Title:
GAME TABLE AND GAMES FOR PLAY THEREUPON
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game for table-type play is disclosed that may incorporate and bring together the skills, predictive challenges, planning, accuracy, requirements of measured force over distance, challenges in the form of traps, hazards, and other topographical complexities, and low friction play, loosely drawn from games such as golf, hockey, and billiards. Game-playing area surface features may comprise selected ones of holes, tees, islands, topographical features, peripheral borders, scribe lines, numbering, and the like. A puck-like element for each player may be supported upon the game-playing surface for interaction with the game playing surface in accordance with pre-established rules of play.



Inventors:
Chambless III, William Pace (Stone Mountain, GA, US)
Application Number:
13/423072
Publication Date:
09/20/2012
Filing Date:
03/16/2012
Assignee:
NIBLIX LLC (Tucker, GA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/108
International Classes:
A63F7/36; A63F7/00
View Patent Images:
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20060290052Gaming apparatus using integrated rollers for game piecesDecember, 2006Davis et al.



Primary Examiner:
PASSANITI, SEBASTIANO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kaplan Intellectual Property Law, LLC (2310 Peachford Road Atlanta GA 30338)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. An apparatus for playing a game, the apparatus comprising: a table top; said table top defining a boundary; said boundary defining a course; and said course comprising one or more game playing element.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said game playing element is selected from the group consisting of holes, tees, resting zones, islands, traps, roughs, obstructions, barriers, hazards, topographical features, depressions, roughly finished surface areas, bounded areas, bas-relief features, through-holes, and combinations thereof.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a puck-like element.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 further comprising means for initiating movement of said puck-like element upon said table top within said boundary.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said means for initiating movement of said puck-like element upon said table top within said boundary is a cue stick.

6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said puck-like element comprises a bottom surface for sliding upon said table top.

7. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said puck-like element comprises bumper means.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising means for decreasing a coefficient of friction of said table top within said boundary.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said means for decreasing a coefficient of friction of said table top within said boundary is selected from the group consisting of particulate wax, particulate silicone, and combinations thereof.

10. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said boundary is non-rectangular.

11. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said course comprises a plurality of holes, each said hole being associated with a unique indicia, and a tee associated with each said hole.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said course further comprises a plurality of impediments, each said impediment precluding movement of a puck-like element from one section of said course to another section of said course.

13. A method for playing a game, the game comprising a table top, said table top defining a boundary, said boundary defining a course, and said course comprising a plurality of game playing elements in the form of holes and tees; and a puck-like element for movement upon said course; the method comprising: (a.) placing the puck-like element upon said course in a designated location; and (b.) imparting a motive force to the puck-like element to move it across said course and toward a selected one of said plurality of holes; (c.) wherein, if the puck-like element ends in position to score the selected hole, it is reset upon a successive tee and a motive force is imparted to the puck-like element to move it across the course and toward another selected one of said plurality of holes; (d.) whereupon completion of each hole of the course, the game is ended.

14. The method of claim 13 further comprising preplacement of an obstruction upon said course to limit movement of the puck-like element upon the course.

15. The method of claim 13 wherein the motive force is imparted by use of a cue stick.

16. The method of claim 13 wherein, before game play begins, a means for decreasing a coefficient of friction of the table top within the boundary is applied to the course.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said means for decreasing a coefficient of friction of said table top within said boundary is selected from the group consisting of particulate wax, particulate silicone, and combinations thereof.

18. The method of claim 13 wherein said puck-like element is used to block an opponent's attempt to score a hole.

19. The method of claim 13 wherein a first player to complete the course by scoring each hole in indicated succession is declared the winner.

20. The method of claim 13 further comprising a rules set, the rules set comprising rules for beginning play, for making a hole, for landing in the wrong hole, for knocking another player into a game hole, and for taking additional turns.

21. An apparatus for playing a game, the apparatus comprising: a playing surface comprising a playing boundary, said playing boundary defining a playing course, said playing course comprising: a plurality of tees and a corresponding plurality of holes, each said tee associated with one of said plurality of holes; an optional reserve tee not associated with a specific hole; and at least one island or other course obstacle; and a puck-like element for use by a player of the game, said puck-like element configured to interact with the apparatus during game play.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This United States non-provisional patent application claims priority to, and the full benefit of, U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/453,369, filed on Mar. 16, 2011, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The technical field of the present invention generally relates to game-playing tables, game-playing equipment, and games for play thereupon and therewith; and, more particularly, to game-playing tables, game-playing equipment, and games for play thereupon and therewith which associate complexities and skills of the games of golf, hockey, and billiards, with unique game-play rules and attributes.

