Title:
Game
United States Patent 2333098


Abstract:
My invention relates to games of the general type of table tennis, adapted to be played with a relatively light ball and a bat, either a single player utilizing the apparatus or, preferably, a pair of players utilizing the apparatus in contesting against each other. While for very active players,...



Inventors:
Forsyth, George H.
Application Number:
US28606739A
Publication Date:
11/02/1943
Filing Date:
07/24/1939
Assignee:
Forsyth, George H.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B67/04
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Description:

My invention relates to games of the general type of table tennis, adapted to be played with a relatively light ball and a bat, either a single player utilizing the apparatus or, preferably, a pair of players utilizing the apparatus in contesting against each other.

While for very active players, especially those interested in a great deal of leg exercise, it is feasible to provide a court game in which the players run about over the court, it is also important to provide a game for players more interested in exercising the upper portion of the body.

A consideration is to have a fast game or one which will be variable in speed as the player's skill varies and also one which requires the player to extend himself as much as possible except for his legs, still one which if necessary can be played in the usual confines.

It is therefore an object of my invention to provide a game which is playable within relatively confined spaces by at least two players.

Another object of my invention is to provide a game in which it is not necessary for the players to run about over a large area, yet in which considerable exertion is necessary.

Another object of my invention, and in keeping with the foregoing, is to provide a game to be played upon a court, whether consisting of a table' top or ground or floor level, in combination with corresponding mechanism to return the ball upon a rebound bounce from an abutment wall at one end of the court, to come within stretch of the players confined at the other end. Another object of my invention, in keeping with the foregoing, is to provide a bouncing ball game to be played upon a court, whether a table top or on ground or floor level, with the players confined at one end thereof, while the other end, well beyond their stretch, is provided with adequate means, in co-operation with the court, to return the ball, under normal play, within reach of the players, and upon the first bounce, for continuing play.

Another object of my invention is to provide 4 in connection with a bouncing ball game upon a court, with the players confined at one end thereof and the other end well beyond their stretch, means for returning a deadened ball within reach of the players, and upon the bounce, for resumption of play.

Another object of my invention is to provide a game having various ball reflecting surfaces of different characteristics.

Another object of my invention is to provide 6 a game the apparatus for which can be adapted to a game of table tennis.

Another object of my invention' is in general to improve games.

The foregoing and other objects are attained in the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings, in which Fig. 1 is a plan of a game constructed in accordance with my invention; Fig. 2 is a front elevation of the game shown in Fig. 1; Fig. 3 is a side elevation of the game shown in Fig. 1; and Fig. 4 is a cross-section the plane of which is indicated by the line 4-4 of Fig. 1. In its preferred form, the game of my invention includes a playing court of rectangular or trapezoidal contour, adjustably mounted and preferably disposed 'substantially at the player's waist height. At one extremity of the playing court is. an upstanding end wall toward which converge upstanding side walls bounding lateral extensions of the playing court. A muffle board having sound and surface characteristics different from the remaining portions of the game apparatus is inclined upwardly from the playing court toward the end wall and is situated therebetween, extending from side wall to side wall and being itself bisected by a dividing wall which also bisects the playing court and is upstanding therefrom. Preferably, a demarcation or other dividing means extends transversely of the playing court to divide it into playing zones.

While numerous variations of my game are possible, I have constructed and successfully employed it with great satisfaction in substantially the form disclosed herein in which there is provided a playing court 5 including a central planar table 6 having end edges 7 and 8 and side edges 10 9 and 10 which themselves define substantially a rectangular figure. The table 6 is preferably supported, at substantially the height of the player's waist, upon forward legs 12 and vertically adjustable rear legs 13 which preferably may be :5 manually set in any selected position between wide limits. Thus the central table 6 may be disposed at a level or horizontally, especially for use in playing the game of table tennis for which the table 6 is of the correct dimensions, the offi0 cial table size according to the National Table Tennis Association is five feet by nine feet; yet, by extending or adjusting the legs 13 the table can be given a downward slant toward the. forward edge 7, whereby in conjunction with a proper 5 slant of an abutting wall at the other end of the table there is imparted to the ball a suitable rebound bounce within reach of the players. When a regulation table tennis court is employed and the abutment wall is disposed at one extremity of the court, the length of the playing area on the table or court is such that the upstanding end wall against which the ball is struck is spaced from the other end of the court a distance in excess of the playing reach of a player of average height and reach standing adjacent to said other 1 end of the court.

