Title:
PAPER FOOTBALL GAME PIECE WITH SOUND CHIP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides major improvements with respect to a paper football game piece. The football may be formed using a sheet of paper folded into the desired triangular shape. A region of the paper is printed and embossed to simulate the bumpy texture inherent of cowhide or pigskin football leather, football laces, and one or more team logos. The same region may also be impregnated with a leather fragrance that when scratched may omit a desired scent such as a football leather scent.



Inventors:
Hodgeman, John D. (Boca Raton, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/904169
Publication Date:
03/10/2005
Filing Date:
10/27/2004
Assignee:
HODGEMAN JOHN D.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/108
International Classes:
A63B21/045; A63F7/06; A63F7/07; A63H33/16; A63B23/02; A63B23/035; A63B23/04; A63B23/12; A63F3/02; A63F9/00; (IPC1-7): A63F7/07; A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SNELL & WILMER L.L.P. (Main) (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. A football game piece comprising a substantially planar sheet of material configured to form a multilayered triangle, wherein said sheet includes features of a football on a portion of at least one side of the sheet, such that said printing is configured to be visible on the exterior of the multilayered triangle, said game piece including at least one of a sound generator and a light generator.

2. The game piece of claim 1 wherein the sheet of material includes a plurality of through die cuts, the sheet of material being foldable.

3. The game piece of claim 1 wherein the sheet of material is comprised of at least one of paper, plastic, cloth, or cardboard.

4. The game piece of claim 1 wherein the sheet of material is detachable from a booklet.

5. The game piece of claim 1 further including at least one of printing and embossing features of a football which depict at least one of laces, logos, texture, leather, and patterns.

6. The game piece of claim 1 wherein the sheet is scented.

7. The game piece of claim 1 wherein the sheet is scented with a fragrance of leather.

8. A condiment packet comprising: a first substantially planar triangular sheet; a second substantially planar triangular sheet disposed on the first sheet; a seal formed between the first sheet and the second sheet at least a portion of which is substantially along a common periphery; features of a football visible on at least one of the first and second sheet; and at least one of a sound generator and a light generator.

9. A condiment packet comprising: a substantially planar rectangular sheet, folded substantially along a major diagonal, forming a first right triangle and a second right triangle having a substantially common hypotenuse; a seal formed between the first and second triangles at least a portion of which is substantially along a common periphery; features of a football visible on at least one of the first or second triangles; and at least one of a sound generator and a light generator.

10. The condiment packet of claim 9 wherein at least a portion of at least one sheet is scented with a fragrance.

11. The condiment packet of claim 9 further comprising a surface with at least one of printing and embossing to accentuate the visible football features.

12. A matchbook comprising: a rectangular sheet, foldable substantially along a major diagonal to create a substantially triangular front cover and a substantially triangular back cover; printing on at least a portion of at least one cover depicting features of a football; a match retainer on at least one of the front and back covers; and at least one of a sound generator and a light generator.

13. The matchbook of claim 12 further comprising a striking strip disposed on one side of at least one of the front cover and back cover.

14. The matchbook of claim 12 wherein the match retainer is a flap formed by folding a portion of at least one of the front cover and back cover.

15. The match book of claim 12 wherein the sheet is scented.

16. A method of forming a game piece comprising the steps of: providing a sheet of material with features of a football on a portion of at least one side of the sheet; and folding the sheet at least once to form a right triangle of multiple sheet layers whereby the printed portion of the sheet is visible on the exterior of the layered triangle; and providing at least one of a sound generator and a light generator for one of use or integration with said game piece.

17. The method of claim 16 further comprising the step of tucking between the layers of the triangle any portion of the sheet extending beyond the perimeter of the layered triangle.

18. The method of claim 16 wherein the step of folding the sheet includes forming a right triangle having legs substantially equal in length to the width of the sheet; folding the sheet over the triangle along the triangle leg traversing the width of the sheet; folding the sheet over the right triangle along the hypotenuse of the triangle; and repeating the last two folding operations to obtain the desired triangle thickness.

19. The method of claim 16 wherein the step of providing the sheet of material to be folded includes folding the sheet in half lengthwise at least once, creating a layered sheet, maintaining the printed portion on the outside of the folded sheet.

20. The method of claim 16 further comprising the step of sealing at least two layers of the sheet together along the periphery of the layers.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of, and claims benefit from and priority to U.S. Non-provisional patent application Ser. No. 10/367,309, which itself claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/402,278, filed Aug. 9, 2002, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a game piece, and more particularly, to a triangular shaped game piece for playing paper football on a flat surface.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

For many years, people have simulated the game of football by using a variety of objects including, for example, a condiment (e.g., a packet of sugar), a book of matches, or most notably, an ordinary sheet of paper folded into a triangular, planar shape and commonly referred to as a paper football. Any flat surface, usually a tabletop or a desktop, is suitable for a playing field.

