Title:
Aerial game of skill
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Game apparatus comprising a ring projectile, launched with two crossed, curved members, which when whipped apart impel the ring across a distance. The ring is caught and returned by another player with a pair of similar members. The invention addresses: dynamics of the game, control of position and direction of the projected ring and the efficiency, comfort and safety features of the ring launching member by implementing: a curved shape and an oval section of the ring launching member, an ergonomic handle with a thumb support, a two-level, compact hand guard system and aerodynamic properties of the ring. The game can now be enjoyed by players from a broad range of age and physical predisposition.



Inventors:
Lipowicz, Tadeusz Wladyslaw (Toronto, CA)
Application Number:
09/771511
Publication Date:
08/01/2002
Filing Date:
01/29/2001
Assignee:
LIPOWICZ TADEUSZ WLADYSLAW
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B67/20; (IPC1-7): A63B65/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TADEUSZ W. LIPOWICZ (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Claims:

I claim:



1. Game apparatus comprising two ring launching members and a ring projectile.

2. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said ring launching member comprises: an elongate, curved element, upper level hand guard, lower level hand guard, thumb support and handle.

3. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said ring projectile is of section, parallel to plain of said ring projectile and constituting an area between two concentric circles.

4. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 2, wherein said elongate, curved element arcs longitudinally in manner generally consistent with, but not limited to, parabola or hyperbola and in direction consistent with extension of front side of said elongate, curved element.

5. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 2, wherein same, said elongate, curved element may have surfaces with different frictional characteristics.

6. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 2, wherein said elongate, curved element may be of plurality of lengths, widths and thicknesses.

7. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 2, wherein said elongate, curved element is of oval or a combination of oval and triangular or oval and rectangular section, perpendicular to the long axis of said elongate, curved element.

8. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 7, wherein said oval section is of plurality of ratios of long axis to short axis, including long axis to short axis ratio equal 1 and greater or lesser than 1, said triangular component of said section is of plurality of side lengths and angles and said rectangular component of said section is of plurality ratios of long side to short side.

9. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 2, wherein said handle, thumb support and lower component of said lower level hand guard comprise oval, slanted downward and backward loop.

10. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 2, wherein said upper level hand guard comprises: upper hand guard component, arching away from back side of elongate, curved element, in direction of handle and in plain of said, elongate, curved element and middle, substantially shorter and closer to handle, hand guard component, arching upward and away from front side of said elongate curved element.

11. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 2, wherein said lower level hand guard comprises: upper hand guard component, arching slantwise, away from back side of elongate, curved element, in direction of handle and in plain of said, elongate, curved element and lower hand guard component, constituting front half of oval, slanted downward and backward loop.

12. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 9, wherein said handle constitutes back half of the said loop, for the most part uniform in the other two dimensions with the lower end tapering to conform to lower end of lower hand guard component.

13. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 9, wherein said thumb support constitutes a depression within an oval limit, conforming to a bulb of a thumb and located outside on upper end of said handle.

14. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 3, wherein section of said ring projectile, perpendicular to plain of said ring projectile is a circle, ellipse with plurality of ratios of long to short axis or any combination of circle, ellipse and triangle.

15. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 3, wherein said ring projectile is equipped with perforations of plurality of shapes, distributed along circumference of said ring projectile and perpendicular to its plane.

16. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 3, wherein same, said ring projectile may have surfaces with different frictional characteristics.

17. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 3, wherein said ring projectile maybe of plurality of degrees of flexibility.

18. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 3, wherein said ring projectile maybe of plurality of diametrical sizes.

19. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said ring launching members and said ring projectile are employed in the following manner: ring launching is executed by moving crossed members in opposite directions, while applying vertical pressure to opposite, inner sides of the ring.

20. Game apparatus in accordance with claim 2, wherein said elongated, curved elements of ring launching members are removable to enable their replacement.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The first invention related to the game utilizing two whipped apart rods, inserted within a ring was patented in 1890, U.S. Pat. No. 429,531. There the claim referred to the ring projectile.

