Title:
Time Estimating Game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game of estimating time can have multiple players competing against each other. The players can be provided with buzzers. The players are challenged to estimate a designated time interval. At the interval of time estimated by the person to be equal to the designated time interval the player actuates his buzzer. The buzzer can be signal-connected to a timer, which functions to display how close the estimated time interval of the player is to the designated time interval. Alternately a secret designated time interval is communicated to the players by the sounding of two buzzer sounds and the players have to estimate the length of the time interval that occurred between the buzzer sounds.



Inventors:
Stavrou, Andrew C. (Geneva, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/364180
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
02/02/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
CHIU, RALEIGH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Erickson Law Group, PC (1749 S. NAPERVILLE ROAD SUITE 202, WHEATON, IL, 60189, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A method of playing a game based on estimating an interval of time, comprising the steps of: starting a time interval when an annunciating device has indicated that the time interval has started, and stopping the time interval when the annunciating device has indicated that the time interval has stopped; monitoring the annunciating device and, without the aid of a time keeping device, estimating the length of the time interval; comparing the estimated length of the time interval with the actual length of the time interval; and awarding a score at least partly based on the closeness of the estimated length and the actual length.

2. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein plural players monitor the annunciating device and compete by estimating the length of the time interval, wherein players are penalized for estimating lengths of the time interval that are greater than the actual length of the time interval.

3. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein plural players monitor the annunciating device and compete by estimating the length of the time interval and wherein the plural players are isolated from each other.

4. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein plural players monitor the annunciating device and compete by estimating the length of the time interval, wherein the player of the plural players whose estimate of the length of the time interval is closest to the actual length of the time interval is the winner.

5. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein plural players monitor the annunciating device and compete by estimating the length of the time interval, and wherein a studio audience is present during the game and monitors the estimation by the players.

6. The method as claimed in claim 5, wherein the game is recorded and broadcast to be watched by a television audience.

7. The method as claimed in claim 6, wherein a random selection of studio audience members comprises the plural players of the game.

8. The method as claimed in claim 6, wherein the annunciating device comprises a buzzer, and said buzzer is connected to a timer that is visible to the studio audience but not to the plural players.

9. A method of playing a game based on estimating an interval of time, comprising the steps of: providing to at least one player a pre-selected length of a target time interval; starting an actual time interval when an annunciating device has indicated that the actual time interval has started; and the player monitors the start of the actual time interval and, without the aid of a time keeping device, uses a stopping device to stop the actual time interval at a time of the player's choice when the player estimates that the actual time interval has a length equal to the length of the target time interval; and awarding a score at least partly based on the closeness of the length of the actual time interval and the pre-selected length of the target time interval.

10. The method as claimed in claim 9, wherein plural players monitor the annunciating device and compete by using stopping devices to stop the actual time interval at a time of each player's choice when that player estimates that the actual time interval has a length equal to the length of the target time interval.

11. The method as claimed in claim 9, wherein plural players monitor the annunciating device and compete by using stopping devices to stop the actual time interval at a time of each player's choice when that player estimates that the actual time interval has a length equal to the length of the target time interval, wherein the plural players are isolated from each other.

12. The method as claimed in claim 9, wherein plural players monitor the annunciating device and compete by using stopping devices to stop the actual time interval at a time of each player's choice when that player estimates that the actual time interval has a length equal to the length of the target time interval, wherein the player of the plural players whose actual length of the time interval is closest to the target length of the time interval is the winner.

13. The method as claimed in claim 9, wherein plural players monitor the annunciating device and compete by using stopping devices to stop the actual time interval at a time of each player's choice when that player estimates that the actual time interval has a length equal to the length of the target time interval, wherein a studio audience is present during the game and monitors the use of the stopping devices by the players.

14. The method as claimed in claim 13, wherein the game is recorded and broadcast to be watched by a television audience.

15. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein a random selection of studio audience members comprises the plural players of the game.

16. The method as claimed in claim 14, wherein the stopping devices comprise buzzers, and each said buzzer is connected to a timer that is visible to the studio audience but not to the plural players.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/025,214, filed Jan. 31, 2008.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a method of playing a game involving a group of people. Specifically, the invention relates to a method of playing a game wherein players compete based on their accuracy of time estimation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

An ability to estimate time can be a useful skill when a time keeping device is not available or practical. A quarterback in football needs to be able to estimate the time it takes a receiver to do a particular pattern in order to judge where to target the throw. It would also be advantageous for a lifeguard at a swimming pool to know when a swimmer might be underwater for too long. It would be advantageous for a skydiver to be able to effectively estimate a given time period in order to land safely if a watch failed. It would also be advantageous to be able to estimate cooking time in the kitchen if the starting of a timer was forgotten or if an initial observation of a start time on a clock was forgotten.

Many people do not practice their ability to estimate time. The use of time keeping devices, such as clocks, cellular phones, and computers has reduced the need for time estimation ability. Accurate time estimating requires great concentration and mental discipline.

Games are a popular recreational activity. A game can include many people in an enjoyable social activity where it otherwise would be difficult. Additionally, games can create a friendly way to include competition in the social activity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a game of estimating time that is entertaining to players and spectators. The game can have multiple players competing against each other or as teams.

The players can be isolated in booths or rooms, or by operation of the game rules, and have no access to a time keeping device. Booths can be made vision-proof and sound proof, to prevent a spectator or teammate, depending on the rules, from assisting a player to estimate time.

