Title:
Flat gutter support and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The combination of a bowling alley pin deck, flat gutter, flat gutter supports, and a jack. The jack is of selectively adjustable height and includes a jack head for firmly supporting the midsection of the flat gutter or a support of the flat gutter for increasing the coefficient of restitution of the flat gutter for providing livelier pin action.



Inventors:
Jameson, John J. (York, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/006114
Publication Date:
07/02/2009
Filing Date:
12/31/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63D1/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Palomar Patent (San Diego, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. In combination: a bowling alley including: a pin deck including: a planar upper surface for supporting bowling pins including: a front end for receiving a bowled ball; and a back end; and a side; a flat gutter adjacent said side of said pin deck including: a top surface including: a front end; a back end; and a midsection between said front end of said top surface and said back end of said top surface; a bottom side; a front end; a back end; and a midsection between said front end of said flat gutter and said back end of said flat gutter; a front support supporting said front end of said flat gutter such that said front end of said top surface is below said upper planar surface of said pin deck; and a back support supporting said back end of said flat gutter such the said back end of said top surface is below said front end of said top surface; and a jack including: a jack head; and means for selectively adjusting the height of said jack head such that said jack head firmly supports said midsection of said flat gutter for increasing the coefficient of restitution of said midsection for providing livelier pin action.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein: said jack head is pivotly mounted such that it aligns with said bottom said of said flat gutter.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein: said means for selectively adjusting the height of said jack head includes: a linear actuator including: a body; and a vertical screw threadably connected to said body such that the height of said jack is adjusted by rotating said screw relative to said body.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein: said linear actuator includes: wrench engaging means for receiving a wrench for rotating said body or said screw; and said midsection of said flat gutter includes a bore therethrough for access to said wrench engaging means.

5. The combination of claim 4 wherein: said jack head is pivotly mounted such that it aligns with said bottom said of said flat gutter.

6. In combination: a bowling alley including: a pin deck including: a planar upper surface for supporting bowling pins including: a front end for receiving a bowled ball; and a back end; and a side; a flat gutter adjacent said side of said pin deck including: a top surface including: a front end; a back end; and a midsection between said front end of said top surface and said back end of said top surface; a bottom side; a front end; a back end; and a midsection between said front end of said flat gutter and said back end of said flat gutter; a front support supporting said front end of said flat gutter such that said front end of said top surface is below said upper planar surface of said pin deck; a back support supporting said back end of said flat gutter such the said back end of said top surface is below said front end of said top surface; and a midsection support supporting said midsection of said flat gutter such that said midsection of said top surface is below said top surface at said front end and above said top surface at said back end; and a jack including: a jack head; and means for selectively adjusting the height of said jack head such that said jack head firmly supports said midsection support of said flat gutter for increasing the coefficient of restitution of said midsection for providing livelier pin action.

8. A method of increasing bowling scores for a bowling alley including: a pin deck including: a planar upper surface for supporting bowling pins including: a front end for receiving a bowled ball; and a back end; and a side; a flat gutter adjacent the side of the pin deck including: a top surface including: a front end; a back end; and a midsection between the front end of the top surface and the back end of the top surface; a bottom side; a front end; a back end; and a midsection between the front end of the flat gutter and the back end of the flat gutter; a front support supporting the front end of the flat gutter such that the front end of the top surface is below the upper planar surface of the pin deck; and a back support supporting the back end of the flat gutter such that the back end of the top surface is below the front end of the top surface comprising the step of: procuring a jack of selectively adjustable height; the jack having a jack head; and firmly supporting the midsection of the flat gutter with the procured jack for increasing the coefficient of restitution of the midsection for providing livelier pin action.

9. A method of increasing bowling scores for a bowling ally including: a pin deck including: a planar upper surface for supporting bowling pins including: a front end for receiving a bowled ball; and a back end; and a side; a flat gutter adjacent the side of the pin deck including: a top surface including: a front end; a back end; and a midsection between the front end of the top surface and the back end of the top surface; a bottom side; a front end; a back end; and a midsection between the front end of the flat gutter and the back end of the flat gutter; a front support supporting the front end of the flat gutter such that the front end of the top surface is below the upper planar surface of the pin deck; a midsection support supporting the midsection of the flat gutter such that the midsection of the top surface is below the top surface at the front end and above the top surface at the back end; and a back support supporting the back end of the flat gutter such that the back end of the top surface is below the front end of the top surface comprising the step of: procuring a jack of selectively adjustable height; the jack having a jack head; and firmly supporting the midsection support of the flat gutter with the procured jack for increasing the coefficient of restitution of the midsection for providing livelier pin action.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates in general to bowling alleys, and more specifically involves a flat gutter support for raising bowling scores.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A bowling lane includes a flat gutter on each side of the pin deck. A kickback plate acts an outer side wall to each flat gutter.

Conventional flat gutters in most bowling centers are made of rather thin wood or plastic and are supported by three lateral supports: one at each end and one centrally. When pins are struck by a bowling ball or by other pins, they often bounce off the kickback plate and the flat gutter and interact with other pins.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A jack of selectively adjustable height firmly supports the midsection of the flat gutter or a support of the flat gutter in a bowling alley.

Supporting a flat gutter of a bowling alley with a jack increases the coefficient of restitution of the flat gutter such that more energy remains in the bouncing pins and the more likely they are to knock down other pins, thus increasing the score.