There are various paper football playing rules that have been adopted over the years. Generally, however, there are two players positioned at opposing ends of the playing surface, each defending an edge or goal line. Usually the winner of a coin toss kicks off, requiring that he/she use thumb and forefinger to “thump” the football from his/her goal line in a manner such that the football rotates, slides and comes to rest on the playing surface. Once the football is put into play, players take turns attempting to score a goal. A touchdown is typically scored when a “thump” results in the football breaking the plane of the opposing player's goal line without leaving the playing surface. Field goals and extra points are attempted by positioning the football upright, usually on one edge, in such a way that it may be propelled by the “thump”. A successful attempt results in the football soaring over the crossbar and through goal posts simulated by the opposing player's hands.

One of the drawbacks to using an ordinary sheet of paper to simulate a football is that when folded triangularly it tends to be flat, and the friction created when it slides across the playing surface inhibits performance. Additionally, since there are various ways to fold the paper, depending on how it is folded, the thickness of the football is inconsistent. Another problem is that after folding the football, the three corners are usually very sharp making it difficult to position for a kick, and posing a threat to injure a player obstructing a kick. In addition, removal of excess paper is typically part of the creation process such that folding and securely tucking away an amount of paper that, as a result, forms a desired triangular shape. Since scissors are not always present when folding a paper football, it is necessary to tear away the excess paper. To do so is difficult since the folded paper is multi-ply and must optimally be torn at an angle less than 45 degrees and greater than 15 degrees. Tearing away too much paper results in the tuck not remaining secure, while not tearing away enough often leads to an additional tear. Tucking away too much remaining paper results in the tuck not remaining secure or a non-uniform bulge on one side of the resultant football. Attempting an additional tear increases the likelihood of tearing away too much.

An exemplary drawback of using a packet of sugar or a book of matches is that they are rectangular in shape. The present invention is an improvement upon the paper football game piece and addresses these drawbacks.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The present invention provides major improvements with respect to a paper football game piece. The football may be formed using a sheet of paper folded into the desired triangular shape. A region of the paper is printed and embossed to simulate the bumpy texture inherent of cowhide or pigskin football leather, football laces, and one or more team logos.

That same region may also be impregnated with a leather fragrance that when scratched may omit a desired scent such as a football leather scent. Cutouts are present in the paper to avoid or minimize sharp points at the corners when folded. The paper is folded lengthwise in half and then again to become four ply. Beginning at one end, a corner of the folded paper is folded over to create a triangle shape which is substantially a right triangle. The resultant right triangle is then folded about the leg of the right triangle toward the top edge of the paper so as to substantially mirror the first right triangle formed. Again, the paper is folded, this time approximately around the hypotenuse of the right triangle formed. Continuing substantially in this manner, folds are made in sequence; first about the leg of the right triangle created toward the top edge of the paper, then substantially about the hypotenuse of the created right triangle, again about the leg of the created right triangle toward the top edge of the paper, and finally substantially about the hypotenuse of the created right triangle resulting in, in one embodiment, a 32 ply right triangle. The remaining paper is substantially tucked securely into a pocket created from the last fold, thereby completing the right triangular shaped paper football game piece.

The present invention addresses the drawbacks of the prior art. The raised design of bumps reduces the area of contact with the playing surface, thereby reducing friction and enhancing slide performance. Cutouts in the paper eliminate or reduce sharp corners, thereby enhancing positioning stability for a kick and reducing the likelihood of injury to an opposing player toward whom the football is kicked. Cutouts at the ends of fold lines reduce the clustering of folded material at the ends of fold lines and provide greater flexibility in aligning the material to be folded. The die cut contour along the top edge of the paper reduces excess paper after folding and provides for an optimal tuck to complete the desired triangular shape. Triangular condiment packets and matchbooks are better suited for use in playing the game than are traditional rectangular packets and matchbooks. Printed and embossed features on the condiment packets and matchbooks are improvements that further enhance the game.

A sound generator further enhances the game by simulating event related sounds and signals (e.g., football fans cheering, players hitting each other, referee whistles, fight songs, commercials, etc). The sound generator may be removably or permanently attached to, integrated with or used with the football game piece. Alternatively, the sound generator may be included in or used with associated game pieces such as, for example, goals, goal posts, or playing fields. Similarly, a light emitting diode or other light generator may be included for use with the game piece.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the present invention may be derived by referring to the detailed description and claims when considered in connection with the Figures, where like reference numbers refer to similar elements throughout the Figures, and:

FIG. 1 is an exemplary planar view of the right triangular shaped paper football game piece.