Upstanding from the table 6 adjacent the rear edge 8 is an end wall 14 of generally rectangular configuration, which is removably attached to the table and extends for the entire width thereof.

Included in the playing court 5 and attached to the table 6 at each side are hinged lateral extensions IS and 17, each of which is preferably somewhat triangular in shape with rounded corners 18, so that when the extensions are in use the playing court is trapezoidal. Each of the extensions rests upon sliding supports 19 and 20 fastened under the central table 6 and, when raised, forms a substantially coplanar extension or continuation thereof.

At the outer edges of each of the extensions 16 and 17 there are provided.upstanding side walls 21 and 22 which converge toward the end wall 14. Preferably the side walls *21 and 22 are not of the same length as .the extensions 16 and 17 but are somewhat shorter, so as to afford greater freedom of lateral stroking by the players. Supplementing the side walls 21 and 22 are substantially parallel side wings 23 and 24 which are hinged to the side walls and are provided with pivot ifasteners 25 on which the end wall 14 is mounted so-as to be adjustably inclined with respect to the playing court 5. Arcuate slots 26 are cut in the side wings 23 and 24 to receive wing fasteners 27 twhich can be manipulated to hold the end wall 14 in any.selected inclination.

The playing court 5 is divided into two. zones 33 and 34 by a suitable dividing means such as a transverse demarcation 36 preferably disposed to extend across the playing court 5 somewhat adjacent the forward ends of the side walls 21 and 22. The playing court 5 is also divided into lanes of. play by a longitudinal demarcation which extends for. substantially the entire length thereof and which preferably is constituted by an upstanding adjustable dividing wall 39 of relatively low height adjacent the forward end thereof but of gradually increasing height as the dividing wall pierces the end wall 14. Since it extends through the end wall, the dividing wall may be.slid back and forth to yield the height desired, to serve as a net in stroking; and to assure under normal play a sufficient height:of the ball upon rebound from the-end wall.

The dividing wall 39, the playing court 5, the extensions 1:6 and 17 and the side walls 21 and 22 are all preferably constructed of similar materials having a relatively .hard surface which under impact with the ball give off substantially similar sounds. The end wall 14 is preferably of more yielding material, whereby to permit more forceful stroking and without undue injury, to the ball which is a relatively light ball, for example a hollow sphere of 'Celluloid" or comparable material. The sound given off is in consequence somewhat different, though not too markedly so.

In accordance with my invention, I preferably provide a muffle board 42 having surface characteristics and sound response different from other surfaces in the game apparatus. The muffle board is preferably a rectangular member disposed between the central table 6 and the end wall 14 and extending upwardly from the playing court toward the end wall substantially to the adjacent height of the dividing wall 39. The muffle board extends between the side wings 23 and 24 and is held adjustably in place by fasteners 43 piercing the end wall 14.

0 In order to be distinct in surface and sound characteristics from the remaining portions of the game apparatus, the muffle board is preferably covered. The covering 44 is satisfactorily made of canvas or like fabric which affords a 5 relatively soft surface as compared with the remaining surfaces of the game and which, when struck by the playing ball, emits a relatively muffled or, dead sound very noticeable in comparison or contrast with the sound emitted by the remaining playing surfaces when struck by the playing ball.

In order that a muffled or deadened ball may be quickly returned to the players confined to their end of the court, upon the bounce, for resumption of play and maintenance of interest, the muffle board with its-softer rebound surface is given a back slant in excess of any given to the end wall .14. This produces a rebound trajectory of significant height, as well as of o3 adequate length to bring the restored ball within stretch of the awaiting players.