BACKGROUND

Game-play represents a significant part of the human experience. Young and old, people play games for recreational enjoyment, for passing the time, for camaraderie, and for good-natured competition. Of course, some games, such as golf, are primarily played outside. Some games, such as hockey, are played outside or in an arena. Some games, such as billiards, are primarily played inside.

Each such game has inherent, numerous points of attraction for those who enjoy them. For example, golf requires skill, planning, accuracy, requirements of measured force over distance, and presents challenges in the form of traps, hazards, and other topographical complexities, all to achieve the goal of sinking one's ball into a cup in the fewest number of strokes. Hockey and billiards provide the excitement and challenges brought by low friction play. Billiards, and billiards-like variants such as bumper pool, provide additional strategic challenges, such as when one player uses his ball to block an opponent's shot, or uses his ball to direct an opponent's ball to a disadvantageous table position, as might similarly be the case with popular games such as shuffleboard and bocce. One only need envision a puck sliding across the ice, or a ball rolling, seemingly endlessly, across a billiard table, to appreciate each game's demanding skill requirements in controlling motive force, in ensuring accuracy of calculating a next shot, in gauging angles of deflection and impact, and the like, which are inherent in both games.

It has, of course, been recognized as a desirable end to capture the fun, excitement, and challenge of such games for broad consumer purchase and use, albeit in game forms differing from the originals. Accordingly, some games have been miniaturized for indoor play, principally on a game-playing table, where the dominant, desirable points of the game can be enjoyed in a compact and closed environment. For example, games such as hockey have been miniaturized for indoor play, such as was the case with air and table hockey. Other games, such as billiards, have evolved smaller-scale variants, such as table-top billiards and bumper pool. On the other hand, golf has spurred the introduction of indoor putting mats. Regardless of form and type, miniaturized games are known to provide endless hours of fun, challenge, and exciting game play.

Notwithstanding the existence of air and table hockey, billiards, bumper pool, and other table-type games, there has not heretofore been a game for table-type play that incorporates and brings together the skills, predictive challenges, planning, accuracy, requirements of measured force over distance, challenges in the form of traps, hazards, and other topographical complexities, and low friction play, loosely drawn from games such as golf, hockey, and billiards, all in a novel, table-type game. Therefore, what is needed in order to address the above-noted deficiencies and to meet the attendant needs, but which has not heretofore been available, is a novel, game-playing table, game-playing equipment, and games for play thereupon and therewith, which loosely associate complexities and skills of games such as golf, hockey, and billiards, with unique game-play rules and attributes. It is, thus, to the provision of such game-playing table, game-playing equipment, and games that the present subject matter is directed.

SUMMARY

Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, a game-playing table, associated game-playing equipment, and a preferred game for play thereupon and therewith, provide a game for table-type play that incorporates and brings together the skills, predictive challenges, planning, accuracy, requirements of measured force over distance, challenges in the form of traps, hazards, and other topographical complexities, and low friction play, loosely drawn from games such as golf, hockey, and billiards, all in a novel, table-type game.

According to its major aspects, and broadly stated, the present subject matter disclosure is directed to a game-table comprising, in an exemplary embodiment, a game-playing surface carrying a plurality of surface features in the nature of a game-course. Such surface features may comprise selected ones of holes, tees, islands, topographical features, peripheral borders, scribe lines, numbering, and the like, all in a layout supporting and furthering a game and game-play according to the disclosure. A puck-like element for each player is supported upon the game-playing surface. The game playing surface may further carry a low friction coating, powder, or other material, to enable the puck-like element to slide easily upon the surface. A piece of equipment, such as a cue stick, a flick of the finger, or the like, may be used to impart force to the puck-like element to initiate motion according to game-play rules, a representative set of which is set forth in greater detail herein.

Thus, one aspect of the present subject matter disclosure is to provide an exemplary game-playing table, associated equipment, and a preferred game-play which provides a challenging game-playing course comprising tee elements, hole elements, and traps, hazards, and other topographical complexities.

Another aspect of the present subject matter disclosure is to provide an exemplary game-playing table, associated equipment, and a preferred game-play which incorporates and brings together the skills, predictive challenges, planning, accuracy, requirements of measured force over distance, challenges in the form of traps, hazards, and other topographical complexities, and low friction play, loosely drawn from games such as golf, hockey, and billiards, all in a table-type game.

Yet another aspect of the present subject matter disclosure is to provide a puck-like play element that may slide or roll according to low friction characteristics, in furtherance of the game-play.