FIG. 2 is an exemplary planar view of the paper football game piece prior to folding.

FIG. 3 is an exemplary perspective view of the paper football game piece illustrating the first fold.

FIG. 4 is an exemplary perspective view of the paper football game piece illustrating the second fold.

FIG. 5 is an exemplary planar view of the paper football game piece illustrating the third fold.

FIG. 6 is an exemplary planar view of the paper football game piece illustrating the resultant right triangle created from the third fold and remaining sequential folds.

FIG. 7 is an exemplary planar view of the triangular shaped condiment packet football game piece.

FIG. 8 is an exemplary perspective view of the condiment packet assembly.

FIG. 9 is an exemplary planar view of the triangular shaped matchbook paper football game piece.

FIG. 10 is an exemplary planar view of the triangular matchbook paper football game piece prior to folding.

FIG. 11 is an exemplary perspective view of the paper football game piece illustrating fold lines.

FIG. 12 is an exemplary perspective view of the paper football game piece illustrating the first three folds.

FIG. 13 is an exemplary planar view of the paper football game piece illustrating the fourth fold.

FIG. 14 is an exemplary planar view of the paper football game piece illustrating the resultant right triangle created from the fourth fold and remaining sequential folds.

FIG. 15 is an exemplary planar view of the right triangular shaped paper football game piece.

FIG. 16 is an exemplary top view of an exemplary sound generator.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 1-6, an exemplary embodiment of the paper football game piece 1 is illustrated. The paper football game piece 1 consists of a single sheet of paper 20; however, one skilled in the art will appreciate that any suitable number of sheets of paper, suitable types of paper, or other suitable foldable materials may be used in the present invention. The paper 20 may be substantially planar and advantageously letter size with an average thickness of 0.0508 to 0.0889 mm (0.002 to 0.0035 inches). The paper 20 may have a plurality of die cuts 40 (e.g., through die cuts) and is contoured along its periphery 42.

A region, for example region 50, on one side of the paper 20 may include any design, information, pattern and/or the like. The pattern may be formed by printing, embossing, dying, attaching a pattern or in any other way known in the art. In one embodiment, region 50 graphically depicts cowhide or pigskin football leather 52, laces 53, and team logos 54. In addition, the region 50 may be embossed to accentuate cowhide or pigskin football leather bumps and laces. The region 50 may also be scented or impregnated with a fragrance. In one embodiment, scratching the region releases a football leather scent or any other desired scent. The raised design of the leather texture and laces in an exemplary embodiment may be approximately 0.5875 mm (0.0625 inches) in height.

The football game piece may be formed in any shape, and in an exemplary embodiment, the piece is formed in a substantially triangular shape or a substantially right triangular shape. The following exemplary method shall describe the right triangular shape embodiment as a best mode. The right triangular shaped paper football game piece 1 is formed by first folding the paper 20 in half lengthwise as illustrated in FIG. 3. FIG. 4 illustrates the paper 20 being folded in half lengthwise a second time. A series of folds illustrated in FIG. 6 begins first by turning the printed region 50 facedown and by folding the bottom right corner 21 of the folded paper 20 (FIG. 5) over to create a right triangle 22 illustrated in FIG. 6. The resultant right triangle 22 formed is then folded about the leg 23 of the right triangle 22 toward the top edge of the paper 20 so as to substantially mirror the first right triangle 22 formed. Again, the paper 20 is folded, this time substantially about the hypotenuse 24 of the right triangle formed. The next fold is made substantially about the leg 25 of the created right triangle toward the top edge of the paper 20, then substantially about the hypotenuse 26 of the created right triangle, again substantially about the leg 27 of the created right triangle substantially toward the top edge of the paper 20, and finally substantially about the hypotenuse 28 of the created right triangle, resulting in a 32 ply right triangle. One skilled in the art will appreciate that a similar method can be used to create a different number ply triangle. The remaining paper 30 is substantially tucked securely into the pocket created from the last fold 29, thereby completing a right triangular shaped paper football game piece 1.

As described above, the present invention provides significant advantages over a paper football game piece crafted from an ordinary sheet of paper. The unique raised design of bumps improves play by significantly reducing friction across the playing surface and improving performance. The reduction of sharp corners enhances placekicking stability and reduces the likelihood of injury to players. The die cut contour along the top edge of the paper reduces the need to remove excess paper when folding and provides a substantially uniform and consistent construct.

Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, the paper football game piece 10 of the second embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. The paper football game piece 10 consists of a pair of opposed triangular pieces of paper 200, each of which are substantially planar and advantageously 0.0254 to 0.0762 mm (0.001 to 0.003 inches) in thickness.