[0002] In U.S. Pat. No. 2,371,567, granted in 1945 and related to the described above field of the instant invention, the claims refer to one of the launching members being slotted along its longitudinal axis to accommodate the other member during the ring projecting motion.

[0003] U.S. Pat. No. 3,823,942, granted Jul. 16, 1974 lists two rods held by a player as an embodiment for the claimed invention, namely hoops, which are launched by one player and caught by another player using a similar set of rods.

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 5,421,584, granted June. 6, 1995, relates to a game apparatus comprising a ring with a flight stabilization member projected with two rids which tops are joined together and inserted in the ring. The other ends of the rods are rapidly spread apart by the player, cuasing the ring to fly toward the second player, who catches it on the similar set of rods. The claims relate to the ring projectile and the launching device.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0005] This invention relates to an aerial, projectile game comprising two elongate members used to project and catch a ring. The ends of the two said members are held by a player, one in each hand. The ring is launched by two members, inserted within the ring in a crossed position. When the player moves both members in the opposite directions the ring is forced to slide along the members towards their tips and continues its motion through the air over the distance dependent on the speed and direction at the time of separation from the launching members. If the flight direction and speed are adequate to the position of the second player, the second player can catch the ring with two members, held one in each hand, by pointing the tips of the members at the inside of the incoming ring and then crossing the members once the ring passes over the tips. The second player can now launch the ring back to the first player.

[0006] The ring can be caught on a single member when it is beyond reach of the two members held together in close proximity.

[0007] The game can also be played by aiming the projection of the ring at a fixed or moving target or by attacking and defending horizontal or vertical fields.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The instant invention relates to game apparatus comprising two elongate curved members, equipped with slanted hand guards and a profiled handle with thumb support and adapted to launch and receive a ring that is either solid or perforated along the circumference, perpendicularly to its plain.

[0009] None of the aforementioned, prior inventions addressed the physical principles of the ring launching and receiving techniques, with the purpose to enhance the competitive value of the game, particularly: to broaden the range of speed of the ring, to conceal the intended direction of the ring projection, to improve the control of the position of the ring being projected, to provide the necessary hand protection with a minimum impediment to the ring launching and receiving operations, to provide for a broad range of play characteristics of the projecting apparatus and the ring projectile. The instant invention addresses all the above mentioned factors with the intention for the game to be enjoyable at a wide range of skill and physical predisposition levels.

[0010] It is another object of the invention to augment the means of control of the ring trajectory and the ring position in flight, available to the player, who then, through mastering the use of the said means, will be able to achieve a high degree of precision and accuracy.

[0011] It is a feature of the invention that a curved track is built into the long element of the ring launching member to increase the acceleration rate of the ring being launched without a noticeable increase of the force applied by the player and to provide means for altering the ring trajectory by turning the said member around its longitudinal axis. This technique increases the unpredictability of the direction of the projected ring, intended by the player.

[0012] It is another feature of the invention that the cross-sectional shape of the ring launching member, may be circular, oval, rectangular or triangular or a combination of these to augment the means of control of the ring rotation and the ring dynamics.

[0013] It is a further feature of the invention that the ring launching member is equipped with a two-level hand guard that comprises two slanted projections and a looped handle-guard, designed to provide an adequate hand protection with a minimum restriction to the freedom of movement during the ring launching and receiving operations.

[0014] It is still further feature of the invention that the handle of the ring launching member comprises the back part of the said looped handle-guard and is profiled to conform to the natural curvature of the palm. The lower end of the looped handle-guard prevents the ring launching member from loosing contact with the hand during the ring launching process.

[0015] It is another feature of the invention that the said handle is equipped with a thumb support consisting of an oval, concave surface, conforming to the bulb of the thumb an designed to provide a firm grip on the handle and a leverage that enables the player to exert maximum force on the ring launching member during the ring launching process.