Yet another and further aspect of the present subject matter disclosure is to provide motive force equipment, in the nature of a cue stick or the like, to impart a force to the puck-like element, causing it to slide or roll across the game-playing surface, in furtherance of the game-play.

These and other aspects of the game-playing table, associated equipment, and a preferred game-play will become apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art after reading the following Detailed Description and Claims in light of the accompanying drawing Figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following specification is best read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing Figures, in which like reference numbers throughout the various drawing Figures designate like structure, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of one embodiment of the game-playing table, further showing Sections taken along lines A-A and B-B;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an elevation view of one end of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an elevation view of one side of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an elevation section view of one end of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1, taken along line A-A;

FIG. 6 is an elevation section view of one side of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1, taken along line B-B;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a game-playing surface layer of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1, further depicting hole layout for a game course according to said embodiment;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a game-playing surface layer of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 7, further depicting island layout for a game course according to said embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a game-playing surface layer of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 8, further depicting a game table border and support layer according to said embodiment;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a game-playing surface of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 9, further depicting an end support and a side support with legs, according to said embodiment;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an assembled game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 10, further depicting two end supports and two side supports with legs, according to said embodiment;

FIG. 12 is a plan view of a game-playing surface layer of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1, further depicting hole layout, island layout, scribe line and numbering layout, tee layout, and other details of construction, for a game course according to said embodiment;

FIGS. 13A-13D depict further details of construction of portions of a game-playing surface layer of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1;

FIG. 14 is a top perspective view of a game-playing surface layer of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1, further depicting hole layout, island layout, scribe line and numbering layout, tee layout, and other details of construction, for a game course according to said embodiment;

FIG. 15 is a bottom perspective view of a game-playing surface layer of the game-playing table in accordance with FIG. 1, further depicting hole layout, island layout, scribe line and numbering layout, tee layout, and other details of construction, for a game course according to said embodiment;

FIG. 16A is a side view of a puck-like element for use in game-play;

FIG. 16B is a cut-away side view of the puck-like element of FIG. 16A for use in game-play;

FIG. 16C is a top view of the puck-like element of FIG. 16A for use in game-play;

FIG. 16D is a bottom view of the puck-like element of FIG. 16A for use in game-play;

FIG. 17A is a side view of an alternative puck-like element for use in game-play;

FIG. 17B is a cut-away side view of the puck-like element of FIG. 17A for use in game-play;

FIG. 17C is a top view of the puck-like element of FIG. 17A for use in game-play;

FIG. 17D is a bottom view of the puck-like element of FIG. 17A for use in game-play;

FIG. 18A is a cut-away side view of yet another alternative puck-like element for use in game-play;

FIG. 18B is a cut-away side view of the puck-like element of FIG. 18A for use in game-play;

FIG. 18C is a top view of the puck-like element of FIG. 18A for use in game-play;

FIG. 18D is a bottom view of the puck-like element of FIG. 18A for use in game-play;

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a player interacting with the game-playing table of FIG. 1;

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a player interacting with an alternative embodiment of the game-playing table;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of the alternative embodiment of the game-playing table of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a top of the alternative embodiment of the game-playing table of FIG. 20;

FIG. 23A is a perspective view of an embodiment of support leg elements for the alternative embodiment of the game-playing table of FIG. 20;

FIG. 23B is a perspective view of an embodiment of assembled support leg elements for the alternative embodiment of the game-playing table of FIG. 20; and

FIG. 24 is a top view of the game-playing table of FIG. 20.

It is to be noted that the drawing Figures presented are intended solely for the purpose of illustration and that they are, therefore, neither desired nor intended to limit the subject matter of the claimed to any or all of the exact details of construction shown, except insofar as they may be deemed essential to that which is claimed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

In describing preferred embodiments of the subject matter of the present disclosure, as illustrated in the Figures, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The claimed subject matter, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose.

It is here noted that one or more specific game-playing table embodiment, comprising representative game-course elements and respective layouts thereof, is presented for illustrative purposes in greater detail herein. It will be recognized, however, that game-playing table embodiments comprising other, different, and varying game-course elements and layouts thereof may be designed, constructed, and utilized. Accordingly, all such other, different, and varying game-course elements and layouts are considered to be within the scope and spirit of the present disclosure; and all such other, different, and varying game-course elements and layouts are considered to be legal equivalents of the inventive disclosure set forth in greater detail herein.

FIGS. 1-15 portray a game-playing table made in accordance with the subject matter of the present disclosure. FIG. 1 illustrates a plan view of an embodiment of game-playing table 100 for game play thereupon. Preferably, game-playing table 100 is made principally of transparent and/or translucent acrylic materials, although use of such material is certainly not required.

