Title:
Outdoor Toss Game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A recreational toss golf game involving one to four members and a scoring method similar to the game of golf. A start flag and a target flag indicate the starting and ending positions of each round, with players tossing a large diameter ball from the starting flag towards the target flag. The player's ball that comes closest to the target flag scores the lowest for each round, and the player with the lowest combined score after all rounds is declared the winner. The game setup is modular and may be engaged in over different terrains or distances, depending on player preference and skill level. A full game may comprise any number of rounds up to eighteen, similar to a full round of golf. The game provides players with the joys of golf without requiring each player to invest time and money developing golf specific skills or paying for specialized equipment.



Inventors:
Nuessle, Frederick (East Aurora, NY, US)
Application Number:
14/177411
Publication Date:
11/12/2015
Filing Date:
02/11/2014
Assignee:
NUESSLE FREDERICK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B67/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHIU, RALEIGH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Boudwin Intellectual Property Law, LLC (Swedesboro, NJ, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A portable kit for playing an outdoor toss game, comprising: at least one pair of flags comprising a start flag and a target flag; each of said pair of flags comprising a flag staff portion and a flag material; each of said pair of flags having a unique and matching indicia on said flag material to denote a given round number; at least one score sheet; at least two sets of game balls, each set having a unique color with respect to another set; a tape measure; a portable carrying bag having an interior adapted to secure said flags, score sheet, game balls, and tape measure.

2. The portable kit of claim 1, wherein: said tape measure further comprises a measuring tape having measurement indicia thereon and an end member; said end member further comprising a tab and entryway, said entryway adapted to accept therethrough said flag staff portion; said tab further comprising a notch therealong; said tab and said notch adapted to bear against said flag staff portion as said measuring tape is extended from said tape measure.

3. The portable kit of claim 1, wherein: said at least one pair of flags further comprises eighteen start flags and eighteen target flags.

4. The portable kit of claim 1, wherein: said game balls further comprise a hard outer shell and a weighted interior.

5. The portable kit of claim 1, further comprising at least one clipboard adapted to support said score sheets and at least one writing utensil.

7. A method of playing a toss golf game from the kit of claim 1, comprising the steps of: securing said start flags and said target flags on a playing surface to define a game play area; assigning one set of said game balls to each of a plurality of players, wherein each of said players has one set thereof; each of said plurality of players tossing said game balls a predetermined number of times towards one of said target flags and within said game play area; permitting each of said balls to come to roll to a stop upon said playing surface; measuring a radial distance from said target flag using said tape measure to each game ball; assigning a numerical value to each player based on the measured distance of a player's assigned ball from said target flag.

8. A method as recited in claim 7, wherein said game ball is measured immediately after said toss and subsequently removed from said playing surface prior to a next player's toss.

9. A method as recited in claim 7, wherein said game balls are kept on said playing surface between said turns, such that tossed game balls may collide with other game balls, resulting in repositioning of game balls.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a Continuation in Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/046,486 filed on Mar. 11, 2011, now pending, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/312,787 filed on Mar. 11, 2010. The patent applications identified above are incorporated here by reference in its entirety to provide continuity of disclosure.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to outdoor recreational games. More specifically, the present invention relates to a hand toss golf game with a scoring system that rewards hand toss accuracy and one that can be set up in any outdoor location.

The traditional game of golf is an enjoyable outdoor activity and sport that many enjoy. However, there are significant obstacles to participating in the game of golf, including acquiring the necessary equipment to play (e.g. golf clubs, balls, tees, etc.) as well as the high degree of skill required to play this game. For these reasons, the game of golf may not be suited for everyone, and particularly for those that wish to play a shorter and less formal game that is both enjoyable and more inclusive.

A game more readily playable by all types of players and skill levels is the game of bocce ball. This game includes tossing balls at a target ball with the goal of having one's own balls closest to the target ball after all players in a turn have completed their tosses. This game is both relaxing and an enjoyable outdoor activity that requires little equipment and little experience to participate.

The present invention contemplates a new and novel outdoor toss game that combines the elements of the game of golf with the elements of bocce ball. The rules of the game allow users to set up outdoor courses of their own creation, encouraging creative freedom and imaginative placement of targets and starting locations. Flags are utilized to locate starting locations and target locations, while the scoring of the game is similar to that of the game of golf and bocce ball, wherein the closest toss receives the lowest score and a measuring tool is provided for measuring closely positioned balls after their toss relative to the target flag. Courses may be as easy or as challenging as players desire. It can be played on any open, outdoor space, and it is ideal for children or adults of virtually any age.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Devices have been disclosed in the prior art that relate to outdoor games and toss games of varying type. These include devices that have been patented and published in patent application publications, which generally relate to more complex structures or different rules of play. The following is a list of devices deemed most relevant to the present disclosure, which are herein described for the purposes of highlighting and differentiating the unique aspects of the present invention, and further highlighting the drawbacks existing in the prior art.