In playing the game, preferably two -players station themselves along the leading edge 7 of the playing court 5, the width of the apparatus 25 -between the center wall 39 and the side edge of the extension 17,.for example, being adequate to afford one player room to reach or stretch without materially interfering with similar activities onthe part of a second, contesting player stationed on the ,other side of the center between the center and the side edge of the extension 16. A ball 46, similar to a table tennis ball, is put into play by being bounced on the playing court 5 and being struck by a bat. The ball must pass over the dividing wall 39, strike the end wall 14 after such passage, and finally bounce upon the other side of the playing court 5 between the dividing line..36 and the contesting player. If in such flight the ball strikes the muffle board 42 its trajectory is materially altered, and:the impact upon the variant surface gives out a distinctive muffled.or dead sound, and the ball is considered "dead" or goes out of play.

Upon encountering a ball bouncing on the playr,5 ing -court in front of him and ahead of the dividing line 36, the second player returns it with his bat in a similar fashion, but the return ball need not encounter the playing court 5 on the other side of the dividing wall 39 ahead of the dividing line 36 but may bounce behind such line. The ball is continued in play in this fashion until such time as it either flies beyond the apparatus entirely, in which event it is "dead," or strikes the muffle board or the center board, in which case it cannot be maintained in play. The scoring can be arranged to suit the players, but usually the scoring is in accordance with a point system depending upon maintenance of the ball in play. It is a characteristic of such maintenance, however, that the ball remain out of encounter with the muffle board, since a ball encountering the muffle board goes out of play.

As already referred to, by restoring the court horizontally and withdrawing the rest of the mechanism including the end and side walls,: the longitudinally disposed center board; the muffle board and the lateral extensions, there remains a table tennis table of proper dimensions. And reversely, the change may be made back to the present game. Also, the present game, with the players confined at one end of the court, may be played on ground or floor level, with proper; mechanism to give inclination to the court, with lateral extensions added, as well ,as the other mechanism hereinbefore shown in connection with the table.

I claim: 1. A game comprising a playing court disposed substantially at the height of a player's waist, an upstanding end-wall at one extremity of said playing court, means for varying the dihedral angle between said end wall and said court, triangular lateral extensions on said playing court, upstanding side walls engaging said lateral extensions converging toward said end wall, and means extending transversely of said playing court for dividing said playing court into zones.. 2. A game comprising a playing court of rectangular contour, an upstanding end wall at one extremity of said playing court,. triangular lateral extensions lat the sides of said playing court, upstanding side walls on said extensions converging toward said end wall, a muffle board having a relatively soft surface extending between said side walls and inclined from said playing court to said end wall, and an upstanding. and adjustable dividing wall bisecting said playing court and said, muffle board and end wall.

3. A game comprising a playing court, an upstanding end wall at one extremity of said playing court, means for varying the dihedral angle between said end wall and said court, triangular 4 lateral extensions on said playing court; upstanding side walls engaging said .lateral extensions and converging toward said end wall, aid a center board disposed longitudinally' of the, court to divide the same into lanes of play and to serve 4 as a net for stroking: height of the ball in passing from one lane of play to the other.

4. A game comprising a playing court, an upstanding end wall at one extremity of said court a pair of upstanding side walls extending to said end wall, and a muffle board having a softer surface than said court and said end wall extending between said side walls, and sloping upwardly from said playing court to said end wall.

5. A game comprising a playing court, an up- 5 standing end wall at one extremity of said playing court, a slanting muffle board having a softer surface to produce substantially less sound response under ball impact than said playing court and said end wall extending therebetween, and 6( a longitudinal dividing wall upstanding from said playing court and bisecting said muffle bbard to produce lanes of play.

6. A game comprising a court having a playing area, and means for disposing said area' at a, 6U downward slant in the direction: of :the players at one end thereof including: fixed supports ,at' one end of said area and extensible supports at the other end thereof, an upstanding adjustable wall at the other end of said court Ć½disposed at 70 an obtuse dihedral angle to the playing area of the court.