[0016] It is another feature of the invention that the ring projectile is of circular or oval section, perpendicular to the plain of the ring to allow for wide range adjustments of the aerodynamic properties of the ring.

[0017] It is further feature of the invention that the ring projectile is equipped with perforations distributed evenly along the circumference of the ring and perpendicular to the plane of the ring, with the purpose to provide additional control of the aerodynamic characteristics of the ring and to enable fine adjustments to the weight/density/size ratio of the ring.

[0018] It is another feature of the invention that plurality of sizes of ring projectile will be utilized in the said game, adequate to desired distances and degrees of difficulty in catching the ring.

[0019] It is further feature of the invention that the handle with guards could be separated from the curved, elongated element of the ring launching member to enable the employment of plurality of the ring launching elements.

[0020] It is still further feature of the invention that the ring launching members can be employed in direct contact with each other or spread apart vertically during the ring launching process, enabling the utilization of different mechanics in the propulsion of the ring.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] FIG. 1A,1B,1C,1D are sequential, plain views of the game utilizing the instant invention;

[0022] FIG. 2A, 2B illustrate the ring launching member of the instant invention;

[0023] FIG. 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D illustrate examples of curves built into the elongate element of the ring launching member of the instant invention;

[0024] FIG. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D illustrate the directional control of the ring being launched with longitudinal rotation of members;

[0025] FIG. 5A, 5B, 5C illustrate the ring launching technique employing two ring launching members held in direct contact with each other;

[0026] FIG. 6A, 6B, 6C illustrate the effect of longitudinal rotation of the upper ring launching member on the rotation rate and direction of the ring being launched;

[0027] FIG. 7A, 7B, 7C illustrate the effect of longitudinal rotation of the lower ring launching member on the rotation rate and direction of the ring being launched;

[0028] FIG. 8A, 8B, 8C illustrate the ring launching technique employing two ring launching members held apart, against upper and lower, inner sides of the ring;

[0029] FIG. 9A, 9B, 9C illustrate the ring receiving technique, employing two ring launching members;

[0030] FIG. 10A, 10B, 10C illustrate the ring projectile being received on one of the members and stopped on the upper guard level;

[0031] FIG. 11A, 11B, 11C illustrate the ring projectile being received on one of the members and stopped on the lower guard level;

[0032] FIG. 12 illustrates the handle, guards and the thumb support of the ring launching member;

[0033] FIG. 13A, 13B, 13C, 13D illustrate examples of sections through the ring projectile;

[0034] FIG. 14A, 14B, 14C, 14D, 14E, 14F illustrate plane views of the ring projectile with examples of perforations;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0035] The game utilizing the instant invention is played by two players facing each other at a distance, FIG. 1A to 1D. The first player A is imparting the ring projectile 2 with two elongate, curved ring launching members 1 in the crossed position, inside the said ring projectile, by outward movement of the said members. The second player B is holding his two ring launching members 1, tips in proximity, ready to receive the incoming ring, FIG. 1A. Once the ring passes over the tips of the ring launching members, held by the second player B, he is crossing his ring launching members by the inward movement of the said members, thus locking-in the caught, incoming ring 2, FIG. 1B. The ring, locked with two crossed members, is now ready to be launched back to the first player A who is holding his ring launching members, tips in proximity, to catch the said ring, FIG. 1C. Having passed over the tips of the ring launching members, the ring is now being locked-in by the first player with the inward movement of his crossed ring launching members, FIG. 1D.

[0036] The acceleration of the ring projectile with straight rods, disclosed in previous patents, is affected by the angle between the crossed rods, the force applied by the player and, to some degree, by the friction between the rods and the ring. The instant invention implements a curved track built into the elongate element of the ring launching member, designed to boost acceleration of the ring and resulting in the achievement of substantially longer distances by the projected ring with a disproportionally small addition of force, used by the player.