In an illustrative embodiment, game-playing table top 105 may have game-playing boundary 110. Game-playing boundary 110 may delineate the bounds of legal game play and may take any of a variety of shapes. Game-play boundary 110 may be a wall, a painted line, or may encompass the entirety of game-playing table top 105, for example. Game-playing boundary 110 may take any of a variety of shapes to invoke different types of game play, which may make game play easier or more difficult. The different shapes for game-play boundary 110 may also contribute to the aesthetic look and feel of the game.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 1 for game play thereupon. In an illustrative embodiment, table 100 has four legs 115 to support game-playing table top 105. In FIG. 2, legs 115 of game-playing table 100 are located approximately at the four corners of the table. In other embodiments, there may be more than four legs, fewer than four legs, or no legs, and the legs may be of varying height, construction, and/or design.

FIG. 3 is an elevation view of one end of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 1. FIG. 4 is an elevation view of one side of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 1. On any side of the game-playing table, paraphernalia may be added to the end or the side of the game-playing table. For example, in some embodiments, game-playing table 100 may have hooks, shelves, pockets, Velcro or other attachment means 120 to hold accessories (e.g., a puck-like element, or cue-like element) used to play the game.

FIG. 5 is an elevation section view of one end of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 1 taken along line A-A. FIG. 6 is an elevation section view of one side of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 1 taken along line B-B.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of game-playing surface layer 125 of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 1, depicting a hole layout for the game course and comprising a plurality of holes 130. In some embodiments, the hole layout may be arranged differently than depicted in FIG. 7 in order to vary the game playing experience. The hole layout may also be changed to allow the table to fold compactly along certain fold lines or for aesthetic appeal, and the like. An embodiment of the game can be played where there are no obstacles or islands that block the hole, as shown in FIG. 7. FIG. 8 is a perspective view of game-playing surface layer 125 of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 7, further depicting an island layout comprising a plurality of islands 135. The island layout may be altered in order to enhance game play or for aesthetic appeal, and the like.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of game-playing surface layer 125 of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 8, further depicting game table boundary 110 and support layer 140. FIG. 10 is a perspective view of game-playing surface 125 of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 9, further depicting end support 145 and side support 150 (best seen with reference to FIGS. 2 and 4) with legs 115. FIG. 11 is a perspective view of assembled game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 10, further depicting two end supports 145 and two side supports 150 with legs 115. As shown in the Figures, in some embodiments, end supports 145 may be interconnected with side supports 150 via slot means in each said support 145, 150, in order to provide structural stability and integrity in the construction of game-playing table 100, while also providing for ease of set-up and take down of game-playing table 100, all without requiring use of tools. In other embodiments, conventional means of construction are also contemplated, including use of screw or bolt-type fasteners, or the like.

FIG. 12 illustrates an embodiment of game-playing surface 1204. Game-playing surface 1204 may have game-playing boundary 1202. Boundary 1202 may be a scribed line, a raised or lowered surface, or an edge of a surface. A puck-like element may be used to travel across game-playing surface 1204.

With continued reference to FIG. 12, game-playing surface 1204 may naturally, as a result of fabrication, material selection, finish, or the like, have an unacceptably high coefficient of friction for the intended game play. If the fabricated surface of game-playing surface 1204 has such high coefficient of friction, a coating, powder, or other material (e.g., oil, silicon powder, wax beads, silicone spray, TEFLON, or the like) may be used on game-playing surface 1204 to decrease surface friction. One such family of products that have been found effective in reducing surface friction and enhancing game play comprises very small silicone or wax beads. The products are made by Champion Sun-Glo (Richland Hills, Tex.) and are marketed as shuffleboard powders. It has been found preferable to use Sun-Glo's Speed 1 powder or, alternatively, a mixture of Speed 1 and Speed 2 powders. It will be appreciated, however, that user choice of product, material, coating, powder, spray, characteristic, or the like, should govern selection and use.

Alternatively, but not preferably, if the fabricated surface has an unacceptably low coefficient of friction for desired game play, a coating, powder or other material (e.g., chalk) may be used to increase the coefficient of friction of game-playing surface 1204.

