Title:
Target device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A target device is worn by a user in a game comprising projectiles covered with either hook or loop fasteners. The device includes a supporting element for being supported on the user which carries target panels having a target surface covered with hook or loop fasteners for mating connection with the projectiles. The target surface has an irregular in contour comprising various raised protrusions formed of resilient material. The irregular contour of the target surface results in a surface which lies at various angles, thus increasing the likelihood of a shot from any direction being perpendicular to a portion of the target surface for better attachment of the projectiles to the target surface in a hook and loop type game. The resilient nature of the protrusions also absorbs some of the impact force of the projectiles to reduce the tendency for the projectiles to bounce off of the target surface.



Inventors:
Belog, Barry (Winnipeg, CA)
Application Number:
11/287490
Publication Date:
07/20/2006
Filing Date:
11/28/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B63/00; F41J3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ADE & COMPANY INC. (WINNIPEG, MB, CA)
Claims:
1. A target device for use in a game comprising projectiles covered with one of either hooks or loops of a hook and loop fastening system, the target device comprising: at least one target panel having a target surface covered with the other one of the hooks or loops of the hook and loop fastening system; and a supporting element for supporting said at least one target panel on a body of a user of the device; the target surface of said at least one target panel being irregular in contour.

2. The device according to claim 1 wherein the target surface is covered with the hooks of the hook and loop fastening system.

3. The device according to claim 1 wherein the target surface comprises a plurality of protruding surfaces at various angles relative to one another in a non-planar configuration.

4. The device according to claim 1 wherein said at least one target panel is foldable.

5. The device according to claim 1 wherein the target surface comprises an undulating surface forming various raised protrusions thereon.

6. The device according to claim 1 wherein the target panel comprises a textured substrate forming various raised protrusions thereon and supporting the target surface thereon.

7. The device according to claim 6 wherein the raised protrusions comprise elongate ridges formed on the substrate.

8. The device according to claim 6 wherein the raised protrusions comprise domed formations on the substrate.

9. The device according to claim 6 wherein the textured substrate is formed of resilient material.

10. The device according to claim 6 wherein the raised protrusions are resilient and include a hollow core.

11. The device according to claim 6 wherein the raised protrusions are resilient and include a core of resilient material.

12. The device according to claim 1 wherein said at least one target panel comprises a plurality overlapping sections of the target surface which are moveable relative to one another.

13. The device according to claim 1 wherein said at least one target panel comprises a substrate supporting protrusions thereon, the protrusions being movable relative to the substrate.

14. The device according to claim 1 wherein the supporting element comprises a garment supporting a plurality of target panels thereon in which each target panel is selectively secured to the garment for detachment and reattachment thereto.

15. The device according to claim 1 wherein the supporting element comprises a garment carried about a torso of the user.

16. The device according to claim 15 wherein said at least one target panel comprises a front chest panel and a pair of arm panels formed separately from one another.

17. The device according to claim 1 wherein the supporting element comprises a helmet including a transparent visor portion and a surrounding shield portion supporting the target surface thereon, the target surface being resiliently deformable.

18. The device according to claim 1 wherein there is provided a target indicator supported on the supporting element which is operable between an indicating condition which indicates that the target surface has been impacted by a projectile and a non-indicating condition which indicates that the target surface has not been impacted by a projectile.

19. The device according to claim 18 wherein the target indicator assumes the indicating condition automatically responsive to an impact of a projectile onto an actuating portion of the supporting element.

20. The device according to claim 1 wherein the supporting element comprises an arm band including adjustable fasteners for securement about an arm of a user in which an outer surface of the arm band comprises the target surface.

Description:

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/630,575, filed Nov. 26, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a target device for being worn by a user in a game using projectiles which remain attached to the target device upon impact by hook and loop fasteners.