[0037] The ring launching member, shown in plain view FIG. 2A and slanted view FIG. 2B, comprises elongate, curved element 3, hand guard components 4,5,6, handle 7, and thumb support 8. All component parts of the ring launching member lie in one plain. Items: 4,5,6 and 7 are shown enlarged in FIG. 12.

[0038] The elongate, curved element 3 is of uniform width and thickness and arcs to the front side 3a of the ring launching member, from the hand guard components 4 and 5 to the rounded tip 3c, considered here to be the upper end of the ring launching member.

[0039] The upper hand guard component 4, closer to the upper end 3c of the ring launching member 3, arcs downward from the back side 3b of the elongate, curved element 3. The upper hand guard component 4 tapers upwardly and flattens at the end 4a.

[0040] The middle, substantially shorter hand guard component 5 arcs upwardly from the front side of the elongated, curved element 3, opposite to the upper hand guard component 4 and further from the end 3c. The middle hand guard component 5 tapers toward the end 5b, slightly flattened at the top .

[0041] The lower hand guard component 6 consists of the front half of the oval, slanted downward and backward loop, constituting the lower end of the ring launching member. The lower hand guard component 6 narrows downward and conforms to the lower end of the handle 7. The upper end of the lower hand guard component 6 protrudes upwardly from the front side of the ring launching member and forms the upper end of the oval loop.

[0042] The handle 7 consists of the back half of the lower, oval loop, that is for the most part uniform in the other two dimensions. The lower end of the handle 7 tapers to conform to the lower end of the lower hand guard 6. The depression in the outside, top end surface of the handle 7 constitutes the thumb support 8, designed to conform to the bulb of the thumb.

[0043] The curvature of the elongate element 3 of the ring launching member 1 depends on the desired dynamic parameters of the game. FIG. 3A to 3D illustrate examples of different curves build into the elongate element of the ring launching member. Each of these curves provide specific dynamic characteristics of the ring lunching member, according to the kinetic energy of the impelled projectile being inversely proportional to the radii of the curve built into the elongate element of the ring launching members. Ring launching members depicted in FIG. 3A and FIG. 3C have lower dynamics than ring launching members shown in FIG. 3B and FIG. 3D. In each of the examples in FIG. 3A to FIG. 3D the acceleration rate of the ring projectile, equally distant from the tip of the ring launching member, will be different, given the the same angle between the crossed members and the same force applied by the player.

[0044] Curved shapes of the ring launching members provide aspects of the game, not included in the previously disclosed inventions and implemented in the instant invention—the means for controlling the direction and speed of the projected ring: the ring follows the curve of the track and the ring accelerates at a higher rate on the track with a smaller radii. By turning one or both ring launching members around their respective long axes the player can change the curvature of the track of the ring being launched and control the acceleration rate of the ring and the direction of the track on each side of the ring projectile FIG. 4A to 4D.

[0045] FIG. 4A to 4C. show, in plain views, the ring projectile directed horizontally. Initially, the ring 2 is ready to be launched straight forward. Two crossed members 1 are positioned with front sides facing opposite directions FIG. 4A. During the ring launching process the left member is turned 180° around its longitudinal axis, FIG. 4B, causing the ring to move in the arcing to the right direction, FIG. 4C. When the ring projectile is launched with two, curved members turned pointing down-ward along their longitudinal axes, the ring trajectory is slanted downward in relation to the course it would have had if the ring launching members had not been turned, as shown in the side view in FIG. 4D.

[0046] When the friction between one ring launching member and one side of the ring is same as the friction between the second ring launching member and the other side of the ring there is no effect of the said frictions on the flight direction of the ring. When, however, these frictions are not equal the acceleration rate of each side of the ring being launched are unequally affected, resulting in one side lugging behind, proportionally to the difference in the said frictions.

