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This application claims the priority benefit of provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/093,328 filed on Aug. 31, 2008.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention related to a table baseball set for competition and playing on a table.
2. Description of the Related Art
As many people know, baseball is played with two teams and at least 9 players on each team. A usual game lasts 7 or 9 innings, each one divided into two halves, during which each team both defends and attacks. When it's one of the team's turn to attack, the other one defends. The defense team first has to send their 9 players to be fielders. These consist of the pitcher, the catcher, the first baseman, the second baseman, the third baseman, the shortstop, the left, right and center outfielders. In the meantime, the attacking team sends its 9 players to be batters in turn. But every time only one batter bats and gets 4 results from his hitting. He can hit a strike out, a foul ball, holds, or walk. When the batter gets a hit or walks, he has a chance to take bases or help his teammates advance more bases. When any of his teammates or himself has finished touching all the diamond figure (the infield three bases and the home plate of the baseball stadium) without 3 outs, they score. Of course sometimes the offense needs to use specific tactics in order to achieve more runs. And when the offense team reaches three players out, the two teams swap over. So while the game is being played, the defending team has 9 players on the field defending and the other team has 1 hitter with the bat and up to three runners on the bases. As the game progresses, you add up the number of runs scored during each inning and at the end of 9th inning, the team with the most runs wins.
The table baseball set of the present invention is based on the concept of the baseball game explained above, and simplifies it to fit the table-baseball game rules. It uses more than 9 figures (chessmen) as players for both teams, and a exciting and interesting game can be played easily on the miniature baseball stadium. According to The table-baseball game rules, players can play the table-baseball game on a miniaturized baseball stadium, anywhere, anytime, and even people with rough knowledge on baseball can play the table-baseball game easily.
The table-baseball game provides more than 9 figurines (can include coaches) as players for each team. According to the table-baseball game rule baseball fans can play it on the miniature baseball stadium board and throw two dice to decide who will start and who will finish. Even people with a rough knowledge on baseball can do it easily.
Because of its special design and assignments, the layout of the miniature baseball stadium board corresponds exactly to the official baseball field. In this game, there are fielders, hits, outs, walks, scores, and some tactics used that nearly all happen in the real baseball game. It is a nice table game, full of interesting, fun and excitement.
Baseball is largely known around the world and has a lot of fans in many countries. The table-baseball game can easily be played by these fans with their family and friends anywhere and anytime. The figurines (the so call baseball players) of the table-baseball game could be designed like some pet animals (like dogs or bears) which would make a happy match of lovely animals between you and me.
The table baseball is a miniature baseball game. It's a baseball competition on a table. Players use two dices which defines game process. Having a special design and assignments, the layout of the table baseball field is like a complete official baseball field. When you include the players (figures), hits, outs, walks, scores, it is just like in the real baseball game.
The table-baseball game rules are close to those of real baseball; there are two teams; and 7 or 9 innings per match. In each inning (two halves), as soon as the offense team has three outs, the defensive one takes their place. If the 9^{th }(or 7th) inning ends in a tied score, the game may play as many extra innings as necessary to determine a winner.
The table-baseball game stadium is basically designed on the official baseball field, and, according to the real game, it uses the probability for the batter to hit the ball and divides the miniature stadium into 7 paths. These 7 paths all have a number marked on its outfield edge. There are numbers 3,4,5,7,9,10 and 11. Each number stands for a hit-ball direction, which is defined by the roll of two dices the first time the batter bats up. It is very similar to the real baseball game; it defines if the batter hits a fair ball to a good spot or not. It corresponds to the probability that a fielder will be in the zone or not. [And it is propriety a reflection and correspondence with the two dices numbers appearance of probabilities]. Thus the inventor designs and assigns the hit-ball direction as 3,4,5,7,9,10 and 11. It is the table-baseball game's stadium first space characteristic and feature.
But two dices will have 11 diverse numbers. There are only 7 numbers on the designed stadium. The numbers 2,6,8 and 12 are disappearances, that because in the real game “a foul ball” “strike out” “walk” and “home run” is easy to get, and we assign to the number 2 “a foul ball” hit, the number 6,8 as “strike out” or “walk”, and number 12 is a home run. This is to respect the probabilities for this to happen in the real game.
