Easy To Use Patents Search & Patent Lawyer Directory

At Patents you can conduct a Patent Search, File a Patent Application, find a Patent Attorney, or search available technology through our Patent Exchange. Patents are available using simple keyword or date criteria. If you are looking to hire a patent attorney, you've come to the right place. Protect your idea and hire a patent lawyer.


Search All Patents:



  This Patent May Be For Sale or Lease. Contact Us

  Is This Your Patent? Claim This Patent Now.



Register or Login To Download This Patent As A PDF




United States Patent Application 20160213989
Kind Code A1
FRISTACZKI; Laszlo July 28, 2016

BALL GAME AND APPARATUS

Abstract

For a ball game of the football type, a structured goal having a rigid surface that has a hemispherical outline and includes multiple colored zones for graded scoring purposes is provided, together with a layout for a playing field or pitch that limits player access near the goal by team, and a set of rules. The rigid goal lets the ball bounce back. For scoring purposes the zones may be equipped with individual zone impact-indicating means such as bells, electrical transducers, nearby cameras, or be supported on hinged mounts in order to show an impact by movement. The layout, the rules and the goal structure are intended to provide a faster game with higher score numbers.


Inventors: FRISTACZKI; Laszlo; (Auckland, NZ)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

FRISTACZKI; Laszlo

Auckland

NZ
Family ID: 1000001672947
Appl. No.: 15/008944
Filed: January 28, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63B 63/004 20130101
International Class: A63B 63/00 20060101 A63B063/00

Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Jan 28, 2015NZ704209

Claims



1. Apparatus including a goal structure and a set of rules for a ball game to be played on a playing field having a horizontal field surface, in which the players of each of two competing teams endeavour to collect a higher score than the other team by directing a ball at one of two goals while defending their own goal; wherein the goal structure presents a semicircular player surface toward the playing field; a diameter of the semicircle is placed upon the field surface and an upper edge of the goal is extended upward while physically supported at a selected angle or tilt relative to the field surface, the semicircular player surface comprises a plurality of colored and visually distinctive concentric zones symmetric within the scoring face; each zone having a designated value to be added to the team's score if hit by the ball after an acceptable sequence of play as determined by the set of rules has taken place; said set of rules allocating a higher score to a more central zone of the player surface.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the set of rules is optimised for a game in which a conventional football is kicked at the goal and the selected angle or tilt provides that the upper edge is further from the field than the lower surface.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the selected angle or tilt is an included angle of 70 degrees from the flat surface.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein each goal presents a series of three concentric zones upon the semicircular player surface.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein the or each goal is comprised of a rigid wooden playing surface supported in position by a support frame; the playing surface having an inertia in order to cause the ball to be reflected back toward the players after hitting the playing surface.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5, wherein the set of rules defines a symmetrical playing field having a perimeter with, in plan view, an outline comprised of two semicircles separated by a rectangular middle portion; each of the goals being located beyond a periphery of each semicircle and separated from the playing field by a marked goal zone from which all players are excluded; each goal being surrounded by two part-circular playing field markings centered upon the goal; a closer part-circular marking defining a closest limit for a player from the attacking team and a farther part-circular marking defining a closest position from which a player can claim the higher score from a ball kicked at the goal.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6, wherein at least one zone of the playing surface of the or each goal is provided with at least one identifiable ball-impact sensing means selected from a range including: acoustic means, electrical transducer means, optical sensing means including video cameras, and mechanical means permitting temporary physical deflection of the zone upon impact; the means thereby demonstrating which zone has received the ball impact.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 7, wherein at least one electrical transducer is connected by wire or wireless means to readout means selected from a range including lights within the player surface of the goal, a referee display and a scoreboard.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein dedicated analysis means is connected in between said at least one electrical transducer and the readout means; said dedicated analysis means including digital computing means.

10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein the readout means is configured to display the location of the impact upon a displayed image of the player surface of the or each goal.

11. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 particularly adapted for use by children, wherein the or each goal structure is comprised of a series of semi-circular flexible membranes each delimiting a zone and capable when in use of being supported around at least the perimeter of the semicircle by adherent flexible and distendable pressurisable tubes each or collectively including valved connecting means capable of receiving an outlet from a source of air under pressure.

12. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the set of rules and the goal is optimised for a game in which a conventional hockey ball is directed by control or impact by hockey sticks and the selected angle provides that the upper edge is closer to the field than the lower surface.

13. Apparatus as claimed in claim 9, wherein the readout means is configured to display the location of the impact upon a displayed image of the player surface of the or each goal.
Description



FIELD

[0001] The invention relates to ball games and related equipment and rules, particularly to goals and fields for use by competing teams.

DEFINITIONS

[0002] "Football": The popular team sport sometimes known as "soccer" or "Association Football"--typically using a spherical ball. (This invention may be used with rugby balls or American footballs).

[0003] "Diving": When players of a sport employ acting skills to gain advantageous decisions from a referee or umpire.

BACKGROUND

[0004] The "beautiful game" of football is a popular hobby and spectator sport. The inventor intends to overcome some disadvantages of the game of football as it is played or performed at present. The following are some perceived disadvantages. While the invention as described in this specification may never replace the present game, it may provide a rewarding alternative.

[0005] Firstly, scoring in football is relatively infrequent, with common scores in national and international matches being low integers close to or equal to zero. For example, 1-0, 1-1, or a 0-0 scoreless draw and in some cases a "penalty shootout" is required, which tests different skills to those of team work. As a result of the low scores there is less opportunity to differentiate the performance of one team against others than if the scores could range up to perhaps 50 or even 100 from a game of equivalent length. Field hockey is another example of a low-scoring type of game.

[0006] Secondly, football matches often involve extended periods of defensive play, reducing enjoyment for players and spectators.

[0007] Thirdly, the conduct of football players at higher levels of the game can be unsportsmanlike, creating a negative atmosphere for players and fans. One example is the practice of "taking a dive" or "diving", where players pretend to be injured or impeded by the other side to gain favourable rulings from a referee. This undermines the integrity of the game and rules, and emphasises acting rather than ball-control skills. "Diving" can unjustly sway the outcome of a game, for example where a penalty shot on goal is awarded.

[0008] Fourthly, the physical design of basic goal structures being two poles embedded in the playing field and joined by a crossbar, supporting an optional net, is not inherently strong because it lacks cross-bracing.

[0009] In summary, the rules and apparatus of football make it relatively hard to score in open running play, although relatively easy to score from penalty shots. This can encourage a negative approach to the game.

PRIOR ART REVIEW

[0010] The prior art classified under CPC class A63B includes US2004018897 (Nelson) in which the rules of play, but not the goal structures, are altered in order to enhance the game which is for two players only. US558338 (Taub) describes a goal having a net providing a planned rebound trajectory although it provides no zones over a player surface. U.S. Pat. No. 4,852,889 (Tomczak) describes a football type game having a net across the median line of the field and the entire with of the ends the field are return panels providing a controlled rebound trajectory. FR2750873 provides a pyramidal structure having a circular aperture within for receiving an accurately kicked ball, and some rules. FR2850290 (Boua) describes a block to be placed on a transverse bar of a conventional football goal in order to define a target zone, for practice purposes. GB2387786 (O'Connor) describes a football game making use of lighting for the players' apparel and for pitch markings.

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED

[0011] In comparison to football as currently played, this invention comprising a combination of a zoned goal structure, a set of rules and preferably also a marked field, is intended to overcome the previously described problems and allow higher-scoring matches, and to reward kicking or hitting skills and positive goal-seeking play.

OBJECT

[0012] An object of the present application is to provide a goal structure and a set of accompanying rules for use in ball sports, or at least to provide the public with a useful choice.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0013] In a first broad aspect the invention provides apparatus namely a goal structure, and provides a procedure comprising a marked playing field or pitch having a field surface and a related set of rules for a ball game in which the players of each of two competing teams endeavour to collect a higher score than the other team while defending their own goal; wherein the goal structure presents a semicircular player surface toward the playing field; a diameter of the semicircle is placed upon the field surface and an upper edge of the goal is extended upward while physically supported at a selected angle or tilt relative to the field surface, the semicircular player surface comprises a plurality of colored and visually distinctive concentric zones symmetric within the scoring face; each zone having a designated value to be added to the team's score if hit by the ball after an acceptable sequence of play as determined by the set of rules has taken place; said set of rules allocating a higher score to a more central zone of the player surface.