7.. A bouncing ball game to be played on a court at one end of which are located the players and whose other end is provided with an 75 upstanding wall, means for varying the dihedral angle between said end wall and said court; the court being also provided with lateral extensions triangular in shape in combination with side walls converging toward the end wall and engaging said extensions.: 8. A game comprising a planar playing court sloping downward toward one end at which players are stationed, a planar end wall upstanding from the other end of said court, the dihedral angle- between said court and said wall being obtuse, said court having side edges converging toward said end wall, and side walls upstanding from said edges and converging toward said end wall. . 9., A game comprising a playing court, an upstanding end wall at one extremity of said playing court, a slanting muffle board extending from said playing court to said end wall, sound deadening means covering said muffle board to distinguish ball impact sound thereon from ball impact sound elsewhere,:and a longitudinal upstanding wall for dividing the court into lanes of play and for bisecting said muffle board. 10. In a bouncing ball game, the combination of a playing court, an upstanding abutment spaced from one end of the court a distance in excess of the playing reach of a player of average height and reach standing at said one end of the court, said abutment including a rigid rebound playing portion and a rigid .rebound default portion, :each of said portions being disposed at an obtuse dihedral angle to the court whereby there is imparted to a normally stroked incident ball striking either of said portions a: rebound trajectory :tending to bounce the ball on the court into reach of the players, said playing: court being substantially free from transverse obstructions between the abutment and the :0 opposite end of the playing court, so that returni of the ball from the abutment to the other end of the court is unimpeded.

1.r In a bouncing ball game, the combination of a playing court, an upstanding abutment adja5 cent to one end of the playinggcourt and comprising a plurality of ball rebounding portions disposed one above the teother and angularly with respect to each other, the lowerl of said portions, being at an obtuse dihedral angle, with respect 0 to the playing court, whereby there is imparted to a normally stroked incident ball striking said lower portion a rebound trajectory tending to quickly return the ball into reach of a player at the other end of the court, said playing court 5 being substantially free from-transverse obstructions between the abutment and the opposite end of the playing court, so that return of the ball from the abutment to the other end of the court is unimpeded.

S12. In a bouncing ball game, the combination of a playing court, an upstanding abutment spaced from one end of the court a distance in excess, of the playing reach of a player of average heighti and reach standing at said one end i of the court, the abutment including a rigid rebound playing portion and a rigid rebound default portion, the default portion being disposed at an obtuse dihedral angle to the court, and extending substantially from the playing porStion of the abutment to the playing court, the angle being such that the rebound trajectory of a normally hit ball striking the default portion tends to directly return the ball to within reach of the player, both of said portions having planar, surfaces substantially coextensive with-the, width, of the playing court and being normal to a plane" including the longitudinal axis of the playing court- and perpendicular thereto, said playing court being substantially free from transverse obstructions between the abutment and the opposite end of the playing court, so that return of the ball from the abutment to the other end of the court is unimpeded.

13. In a bouncing ball game, the combination of a playing court, an upstanding abutment spaced from one end of the court a distance in excess of the playing reach of a player of average height and reach standing at said one end of the court, the abutment including a rigid rebound playing portion and a rigid rebound default portion, the entire playing portion being above the default portion and disposed at an obtuse dihedral angle to the court, said playing court being substantially free from transverse obstructions between the abutment and the opposite end of the playing court, so that return of the ball from the abutment to the other end of the court is unimpeded.

14. In a bouncing ball game, the combination of a playing court, an upstanding abutment spaced from one end of the court a distance in excess of the playing reach of a player of average height and reach standing at said one end of the court, the abutment including a rigid rebound playing portion and a rigid rebound default portion, the entire playing portion being above the- default portion and disposed at an abtuse dihedral angle to the court, the playing portion of the abutment being more yieldable 'than the playing court, whereby the rebound velocity imparted to the ball incident upon the playing portion is reduced.

15. A bouncing ball game including a playing court, an upstanding'abutment spaced from one end-of the court a distance in excess of the playing reach of a player of average height and reach standing at said one end of the court, the abutment including a 7rigid rebound playing portion disposed at an obtuse dihedral angle to the court and being relatively more yieldable than the court, and a rigid rebound default portion below the playing portion disposed at an obtuse dihedral angle to the playing surface, said default portion being also disposed at an obtuse dihedral angle to the court and extending substantially from the playing surface to the playing court.

16. In a bouncing ball game, the combination of a playing court substantially free of transverse obstructions, an upstanding abutment adjacent to one end of the court, the abutment extending substantially to the playing court and having a rebound playing portion disposed at an obtuse dihedral angle to the court, at least the upper part of the playing portion being more yieldable than the court, the length of the court, the yielding qualities of the upper playing portion and the obtuse dihedral angle of the playing portion being chosen with values which will cause a ball normally stroked against any part of the playingportion to have a rebound trajectory tending to bounce the ball upon the court within reach of the player.