The table-baseball game's stadium's second space characteristic is the path nodes. A path node is the position or the spot of the landing ball which the batter hits. On each node figures a circle and a number, from 3 to 11 from the infield to the outfield. In the real baseball game, the batter is usually caught out when the ball he has hit lands near the middle area of the field or too close to the basemen. There are more defenses around there and it is hard to get a hit. This circumstance will also be adopted and designed in the table-baseball game. The inventor set the numbers appearance corresponding to these areas as high probabilities, so the probability for numbers 4, 5, 7 and 9 to appear are high and are assigned to these hard zones. The nodes numbered 3, 10 and 11 are, like the real game conditions, better zones for a hit. If he hits to nodes numbered 9, 10 and 11, he hits it a far enough distance to run more bases or even an Inside-the-Park home run. But as everybody knows the numbers 2 and 12 is a miss if two dices work. We defined the number 2 to be a foul ball (batter have to throw again) and number 12 is a home run.
In the table baseball game, the defense team's fielding figurines represent exactly the same players as in the real game, so the common pattern of fielding is easy to take. In the same way, the offense team needs to determine the order of their hitters, and can even include DH assignment in the table game.
When the game begins, the offense team sends their players or figurines up batting, each player has two times to throw the dice. The first time the batter throws the dice (2s) to determine the trajectory of his ball or if he walks (6 or 8 on the dice), strikes out(6 or 8 on the dice)or gets a foul ball (2 on the dice)and then throws the dice again for a home run(12 on the dice). When he hits a fair ball where the defense fielders can gather quickly to try and catch the ball, and occupy the path nodes they choose. Of course, since in the real game each path(or zone) has only a limited number of fielders to cover the nodes and catch the ball, it is sometimes difficult for the player to know if his choices are always right. Then the waiting batter throws the dice a second time to determine if he is out or not.
The second time of the batter throws the dice to work out where (which node)his ball will land, and it is of course hard to guess, very like those real games. But it is easy to determine if he is out or not, by checking if node where the ball lands is free or occupied. If the batter is still in play, he may have more chances to take bases or help his teammates advance more runs.
For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference will now be made to the following detailed description of preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the following accompanying drawings.
FIGS. 1-3 are views illustrating various embodiments of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a view of a table baseball stadium board according to an embodiment of the present invention.
When game is ready and it has been decided which will be the Starting Team and which will be the Ending Team, the Starting Team begins the game playing offense. They send their first hitter to the batter's box. The Ending Team begins the game with its 9 layers (fielders) on defense. The table-baseball game has begun.
A hitter on the batter's box has two opportunities (or more)to throws the dice, except if he strikes out, walks, or hits a home run.
The first time he throws the dice (2s) is to decide the hitting direction (or path) of the ball (as a fair territory or a foul ball). And meanwhile the defense fielders will spread along the path to try to catch the ball to catch the hitter out, so they will occupy some nodes where they think there is a high probability the ball will land.
Second time the hitter throws the 2dice to show the ball landing position. When the number appears, if the defense is occupying the node (corresponding to the number) of the path it means the batter gets flies out of a fair ball. And if the node has not been occupied, it is a hit and he will be a runner. He also has another opportunity to throw the dice a third time if he hits the ball far enough. He has an extra chance to throw the dice to make an award to advance his bases or help his teammates to steal more bases.
When the game is played and the hitter throws his dice (2s) first, the two dice shoot sums from 2 to 12. Basically those various numbers stand for the direction or the line the ball takes when hit by the batter.
The path number is linked with certain strips (ball-paths) and marked on the edge of the table baseball outfield. Each time the player bats, if his first throw shows 6, 8, 2 and 12, these figures represent strike out, walk, a foul ball and a home run. That is the reason why you can't find them (numbers) on the play field.
Therefore; at the beginning both teams have to contend with the high probability that 6 and 8 appears. One is strike out and another is walk. Everyone can choose whatever he likes or keep the same. Since the probabilities of 6 and 8 are high, players have to decide for themselves. The numbers 2 express a foul ball, and the player needs to throw his dice (2s) once more. The number 12 stands for a home run, so he scores. Of course the probability of their appearance is low.
