Title:
Croquet-like game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A croquet-like game has a striking character with a trigger coupled to a striking surface. A ball is struck by the striking surface. A goal is setup through which a user attempts to strike the ball.



Inventors:
Conarro, Patrick Rooney (Green Mountain Falls, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/993030
Publication Date:
05/25/2006
Filing Date:
11/19/2004
Assignee:
Holloway, LLC
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B67/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICES OF DALE B. HALLING (COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A croquet-like game comprising: a striking character having a trigger coupled to a striking surface; a ball that is struck by the striking surface; and a goal which a user attempts to strike the ball through.

2. The game of claim 1, wherein the trigger has a power setting.

3. The game of claim 2, wherein the trigger has coupling to an arm of the striking character.

4. The game of claim 3, wherein the striking character has a handle containing the trigger and an extension connecting the handle to a character form.

5. The game of claim 4, wherein the arms of the character are coupled to a spring.

6. The game of claim 1, further including a sound making device coupled to the trigger.

7. A striking character for a croquet-like game, comprising: a striking surface; and an energy storing system coupled to the striking surface.

8. The character of claim 7, wherein the energy storing system has a power setting device and a trigger coupled to the power setting device.

9. The character of claim 8, further including a character housing attached to the striking surface.

10. The character of claim 9, wherein the energy storing system has an energy storing device coupled to the power setting device and the striking surface.

11. The character of claim 10, further including an arm pivotally connected to the character housing and coupled to the striking surface.

12. The character of claim 10, wherein the energy storing device is a coil spring.

13. The character of claim 12, wherein the power setting device has a plurality of discrete settings.

14. The character of claim 11, further including a handle containing the trigger and the power setting device.

15. The character of claim 14, further including an extension from the handle to the character housing.

16. The character of claim 8, further including a sound making device coupled to the trigger.

17. The character of claim 8, further including a sound making device coupled to the power setting device.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of games and more particularly to croquet-like game.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Croquet is a game enjoyed by people through out the world. Unfortunately, croquet can only be played outdoors during relatively nice weather. In addition, croquet requires a large fairly flat lawn to setup the course. As a result, people are not able to enjoy this game during inclement weather or if they live in a crowed urban area or otherwise do not have access to a large fairly flat lawn.

Thus there exists a need for a croquet-like game that can be played in inclement weather and does not require a large fairly flat lawn.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

A croquet-like game that overcomes these and other problems has a striking character with a trigger coupled to a striking surface. A ball is struck by the striking surface. A goal is setup through which a user attempts to strike the ball. The trigger may have a power setting. The trigger may have a coupling to an arm of the striking character. The striking character may have a handle containing the trigger and an extension connecting the handle to a character form. The arms of the character may be coupled to a spring. A sound making device may be coupled to the trigger.

In one embodiment, a striking character for a croquet-like game has a striking surface. An energy storing system is coupled to the striking surface. The energy storing system may have a power setting device and a trigger coupled to the power setting device. A character housing may be attached to the striking surface. The energy storing system may have an energy storing device coupled to the power setting device and the striking surface. An arm may be pivotally connected to the character housing and coupled to the striking surface. The energy storing device may be a coil spring. The power setting device may have a number of discrete settings. A handle may contain the trigger and the power setting device. There may be an extension from the handle to the character housing. A sound making device may be coupled to the trigger. A sound making device may be coupled to the power setting device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top left perspective view of the croquet-like toy in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the striking character in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the striking character in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a front view of the striking character in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the upper portion of the striking character in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the lower portion of the striking character in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is an cross sectional view of the striking character in accordance with one embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 8 is lower left perspective view of a goal in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A croquet-like game has a striking character, a ball and a number goals. The striking character is used to strike the ball and attempt to roll the ball through one of the goals. The ball is made of a soft material and the goals can be placed on the floor of a house or apartment. As a result, this allows users to play croquet in inclement weather or when they do not have access to a lawn. The ball is made of soft material so it cannot harm furniture and the goals either stand-up on their own base or have suction cup base.