BACKGROUND

Various types of games are known using projectiles which remain attached to a target device upon impact. U.S. Pat. No. 5,221,092 to Simons Jr. et al. discloses on example of such a game wherein the target device comprises a coat type garment including various panels thereon upon which the projectiles can be attached on impact. When firing hook and loop type projectiles, using a compressed air powered gun similar to what is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,845,629 to Ratliff, the high velocities of the projectiles make it difficult for the projectile to attach itself to the target when fired at a sharp angle in relation to the surface instead of being normal thereto. When playing a game in which the target device is worn by an opponent, it is common to be shooting projectiles at random angles relative to the surface of the target device and accordingly it is commonplace for impacts to be improperly recorded when playing due to the projectiles bouncing off of the targets. Also, known targets to be worn by a user tend to be relatively stiff, which further encourages the occurrence of projectiles bouncing off of the targets.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the invention there is provided a target device for use in a game comprising projectiles covered with one of either hooks or loops of a hook and loop fastening system, the target device comprising:

at least one target panel having a target surface covered with the other one of the hooks or loops of the hook and loop fastening system; and

a supporting element for supporting said at least one target panel on a body of a user of the device;

the target surface of said at least one target panel being irregular in contour.

The irregular contour of the target surface results in a surface which lies at various angles, thus increasing the likelihood of a shot from any direction being perpendicular to a portion of the target surface for better attachment of the projectiles to the target surface in a hook and loop type game. The irregular surface can also be more readily configured into a flexible design allowing the user wearing the target device more range of movement and more comfort. The resiliency of the protrusions forming the irregular contour absorbs some of the impact force of the projectiles to further reduce the tendency for the projectiles to bounce off of the target surface.

The target surface is preferably covered with the hooks of the hook and loop fastening system.

The target surface may comprise a plurality of protruding surfaces at various angles relative to one another in a non-planar configuration and formed of resilient and flexible material so that the target panels are also foldable.

The target panel may further comprise a textured and resilient substrate, for example an undulating surface, forming various raised protrusions thereon and supporting the target surface thereon. The raised protrusions of resilient material may comprise elongate ridges or domed formations formed on the substrate and may include either a hollow core or a core of resilient soft foam material.

In one embodiment, the target panels comprise a plurality overlapping sections of the target surface which are moveable relative to one another. The protrusions of the target surface may also be movable relative to the substrate of the target panels.

In the first illustrated embodiment, the supporting element comprises a garment to be worn about the torso of the user. The garment supports a plurality of target panels thereon in which each target panel is selectively secured to the garment for detachment and reattachment thereto. In this instance, the supporting element preferably supports a front chest panel and a pair of shoulder panels. The supporting element may further comprise a pair of arm bands including adjustable fasteners for securement about an arm of a user in which an outer surface of each arm band comprises a target surface.

In a further illustrated embodiment, the supporting element comprises a helmet including a transparent visor portion and a surrounding shield portion supporting the target surface thereon. The target surface in this instance is preferably also resiliently deformable.

There may be provided a target indicator supported on the supporting element which is operable between an indicating condition which indicates that the target surface has been impacted by a projectile and a non-indicating condition which indicates that the target surface has not been impacted by a projectile.

When the supporting element comprises a helmet, the target indicator preferably assumes the indicating condition automatically responsive to an impact of a projectile onto an actuating portion of the supporting element.

Some embodiments of the invention will now be described in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the target device shown with a projectile and a gun for shooting the projectile at the target device;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the target device according to FIG. 1 after an impact has occurred;

FIGS. 3 through 8 illustrate various embodiments of the configuration of the target surfaces of the various embodiments of the target device; and

FIG. 9 and FIG. 10 are perspective views of an alternative embodiment of the supporting element of the target device.

In the drawings like characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in the different figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the accompanying drawings there is illustrated a target device generally indicated by reference numeral 10. The target device generally comprises a garment to be worn by a user in a game comprising projectiles and associated targets formed of hooks or loops of a hook and loop fastening system so that projectiles 12 remain attached to the target device 10 upon impact. The projectiles 12 each comprise a bead which is covered in loop material and which is suitably sized for being fired through the barrel of a comprised air powered gun 14 of the type commonly used for shooting paintball projectiles.

