Ball for racquetball with training markings
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Markings are added to the conventional solid color racquetball ball, which gives the player additional information on the likely trajectory of the ball, and the player is thus able to make a more precise return stroke. When a ball is marked in some visible manner, the player is better able to judge the rotation caused by the walls of the racquetball court, and can adjust his stroke or swing to improve the accuracy of the return. In racquetball the rotation of the ball is particularly important because many shots are received after having bounced off one, two, or three walls, and the rotations are thus difficult to predict. In racquetball the conventional ball is a solid color and the rotation of the ball is not discernible to the player's eye. The markings introduced by this invention make the wall-induced rotation more discernible.

Walton, Charles A. (Los Gatos, CA, US)
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International Classes:
A63B41/00; A63B43/00
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Charles A. Walton (Los Gatos, CA, US)
1. A ball for playing the game of racquetball which has applied markings which provide visual information to the student players concerning the rotation of the ball.

2. A ball for playing the game of racquetball as in claim 1, in which the markings are quadrants on the surface of the ball, with boundaries following longitude and equatorial circles on the ball.

3. A ball for playing racquetball as in claim 2, in which eight quadrants are fully filled in distinctive colors.

4. A ball for playing the game of racquetball as in claim 1, in which the surface of the ball is filled with dots of distinctively differing coloring.

5. A ball as in claim 1 in which the markings follow a pattern equivalent to the figure 8 seams on baseballs and tennis balls

6. A ball for playing a game on a court similar to racquetball as in claim 1 with markings similar to claim 1, except the said game is handball.



For the game of racquetball, readily visible markings are added to the racquetball. The markings are in the form of stripes or dots or in the form of colored quadrants. Without markings, a player cannot discern the rotation of the ball. With markings, the rotation of the ball is discernible. In racquetball, many unusual bounces occur, from multiple walls, and from the floor, causing a multiple varieties of rotation and unexpected bounces. A teacher can explain these rotations if there is the aid of markings. The rotations cause multiple directions to be taken by the ball as it leaves the floor. A coach is better able to call to the attention of the student how a ball is set to rotating by striking a wall, and causing unexpected directions of bounces from another wall or from the floor. The markings on the ball area visible to the layer and the coach, and thus the player can better estimate the likely trajectory of the ball after bouncing off the wall or floor. The precision and accuracy of the return shot is improved, and the players receive more satisfaction from the game. The marking principle may also be applied to the ball used in the game of handball. Note: This application is substantially a resubmission 09/199,210.


In the racquetball of racquetball and handball, the ball is struck and bounces off multiple walls and sides of the racquetball court. The return stroke is made after the ball leaves one of the walls. With a solid colored ball, the eye receives no information on rotation. With markings, as the ball spins the eye receives information on the angle and speed of the spin. Markings such as stripes report on the rotation of the ball. Watching the stripes as well as the ball, the player is able to more accurately predict the trajectory as it leaves the wall, and so makes a better and improved return shot. The satisfaction in playing the game comes largely from making a series of good return shots.


U.S. Pat. No. 280,807 describes a ball for the game of croquet on which luminous markings are placed, to make finding the ball easier or playing the game in subdued light conditions.

U.S. Pat. No. 676,506 describes a ball for the game of golf, with intersecting lines or stripes.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,318,598 describes a marked ball for bowling, in which the marks are usually circles around one diameter, so that when in line rotation is placed on the ball by a player, the ball is able to inform the bowler of the quality and amplitude of rotation on the ball. The rotation is known as a hook shot.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,753,565 describes triangular marking on a golf ball, allegedly allowing more accurate alignment of the ball towards the green, and hence more accurate shots.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,904,201 describes a ball for the game of tennis, with a special surface which improves the uniformity of the ball surface and also extends the life of the ball.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,235,441 describes a golf ball, with reflective additions to the surface which improves the golf player's ability to concentrate on the golf ball and consequently make more precise shots.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,345,759 describes a ball for the game of basketball in which coloring and markings on the ball allegedly improve the ability of the player to concentrate on the target basket while shooting.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,991,838 describes a cover for a baseball, to be used as a training aid in base ball, to allow the batter and pitcher to see from the marks on the ball, which type of pitch is coming.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,067,719 describes a golf ball, with various types of marking, which allows alignment of the ball while on the tee, which allegedly allows a more accurate shot from the tee. It also claims more accurate putting, although for putting, the alignment step requires manual manipulation of the ball, and this manual touch is not allowed under the rules of golf. With either a hook or slice golf shot, as the ball rotates the apparent color will change, which does not correct the shot.

There is further prior art shown in the patent application of Nov. 24, 1998, Ser. No. 09/199,210, which was an effort to patent a ball for racquetball. The application was abandoned in approximately 2001, and is now reinstated. The reinstatement is owing to the markings having been found particularly suited for racquetball training purposes. The examiner for 09/199,210 is thanked for having found pertinent prior art.


1. FIG. 1 shows a racquetball with stripes.

2. FIG. 2 shows a racquetball with hemispherical marking.

3. FIG. 3 shows a racquetball with markings similar to that of a tennis ball or baseball stitching.


Refer to FIG. 1. The ball 10 is marked with stripes. There are three stripes 12, 14, and 16. Each totally circles a circumference of the ball. These stripes are also known as Great Circles, and correspond to the equator and prime meridian longitude and 90 degree longitude on the earth. Each stripe is at right angles to the other two. The stripes intersect at points 18 and 20 and 22 as shown, and at complementary points on the other side of the ball.

In FIG. 2, selected areas 26, 28, 30, and 32 between the stripes are filled in with color in such a manner that neighboring quadrants 26 and 34, or 30 and 38, or 36 and 26, do not have the same color. The eye sees the quadrants passing by and is able to discern the rotation, and hence the most likely nature of the next bounce.

The markings may follow the typical FIG. 8 pattern of the seams 40 of a baseball or a tennis ball. See FIG. 3. There are two bold large sized areas 42 and 44, colored differently.


Another form of marking is to print on the ball the manufacturer's logo or company name and symbol. Another form of marking is that used in soccer. Soccer has adopted a ball marked in such a way as to make its rotation more discernible to the eye. In soccer, baseball, and tennis, the markings on the ball make the rotation visible and aid the player. In football the shape of the ball and the lacings give information. Other methods of marking will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art.

The racquetball used in the games of racquetball and handball are improved and enhanced with application of various marking concepts derived from this invention. There is a particular advantage in racquetball owing to the large number of complex bounces which occur in racquetball.