Game-playing surface 1204 may have a number of tees situated in different areas on the board. For example, tee “13”, 1210, tee “15”, 1212, tee “09”, 1214, tee “18”, 1216 and tee “N”, 1218 as displayed in FIG. 12, are situated in different areas on game-playing surface 1204. The numbered tees may have different shapes and preferably include alpha and/or numeric identifiers. Game-playing surface 1204 may also have a number of game holes situated in different areas on the board. For example, hole “12,” 1222, hole “14,” 1224, hole “8,” 1226, and hole “16,” 1228, as shown in FIG. 12, are situated in different areas on game-playing surface 1204. Game holes, such as game hole “14,” 1224, may be designated, as by painting, etching, engraving, or the like, on game-playing surface 1204 in the shape of a circle. Alternatively game hole “14,” may be created by a depressed circle formed within game-playing surface 1204, and may be in addition, or in alternative, to a painted, etched, engraved, or the like, game hole. In some embodiments, the game holes may be of a different shape (e.g., square or rectangle), or of differing shapes.

Game-playing area 1200 may have a number of islands 1230, 1232, 1234, 1236, preferably placed in established positions upon game-playing surface 1204. The islands, or any one or more of them, may be used to improve the aesthetic look of game-playing surface 1204. In addition, in some embodiment, the islands, or any one or more of them, may be used as obstacles and may be moved around to affect game play. The islands may be of differing shapes and sizes, which may comprise square-like shapes, ellipse-like shapes, curvilinear shapes, and/or a combination of other and different shapes and sizes. The islands may be made of any of a variety of materials, including, but not limited to, rubber, plastic, wood, metal, glass, acrylic, or a combination of different materials. It will be appreciated that, in alternative embodiments, traps, depressions, roughly finished surface areas, bounded areas, elevation-contoured surface areas, bas-relief features, through-holes, and/or the like, without limitation, may be provided in addition to, or in lieu of, islands 1230, 1232, 1234, 1236, and in any desirable combination.

FIGS. 13A-13D depict further details of construction of portions of a game-playing surface layer of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 1. FIG. 13B is an embodiment of game hole 1202. Game hole 1202 of FIG. 13B may have a peripheral edge or margin comprising a routed, etched, engraved, or otherwise displayed or formed boundary 1310 in a circular shape, and which may include an indicia in the form of a hole number. In some embodiments, game hole 1202 may have an inner game hole 1320. Inner game hole 1320 may also be in a circular shape and may have a boundary that is routed, etched, engraved, or otherwise displayed or formed, with numbers or other indicia that may delineate the hole. The inner game hole, in another embodiment, may be depression 1305 formed within the game-playing surface as depicted in FIG. 13A. It will be appreciated that boundary 1310, along with any associated indicia, may be formed in, or displayed from, either a bottom or a top surface of game-playing area 1200, as best seen with reference to FIGS. 13A and 13C.

In other embodiments, the inner and/or outer holes may use wireless or wired sensor technology to determine if a puck-element is in the game hole, and to aid in scoring. For example, a wireless sensor embodiment may use infrared, radio frequency identification (RFID), or Bluetooth, among other technologies now-known or hereafter to be developed. The chosen sensor technology may be placed in interoperable communication with one or more logic controllers, microprocessors, computer interfaces, or the like, and which, when interoperable with appropriate software, firmware, or equivalents thereto, may be arranged so as to output a user perceptible score for each player or team.

In other embodiments, each puck-element may be electronically enabled to correspond to a player. In some embodiments, each puck-element that is electronically enabled to correspond to a player may be configured or enabled to display a particular color or other indicia. In some embodiments, the game may be configured such that each puck-element that is electronically enabled to correspond to a player and which is further configured or enabled to display a particular color or other indicia, further may be enabled, as via sensor and communication means or technologies such as have been described above, to display a corresponding color or other indicia indicating the location of the player's next tee, next hole, or combinations thereof upon the game-playing surface.

Turning now to FIG. 13D, there is shown an embodiment of a game tee. Game tee 1330 may be of a triangular shape painted, routed, etched, engraved, or otherwise displayed or formed on a top or bottom of the game-playing surface. A game tee 1330 may use any character or indicia (e.g., *, N, −, 15, or the like, without limitation) as an identifying mark or may not have a identifying mark at all.

FIG. 14 is a top perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of a game-playing surface layer of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 1, further depicting hole layout, island layout, scribe line and numbering layout, tee layout, and other details of construction, for a game course according to said embodiment. FIG. 15 is a bottom perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of a of a game-playing surface layer of game-playing table 100 in accordance with FIG. 1, further depicting hole layout, island layout, scribe line and numbering layout, tee layout, and other details of construction, for a game course according to said embodiment.

Having described a variety of preferred and alternative embodiments of game-playing table 100, specific elements of the game, and of associated game play, are next described.