[0014] Preferably each zone is allocated a designated value if hit by the ball from at least a designated range after an acceptable sequence of play, or a greater value if hit from a farther distance, as determined by the set of rules and markings on the playing field, thereby adding to the score of the team.

[0015] Preferably the game does not allow the ball to be handled except at throwins.

[0016] In a major aspect, the set of rules is optimised for a game in which a conventional spherical football (association football) is kicked at the goal and the selected tilt provides that the upper edge is further from the field than the lower surface.

[0017] Preferably the selected tilt is an included angle of 70 degrees from the flat surface.

[0018] Preferably the goal presents a series of three concentric zones upon the semicircular player surface.

[0019] In one option a centre zone is colored red, a middle zone is white, and an outer zone is blue.

[0020] In a related aspect, the or each goal is comprised of a rigid wooden playing surface supported in position by a support frame; the rigid playing surface having a mass in order to provide sufficient inertia to cause the ball to be reflected back toward the players after hitting the playing surface.

[0021] Optionally the playing surface includes a force-absorbing property in order that the ball is reflected with loss of kinetic energy, and hence a reduced velocity.

[0022] Optionally each of the concentric zones is mechanically at least partially isolated from adjacent zones in order that, when in use, scores are more clearly identified by zone.

[0023] Further optionally, the or each goal may include means to provide an obvious physical deflection upon receiving an impact from a ball thereby providing a dampening effect.

[0024] In a second major aspect, the set of rules defines a symmetrical field having a perimeter with, in plan view, an outline comprised of two semicircles separated by a rectangular middle portion; each of the goals being located beyond a periphery of each semicircle and separated from the playing field by a marked goal zone from which all players are excluded; each goal being surrounded by two part-circular playing field markings centered upon the goal; a closer part-circular marking defining a closest limit for a player from the attacking team and a farther part-circular marking defining a closest position from which a player can claim the higher score from a ball kicked at the goal.

[0025] In a related aspect, at least one zone of the playing surface of the or each goal is provided with at least one identifiable ball-impact sensing means selected from a range including: acoustic means, electrical transducer means, optical sensing means including video cameras, and means permitting temporary physical deflection of the zone upon impact; the means thereby demonstrating which zone has received the ball impact.

[0026] Preferred acoustic means are selected from a range including bells of various sizes, gongs, chimes, rattles, snare-drum chains, and other mechanisms which, when in use, create a distinctive noise on impact that may be related by players to a specific zone.

[0027] Preferably the deflection means provides that each scoring zone may be hinged substantially at ground level, so that each scoring zone will tend to swing backwards when hit by a ball at speed, allowing visual identification of the scoring zone or zones which have been hit.

[0028] Optionally, each hinged scoring zone has a gradual return mechanism which returns the scoring zone to its original position after a delay.

[0029] In a subsidiary aspect, at least one electrical transducer mounted behind and in mechanical contact with at least one zone is connected by wires or wireless means to readout means selected from a range including lights within the player surface of the goal, a referee display and a remote scoreboard.

[0030] Preferably electrically transduced score-indicating means are selected from a range including electronically triggered sounds, lights, audiovisual broadcast, computer-generated reconstructions including visual reconstructions of ball impacts with goal surfaces, and updating of visible scoreboards.

[0031] In one version an electronic circuit including timers causes an array of embedded light-emitting diodes within any one zone of the player surface and visible from the playing area to flash for a short period after an impact has been detected.

[0032] Optionally, dedicated analysis means is connected in between said at least one electrical transducer and the readout means; said dedicated analysis means including digital computing means capable when in use of determining which zone received an impact from a ball and including decision means to define a score if the impact was received across a boundary between zones.

[0033] Preferably the readout means will display the location of the impact upon a reproduced image of the player surface of the goal upon the referee display and upon the remote scoreboard.

[0034] In a second broad aspect the invention provides a goal structure adapted for use by children; wherein the or each goal is comprised of a series of semi-circular flexible membranes each delimiting a zone and semicircular membrane support means.

[0035] Preferably the semicircular membrane support means comprises adherent sealed, flexible and distendable pressurisable tubes each including one-way valves capable of receiving an outlet from a source of air under pressure.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0036] The description of the invention to be provided herein is given purely by way of example and is not to be taken in any way as limiting the scope or extent of the invention.