One such game in the prior art is U.S. Pat. No. 5,575,483 to Dineen, which describes a game in which a transportable golf toss game is disclosed involving tossable bean bags and target receptacles. Several players compete to toss their bags into the receptacles in the least amount of tosses. Another device of the prior art is U.S. Patent Publication No. 2004/0108652 to Vaden, which describes a game involving tossing of objects into opposing target receptacles. This game pits two opponents or teams of opponents against one another, with each team taking turns tossing their objects into the opposing team's receptacles. The Dineen and the Vaden games, while involving a tossed object during gameplay, involve the use of a receptacle and a scoring system that rewards sinking the tossed objects into the receptacle. The present invention does not contemplate either a buried or above ground receptacle, as the former is harmful to the landscape and the latter is not required by the rules of the present invention, which rely on proximity rather than tossing an object into a defined receptacle.

Another device in the prior art is U.S. Pat. No. 6,367,797 to McKenna-Cress, which describes an alternative to the standard method of playing golf, wherein players utilize their hands to “flick” or “nudge” a rubber ball into a cup rather than using a golf club, putter and a traditional golf ball. The course is considerably shortened as compared to the present invention, and furthermore involves the use of buried receptacles as target locations.

Finally, U.S. Patent Publication 2007/0262518 to Lapinski describes an alternative set of rules for playing golf, in which golf equipment is combined with the rules of bocce ball. Players compete to putt a set of balls toward a target location using a golf club putter. Each ball may be used to get closer to the target, to strike another ball in order to improve one's own ball relative to the target, or to knock an opposing player's ball farther from the target location. The closest ball is scored, along with any of the same player's balls next closest before encountering an opposing ball. While combining the concepts of bocce and golf putting, the Lapinski game fails to disclose the gameplay of the present invention, which contemplates a tossing game between a starting and target flag to determine the lowest scoring player in that round, thereafter tallying scores over several rounds to determine a winner.

Each of the prior art patents describe games of varying difficulty, with differing elements and rules of play. They provide a fresh take on the rules and skills required to play a game similar to traditional golf. However, these patents differ from the disclosed invention in several ways, including the rules of play and the elements of the game. The disclosed game and game equipment is directed to a hand-toss game with a start flag and a target flag. One or more participants toss a large diameter ball from the start flag towards the target flag, with the goal of coming as close to the target flag as possible. A measuring tape is used to determine the shortest distance after initial throw, especially in those situations where two opposing player's game balls are very close in distance to the target flag radially. One start and one target flag is provided for each round of the game, with the game lasting any number of rounds up to eighteen.

The closest ball to the target flag in any radial direction is given the lowest score per round, continuing outward from the target flag to the last player's ball. Scores are recorded and tallied after the each round, with the cumulative score being calculated after the final round. The player with the lowest overall score is crowned the winner. The intent of the game is to introduce players of all ages and skill levels to the joys of golf, while utilizing a simpler method of moving the ball along the course. The game eliminates the high degree of difficulty and amount of practice required to master the skills of golf, and invites players of all ages and skill levels to participate.

The games in the prior art also describe games in which objects are tossed toward a target, however most involve a receptacle in which the targets are required to enter before scoring can be calculated. Others require opposing teams that compete to fill a respective receptacle with a tossed object. The present invention describes a game of distance, which requires skill of tossing and consideration for the surface conditions during play. A cup or basket is not required for scoring purposes. The bocce golf game of Lapinski describes a distance game; however this game involves several balls which are putted using a traditional golf putter as opposed to a single object tossed toward a target by hand. While all of the prior art games introduce a fresh alternative to the outdoor game of golf, their rules, structure and game play differ from the disclosed invention.

It is submitted that the present invention substantially diverges in steps and gameplay elements from the prior art, and consequently it is clear that there is a need in the art for an improvement to existing toss golf games and associated equipment. In this regard the instant invention substantially fulfills these needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of hand toss games now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new hand toss game wherein the same can be utilized for providing the user with an entertaining and modular game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an entertaining hand toss game with rules similar to golf, in which distance from a target flag is measured to determine the most accurate player.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a game for one or more players, involving up to eighteen rounds with a start flag and target flag, a tape measure for distance determination, and a scoring tablet for recording scores.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a game that incorporates the joys of playing a golf-type game without the rigid rules and specialized skills associated with its game play.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself and manner in which it may be made and used may be better understood after a review of the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like numeral annotations are provided throughout.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the toss golf game in progress, wherein a player is tossing a game ball from one flag location to another.