Turning now to FIGS. 16A-16D, and such alternative structure as is apparent in FIGS. 17A-17D and 18A-18D, in order to play the game, the game may include one or more puck-like element 1605, 1705, 1805 designated for, and/or associated with, each player. An embodiment of puck-like element 1605 may comprise an upper portion 1610, 1710, 1810 formed of a material to be circular in shape, similar to a hockey puck or, preferably, a domed section of a golf ball. In other embodiments, puck-like element 1605, 1705, 1805 may take another shape (e.g., square, rectangular, triangular, or the like, without limitation). In some embodiments, puck-like element 1605, 1705, 1805 may have bumper ring 1620, 1720, 1820 formed of rubber, elastomeric, plastic, or the like and disposed at an appropriate location upon the puck-like element for the intended purpose. Puck-like element 1605, 1705, 1805 may have bottom, or base, 1612, 1712, 1812 further having bottom surface 1615, 1715, 1815 for contacting the game playing surface. Accordingly, bottom, or base, 1612, 1712, 1812 and/or bottom surface 1615, 1715, 1815 may be formed from, or coated with, plastic, rubber, elastomeric, or other material that, sometimes in association with a friction reducing material, allows puck-like element 1605, 1705, 1805 to glide along the game-playing surface. It has been found that an appropriate puck-like element may be formed by cutting a golf ball to form upper portion 1610, 1710, 1810 and further forming the core thereof into bottom, or base, 1612, 1712, 1812 and bottom surface 1615, 1715, 1815.

In any such embodiment, however, the bottom, or base, 1612, 1712, 1812 and/or bottom surface 1615, 1715, 1815 of puck-like element 1605, 1705, 1805 preferably should take a shape corresponding to, and for associating with, the shape of the receiving holes or corresponding elements in the game-playing surface. Any game playing surface contacting bottom surface 1615, 1715, 1815 of puck-like element 1605, 1705, 1805, or any portion thereof, may be treated or overlaid with a material of appropriate lubricity (e.g., oil, powder, spray, coating, sticker, or the like, without limitation) or other surface texture in order to change the coefficient of friction of bottom surface 1615, 1715, 1815 of puck-like element 1605, 1705, 1805 in association with the game-playing surface.

Turning now to FIGS. 17A-17D, in some embodiments, puck-like element 1705 may comprise one or more ball bearing 1730 disposed at, adjacent, within, or forming, the bottom, or base, of puck-like element 1705 in order to assist the puck-like element's movement across the game playing surface. It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that any and all conventional means for capturing, locating, and associating ball bearing 1730 with puck-like element 1705 are herein contemplated, including use of retaining rings, retaining cages, ball bearing races, and the like, 1735 along with the optional use of any of a variety of means known in the bearing arts to be capable of ensuring that the ball-bearing, or ball bearing assembly, remains clean and/or operable in the intended environment.

Similarly, an with reference to FIGS. 18A-18D, in some embodiments, puck-like element 1805 may comprise one or more sliding elements 1830 disposed at, adjacent, within, or forming, the bottom, or base, of puck-like element 1805 in order to assist the puck-like element's movement across the game playing surface. For example, one or more TEFLON inserts 1830, TEFLON rings, or the like, may be inserted into or associated with bottom surface 1815 of puck-like element 1805 in order to provide appropriate sliding characteristics. It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that any and all conventional means for capturing, locating, and associating insert 1830 with puck-like element 1805 are herein contemplated, along with the optional use of any of a variety of means known in the art to be capable of ensuring that each insert 1830 remains clean and/or operable in the intended environment.

Turning now to FIG. 19, wherein is shown a player P interacting with an embodiment of game-playing table 100. In order for player P to successively move his or her puck-like element upon the game-playing surface, but in accordance with any rules established for game play, the player may be provided with a cue stick C, such as might be used in association with the games of pool or billiards. Alternatively, player P may be required to use a flick of his or her finger, a defined push motion, or the like, to initiate movement of his or her puck-like element. Of course, if the established rules permit, a player may be free to choose any agreed-upon means, or any combination of means, to initiate movement of his or her puck-like element.

FIGS. 20-24 portray an alternative embodiment of a game-playing table made in accordance with the subject matter of the present disclosure. FIG. 20 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of game-playing table 2100 for game play thereupon, and further showing player P interacting therewith. Preferably, game-playing table 2100 is made in a relatively smaller form factor, and this embodiment accordingly shows a table-top supported version.

In this illustrative embodiment, game-playing table top 2105 may have game-playing boundary 2110. Game-playing boundary 2110 may delineate the bounds of legal game play and may take any of a variety of shapes. Game-play boundary 2110 may be a wall, a painted line, or may encompass the entirety of game-playing table top 2105, for example. Game-playing boundary 2110 may take any of a variety of shapes to invoke different types of game play, which may make game play easier or more difficult. The different shapes for game-play boundary 2110 may also contribute to the aesthetic look and feel of the game.