FIG. 1 is a top left perspective view of the croquet-like toy 10 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The toy 10 has a striking character 12, a ball 14 and a number of goals 16. The game is played with the same rules as standard croquet. The striking character 12 has a handle 18 coupled to the character housing 20 by an extension 22. The extension 22 may be a tube. FIG. 2 is a top view of the striking character 12 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The view shows the handle 18 and the character 20. The character 20 has a pair of striking surfaces 24. FIG. 3 is a side view of the striking character 12 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. This view shows that the handle 18 has a power setting lever 26 and a trigger 28. The power setting lever 26 determines how hard the striking surface 24 will strike the ball 14 when the trigger 28 is pulled. The striking surface 24 is on a dumbbell like object 30. FIG. 4 is a front view of the striking character 12 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the upper portion of the striking character in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. This figure shows that the handle 18 is made of two interlocking housing parts 40 &42. The two interlocking housing parts 40 &42 define a cavity 44 and are held together by a blots and screws 46. A slot 48 exists in the upper portion of the handle housing 40 &42 for the power setting lever 26. The power level 26 is pivotally 50 attached to a mounting 52. The mounting 52 is attached to the handle housing 40 or to the extension 22. The housing 40 &42 also has a slot for the trigger 28. A sound board 54 is mounted in the handle by screws or other attachment devices and is activated by the power lever switch 26. The handle 18 clamps onto an upper end of the tube 22. The lower end of the tube 22 is attached to a pair of braces 56 &58. The pair of braces 56 &58 is held together by a pair of bolts and nuts 60. The upper bolt may extend through a hole 62 in the tube 22. A slot 64 in the lower end of the tube 22 allows a disk 66 to rotate on it square axle 68. The disk 66 is coupled to the power setting lever 26 by a string or wire 70. A rotary hub 71 slides onto the square axle 68. A coil spring 72 and a coil spring 74 are seated on the square axle 68 and attached to the rotary hubs 71. Note that there are two rotary hubs 71 one on each side. One is already placed on the axle 68 and therefore cannot be seen in the figure. A pair of posts 75 may be used to attach the body of character housing to the braces 56 &58.

FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the lower portion of the striking character in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The figure shows that the coil springs 72 &74 are coupled to the arms 80 and 82. The arm 82 has a cam 84 that transfers force from the square axle 68 to the arm 82 a similar cam is located in arm 80 but cannot be seen in this view. The arms 80 &82 are connected by bolts 86 &88 to the square axle 68. The character housing has a front part 90 and a back part 92. The two parts may be glued together or held together by screws or other fastening systems.

FIG. 7 is an cross sectional view of the striking character 12 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. This figure shows how the power lever 26 has a tongue 100 that couples to the string 70. The power lever 26 also has a plurality of notches 102 that engage a tooth 104 on a leaf spring 106 of the trigger 26. The free end of the leaf spring 106 rests on a stop 105. The string 70 wraps around and connects to the disk 66. The disk 66 is coupled to the coil springs 72 &74. When a user pulls the power lever 26 back the string 70 is pulled up by the tongue 100. This causes the disk 66 to rotate and stores energy in the coil springs 72 &74. This also rotates the arms 80 &82 back. The power lever 26 is held in place by the tooth 104 and notches 102. When the user pulls the trigger 28 the tooth 104 is pushed down and disengages the notch 102. The springs 72 &74 then are free to release their energy which causes the arms 80 &82 to move forward and strike the ball 14. The power lever's different settings allow the user to determine how hard the ball 14 is struck and therefore how far it will roll. In one embodiment, the handle 18 has a sound making device (SD) 108. The sound making device may be an electronic sound making device and may be activated by the user pulling the trigger. In another embodiment, the sound making device may be a spring powered mechanical sound device. The spring may be wound up by the user pulling the power lever 26

FIG. 8 is lower left perspective view of a goal 16 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The goal 16 may have suction cups 120 that adhere the goal to smooth floor.

Thus there has been described a croquet-like game that has a striking character, a ball and a number goals. The striking character is used to strike the ball and attempt to roll the ball through one of the goals. The ball is made of a soft material and the goals can be placed on the floor of a house or apartment. As a result, this allows users to play croquet in inclement weather or when they do not have access to a lawn. The ball is made of soft material so it cannot harm furniture and the goals either stand-up on their own base or have suction cup base.

While the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alterations, modifications, and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alterations, modifications, and variations in the appended claims.