In all embodiments described herein, the device 10 includes a supporting element 20 which is worn by the user for supporting target panels 22 thereon. Each target panel 22 includes a substrate layer 30 which supports a target surface 31 of hooks of the hook and loop fastening system thereon. The target surface is irregular in contour, comprising a multifaceted surface of protruding facets or surfaces at various angles relative to one another in a non-planar configuration.

The substrate layer 30 generally comprises a textured substrate forming various raised protrusions 33 thereon and supporting the target surface 31 thereon. The raised protrusions 33 of the textured substrate and the target surface 31 are both formed of resilient material to allow the target surface to be resiliently and angularly deformed upon impact. The protrusions are therefore movable relative to the substrate panel element upon impact to absorb some of the force of the impact and reduce the likelihood of projectiles to bounce off the target surface.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the supporting element 20 generally comprises a garment to be worn about the torso of a user and which is formed of flexible cloth material which conforms about the user's body. The supporting element 20 includes front and back panels for covering the front and back sides of the torso of the user. Openings are provided for the neck and arms of the user. Adjustable straps 35 connect between the front and back panels at both sides of the garment and permit the supporting element 20 to be tightened about the torso of the user.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, the supporting element 20 carries a plurality of the target panels 22 thereon. Among the target panels 22 there is provided a front target panel 22A, a back target panel (not shown), and a pair of shoulder target panels 22B. The supporting element 20 also includes arm band target panels 22C which are formed independently and separate from the garment about the torso of the user. The arm band target panels 22C each comprise an arm band including adjustable fasteners for securement about an arm of a user in which an outer surface of the arm band comprises the target surface 31 including protrusions 33.

The protrusions 33 on the front target panel 22A and the arm band target panels 22C comprise elongate ridges formed on the substrate by stitching raised portions of hook material back to back with one another. The flexible nature of the material forming the hook material permits the protrusions 33 to be foldable relative to the substrate for movement of the protrusions relative to the substrate upon impact by a projectile.

As shown in FIG. 7, the protrusions 33 of the substrate may include a hollow core 35.

The protrusions 33 on the shoulder target panels 22B comprise ridges which form an undulating surface of domed formations in profile. The protrusions 33 of the substrate in this instance comprise a resilient core 37 of soft resilient foam as shown in FIG. 8. Alternatively, a hollow core may be provided when the substrate and target surface are resilient and self supporting.

Each of the target panels 22 is selectively secured to the supporting element 20 using conventional fasteners, for example snap fasteners, hook and loop fasteners or straps and the like to permit removal and subsequent reattachment. Removably securing the panels on the supporting element 20 permits the configuration of the target panels to be varied depending upon the type of game being played.

A target indicator 39 is supported on the supporting element 20 for operation between an indicating condition which indicates that the target surface has been impacted by a projectile and a non-indicating condition which indicates that the target surface has not been impacted by a projectile. The target indicator 39 comprises reflective indicia which is normally hidden behind the front target panel 22A in the non-indicating condition. Upon impact by a projectile, the user detaches a portion of the fasteners securing the front target panel 22A to the supporting element 20 so that the front target panel may be folded downardly into the indicating position of the target indicator 39 in which the indicia is clearly visible.

Turning now to FIG. 3, a further embodiment of the target panel construction is illustrated. Elongate strips 26 of hook material are first cut from a larger sheet so as to have a thickness in the order of ¼ inch to 1½ inches. In the illustrated embodiment, the strips are between half an inch and one inch wide. The strips 26 are woven in a crisscross pattern to form a woven sheet 28 when the strips are secured to one another by sewing stitches, adhesive or an ultrasonic weld. The woven sheet 28 can then cut to form any desired shape of target panel 22 which is then carried by the supporting element 20 of the garment forming the target device. The woven pattern of the strips causes the strips to flex so that the underlying substrate of the hook material forms the protrusions 33. The resulting target panels 22 are generally non-planar, being formed of various surface portions oriented at various angles relative to one another. The irregular profile or contour of the woven sheet defines a plurality of raised portions and a plurality of corresponding recessed portions wherein the mix of concave and convex surfaces result in a flexible and textured form for catching projectiles impacted thereon from any one of various angles.