FIG. 21 illustrates a perspective view of game-playing table 2100 in accordance with FIG. 20 for game play thereupon. In an illustrative embodiment, table 2100 has four legs 2115 to support game-playing table top 2105. In FIG. 21, legs 2115 of game-playing table 2100 are located in association with the four corners of the table, at positions selected for optimal stability. In other embodiments, there may be more than four legs, fewer than four legs, or no legs, and the legs may be of varying height, construction, and/or design.

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of game-playing surface 2125 of game-playing table 2100 in accordance with FIG. 20, depicting a hole layout for the game course and comprising a plurality of holes 2130. In some embodiments, the hole layout may be arranged differently than depicted in FIG. 22 in order to vary the game playing experience. The hole layout may also be changed to allow the table to fold compactly along certain fold lines or for aesthetic appeal, and the like. A plurality of obstacles or islands 2135 may be strategically disposed within or upon game-playing surface 2125, as has been more fully described hereinabove with respect to other embodiments. In that regard, the island layout may be altered or varied in order to enhance game play or for aesthetic appeal, and the like. An embodiment of the game can be played where there are no obstacles or islands that block the hole features.

FIGS. 23A-23B depict support leg elements 2315, 2320 for use in supporting game-playing table 2100, in the manner best seen with reference to FIGS. 20-21. FIG. 23A depicts support leg elements 2315, 2320 formed with respective slots 2316, 2321 disposed centrally within each associated support leg element. Slot 2316 is formed as an upwardly opening slot disposed adjacent to, and centrally located within, a top surface 2317 of support leg element 2315. Slot 2321 is formed as a downwardly opening slot disposed adjacent to, and centrally located within, a lower, bridging surface 2322 of support leg element 2315. So constructed, support leg elements 2315, 2320 may be assembled by placing slot 2321 of support leg element 2320 above, and then downwardly into, slot 2316 of support leg element 2315. This as-constructed arrangement may best be seen with reference to FIG. 23B. As shown in this Figure, interconnected support leg elements 2315, 2320 provide structural stability and integrity in the construction of game-playing table 2100, while also providing for ease of set-up and take down of game-playing table 2100, all without requiring use of tools. In other embodiments, conventional means of construction are also contemplated, including use of screw or bolt-type fasteners, or the like.

FIG. 24 is a top view of game-playing surface 2125 of game-playing table 2100 in accordance with FIGS. 20-22, further depicting game table boundary 2110 and game-playing surface 2125. A puck-like element, representative embodiments of which have been described hereinabove, may be used to travel across game-playing surface 2125. In this view may be more particularly seen a representative game-playing layout comprising a plurality of holes 2130, obstacles or islands 2135, and tees 2140, all of which are associated with such game-play and functionality as has been described in greater detail hereinabove.

As can be observed with respect to the embodiments depicted in FIGS. 20-24, game-playing table 2100 is constructed in a relatively smaller form factor, providing greater portability and providing for use in less expansive playing areas. Additionally, game-playing table 2100, so constructed, may be utilized in association with, and moved to any of a variety of, user-provided support surfaces, without requiring purchase and/or use of support leg elements 2315, 2320.

Along with the game-playing table and associated elements, rules may be used to assist players with structured game-play. Accordingly, in one exemplary embodiment, an object of the game is to be the first player to complete holes 01 through 17, and then have the bottom of his puck-like element come to rest completely inside of the pre-agreed upon circle on hole 18. An illustrative rule-set for such and exemplary game-play embodiment is now described, although it should be recognized that players may, by agreement, convention, rules of association, or the like, establish any such variants of game-play as may be to their liking. Such variants may be player-against-player variants, or may be team-against-team variants.

Beginning play: In such an embodiment, at the beginning of play, the players may choose the circle surrounding game hole 18 that will determine the winner. It is easier for a player to land his or her puck-like element in the wider of the two circles, so selecting the wider or the narrower circle will usually depend upon the players' skill level. A conventional red (or other colored) golf tee, coin, die, or the like, may be tossed to determine the order of play. The first player may place his puck-like element on game tee 01. He then may attempt to shoot his puck-like element into game hole 01. If the shot is a hole-in-one, he then may proceed to tee 02 and attempt to shoot his puck-like element into hole 02, and so on until he misses. If the shot is missed, the player may leave his puck-like element on the course. When the puck-like element is on the course it may affect the strategy of the next player's shot. Any subsequent players may take their turns, attempting to make their tee shots from the first tee into the first hole. When a shot is made, the player may immediately proceed to the tee corresponding to the next hole and try for the next hole.