FIGS. 1-3 are views illustrating various embodiments of the present invention. FIG. 4 is a view of a table baseball stadium board according to an embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIGS. 1-4, if the batter has numbers 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 or 11, he hits a fair ball. The direction of the fly-ball path you can see easily on the edge of the outfield. Meanwhile because of the defense mode, the zone near the path will have different fielders to cover it, almost as in real baseball fielding. [This also counts by the probability of appearance exactly the number stand]. The number 3, 4, 10, 11 has a lower probability, so defense cover or catching the ball is not so easy and batters have more chances to get a hit. The numbers 5,7and 9 are highly probable, so fielders normally have more chances to catch the ball, and keep a nice defense average.
When the batter has a fair-ball at his first throw, fielders along the path of the ball should move quickly to try catching the ball. These fielders now have to expect that the ball will drop and land, meaning they need to guess the position number the batter will throw on the dice the second time, then occupy those nodes to get the hitter out or let him take (a) base(s).
If the node's position is occupied by the defense when the batter's dice shows his second number, the batter is out. If it's not, it means the hitter has a fair-ball within the confines of the playing field. He wins a race and has a chance to advance to first base, second base, third base, or score a run, if the baseball travels enough far enough inside the park.
When the batter has 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11 on the ball fly-line, the defense spreads along the path to cover the ball [was just allowed near the path zone fielders to do]. It is exactly like real game fielding. Any defense always has a limited area to cover and it's impossible for a defense to go everywhere. The table-baseball game rules' fielding pattern or general conditions are:
(1) The pitcher patrols 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10 fair-ball path, covers before and after
(2) The first baseman patrols 4, 9 and 11 fair-ball path, and covers
(3) The second baseman patrols 4, 7 and 9 fair-ball path, and covers before and behind four nodes between his normal defense position (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9).
(4) The shortstop patrols 5, 7, and 10 fair-ball path, and covers before and behind
(5) The third baseman patrols 3, 5 and 10 fair-ball path, covers before and behind
(6) The right fielder patrols 4, 7, 9 and 11 fair-ball path, covers six nodes between
(7) The center fielder patrols 5, 7 and 9 fair-ball path, covers six nodes between his
(8) The lift fielder patrols 3, 5, 7 and 10 fair-ball path, covers six nodes between his
All fielders can go easily because the nodes' side may note them.
When the defenders choose their nodes of the fair-ball path and cover it, the batter throws his dice (2s) again. The numbers will appear from 2 to 12. The number 2 means a foul-ball, and the hitter needs to throw again. The number 12 means a home-run, so the hitter scores. When the other numbers appear, if its number node was occupied by defense it means that the batter outs, the fielder catches the batted ball. The next hitter's on and the defenses return to their normal defense position again. If the node was not occupied by a fielder, it means the batter has a hit.
When the batter hits, if he rolls 2-8 (the number on the dice), he can run a base. And if the dice shows 9-11, it means that the hitter has hits the ball far enough to run more bases or even get an inside home-run. Now the batter needs to throw the dice again to determine his bases. On the field, the diamond figure links three bases with a white line and we can see that each have two foot prints on its side (including the three bases and the home plate, the total is 12 foot prints). It's for counting how many bases a runner can advance when he hits. When the batter has a 9 (number) appearance, he has a chance to throw the dice (1s) again to determine for how long he can run. One dice can only show numbers between 1-6. So while it Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 the runner runs according to the foot prints. He can run only one base, which means a point for each foot print. Of course if it Figures 5 and 6, then the runner can run two bases according to the foot prints. When the batter shoots 9, 10 or 11 number, he hits. Thank god. It's a long free ball. The batter has two dices to determine his bases. This time the numbers will be between 2-12, which are the numbers and foot prints he can win with. If he only gets the numbers 2, 3 or 4, he only has one base hit. If he gets 5, 6 or 7 he gets a two base hit. If he gets 8, 9 or 10, he gets a three base hit. When the number that appears is 11 or 12 the batter hits a home-run. The total foot prints is 12 so if the runner has 11 or 12 figures, it's more difficult and reasonable to give him an award. L. The runner advances bases like in a real game, and when he gets back and touches the home plate, he scores. The game continues, until the 7^{th }or 9^{th }and there's a winner or it goes on until there is one. Of course if the Starting team ends its half-inning and doesn't have a chance to go into the lead, the game is over, because the ending team doesn't need to take its offensive turn. (Ex La Dodgers 9 A: 3 to Cincinnati).
