Title:
String and bead game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game including a string attached at each end to a wall, and moderately tensioned so as to have a minimal amount of sag. At each end of the string, a series of several scoring zones are designated by different colored lines or colored segments of the string. Each scoring zone has a designated point value assigned to it, with higher point values assigned for scoring zones closer to the end of the string. Mounted on the string are a number of beads, each of which has a centrally located hole through which the string passes. The game is played by standing near one end of the string and propelling the beads along the string toward the opposite end. The beads are propelled one-by-one along the string using a sort of throwing motion, with the object being to impart the necessary velocity to the bead to cause it to come to rest in a scoring zone. After the first bead has been played, the remaining beads are played in a similar manner, and can also be used to bump earlier played beads into higher scoring zones farther along the playing line.



Inventors:
Adams, Bill (Bend, OR, US)
Application Number:
10/059529
Publication Date:
07/31/2003
Filing Date:
01/29/2002
Assignee:
ADAMS BILL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B67/10; (IPC1-7): A63B67/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
William Adams (Bend, OR, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A game comprising: an elongate member extending laterally between two endpoints and having at least one scoring zone proximate at least one endpoint; at least one playing piece slidably mounted on the elongate member and slidable toward the at least one scoring zone.

2. A game according to claim 1 wherein the at least one playing piece comprises a plurality of playing pieces slidably mounted on the elongate member.

3. A game according to claim 1 wherein the elongate member is selected from the group consisting of a string, a cable, and a monofilament line.

4. A game according to claim 1 wherein the at least one scoring zone includes a plurality of scoring zones proximate at least one endpoint.

5. A game according to claim 1 wherein the at least one scoring zone includes at least one scoring zone proximate each end of the elongate member.

6. A game according to claim 1 wherein the at least one scoring zone includes a plurality of scoring zones.

7. A game according to claim 7 wherein the plurality of scoring zones includes scoring zones having varying scoring values.

8. A game according to claim 7 wherein the scoring values of the plurality of scoring zones are greater for scoring zones closer to an endpoint of the elongate member.

9. A game according to claim 1 wherein the at least one playing piece is slidable by a player towards the at least one scoring zone.

10. A game according to claim 6 wherein the plurality of scoring zones are each of a uniform length along the elongate member.

11. A game according to claim 6 wherein the plurality of scoring zones vary in length.

12. A game according to claim 6 wherein the plurality of scoring zones are defined as differently colored zones along the length of the elongate member.

13. A game according to claim 1 further comprising a tension adjusting apparatus connected to the elongate member.

14. A game according to claim 13 further comprising the tension adjusting apparatus interconnecting the elongate member to an adjacent support member.

15. A game according to claim 1 wherein the at least one playing piece comprises a bead having an opening therethrough and the elongate member slidably disposed within the opening.

16. A game according to claim 2 further comprising a plurality of resilient playing pieces.

17. A method of playing a game comprising the steps of: providing an elongate member extending laterally between two endpoints; defining at least one scoring zone on the elongate member proximate at least one of the endpoints; providing at least one playing piece slidably mounted on the elongate member; and propelling the at least one playing piece along the elongate member toward one endpoint and attempting to cause the playing piece to come to rest in the at least one scoring zone.

18. A method of playing a game according to claim 17 wherein the at least one playing piece comprises a plurality of playing pieces slidably mounted on the elongate member.

19. A game according to claim 17 wherein the elongate member is selected from the group consisting of a string, a cable, and a monofilament line.

20. A game according to claim 17 wherein the at least one scoring zone includes a plurality of scoring zones proximate at least one endpoint.

21. A game according to claim 17 wherein the at least one scoring zone includes at least one scoring zone proximate each end of the elongate member.

22. A game according to claim 17 wherein the at least one scoring zone includes a plurality of scoring zones.

23. A game according to claim 22 wherein the plurality of scoring zones includes scoring zones having varying scoring values.

24. A game according to claim 22 wherein the relative scoring values of the plurality of scoring zones are greater for scoring zones closer to an endpoint of the elongate member.

25. A game according to claim 17 wherein the at least one playing piece is slidable by a player towards the at least one scoring zone.