Other features and many attendant advantages of the invention will become more apparent upon a reading of the following detailed description together with the drawings wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view, partially cut away, of the pin deck area of a bowling alley, with the flat gutter partially cut away to reveal a jack.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the pin deck area taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged cross section of the jack of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a cross section of a second exemplary embodiment of a jack of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a left side elevation view of the pin deck area taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 1 and further including the jack of FIG. 4 and bowling pins.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1, 2, and 5 thereof, there is shown in FIG. 1 a top plan view, partially cut away, of the pin deck area 19 of a bowling alley 10. A little over half of pin deck 20 is shown. The left flat gutter 40 is shown partially cut away to reveal a jack 60. FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of pin deck area 19 taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1; and FIG. 5 is a left side elevation view of pin deck area 19 taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 1 and further including the jack 60 of FIG. 4 and bowling pins 15.

Pin deck area 19 generally includes a pin deck 20, flat gutter 40, kickback plate 90 and support structure 100 therefore. Support structure 100 includes a foundation 110, such as of concrete. A plurality of parallel, longitudinally-oriented, spaced, vertical supports 120, such as wooden 2×10s placed on side, project upward from foundation 110. A plurality of parallel, laterally-oriented, spaced lateral supports 130, such as wooden 2×4s placed on face, are disposed on top of vertical supports 120. A plurality of parallel, longitudinally-oriented, spacer supports 140, such as 2×6s placed on face, are disposed on top of lateral supports 130.

Bowling alley 10 includes a lane 12 for receiving a bowled ball from a bowler and for delivering it to pin deck 20. Pin deck 20 is supported by spacer supports 140. Pin deck 20 is generally comprised of a plurality of laminated boards and includes a planar upper surface 22 for supporting bowling pins 15. In FIG. 1, spots 14 for locating pins 15 are shown on upper surface 22, while, in FIG. 5, pins 15 are shown on upper surface 22. Pin deck surface 22 includes a front end 24 for receiving a bowled ball, and a back end 25. A tail plank 29, attached to the back 28 of pin deck 20, protects the back 28.

Flat gutters 40 abut each side 26 of pin deck 20. Flat gutter 40 is about 9.25 inches wide and has a top surface 41, a bottom 45, a front end 46, a back end 47, and a midsection 48. Top surface 41 includes a front end 42; a back end 43 and a midsection 44 therebetween.

Flat gutter 40 is supported by a plurality of supports 50. A front support 50F supports front end 46 of flat gutter 40 such that front end 42 of top surface is about 1.8 inches below the upper surface 22 of pin deck 20. A back support 50B supports back end 46 of flat gutter 40 such back end 43 of top surface 41 is about 3.5 inches below upper surface 22 of pin deck 20. A midsection support 50M supports midsection 48 of flat gutter 40 such that midsection 44 of top surface 41 is below front end top surface 42 and above back end top surface 43. Flat gutter supports 50 typically include shims 58, such as wood blocks, placed atop lateral supports 130. Flat gutter 40 typically is attached to shims 58, such as with screws.

As best seen in FIG. 5, a jack 60, such as tiltable head jack 60A or fixed head jack 60B, is placed to firmly support midsection 48 of flat gutter 40 for increasing the coefficient of restitution of midsection 48 for providing livelier pin action. Jack 60A is shown directly supporting flat gutter 40, while jack 60B is shown supporting midsection support 50M. Jacks 60 of the nature shown, are commonly called “house jacks” and are preferred in that they positively of fixed adjustable length, i.e. their length does not change upon loading as does a hydraulic jack, for example, and they are very simple and inexpensive.

FIGS. 3 and 4 are enlarged cross sections of jacks 60, with FIG. 3 being an enlarged cross section of jack 60A of FIGS. 1, 2 and 5, and FIG. 4 being an enlarged cross section of jack 60B of FIG. 5, a second exemplary embodiment of jack 60 of the invention.

The exemplary jacks 60 include a jack head 62 having a bearing surface 63 for bearing against the element to be supported and means, such as a linear actuator 64, for selectively adjusting the height of jack head 62. In jack 60A, linear actuator 64 includes body 65 and a vertical screw 66, such as screw 66A, threadably connected to body 65 such that the height of jack 60A is adjusted by rotating screw 66A relative to body 65. Screw 66A includes wrench engaging means 69, such as faces, such as hexagonal faces 69A or wrench receiving bore, such as hexagonal bore 69B, for receiving a wrench for rotating screw 66 for adjusting height of jack 60A. Midsection 48 of flat gutter 40 includes a bore 49 therethrough for access to the wrench receiving means 69. In jack 60B, linear actuator 64 includes body 65, a vertical screw 66, and a nut 67 bearing on body 65 such that the height of jack 60B is adjusted by rotating nut 67 relative to screw 66.

Jack head 62A of jack 60A is pivotable on ball 68 so as to align with a slanted bottom 45 on flat gutter 40. Jack head 62B is fixed to screw 66 and may have a horizontal bearing surface 63, shown, to bear against a support 50 or may have a slanted bearing surface 63 to bear against a slanted bottom 45 on flat gutter 40.

A method of increasing bowling scores for a bowling alley 10 includes procuring a jack 60 of selectively adjustable height and firmly supporting midsection 48 of flat gutter 40 or a flat gutter support 5 0 with the procured jack 60 for increasing the coefficient of restitution of midsection 48 for providing livelier pin action.

From the foregoing description, it is seen that the present invention provides an extremely simple and efficient device and method of retrofitting conventional bowling alleys to increase bowling scores.

Although particular embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, various changes may be made in the form, composition, construction, and arrangement of the parts herein without sacrificing any of its advantages. Therefore, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in any limiting sense, and it is intended to cover in the appended claims such modifications as come within the true spirit and scope of the invention.