Title:
BILLIARD BALL RACK
United States Patent 3672671


Abstract:
A rack for shaping a group of billiard balls on a pool table, which rack has interconnected sides defining a patterned enclosure, such as a triangular or diamond shaped enclosure. At least one of the side members has an inclined interior surface which will serve to urge the balls into a compact pattern when a downward pressure is exerted on the rack.



Inventors:
MEROLA ANTHONY
Application Number:
05/047983
Publication Date:
06/27/1972
Filing Date:
06/22/1970
Assignee:
AMEROLA PRODUCTS CORP.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63D15/00; (IPC1-7): A63D15/00
Field of Search:
273/22
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2405677Pool ball rack or frame1946-08-13Volpe



Primary Examiner:
Pinkham, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Stouffer R. T.
Claims:
I claim

1. In combination, a group of billiard balls and a billiard ball rack comprising:

2. The billiard ball rack as set forth in claim 1 wherein all of the side members have inclined interior sections.

3. The billiard ball rack as set forth in claim 1 wherein said interior section is formed integrally with the side member.

4. The billiard ball rack as set forth in claim 1 wherein said interior section is fixed to the side member.

5. The billiard ball rack as set forth in claim 1 wherein only one of said side members is provided with said interior section with such interior section beginning in a plane above the top surfaces of the other side members.

6. In combination, a group of billiard balls and a billiard ball rack, comprising:

7. The billiard ball rack as set forth in claim 6 wherein said side members are generally flat on both sides, with all of the members being inclined to have the interior surfaces thereof facing the table upon which the rack is placed.

8. The billiard ball rack as set forth in claim 6 wherein said side members are interconnected to define a triangular shaped enclosure.

9. In combination with a group of billiard balls and a billiard ball rack including a plurality of side members defining a patterned enclosure for receiving the group of billiard balls, the improvement therewith comprising at least one of said side members having an interior section with a ball engaging portion thereon inclined to face the table upon which the rack will be placed, with the dimensions of the rack as measured at the time the balls are compacted by the rack being sized such that the ball engaging portion overlies the maximum diameter of the exterior balls of the group of balls to engage the exterior balls, with the ball engaging portion being positioned and inclined to such a degree and the dimensions of said rack further being such that when a downwardly directed force is applied to any of the side members such force is transmitted to all of the balls to urge them into a compact pattern.

10. In combination, a group of billiard balls and a billiard ball rack, comprising:

Description:
This invention relates to an improved billiard ball rack, and particularly to a rack which will enhance the compaction of a group of balls placed on a billiard or pool table.

In the various games falling under the general heading of pocket billiards or pool, the balls used are arranged during certain points of these games in a pattern on a designated location on the pool table. The usual pattern is triangular shaped using 15 numbered balls. Other games use different patterns, as for example, a diamond shape using nine balls. In both of these instances, a rack shaped in the pattern and sized to receive the group of balls is used. When forming the pattern with the racks, it is desireable to compact the balls into a tight group. This gives a truer "break" of the group of balls when they are struck by the cue ball. The racks ordinarily used will not by themselves provide the tight group since they are sized to define an enclosure which is slightly larger than the group of balls. Thus, it is necessary when "racking" the balls for the operator to place his fingers in the space between one side of the rack and the adjacent balls and squeeze the balls into a tight pattern. A good tight pattern of balls, therefore, depends entirely on the ability of the operator of the rack. Even with a skilled user a tight pattern is not easily obtained, because when the user removes his fingers from inside the rack, he oftentimes will inadvertently upset the pattern without knowing it.

I overcome the problem of the inability of the ordinary billiard ball rack to achieve, by itself, a tight rack of balls. The billiard ball rack of my present invention will always result in a tight rack of balls regardless of the skill of the user of the rack. More particularly my billiard ball rack preferably comprises a plurality of side members interconnected at their end portions to define a patterned enclosure for receiving a group of balls to shape the group into the defined pattern on a pool table; and at least one of the side members having an interior section extending longitudinally over a major portion of the length thereof and inclined to face the table upon which the rack is placed, the inclination of the section being of such a degree that the section will engage the balls disposed therealong to urge all the balls toward the other side members when a downwardly directed pressure is exerted on any of the side members, whereby a compact pattern of balls results. By providing a downwardly inclined surface, the balls are engaged to urge them together without any need for the user to place his fingers within the rack enclosure to squeeze the balls together. In one embodiment I provide a triangular rack having three interconnected downwardly inclined sides. The balls are placed within the enclosure defined by the sides and a slight downward pressure is applied by the user to the sides with the balls being urged together into a tight group. Lifting of the rack from the group will not upset the tight pattern.

Other details and advantages of this invention will become apparent as the following description of certain present preferred embodiments thereof proceed.

In the accompanying drawings I have shown certain present preferred embodiments of this invention in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a billiard ball rack embodying one form of my present invention;

FIG. 2 is a view taken along the line II--II of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a billiard ball rack embodying another form of my present invention;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a billiard ball rack having a different pattern than the rack illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3 and embodying a form of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a view taken along the line V--V of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of one corner of the rack of FIG. 3 showing the inclined inner surface of one side member in relation to an adjoining side member;

FIGS. 7 and 8 are sectional views showing two different modifications of the inclined interior surface of a side member of a billiard ball rack;

FIG. 9 is a view taken along the line IX--IX of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 10 is a further modification of the inclined inner surface of a side member of a billiard ball rack.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown one form of the billiard ball rack of the present invention and generally designated by the numeral 10. Rack 10 is triangular in shape and is used to receive and shape 15 billiard balls 12. Rack 10 comprises three identically shaped flat side members 14 formed of a rigid material such as wood, although a suitable plastic or metal could also be used, interconnected at their end portions to define the triangular enclosure for receiving the balls. As shown, the side members 14 are inclined so that the interior surfaces face the table 16 upon which the balls will be positioned. The size of the side members 14 and the inclination thereof are selected so that the outer balls of the triangular pattern will be engaged by the interior surface of the side members. The rack 10 will ride on the outer balls and, therefore, in order to place all the balls within the enclosure, the balls will be roughly shaped in a triangular pattern on the table and the rack placed over the balls to shape them into the pattern defined by the rack. After all the balls are in position, the user of the rack 10 only need apply a slight downward pressure on the side members 14 and the balls will be urged into a compact pattern. The tight pattern will remain when the rack 10 is lifted from the balls.

