Tennis game
Kind Code:

A box game to teach tennis scoring, strategy, and to give players match confidence.

Archer, Richard N. (Forest Ranch, CA, US)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F9/04; (IPC1-7): A63F3/00
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:

What is claimed is:

1. A tennis box game as described herein.

2. A game apparatus as described herein.

3. A game apparatus, comprising a box, said box including a playing area simulating a tennis court, and a dice including a plurality of markings that depict play results.

4. A method of playing a tennis in a box game as described herein.

5. A method of playing a game, comprising the steps of throwing a dice having a plurality of markings that depict play results on a playing area simulating a tennis court.



[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention generally pertains to board games, and more particularly to a game to teach tennis scoring, strategy, and to give players match confidence.

[0003] 2. Description of the Background Art

[0004] The game of tennis is well known. Learning how to play tennis, score properly, and develop strategic plays takes time, skill and practice on a tennis court. There are times, however, when a tennis court is not available. A need therefore exist for a way to practice tennis scoring and strategy without a court.


[0005] The foregoing need is satisfied by the present invention which is a game to teach beginners how to play tennis, as well as to provide for entertainment to beginning and accomplished tennis players. In order to play the game, a beginning player would first have a tennis player explain the game of tennis and its rules of scoring. The game may also be taught by a tennis instructor while instructing a group of novices. After this initial instruction, the tennis instructor can monitor the group's play. Novices can usually start playing each other within approximately 15 minutes.


[0006] The invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following drawings which are for illustrative purposes only:

[0007] FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a basic dice playing piece according to the invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 is a diagram showing an advanced dice playing piece according to the invention

[0009] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a playing board according to the invention.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a diagram showing how serving proceeds according to the invention.


[0011] Referring more specifically to the drawings, for illustrative purposes the present invention is embodied in the game apparatus generally shown in FIG. 1 through FIG. 4 and the method of playing the game described in connection therewith. It will be appreciated that the apparatus may vary as to configuration and that the method may vary as to the specific steps and sequence, without departing from the basic concepts as disclosed herein.

[0012] Referring first to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, two types of dice can be used. FIG. 1 shows a ten-sided dice for the basic game and FIG. 2 shows a twenty-sided dice for an advanced game. Referring also to FIG. 3 the game is played in a box 10, approximately 10″ by 16″ with 2″ tall sides.

[0013] The most unique feature of the game is the usage of special dice as a tennis ball. The dice must be thrown over a net 18 and land within the boundaries of the court (singles or doubles). Players then read the dice to continue play. Scoring, line calls, and terminology are just like regular tennis.

[0014] In the basic game where the dice shown in FIG. 1 is used, the dice carries the letters W, R, and O randomly placed on the faces. These designations are as follows: W=a winner (e. g. an ace on the serve). You win the point. R=good serve, rally begins. Receiver throws the dice back and play continues. O=out ball. Thrower of dice loses the point. For purposes of clarity, FIG. 1 does not show markings on all faces of the dice, although each face would be marked on the actual game dice.

[0015] Scoring can be no-ad or ad, and a player can learn to play both ways. Throwing of the dice can be used to determine who will serve first and who will receive. The first player to throw a W (winner ) gets to choose to serve or receive. The first player to win 6 games wins a set. A tiebreaker is used at 6 games to 6 games, or you can agree you must win by 2 games to win a set. A player and his opponent should agree on this before starting a match. Players may play games, sets, or matches, depending on interest and time.

[0016] Referring to FIG. 4, the game proceeds as follows. First, the server starts game from the right hand serving court. From behind the box, the server tosses the dice underhand into serving court. The server's hand should not go over the baseline when he or she serves. Otherwise, if the server's hand did go over the baseline, it would be a “hand” fault instead of a “foot” fault as in regular tennis. “Hand” faults would be hard to call in a game. Unless players are skilled, and very competitive, it is not necessary to worry about “hand” faulting in the early stages of learning this game.

[0017] If the dice clears the net and lands in the service court, the letters on the dice tell what has happened. W=a winner—an ace—and server wins the point; R=good serve, rally begins, O=out ball. The thrower loses the point. If the dice is thrown and bounces out of the box, the thrower loses the point or has a first service fault. Remember you always get two chances to put the serve in, so a fault on the first serve does not lose the point, but gives you a second chance to serve for the point.