Length of turn: A player may continue to shoot until he misses a game hole. In other words, a player may continue if he makes a game hole. A player may also continue to shoot if he hits another player's puck-like element, as long as he has not already hit that same puck-like element in the same turn.

Making a hole: If any part of the puck-like element is touching the bottom of the game hole, that shot may be deemed in the game hole. All subsequent rules of the game apply.

Landing in the wrong hole: If a player shoots his own puck-like element into any game hole other than the hole he is attempting to reach, his puck-like element may be placed on the “N” tee and his turn may be over. An exception may include if the player is on game hole 18, in which case, his puck-like element may be returned to the 18th tee.

Knocking another player into a game hole: Knocking another player's puck-like element into any game hole, other than the game hole a player with a current turn is attempting to reach, may result in said another player's puck-like element being removed from the (wrong) game hole and being placed, for example, on tee 18. Said another player's puck-like element may then be in-play and, when it is said another player's turn, he may attempt to complete the game hole he was on before being knocked into the wrong game hole. If a player with a current turn (i.e., current player) knocks an opponent's puck-like element into the hole the current player is attempting to reach, it may then become the opponent's turn and the opponent may proceed to the next hole.

Additional turns: On any shot, other than a tee shot, the player may choose to hit another player's puck-like element and then get an additional turn. After a puck-like element has been hit, hitting the same puck-like element on that same turn may not result in an additional shot. If a player hits the same opponent's puck-like element twice in a turn, his turn is over. When more than one puck-like element is hit on a single shot, the puck-like element that was struck first is then unable to be hit again to receive an additional shot on that turn.

The “N” tee: If a puck-like element is knocked off the table, it may be placed on the “N” tee. A puck-like element resting on a tee that a player has to use for his next shot may be moved to the “N” tee before the player shoots his tee shot. If a player is already on the “N” tee and a ruling results in another player's puck-like element being placed onto “N” tee, the first player's puck-like element may be removed and placed on tee 18. The puck-like element may then be in play and the next player may continue to play his respective holes when it is his turn. If a player is already on tee 18 when a ruling causes another puck-like element to be placed on tee 18, the already resting puck-like element on tee 18 may be moved to “N”.

Miscellaneous: In the case that there are already puck-like elements on the “N” tee and tee 18 when a ruling occurs, the player on tee 18 may have his puck-like element placed on the tee of the hole he is on. If the puck-like element is upside down it will be turned over and placed where it was resting.

Strategy: Knocking another player's puck-like element not only gives the player another turn, but allows him to push that player's puck-like element away from that player's next hole. A player may use another player's puck-like element as a bumper to get him into a better position to make his tee shot. A player may choose to make his tee shot, or to hinder another player, depending on the ease of his tee shot. Players can collaborate to knock the leader from his positions.

It should be noted that the particular embodiments, and alternative configurations and embodiments thereof, presented hereinabove are to be considered merely illustrative. It should be appreciated that numerous changes and modifications may be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the present disclosure and the embodiments, configurations, and components defined herein.

For example, a small table top version could be used in waiting rooms or similar places. Fold-and-go versions may be used as home board games. Other embodiments may comprise electronic and/or virtual versions for internet/cloud play, handheld device play, mainframe or microcomputer workstation play, game console play, and the like, without limitation. There may be any of a variety of game layouts, course designs, hole placements, topographical challenges, and/or the like, without limitation.

Thus has been disclosed hereinabove a game for table-type play that may incorporate and bring together the skills, predictive challenges, planning, accuracy, requirements of measured force over distance, challenges in the form of traps, hazards, and other topographical complexities, and low friction play, drawn from games such as golf, hockey, and billiards. In accordance with the disclosure, a representative game-playing surface may carry a plurality of surface features in the nature of a game-course. Such surface features may comprise selected ones of holes, tees, islands, topographical features, peripheral borders, scribe lines, numbering, and the like, all in a layout supporting and furthering a game and game-play according to the disclosure hereof. A puck-like element for each player is supported upon the game-playing surface. The game playing surface may further carry a low friction coating, powder, or other material, to enable the puck-like element to slide easily upon the surface. A piece of equipment, such as a cue stick, a flick of the finger, or the like, may be used to impart force to the puck-like element to initiate motion according to game-play rules, a illustrative rules set being forth above.

It will therefore be understood that the particular embodiments of the subject matter hereinabove presented is by way of illustration only, and is, in no way, meant to be restrictive; therefore, numerous changes and modifications may be made, and the full use of equivalents resorted to, without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter as provided in the appended claims.





 
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