[0047] With the same material used on the entire surface of the ring launching member a variable size of the area of contact between the ring launching members and the ring projectile enhances the player's ability to control the velocity to rotation ratio of the ring projectile.

[0048] In the instant invention the variable area of contact between the ring launching members and the ring projectile is effected by the implementation of oval shapes in the perpendicular section of the elongate element of the ring launching member. As one of the ring launching members is turned around its longitudinal axis during the ring launching process, the said contact area will change according to to the curvature of the side in contact with the ring. This is possible because ring projectiles utilized in the instant invention will flex to various degrees, depending on their thicknesses, sizes and material used and will tend to conform to the shape of the ring launching member.

[0049] A phenomenon observed when a ring is being launched with two, crossed and forced apart rods and not addressed in the previous patents related to the said game, is the rotary motion of the ring as it moves along the rods. The friction forces between the surface of the upper member and the inner surface of the ring being launched cause the ring to roll on the outer surface of the member and promote the rotary motion of the ring, as it is being forced forward during the launching process. The rotary motion of the ring being launched has a stabilizing effect on the position of the ring and an inhibiting effect on the forward motion of the ring in flight.

[0050] At the start of the ring launching process almost all of the weight of the ring projectile rests on the upper crossed member, and while both ring launching members provide the forward push to the ring, the friction between the upper member and the ring promotes rotation of that ring as it is rolling diagonally along the upper member. The friction between the ring and the lower ring launching member impedes the rotation of the ring. As the forward speed of the ring projectile increases and the contact points between the members and the ring move down along the ring circumference toward the center of the ring, more weight of the ring is taken up by the lower member and at the end of the ring launching process the weight of the ring is equally distributed between both members. At that time the ring rotation must have enough momentum to overcome the strong friction forces between the ring and both members and retain sufficient rotating momentum to maintain the position of the ring during the flight. When the rotation of the ring is not fast enough the ring will be susceptible to the external forces, such as wind, and will tend to assume random positions in flight.

[0051] Lowering the friction forces between the ring and the launching members by utilizing smoother surfaces will increase forward thrust of the ring projectile and decrease its rate of rotation, as a result, the stability of the flying ring will be compromised. The instant invention provides for utilization of surfaces with different frictional characteristics along the sides of the same elongate element of the ring launching member.

[0052] Fig.5A to 5C, 6A to 6C and 7A to 7C show plain views of start, middle and end of the ring launching process utilizing the oval section of the elongate element of the ring launching member. The corresponding blown-up sections across the plain of the ring projectile illustrate in details the contacts between the ring launching members and the ring projectile.

[0053] When both crossed ring launching members are held in parallel planes at the start of the ring launching process FIG. 5A, 6A, 7A the ring rests on the wide side of the upper member 9a and is in contact with the narrow side of the lower member 9b. While the ring launching members are being forcefully moved in opposite directions the contact area between the upper member and the ring shifts toward the narrow side 9b of the upper member as both contacts are moving toward the center of the ring FIG. 5B, 5C.

[0054] When during the ring launching process the upper member is turned outward around its long axis FIG. 6B, 6C from its initial position FIG. 6A to maintain its wide side contact with the ring 9athe ring is more effectively forced to turn, which results in its higher rotation rate 10a in FIG. 6B and 10b in FIG. 6C, compare to the rotation rate of the ring when the horizontal position of the upper member is maintained 10a in FIG. 5B and 10b in FIG. 5C. In this example the resulted imbalance of friction between the upper member and the ring and the lower member and the ring has an insignificant effect on the direction of the ring movement because the curved truck of the upper member is forcing the ring to move in the opposite direction. To ensure the intended, straight course of the ring projectile, the angle between the crossed members was corrected with the lower member moved forward, 11 in FIG. 6C.