FIG. 2 shows the contemplated kit of game play elements of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a view of the contemplated measuring tape provided in the game kit of the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows a close-up view of the contemplated measuring tape provided in the game kit of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference is made herein to the attached drawings. Like reference numerals are used throughout the drawings to depict like or similar elements of the hand toss game of the present invention. For the purposes of presenting a brief and clear description of the present invention, the preferred embodiment will be discussed as used for entertainment purposes between a group of players using balls and targets placed in an outdoor environment. The figures are intended for representative purposes only and should not be considered to be limiting in any respect.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of the toss golf game in progress, wherein a player 11 is tossing a game ball 12 from one flag location to another. A plurality of flags are deployed in an outdoor environment and located by the users in any unique pattern or layout, wherein a pair of flags represents one round of play. The pair of flags includes a start flag 13 and a target flag 14, wherein the game ball is tossed from the start flag 13 towards a corresponding target flag 14 having the same round number on the flag material 17 itself. The layout of a theoretical course (position of each target and start flag) is determined by the user and visualized in the background of FIG. 1. A start flag 13 and a target flag 14 are provided for each round of play, in which a plurality of players 11 toss a game ball 12 towards the target flag in an attempt to have their ball 12 settle closest to the target flag. The distance between the start flange and target flag 15 will determine the difficulty of each round and the necessary distance each player's toss must cover.

The toss golf game preferably provides a set of eighteen start flags and eighteen target flags, which define rounds of play and are spread over a given outdoor area. The distance and terrain chosen for each round are determined by the players, and may vary depending on skill level and desired difficulty. Those terrains with mixed vegetation types or undulating playing surfaces may require increased skill to master, and may intrigue different types of players. While flat or homogeneous surfaces may be preferred by others. In this way, the game play can be enhanced or changed by choosing different locations and distances between flags to setup the game and boost competition between participants.

During game play, the players may choose different game play embodiments depending upon player preferences. The overall goal is to toss the game ball 12 from the start flag 13 towards the target flag 14, one player at a time, with the goal of placing one's own ball 12 closest in distance 15 to the target flag. Embodiments of the game play include measuring the distance of each player's toss independently, and removing that toss from the playing surface prior to the next player making their attempt. Alternatively the players may choose to allow collisions between game balls in order to alter the resting point of a previous player's toss. This embodiment of the rules may add or detract from game play, depending on player preference. Players may also restrict each other from hitting one another's game balls once those balls have been tossed onto the playing surface. Collisions in this embodiment of the game may constitute a foul. The foul could manifest itself in a distance penalty or other similar sanction. Not being able to hit another player's game ball increases difficulty for later-tossed game balls. Careful planning may be required and even involved trick shots that require side spin or backspin to limit surface roll during a toss. Height of toss may also be a consideration with these types of rules.

If a larger course is desired, the participants may elect an embodiment of the game that includes stroke play. In this embodiment, multiple tosses are required to reach the target flag. The spot of a previous toss becomes the start point of a player's next toss. This increases the complexity and length of each round. However, the preferred embodiment of the game includes eighteen rounds and one toss per round per player, and a measurement of distance 15 from the target flag to determine scoring.

Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown the contemplated kit of game play elements of the present invention. The kit preferably comprises a plurality of flags 10 composed of eighteen start flags and eighteen target flags. These flags 10 may be different colors; however each start flag has a corresponding target flag, wherein the corresponding pair includes the same number indicia thereon between one to eighteen to designate a round number for the given pair. Also included in the kit is a score sheet or paid of score sheets 53, a clipboard 52, writing utensils 51 (pen or pencil, etc.), and a tape measure 60. There is further included a plurality of game balls 12 for two or more players to utilize. Each player may have one or more game balls 12 that are color coordinated, wherein at least two different colors are contemplated among the game balls 12 provided. In this way, the game kit may be comprised of several balls for each player, wherein those several balls are used by several different players during the game. In one embodiment, two sets of color coordinated balls are provided such that two players each have two balls to play per round. Finally, it is contemplated that the kit will be sold and transported using a carrying bag 50 or duffle bag. The bag 50 is suited for storing and carrying the flags 10, score sheets 53 and clipboard 52, writing utensils 51, tape measure 60, and the game balls 12 therein.