26. A game according to claim 22 wherein the plurality of scoring zones are each of a uniform length along the elongate member.

27. A game according to claim 22 wherein the plurality of scoring zones vary in length.

28. A game according to claim 22 wherein the plurality of scoring zones are defined as differently colored zones along the length of the elongate member.

29. A game according to claim 17 further comprising a tension adjusting apparatus connected to the elongate member.

30. A game according to claim 29 further comprising the tension adjusting apparatus interconnecting the elongate member to an adjacent support member.

31. A game according to claim 17 wherein the at least one playing piece comprises a bead having an opening therethrough and the elongate member slidably disposed within the opening.

32. A game according to claim 18 wherein the at least one playing piece comprises a plurality of resilient playing pieces.

33. A game according to claim 1 further comprising the endpoints being level.

34. A game according to claim 1 further comprising the endpoints being vertically displaced from one another.

35. A method of playing a game according to claim 17 further comprising the endpoints being level with one another.

36. A method of playing a game according to claim 17 further comprising the step of positioning one endpoint higher than the other.

37. A method of playing a game according to claim 17 wherein the step of propelling the at least one playing piece along the elongate member toward one endpoint and attempting to cause the playing piece to come to rest in the at least one scoring zone includes propelling a first playing piece toward one endpoint, and propelling a second playing piece toward the one endpoint, the second playing piece impacting the first playing piece and propelling the first playing piece toward a higher value scoring zone.

38. A method of playing a game according to claim 17 wherein the elongate member includes a first portion having a first frictional characteristic with respect to the at least one playing piece, and a second frictional characteristic with respect to the at least one playing piece.

39. A method of playing a game according to claim 18 wherein the plurality of playing pieces are assigned equal point scoring values.

40. A method of playing a game according to claim 18 wherein the plurality of playing pieces are assigned different point scoring values.

Description:
[0001] This invention relates to a game, and in particular to a game in which one or more players score points by sliding playing pieces such as beads along a string or a cable.

[0002] There are many games and sports that are played by propelling a ball or other object toward a target. Examples include horseshoes, bowling, lawn bowling, lawn darts, archery, shuffleboard, and even games such as pool, billiards, and Frisbee® golf. In each of these examples, the object of the game is to cause the object to come to rest at or near the target. However, each of these games requires a large area in which to play (e.g., horseshoes, archery), or a special playing surface (e.g., bowling, pool, billiards, shuffleboard). In addition, many of these games require a relatively high skill and experience level in order to be fun rather than frustrating. These limitations restrict the appeal of these games and their ability to be played by many people and on many occasions.

[0003] The present invention is embodied in a new game that overcomes many of these limitations of the prior art, and which at the same time is fun and challenging for people of all ages and experience levels. In one embodiment, the game includes a string attached at each end to a wall, and moderately tensioned so as to have a minimal amount of sag. At each end of the string, a series of several scoring zones are designated by different colored lines or colored segments of the string. Each scoring zone has a designated point value assigned to it, with higher point values assigned for scoring zones closer to the end of the string. Mounted on the string are a number of beads, each of which has a centrally located hole through which the string passes. The game is played by standing near one end of the string and propelling the beads along the string toward the opposite end. The beads are propelled one-by-one along the string using a sort of throwing motion, with the object being to impart the necessary velocity to the bead to cause it to come to rest in a scoring zone. After the first bead has been played, the remaining beads are played in a similar manner, and can also be used to bump earlier played beads into higher scoring zones farther along the playing line. After all the beads have been played, the player's score is totaled and the next player plays. The next player can play from the opposite end, or the beads can be returned to and played from the same end. Players of any number can play individually, or can play as teams. Referring now to the drawings, the invention will be described in greater detail.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] FIG. 1A is a side elevational view of a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0005] FIG. 1B is an enlarged partial side elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1A, and showing in schematic form the demarcation of scoring zones on the playing line.

[0006] FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial side elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1A, and showing the attachment of one end of the playing line to a wall using a tension adjustment mechanism.