The person who is playing the game can be provided with a time interval stopping device such as a buzzer or other signaling device. The player is challenged to estimate the length of a pre-selected or designated time interval. An actual time interval is started and the person then waits and, without aid of a time keeping device, actuates the buzzer to end the actual interval of time at the time when the person estimates that the length of the actual time interval is equal to the length of the designated time interval. The buzzer can be signal-connected to a timer, which functions to display how close the estimated time interval of the player is to the designated time interval. The buzzer can emit a sound when pressed. This sound and timer can inform spectators and other players what time interval the person competing has estimated compared to the designated time interval. The timer is not visible to the players during the time estimating step.

Another variation of the game can provide that after a start signal from an annunciating device, a stop signal from an annunciating device can be communicated to the player after a pre-selected or randomly generated interval of time. The start and/or stop signal can be the sound of the buzzer. At the sound, the player must estimate the time interval elapsed between the start and stop signals.

One possible rule of the game can be to accurately estimate the designated time interval without the estimate being greater than the particular time interval.

According to one version of the game, the first step of the game is to determine who the players will be. If there are many people the players can be decided by a random selection. If the game is taking place within a small group then everyone can participate in turn.

The second step of the game is to prepare the players for the estimation of time. The players are instructed to remove all time keeping devices, i.e. watches, cellular phones, personal organizers, etc. The players are placed into sound-proof and vision proof, isolating booths, or the like. If an audience is present and the players are not in sound-proof and vision proof, isolating booths it is to be understood that the audience cannot interact with the players through physical gestures, noise, or applause.

The third step of the game is to select, perhaps by a random selection, a time interval to be estimated by the player and inform the player.

The fourth step of the game is to start the timer, the start, but not the timer, observed by the player. The player hits the buzzer when the player estimates the designated time interval has elapsed.

In another embodiment of the game, the buzzer is triggered after a secret predetermined interval after the timer is started, the start, but not the timer, under observation by the player. The player must estimate the elapsed time interval between the start of the timer and the sound of the buzzer.

In the first embodiment, the buzzer sounds when the player has pushed it, stopping the timer, the scoreboard displaying the player's estimated time interval against the pre-selected designated time interval. In the second embodiment, the buzzer sounds involuntarily, showing the pre-selected designated time interval and the player's estimated time interval.

Variations of the game can include quantitative questions about time. Such questions can include the time of sunset or sunrise in a particular city, or what the actual, instantaneous time of the day is.

According to one variation of the game, the player who is the most accurate to the designated time interval without exceeding the designated time interval receives higher score points. For example, if the answer is 2 minutes and player A estimates the time was 2 minutes and 1 second and player B estimates the time to be 1 minute, player B is the winner. However, if all contestants estimate a time interval greater than the designated time interval then the player with the lowest estimated time interval is the winner.

The time estimating method of the invention provides an entertaining game that is adaptable as a home game or as a broadcast television game show.

Numerous other advantages and features of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention and the embodiments thereof, and from the accompanying drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings, and will be described herein in detail, specific embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.

The game of the invention is particularly adaptable as a television game show. The game provides a studio audience a chance to compete for cash or other prizes tied to the estimation of time.

Random selections of contestants from the studio audience would be made whereby several (probably 4-6) contestants are led to individual isolation booths visible to the studio and TV audience. All articles that keep time would be removed from each contestant and the contestants would not be able to interact with one another, nor would they be able to see or hear anything outside of their booth.

They are asked to actuate a stopping device, such as pressing a buzzer, when they believe exactly “T” seconds have elapsed, such as 30 seconds. The value of “T” could vary up or down depending on how the show times itself out relative to the time slot it receives from the television network. The person who comes closest to this time interval without exceeding wins and then is thereby selected to compete against the other winners this particular game show produces.

A timing device similar to those used in Olympic competition would be visible to the TV and studio audience which would add to the suspense, but all noise, applause, physical gestures etc. from the audience would not be able to be seen or heard by any of the contestants. The full audience (TV and studio) would have full access to how each contestant scored.

There should be an opportunity to have about 4 groups, as described above, selected with each group going through the same game and time lines.

The pace can to be very fast and the selection of contestants random.

Once the winner from each group is determined they go up against each other as one final group for the show. Thus if there were four groups there would be four finalists. This final group would fill in the rest of the show such that the eliminations continue with a single person being eliminated after each challenge.

At this final game show level of competition, the time challenges become more difficult. If the 1st round was set for 30 seconds then this round should be more than 30 seconds. Subsequently, other challenges concerning time could also be introduced including, but not limited to, the following, quantitative, example questions:

What time is sunset this evening in Chicago, Ill.?

When is sunrise today in Fairbanks, Ala.?

What is the exact time right now (meaning exactly when the contestant answers)?

Each level of completion would have a winner. If all contestants went over the time allotted or exceeded the time of the answer the person with the closest answer would advance. Thus if the correct answer for what time is sunrise today is 7:00 am and someone answered 6:00 am that person would win over someone who answered 7:01.

Each show would have a champion and that person automatically advances to the next show's final round. Thus if there are 4 first round winners on each show there would always be a 5th contestant going up against them. This carryover contestant would be eligible to win greater amounts of cash/prizes as they continue to win.

From the foregoing, it will be observed that numerous variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific apparatus illustrated herein is intended or should be inferred.