As illustrated in FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, the resulting irregular contour of the target surface of hook material forming the target panels 22 can instead be formed by a substrate layer 30 which is moulded into an irregular contoured shape. The substrate layer 30 may comprise a plurality of elongate ridges 32 as illustrated in FIG. 4 which define the protrusions 33 and which permit some folding movement of protrusions relative to one another. The target surface thus comprises an undulating surface forming the various raised protrusions thereon. The substrate layer and the target surface of hook material are each resilient in this instance.

To maximize foldability and range of movement, the hook material forming the target surface 31 may be applied to the substrate layer 30 of FIG. 4 in strips 36 positioned adjacent one another and parallel to the ridges. Alternatively a continuous flexible sheet of hook material may be fastened by adhesive and the like to the textured substrate layer 30.

Alternatively as illustrated in FIG. 5 the substrate layer 30 includes protrusions 33 in the form of a plurality of domed dimples or other irregular protrusions. The protrusions in this instance are covered with a continuous sheet of hook material forming the target surface 31. In either embodiment of FIG. 4 or 5, the substrate layer 30 is stiff enough to hold its shape while being resilient to permit some flexing with movement of the user's body and to permit some deflection under impact by a projectile.

Turning now to FIG. 6 a further embodiment of the target panels 22 is illustrated in which a plurality of strips 38 of hook material forming the target surface 31 are carried on overlapping plates which define the substrate layer 30. The plates and target surface of hook material thereon are pivotal relative to one another or relative to the supporting element for independent movement thereof which similarly increases freedom of movement of the wearer. The relative movement of the plates defining the substrate layer 30 in the embodiment of FIG. 6 also allows some deflection under impact.

Turning now to FIGS. 9 and 10, a further embodiment of the supporting element 20 which supports the target panels 22 thereon is illustrated. In this instance, the supporting element comprises a helmet arranged to be supported on the head of a user and including a transparent visor portion 40 and a surrounding shield portion 42 which spans outwardly from the visor portion for shielding a face of the user. The shield portion 42 about the visor portion defines the target panels 22 which support hook material of the target surface thereon. The substrate layer 30 in this instance comprises a plurality of curved members 44 which overlap one another to define plural surfaces lying transversely to one another. The curved members 44 are formed of resilient material having a soft foam or hollow core to permit the target surface thereon to be resiliently deformed upon impact.

A target indicator 39 is also provided on the supporting element 20 according to the embodiment of FIGS. 9 and 10. Similarly to the first embodiment, the target indicator 39 is operable between an indicating condition which indicates that the target surface has been impacted by a projectile and a non-indicating condition which indicates that the target surface has not been impacted by a projectile. The target indicator 39 in this instance comprises a flag which is raised from a lowered and non-visible position in the non-indicating condition to a raised and visible position in the indicating condition. The flag may instead be operable in reverse to be raised and visible in the non-indicating position, so that the absence of a visible flag instead indicates that an impact has occurred.

The supporting element 20 according to FIGS. 9 and 10 also includes an actuating portion 46 which forms a portion of the target surface. The actuating portion 46 is coupled to the flag of the target indicator by a suitable linkage for automatically displacing the indicator into the indicating condition responsive to an impact of a projectile onto an actuating portion of the supporting element.

Since various modifications can be made in my invention as herein above described, and many apparently widely different embodiments of same made within the spirit and scope of the claims without department from such spirit and scope, it is intended that all matter contained in the accompanying specification shall be interpreted as illustrative only and not in a limiting sense.





 
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