[0007] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a preferred form of playing piece.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0008] Referring now to FIG. 1A, one preferred embodiment of the invention includes a thin playing line 20 attached at each end 22 and 24 to two walls. The first end 22 is rigidly attached to one wall by means of an eyebolt 26, or another suitable fastener. The second end 24 is preferably attached using an adjustable mechanism such as a turnbuckle 28 to provide tension adjustment for the playing line 20 (FIG. 2). Near each end of line 20, several scoring zones 30a-c and 32a-c are defined. Scoring zones 30a-c and 32a-c are indicated in FIG. 1A by hash marks for demonstration, but in practice are marked by differently colored lines, or by coloring the zones different colors. FIG. 1B is an enlarged detail of the end 22 of playing line 20 in which the differently colored scoring zones are represented by cross-hatching in areas 30a-c. Playing line 20 can be formed of any of a number of suitable materials, including by way of example, but not limitation, a woven natural or synthetic fiber, twisted natural or synthetic fiber, or a natural or synthetic monofilament material. Playing line 20 can also be formed in any of a number of cross-sectional shapes such as round, square, rectangular, triangular or oval shaped. The form, material and cross-sectional shape of playing line 20 can be selected, in conjunction with the playing pieces, which are described more fully below, to impart a desired combination of stiffness in the playing line and friction between the playing line and the playing pieces. Playing line 20 can also be formed to have differing surface friction characteristics at different portions of the line. For example, the scoring zones could be surface treated to have more or less friction to vary the playing characteristics of the game, i.e. making the higher value scoring zones more difficult to reach.

[0009] Mounted on playing line 20 are one or more playing pieces. Referring to FIG. 3, in one preferred embodiment the playing pieces 36 are spherical pieces, each having a centrally located hole 38 through which playing line 20 passes. Playing pieces can be nearly any desired shape, and can be made of any suitable material such as wood, ceramic, glass, metal, or polymeric materials. The material can be selected to impart a desired combination of properties to the playing pieces such as friction with the playing line 20 and the resilience of the playing piece itself. The shape and resilience of the playing pieces affect the play of the game since in embodiments which include several playing pieces, later played pieces can be used to impact an earlier played piece to advance the earlier played piece toward a higher value scoring zone.

[0010] In one preferred embodiment, the game is played generally as follows. The first player stands near one wall and propels the first playing piece along the playing line with a sort of throwing motion. While the beads can be propelled in a variety of ways, applicant has found that a sort of throwing motion works particularly well. The goal is to cause the playing piece to slide along the playing line and come to rest as close to the opposite end of the playing line 20 as possible, and thereby in the highest value scoring zone. In one version of the game, the last scoring zone terminates at the end of the playing line 20, and it is permissible for the playing pieces to contact the eyebolt or other fixture marking the end of the playing line 20. In another version, the playing pieces cannot be scored if they travel past the scoring zones and contact the endpoint of the playing line, even if they rebound into a playing zone. After the first playing piece is played, the player then plays the remaining pieces in the same manner to complete the turn. The additional pieces can be used to bump earlier played pieces to higher scoring zones further along the playing line, or can be played to simply come to rest in a scoring zone if the player is satisfied with the position of earlier played pieces. After all the pieces have been played, the point values of the beads are totaled and scored for the player. In one embodiment, the beads are each scored equally, that is, the score for each bead depends only on the scoring zone in which it lands. In another embodiment, the beads are assigned different scoring values depending on their order of play. For example, since the playing pieces are played in sequence, it is usually harder to advance later played pieces to the scoring zones closer to the endpoint of the playing line. Therefore, the later played playing pieces can be assigned a multiple greater than one which is applied to the nominal scoring value of each scoring zone. For example, the first bead is assigned a multiple of one, the second two, and the third three. In that instance, if at the end of the player's turn, the second bead is positioned in a scoring zone having a nominal point value of two points, the player would score 4 points (2├Ś2) for that particular playing piece. The next player then plays, either from the opposite end or the same end. The game can be played with any number of individuals, and can also be played as teams, with one member of each team positioned at each end of the playing line.

[0011] The foregoing description of preferred embodiments is intended as illustrative and not exclusive. Those skilled in the art will recognize that numerous modifications in detail, materials, and arrangement are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the following claims.