[0018] If the dice does not clear the net and land in the service court, it is a fault and the player gets a second serve. The procedure above in followed for all serves. If the second serve does not clear the net or lands out, it is a double fault and the server loses the point.

[0019] If the serve is a good serve (R), a rally begins. The receiver (the person served to) throws the dice back over the net and the letters appearing on the dice tell what happens.

[0020] W=winner, thrower wins point

[0021] R=Rally—play continues—throw the dice.

[0022] O=Out, thrower loses the point

[0023] Serving next point: The server must call the score before serving, and always say server's score first: 1-love, or 15 love. The second point is served from the left hand court to opposite receiving court. No Add Scoring is 1-2-3-Game. Ad Scoring is 15-30-40-Game. In Ad Scoring if a game reaches 40-40, it is called deuce and a player needs 2 points to win game. Anytime the score adds to an odd number, such as 1-3-5 or Ad, you serve from left court, called Ad Court. Anytime the score adds to an even number, such as 0-2-4 or deuce, you serve from the right hand court called the Deuce Court.

[0024] Players change ends after every odd game; e.g. after game 1-3-5-7-9-11. In real tennis players physically change ends of the court because of wind and sun advantages. In this game players usually just turn the box around.

[0025] If a server:

[0026] (1) fails to serve to proper court,

[0027] (2) fails to call score before serving his first serve, or

[0028] (3) fails to call the score correctly,

[0029] it is considered a first serve fault in this game (not in real tennis) This penalty is applied to make novice players learn proper scoring system. The second serve is served from proper court, calling the correct score. Any thrown dice that bounces completely out of the box is considered out. After a game has been completed receiver becomes the server for next game.

[0030] Referring to FIG. 2, in an alternative embodiment of the invention a special twenty-sided dice can be used for a separate advanced game. Note that W (winner) and O (out) are the same as on the basic dice shown in FIG. 1. However, instead of R (rally), this dice has letters telling the receiver of the throw how he must return the throw for the rally to continue. The markings on the dice telling the receiver how he must return the throw for the rally to continue are as follows:

[0031] (a) X (cross court)—receiver becomes thrower and must return dice cross court into the backcourt for the rally to continue. If it isn't cross court and in the back court (area behind the service court back line) thrower loses the point. If it is in cross court back court, read dice and continue the rally.

[0032] (b) ↓(down the line)—receiver must return dice down the side line and into back court for the rally to continue. If dice goes short, in front of service line, or cross court, thrower loses the point.

[0033] (c) OV (this has two meanings)—If it comes up on the serve it means the same as a let, serve it over. If it comes up on a rally, it means you must throw an overhead. From above the court, throw overhead overhand over the net and into the court. Remember if the overhead bounces completely out of the box you lose the point. Figure out how to throw it so this doesn't happen.

[0034] (d) L (lob)—must throw a lob (high arcing shot) over the net and into the backcourt for rally to continue. You lose the point on any lob that falls short, in front of the service court back line.

[0035] (e) D (drop shot)—must throw dice over the net and into service portion of court for rally to contine. A very short shot.

[0036] For purposes of clarity, FIG. 2 does not show markings on all faces although each face would be marked on the actual dice.

[0037] Remember any ball that bounces out of the box is out. Tennis players must learn control. If you don't understand the instructions for the advanced game, get an experienced player to play it with you and it will be more understandable.

[0038] Doubles may also be played using the doubles alleys and either the basic or advanced dice. If you've never played double before, play it with at least one experienced player. The game plays just like real tennis doubles with the exception that an adjustment must be made for who is to hit the ball. Make your own rule here. Be creative with this tennis tool. Scoring, service rotation and receiving are just like real tennis, so any experienced player can show you the format of the game.

[0039] Although the description above contains many specifics, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but merely as providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. Thus the scope of this invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents. Therefore it will be appreciated that the scope of the present invention fully encompasses other embodiments which may become obvious to those skilled in the art, and that the scope of the present invention is accordingly to be limited by nothing other than the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather “one or more.” All structural. chemical and functional equivalents to the elements of the above described preferred embodiment that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims. Moreover, it is not necessary for a device or method to address each and every problem sought to be solved by the present invention, for it to be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the claims. No claim element herein is to be construed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 112, sixth paragraph, unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase “means for.”