The paper members 200 are printed on one side to graphically depict cowhide or pigskin football leather 52, laces 53, and team logos 54. In addition, the paper members 200 are at least partially embossed to accentuate cowhide or pigskin football leather bumps and laces. The raised design of the bumps and laces in an exemplary embodiment measure approximately 0.762 mm (0.03 inches) in height.

The right triangular shaped paper football game piece 10 is formed by attaching the paper members 200 by substantially sealing 60 along at least a portion of the periphery thereof. The football game piece 10 is at least partially filled with a condiment 62 causing the central region to bulge outwardly.

In a third embodiment of the present invention (FIGS. 9 and 10), the paper football game piece 100 is a triangular shaped cardboard book of matches 110. One side is printed to depict cowhide or pigskin football leather 52, laces 53, and team logos 54. In addition, the printed side is at least partially embossed to accentuate cowhide or pigskin leather bumps and laces. The raised design of the bumps and laces in the exemplary embodiment measure approximately 0.762 mm (0.03 inches) in height. The paper football game piece 100 of the present invention is constructed by folding the cardboard cover substantially diagonally and substantially inwardly in two places about opposing hypotenuses 112 and 114, so as to create opposing right triangles and finally by substantially tucking the edge 116 beneath the striking strip 118.

In a fourth embodiment of the present invention, the football game piece 1000 consists of a single sheet of paper or any other suitable material 2000 removed from a bound booklet (e.g., magazine or periodical) or any other device which may contain a sheet of paper. The paper 2000 is substantially planar and advantageously 0.0508 to 0.0889 mm (0.002 to 0.0035 inches) in thickness. A printed region 500 on at least one side of the paper 2000 may graphically depict cowhide or pigskin football leather 52, laces 53, and/or team logos 54. The right triangular shaped paper football 1000 is formed by first folding the paper 2000 in half lengthwise illustrated in FIG. 11. FIG. 12 illustrates the paper 2000 being at least partially pleated lengthwise with the printed region 50 facing upward. A series of folds illustrated in FIG. 13 begins first turning the printed region 500 facedown and by folding a corner 221 of the folded paper 2000 (FIG. 13) over to create a right triangle 222 illustrated in FIG. 14. The resultant right triangle formed is then folded substantially about the leg 223 of the right triangle toward the top edge of the paper 2000 so as to mirror the first right triangle formed. Again, the paper 2000 is folded, this time substantially about the hypotenuse 224 of the right triangle formed. The next fold is made substantially about the leg 225 of the created right triangle toward the top edge of the paper 2000, then substantially about the hypotenuse 226 of the created right triangle, again substantially about the leg 227 of the created right triangle toward the top edge of the paper 2000, and finally substantially about the hypotenuse 228 of the created right triangle, resulting in a 32 ply right triangle. The paper 2000 is then torn or cut at, for example, an approximately 35 degree angle 232 and the remaining paper 230 is folded substantially about the leg 229 of the created 32 ply triangle and tucked securely into the pocket created from the last fold 229, thereby completing a right triangular shaped paper football game piece 1000.

In another exemplary embodiment, paper football 1000 may include a sound making chip 90 like that shown in FIG. 16 or any other sound generator to simulate event related sounds or signals. The sounds may be activated at certain predetermined time intervals, random time intervals, during certain events (e.g., touchdowns, kickoffs, etc), upon manual activation, in response to voice commands or utterances, or upon the player hitting the football, chip or any other part of the game with the player's finger or other device for kicking the football piece. The sounds from the chip may include, for example, football fans cheering, players hitting each other, referee whistles, fight songs, commercials, statistics or any other desired sound or communication. The chip may include pre-existing sounds or voices (e.g., national anthem, voices of favorite players or announcers of favorite teams) or be configured to allow the players to program custom sounds or voices. As shown in FIG. 16, the exemplary sound chip may include a PCB 91, a buzzer 92 and a melody chip 93 and may be powered by a battery 94 or any other suitable power source (e.g., solar, etc).

In another embodiment, football 1000 may include a light emitting diode that flashes in response to an impact to game piece 1000 or any of the initiators discussed above for the sound chip. Diode may be battery or solar powered or may be kinetically powered like some popular flashing sneaker designs.

In the foregoing specification, the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments. However, it will be appreciated that various modifications and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. The specification and figures are to be regarded in an illustrative manner, rather than a restrictive one, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of present invention.

Benefits, other advantages, and solutions to problems have been described above with regard to specific embodiments. No element described herein is required for the practice of the invention unless expressly described as “iessential” or “critical.”