The tape measure of the present invention is used to determine the distance of each player's game ball 12 from a target flag after each round to determine the winner of each round. The measurement is taken between the base of the target flag to the nearest game ball in any radial direction with regard to the target flag. In the preferred embodiment of the game, the scoring is ranked in sequential order from closest to the farthest measurement. The closest tossed ball receives the lowest score, increasing as the distance of each ball increases radially from the target flag. At the end of each round, the scores are recorded on the tablet, and at the end of all rounds, the scores are calculated to determine the lowest cumulative score. The player with the lowest cumulative score is crowned first place, second lowest being second place, and so on. In an alternative embodiment of the game play, the scoring can proceed similar to bocce ball, wherein the closest balls to the target flag are each accorded a point, up to the closest ball location of the opponent. In this embodiment, multiple points can be gathered from each round and the winner is determined based on the highest overall score after all rounds of player.

The toss game of the present invention may be played by any number of players, although one to four players is ideal. The order of play may be determined by the order of each player's toss from a previous round. For instance, for a given round, the player with the lowest score will toss first in the next round, continuing downward from first place. The rules of order may also be updated to reflect the different embodiments of the rules. If players are permitted to knock each other's game balls on the pitch, then being last to toss may be the most advantageous. In this embodiment, the first place toss from one round may wish to go last in the next round. Alternatively, if the rules are set that each player may not contact other players' game balls on the pitch, it may be advantageous to toss first. In any embodiment, the first place toss from a previous round should gain the most advantageous starting point in the next round.

The game balls themselves are large diameter, weighted spheres that allow easy tossing for players of all ages. The balls may be smooth in nature or have a given texture, and the color of each ball may differ to allow differentiation between different players' game balls on the pitch. The exact size of the game balls may be several inches in diameter, and the interior structure may be of any suitable material to allow for adequate weight. The exterior shell of the balls may be constructed of a hard material to prevent denting of the ball when contacting hard surfaces or other game balls in play. The exact specification of the game balls may vary.

All items are stored in the convenient carrying bag 50, including the start flags and target flags, game balls and scoring tablet. This allows all aspects of the game set-up to be easily transported to a location that allows for the rounds of play to be placed over a large, open area.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, there is shown a view of the contemplated measuring tape 60 provided in the game kit of the present invention. The tape measure 60 comprises a length of measuring tape 61 with measurement indicia thereon and an end member 62 that is adapted to secure to the staff portion 16 of the target flag. The tape measure 60 is provided in the game kit of the present invention such that accurate measurements from the target flag 10 to nearby game balls 12 can be taken if several players' balls are located closely thereto. The end portion 62 of the tape measure comprises an entryway 64 that is adapted to accept the diameter of the flag staff portion 16 therethrough. Adjacent to the entryway 64 is a tab 62 having a notch 63 therein. The staff portion 16 of the flag is inserted through the entryway, whereafter the notch 63 of the tab 62 can bear thereagainst as the measuring tape 61 is extended from the tape measure 60. In this way, the user does not have to extend the tape measure manually from the game ball location, but rather can utilize the flag staff portion as an anchor to extend the measuring tape 61 as the user walks towards the game ball locations. This also ensures accurate measurements are taken, wherein the same reference location is utilized for each measurement, which is the flag staff portion center. The close-up view of FIG. 4 highlights this arrangement.

Returning to the method of play of the present game, FIG. 5 shows the contemplated steps for each round of play. At the start of the game, the users secure the flag positions 70 in an outdoor space. The number of rounds can be determined during this step and the distance between each start flag and target flag. Next, the players are assigned 71 their game balls. Generally each player receives one or more game balls of a coordinated color. This distinguishes each player's game ball after all are tossed toward the target flag. At the commencement of each round, the starting player tosses 72 his or her game balls, wherein the players alternate until each has thrown all of their allotted game balls. Measurement 74 of the closest game ball or set of game balls can then occur once all of the game balls have been tossed 72 and allowed to settle 73 into a static position. The measuring tape is utilized from the target flag to determine the closest game ball thereto, wherein a score is then assigned to that player who is closest thereto. The scoring system may take on several embodiments, as described above. The scoring is marked using the score sheet and writing utensil of the kit, whereafter the users repeat 76 this game play in the next round (subsequent start/target flag location). Once all rounds are complete, the scores are tallied to determine the winning player.

Overall, the toss golf game of the present invention is designed to attract all age groups and all skill levels to the traditional golf style game, in which players are rewarded for accuracy with respect to a given target. The game may be setup in any outdoor area, promoting exercise and outdoor activity without the rigidity and high skill level associated with the game of golf.

It is therefore submitted that the instant invention has been shown and described in what is considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments. It is recognized, however, that departures may be made within the scope of the invention and that obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art. With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.