[0055] When during the ring projection the lower member is turned outward along its long axis FIG. 7B, 7C from its initial position FIG. 7A its narrow side contact 9b with the ring changes to the wide side contact 9a the rotation of the ring is inhibited 10a in FIG. 7B and 10b in Fig.7C, compare to the ring rotation when the ring launching members are not turned 10a in FIG. 5B and 10b in FIG. 5C. This happens because the increased contact area between the lower member and the ring offers higher resistance to the ring turning effort of the upper member. The technique requires a correction 12 in FIG. 7C of the outward movement of the upper member to maintain the straight course of the projected ring.

[0056] When a high stability of the projected ring is of importance, an alternate ring launching technique, not disclosed in the previous patents, can be employed. In this technique, at the start of the ring launching process, the ring is held by two crossed members vertically spread apart inside the ring FIG. 8A. Ring launching is executed by moving the crossed members in the opposite directions while applying vertical pressure to the opposite inner sides of the ring. As the ring is increasing its distance from the handles of the ring launching members, the horizontal forces applied to the ring prevail and the contact areas between the ring and both members move clockwise along the circumference of the ring FIG. 8B, 8C. Despite the fact that the contact areas remaining essentially unchanged throughout the ring launching process 9b, the rotation rate of the ring is substantially higher 10a, 10b compare to the rotation rates of the ring when two crossed ring launching members are in contact, as both members contribute to the rotating motion of the ring at a significantly higher contact pressure. This technique can be utilized when the precision of the ring projection is of higher concern than the achieved distances; for example, for shooting targets.

[0057] The ring receiving technique, utilizing two ring launching members consists of pointing both members at the center of the incoming ring FIG. 9A, getting both tips of the members inside the ring, crossing the members behind the sliding ring FIG. 9B and locking-in the captured ring by further inward motion of the tips of both members FIG. 9C.

[0058] When catching the ring with two ring launching members is not possible one of the members can be used for receiving the ring. The lack of the other member to stop the incoming ring allows the ring to continue its motion toward the handle of the member. In order to prevent the incoming ring from impacting the hand, the hand guards are installed between the handle and the elongate curved element of the ring launching member. Test results show that most of the time the ring is captured in the slated, descending flight FIG. 10A before it slides down along the front side of the elongate, curved element of the ring launching member FIG. 10B, 10C. To minimize the extend of protrusions from the ring launching members and maximize the freedom of movement during the ring projection the upper, downward slanted hand guard component 4 and the short, hooklike, middle guard component 5 and were designed. The upper hand guard component 4 and the middle hand guard component 5 comprise the upper, most frequently utilized, hand guard level FIG. 10D.

[0059] When the incoming ring flies in the direction consistent with the long axis of the ring launching member FIG. 11A, 11B it may miss the middle hand guard component 5, FIG. 11C and hit the upper hand guard component 4, the other side of the ring will then swing down and stop on the lower hand guard component 6. The upper hand guard component 4 and the lower hand guard component 6 comprise the lower hand guard level of the ring launching member FIG. 11D.

[0060] The ring projectile has a range of diameters, sizes of sections, perpendicular to its plane and shapes of the said sections. The combination of these parameters determines the aerodynamic characteristics of the ring, dictated by the needs of the players.

[0061] The section of the ring projectile, perpendicular to its plain may be circular FIG. 13A, ellipsoidal of various ratios of the long axis to the short axis FIG. 13B, 13C or any combination of circle, ellipse and triangle FIG. 13D.

[0062] The ring projectile may also be equipped with perforations of various shapes, distributed along the circumference of the ring and perpendicular to the plane of the ring. These perforations broaden the range of the aerodynamic characteristics of the ring and allow for achievement of the required weight of the ring projectile versus its diameter, thickness and density of the material used. The said perforations may be circular FIG. 14A, 14B, 14C, oval FIG. 14D, square FIG. 14E or rectangular FIG. 14F. The said perforations may be of plurality of sizes and may be spaced at the plurality of intervals FIG. 14A to 14E.