leagues, tournaments, parties or the like are not in session. During the opening bowling periods, ordinarily novices, beginners, or first time bowlers try the sport. Also, during various parties these same novice bowlers are present at the bowling center.

Upon entering the bowling center, the novice bowler proceeds to the information desk. At that time, the bowler is fitted with shoes as well as have his/her hand sized to fit a custom house bowling ball. Also, at that time, a weight of the bowling ball would be determined. In order to have an enjoyable experience during bowling, it is desirable that the bowler's hand fit as well as possible in the ball short of having a bowling ball drilled specifically for the user.

In that instance, the ball is drilled for a specific user and is used for only that user. This requires the user to buy the ball himself and to have it drilled. Ordinarily, league bowlers or bowlers which view bowling as a substantial hobby or profession are the ones that purchase a bowling ball and have it drilled specifically for them. For the rest of the bowlers out there, the choice is a house ball. However, bowling is not nearly as enjoyable when the ball that is chosen does not fit your hand as close as possible.

A bowler at the information desk would be asked to place his/her fingers in a measuring mechanism 20 which has small number of hole sets 22. The small number of hole sets generally ranges between 4 and 12 and preferably between 6 to 10. Each hole set 22 includes a pair of finger holes 24 and 26 as well as a thumb hole 28. The finger holes 24 and 26 have a desired size and are drilled to a specific depth identical to the holes drilled into the bowling balls. Also, a specific angle is usually provided on the holes. Turning to FIG. 3, the holes 24 and 26 are drilled at a bridge width distance a spaced apart from one another. The small number of bridge width distances a may corresponding to the small number of hole sets that are drilled into the plurality of balls. The thumb hole 28 is spaced from the finger holes 24 and 26 by a distance β. The distance β usually defines the span or hand size of the bowler. The span or hand size generally varies from 2″ to 4½ inches. This covers most bowlers' hand sizes.

When determining the number of the hole sets, the distance β is varied at ¼″ to ½″ inch intervals. Thus, the distance β between finger holes 24 and 26 and thumb hole 28 would be at 2″, 2¼″, 2½41 , 2¾″, etc. or 2″, 2½″, 3″, 3½″ inches, etc. Depending upon the use of a ¼″ or ½″ interval, this defines the small number of hole sets which are present on the measuring device 20. As the distance β changes from 2″ to 4½″, likewise, the bridge width distance a changes between the finger holes 24 and 26. Generally, the finger holes 24 and 26 have a bridge width distance a having a minimum distance of 1¼″ and with the bridge width distance changing in ⅛″ intervals. Accordingly, as the distance β becomes larger, the distance α, likewise becomes larger. Thus, a bowler with a bigger hand has a larger β distance (span) as well as a larger α distance (bridge width). Thus, as the hole sets 22 are determined based on the span or β distance, they are positioned onto the measuring mechanism 20. If a ¼″ interval is used, the measuring device would include eleven hole sets. If a ½″ interval is used, the measuring device 20 would include five hole sets. However, since smaller and larger hands are more uncommon, the smaller and larger sizes may be at ½″ intervals while the middle sizes are at ¼″ intervals. Thus, the number of hole sets 22 can be reduced.

The measuring device 20 includes the plurality of hole sets 22. The hole sets 22 are identified either numerically (1, 2, 3, 4, . . .), alphabetically (A, B, C, D, . . .) or by a specific color. This coding 23 of the hole sets 22 is on the mechanism 20, as shown in FIG. 3, to enable the bowler to determine his or her hand size.

The thumb hole 28 is drilled at a particular depth and size to accommodate an insert 30. Ordinarily, the insert 30 is at least a two piece insert having one piece 31 that is permanently secured inside the bowling ball and the second piece 32 that is removable from the bowling ball. The second piece 32 has an interior diameter 34 that can vary from insert 32 to insert 32. Thus, a plurality of different thumb size holes can be provided to fit a specific bowler. Ordinarily, the thumb hole diameter range is from 1/64″ to 1 1/16″. Thus, a small number of removable inserts 32, varying in 1/64″ intervals, are provided which can be easily and quickly inserted into the bowling ball to enhance the bowler's feel of the bowling ball.

Turning to FIG. 5, a house ball of the present disclosure is illustrated. The bowling ball 16 includes a code area 40 to identify the bowling ball to the user. The code area 40 may include indicia such as letters, numbers, or colors to identify the hand span and weight of the ball. Also, the entire bowling ball 16 could have a specific color to identify its weight.

Turning to FIGS. 6(a)-(g), various types of code area 40 are illustrated. In FIG. 6(a), the code area 40 includes a color designation to provide the hand size as well as a numeric designation for ball weight. In FIG. 6(b), an alphabetic letter defines the hand size and a numeric number defines the ball weight. In FIG. 6(c), the alphabetic letter defines the hand size and the color defines the ball weight. In FIG. 6(d), one color identifies hand size and another color identifies ball weight. In FIG. 6(e), a letter identifying the hand size is superimposed with the color identifying the weight. In FIG. 6(f), a numeral is superimposed on a color with the color defining hand size and the numerals identifying the ball weight. In FIG. 6(g), two colors are illustrated in single indicia, one identifying the hand size, the other the ball weight. Further, the entire bowling ball can be colored to identify weight and indicia, such as numbers, letters or color will identify the hand size.

In the bowling center custom house ball system, hundreds of balls are supplied to the bowling center with varying weights and a small number of hole sets. Accordingly, the smaller hand sizes are positioned on lighter balls. The larger hand sizes hole sets are drilled into the higher weight balls. Thus, numerous balls are available which have different hand sizes as well as a different weight. The thumb hole includes the first part 31 of the insert 30 secured into the thumb hole 28. Thus, all of the hundreds of bowling balls include finger holes 24 to 26 and a thumb hole with an insert 31 receiving receptacle. However, the hundreds of bowling balls have a small number, 4 to 12, of hole sets to chose from.

In order to size a bowler for a bowling ball 16, the bowler approaches the information desk 18. At the information desk, the bowler positions his/her hand into hole sets 22 on the measuring device 20 until the bowler finds a hole set 22 which is comfortable to the bowler. At that time, the bowler would be informed, either by a letter designation, number designation, or color designation of his/her specific hand size. Also, at that time, the bowling assistant may also determine the weight of the ball for the bowler. After the weight is determined, the bowler will have indicia or color that identifies his/her hand size as well as indicia or color that identifies the weight of the desired ball. The bowler positions his/her thumb into a template to determine the thumb hole size that best suits the bowler. After the bowler's thumb hole size is determined, the bowler is given an insert 32 that fits his/her thumb. The bowler is directed to a rack that includes bowling balls 16 having the finger hole set 22 and weight that the bowler desires. The bowler approaches the bowling balls 16 and checks his/her hand size indicia or color and his/her weight indicia or color with the ball indicia or color in the code area 40 to determine that the bowler has the proper ball. Upon choosing the proper ball with the desired hand size and weight, the ball is returned to the assistant where the bowling assistant secures the thumb insert 32 into the receiving insert 31 in the bowling ball. Thus, the bowler has a so called custom fit in a house ball so that the bowler has a bowling ball 16 to closely fit his/her hand for his/her personal use to enhance his/her bowling experience.

The description of the disclosure is merely exemplary in nature and thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the disclosure are intended to be within the scope of the disclosure. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the disclosure.