17. In a bouncing ball game, a playing court having one transverse end edge marking a player position end and having an abutment end wall provided at its opposite end comprising a lower portion substantially engaging the surface of the court and rising therefrom at an oblique dihedral angle-therewith and an upper portion having a surface substantially engaging the upper edge of the lower portion and rising therefrom at an oblique dihedral angle therewith, the surface of the court and of each portion of the end wall being plane and unobstructed by any projection Sextending transversely of the court so that the entire surface of the end wall is a ball-returning surface, and said dihedral angles being such that a normally stroked ball moving lengthwise of the court will upon striking either portion of 0 the end wall have imparted to it a return trajectory tending to direct it to the player position end of the court without rebounding to the other portion of the end wall.

18. In a bouncing ball game,-a playing court Shaving one transverse end edge marking a player position end and having an abutment end wall provided at its opposite end comprising a lower portion substantially engaging the surface of the court and rising therefrom at an oblique Sdihedral angle therewith and an upper portion having a surface substantially engaging the upper edge of the lower portion and rising therefrom at an oblique dihedral angle therewith, the surface of the court and of each portion of - the end wall being plane and unobstructed by any projection extending transversely of the court so that the entire surface of the end wall is a ball-returning surface, and the angle between the lower portion of the end wall and the o3 surface of the court being greater than the angle made by the plane of-the upper portion of the end wall and the surface of the court, and said first named angle being such that a normally stroked ball moving lengthwise of the court will upon striking either portion of the end wall have imparted to it a return trajectory tending to direct it to the player position end of the court without rebounding to the other portion of the end wall.

19. In a bouncing ball game, a playing.court having one transverse end edge marking a player position end and having an abutment end wall provided at its opposite end, the entire extent of the area of said end wall which faces the player position end of the court consisting of a lower portion substantially engaging the surface of the court and rising therefrom at an oblique dihedral angle therewith. and an upper 0 portion having a surface- substantially engaging the upper edge of the lower portion and rising therefrom at an oblique dihedral angle therewith, the surface of the court and of each portion of the end wall being plane and unobstructed by any projection extending transversely of the court so that the entire surface of the end wall is a ball-returning surface, and the angle between the lower portion of the end wall and the surface of the court being greater than the angle made by the plane of the upper portion of the end wall and the surface of the court, and said first named angle being such that a normally stroked ball moving lengthwise of the court will upon striking either portion of the end wall have imparted to it a return trajectory tending to direct it to the player position end of the court without rebounding to the other portion of the end wall.

20. In a bouncing ball game, a playing court having one transverse end edge marking a player position end and having an abutment end wall provided at its opposite end comprising a lower portion substantially engaging the surface of the court and rising therefrom at an oblique dihedral angle therewith and an upper portion having a surface substantially engaging the upper edge of the lower portion and rising therefrom in a plane oblique to the surface of the court, the surface of the court and of each portion of the end wall being plane and unobstructed by any projection extending transversely of the court so that the entire surface of the end wall is a ball-returning surface, and said dihedral angle being such that a normally stroked ball moving lengthwise of the court will upon striking the lower portion of the end wall have imparted to it a return trajectory tending to direct it to the player position end of the court without rebounding to the upper portion of the end wall. 21. In a game apparatus, a court, an upstanding abutment spaced from one end of said court and having a ball-rebounding surface extending upwardly from said court, said abutment comprising upper and lower sections forming a dihedral angle, the lower portion of said abutment extending in close proximity to said court and forming an angle with said court, and one or more rigid side extensions for said court for increasing the width of the same at said end sufficiently to accommodate two players without interference.

22. A bouncing ball game comprising a planar court, an upstanding abutment spaced from one end of said court and extending upwardly therefrom, one portion of said abutment being in a plane forming an oblique angle with said court, said angle being such that a played ball under normal initial impact striking the lower portion of said abutment will initially rebound free of said abutment, said court being free of any obstruction extending at an angle to the longitudinal axis of said court, and side walls at each side of said court converging toward said abutment.

GEORGE H. FORSYTH.