FIGS. 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 illustrate other embodiments of the billiard ball rack of this invention. FIG. 3 shows a triangular rack 20 having two identical flat faced side members 22 connected together at one of their ends by a contoured block 24, as by glue and dowels for example. The opposite ends of the side members 22 are connected to the opposite ends of a side member 26. Side member 26 has a height greater than that of side members 22 (See FIG. 6), and has a flat outer face 26a and an interior face having an integrally formed inclined surface 26b thereon as clearly shown in FIG. 5. Inclined surface 26b extends from the top of side member 26 to an intermediate point thereof and faces the table upon which the rack 30 is placed and is shaped and sized to engage the balls running along it. In addition, the inclination of surface 26b is such that when any pressure is placed on any or all of the side members 22 and 26, the pressure will be transmitted through surface 26b to all of the balls to urge them into a compact group. The effect produced by rack 20 by virtue of inclined inner surface 26b is very much the same as that produced by rack 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2. As with rack 10, rack 20 would ride on the balls with the apex opposite side member 26 abutting the table. When shaping the balls with rack 20, the balls are placed within the enclosure and the last one or two balls will be on top of the others. Rack 20 need only be lifted slightly and the balls will fall in place. The top balls may also be pressed down into the group which will cause the rack to rise into its ball urging position. When racking the balls with rack 20, most likely pressure will be brought to bear by the user on the opposite end portion of side member 26, which pressure will urge the balls into a tight group. Lifting of rack 20 from the balls will not upset the tight pattern. Rack 20 may also be used for shaping nine balls into a diamond pattern. The balls are placed within the rack 20 and formed in the diamond pattern, one ball of which will be placed in engagement with inclined surface 26b. Slight downward pressure on the rack 20 will compact the nine balls.

FIGS. 4 and 9 show a diamond shaped rack 30 used in the pocket billiard game called nine-ball. As the name of the game suggest, rack 30 is sized to receive nine standard sized billiard balls. Rack 30 includes two flat faced identically shaped and sized side members 32 joined together at one of their respective ends, and joined at their other respective ends to identically shaped side members 34 which in turn are joined together at their other ends. As clearly shown in FIG. 9, side members 34 have flat outer surfaces 34a and interior faces having integrally formed inclined surfaces 34b thereon. Rack 30 would act in the same manner as triangular rack 20 to form a compact group of balls. The same design considerations would be made with respect to rack 30 as would be made with rack 20. Rack 30 is illustrated to show that any shape of rack falls within the scope of this invention, and that two interior surfaces may be inclined. In the case of rack 20, I illustrate that only one interior surface may be inclined for achieving a compact group of balls. Thus, any number of interior surfaces of side members forming any shape rack may be inclined and fall within the scope of this invention.

FIGS. 7 and 8 show alternate ways of providing an inclined interior surface to any number of the side members of racks. FIG. 8 shows a wedge piece 40 fixed to the inner surface of a flat faced side member 42, and FIG. 7 shows a flat piece 50 fitted at an angle in a slot running the length of a flat faced side member 52. Although the inclined surfaces of FIGS. 5, 7, and 8 are shown as terminating at a mid-point of the side member, they may terminate at any point along the side member, or even be spaced from the side member as by a cantilevered arranged piece secured to the side member and terminating in an inclined surface as shown in FIG. 10. The significant factor is that the inclined surface engages the balls to transmit a compaction pressure thereto.

In all the embodiments illustrated, the inclined interior surfaces of the racks begin in a generally horizontal plane above the horizontal plane of the tops of the balls. Such a relationship is not critical although it is preferred. The inclined interior surface may begin at any point so long as it will be able to transmit the compaction pressure to the balls. Also, the angle that the inclined surface makes with respect to a vertical plane may vary from a very small angle (viz. 10°) to a larger angle (viz. 45°) so long as the surface engages the balls above the horizontal plane passing through the centerpoints thereof. The particular angle of inclination is not critical as long as it is sufficient for compaction pressure to be transmitted by the inclined surface to the balls. Also, with regard to the downwardly directed pressure applied to the racks for compacting the balls, the weight of the rack itself might be enough to provide the compaction pressure. Usually, however, the user will provide the compaction pressure by pressing down on the side members.

It should also be noted that various other changes may be made to my present billiard rack without changing the essence of the invention. For example, the rack could be made of one piece by molding it out of a plastic material or by casting it out of a metallic material; two arm members of a triangular shaped rack could be permanently fixed to one another with the third arm member being detachably secured to the other two members; or all the arm members could be detachably secured to each other. By making one arm member of a triangular rack detachable from the other two, the places are more efficiently packaged in bulk than would be completed racks.

While I have shown and described certain present preferred embodiments of this invention, it is to be distinctly understood that the invention is not limited thereto but may be otherwise variously embodied within the scope of the following claims.