The table-baseball game is almost exactly like a real baseball game. It can go on for two or three hours. There are many tactics you can use during the game, just like in the real one, and you are of course the head coach.
For tactics, it is necessary for the batter to have a bunt. He must say first, and throws the dice a first time (2s) to determine the direction of the fair ball. Then the defense fields the path (infield) because it is a bunt doing. The second time the batter just uses a dice to determine the ball's landing position (number nodes), since everyone knows that a bunt can't go very far. When the batter shoots a number 1 or 2, it's a foul ball, or the player can choose one number as catching out by a catcher. (When it is awarded a foul ball. Of course the batter has to start his batting again and has to say if he wants a bunt once more. If on the third time his bunt's still a foul ball, he will be out just like in the real game.) But when his dice (1s) shows 3, 4, 5 or 6, it means an effect ball of bunt, but even with an effect ball of bunt, the man's out. It is a successful hit and run, like a squeeze play in the real game.
When the offending team hits, the runners all have a chance to advance bases, unless the base in front of him is occupied by other teammates. Now all of the runners can try to take bases. So each runner needs to throw a dice once if he is allowed to by his coach. There is number 1-6 on the dice. If a runner shoots 3, 4 or 5 it means he can take a base (50 on base percentage). 2 or 6 mean he was caught stealing, and 1 means the runner has to return to his base. Of course all of the runners' steal base cannot be over 3 outs.
If a fair-ball is hit, some runners on bases and the baseball fly far on the field. It is caught out by nodes 10 and 11. It always is a successful sacrifice fly. A successful sacrifice fly makes it easy for runners to steal bases. Now the runners all have a chance to throw the dice (1) once to advance bases. When the number on the dice is 2, 3, 4 or 5, it means the runner takes the base (67 on base percentage), or if it's 1 or 6 it's caught stealing.
When there's no bunt and no sacrifice fly, the runner tries to steal bases. It is of course more difficult to do. If a runner steals base, he uses a dice (1s) once for him to advance his base. And when the number's 3, he gets a good job. It's only 17 on base percentage. The other number 1, 2, 4, 5 or 6 will be caught stealing. And steal base is not limited; anytime and anywhere, a runner can do it if he thinks his team runs too much.
In the real game, double play sometimes seems easy to do, the triple play is hard to see. “The table-baseball game” also has a common way to do them. When a runner is on first base and the hitter has a ball-path of 4,5,7 or 9 and is caught out by a fielder of nodes 5, 6 or 7, the defense can quite easily take a double play, since the runner on first base is forced to advance to second base. Now he has to try his best and shoot a dice to determine his fate. But sometimes it is not too bad to throw his decisive dice (1) again. The number appearance 3 or 4 (33 on base percentage) means he has a successful advance. And other numbers (1, 2, 5 or 6) would give him a double play.
And when there are two runners on first base and on second base or base full, it is probable that a triple play will occur. If there are no outs, the hitter has a ball-path of 3,5 or 10 to be caught out by the fielder of node 5,6 or 7. The opportunity of the triple play goes on. Since all the runners are forced to advance bases, each one shoots a dice to determine his advance. The same condition is applied when numbers 3 or 4 (33 on base percentage) are shot. In this case, the runner wins a successful advance. For certain numbers 1, 2, 5 or 6 he gets to check out.
For a tactical application, you may like to build a double or triple play possibility, and the defense can adopt an intentional base on balls. You need to say before and the hitter will accept taking bases for intentional walks, and then bats up.
While the invention has been described in conjunction with a specific best mode, it is to be understood that many alternatives, 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 alternatives, modifications, and variations in which fall within the spirit and scope of the included claims. All matters set forth herein or shown in the accompanying drawings are to be interpreted in an illustrative and non-limiting sense.