[0037] Throughout this specification unless the text requires otherwise, the word "comprise" and variations such as "comprising" or "comprises" will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated integer or step or group of integers or steps but not the exclusion of any other integer or step or group of integers or steps. Each document, reference, patent application or patent cited in this text is expressly incorporated herein in their entirety by reference. Reference to cited material or information cited in the text should not be understood as a concession that the material or information was part of the common general knowledge or was known in New Zealand or in any other country.

DRAWINGS

[0038] FIG. 1: shows a player's view of the goal structure.

[0039] FIG. 2a: shows a side view of the goal including a strut to set a tilt.

[0040] FIG. 2b shows a side view of a goal in which the different zones are offset in surface height.

[0041] FIG. 2c shows a spring-loaded hinge by which the zones of the goal structure can be pivotably attached to the beam.

[0042] FIG. 3: shows a playing field which may be used with the goal.

[0043] FIG. 4: shows an example electric "score-indicator" flashing-lights circuit diagram.

[0044] FIG. 5: is a perspective view of a version of the goal structure that is reliant on air pressure for its erection.

EXAMPLE 1A

Goal Structure

[0045] A goal structure according to the invention provides three scoring zones arranged concentrically. (Other numbers of zones may be used). The inventor has applied his trade mark "LAASGOAL.TM." to the goal structure. See FIG. 1, showing the overall semicircular shape of the goal (100) as seen from a front view, uncluttered by supports. The base or diameter of the semicircle is located substantially in the same plane as the surface of the playing field--although for some sports the goal may be elevated and circular rather than a half-circle. For football played by a team of adults the height of the top edge of the goal above the playing field is about one and a half metres (5 feet) and the diameter is about 3 metres (10 feet). There is a player surface, facing into the playing field. In a preferred version there are three concentric zones: a first inner scoring zone (121), second intermediate scoring zone (122), and third outer scoring zone (123) and all are supported upon the ground by a suitable frame (example: pipe 110). Preferably each goal structure is easily folded up for storage in an adjacent shed or for transport.

[0046] The different zones are colored with paint or an equivalent, or by use of colored material and preferably the inner zone is colored red; the middle zone is colored white, and the outer zone is colored blue. This selection suits those players with red/green color blindness and coincides with availability of high-brightness light emitting diodes (see below). For scoring purposes a higher value is allocated to the central zone of the player surface since that one requires the best accuracy in kicking. That higher value is multiplied by the distance over which the kick was made, reflecting greater accuracy yet with no interception by the other side.

[0047] The inventor's intention is that contact with any one scoring zone will be indicated unequivocally (see below) although there will be occasions in which the ball hits on a border between zones. Since the ball is not held within a net a form of "event capture" is useful. Recognition of the precise nature of the contact may be aided by constructional features or by electrical or acoustic transducers. See later in this section.

[0048] The or each goal (100) is comprised of a rigid playing surface (as zones; 121, 122, 123). If necessary it is supported in position by rigid members selected from a range including straight and curved beams, and one or more angled struts (124) extended from the rear optionally anchored into the ground with pegs in order to absorb substantial kinetic energy and allow the mass of the goal itself to be substantially reduced. Since it is intended that the ball is reflected back to the players after a score is made, the playing surface preferably has significant inertia in order that the goal is not damaged by impact and in order that the resilient ball bounces off and is reflected back toward the players after hitting the playing surface. For example the surface may be wooden, such as a multi-layered plywood which has mass and is stiff enough that an impact is "shared" horizontally.

[0049] It may prove to be desirable that some of the kinetic energy of the kicked ball is dissipated within a force-dampening means in order that the ball is reflected with a reduced velocity. One example force-dampening means comprises a deformable perhaps pitted surface in a rubbery coating upon the player surface; also, a selected surface may tend to grip the ball.

[0050] Preferably the selected tilt is an included angle of 70 degrees from the flat surface with the top of the goal farther from the playing field, as shown in FIG. 2a. As a result, returned balls fly at a higher angle. On the other hand this effect could be dangerous if the goal was used for example in a field hockey game and for such games the tilt angle might be complementary to 70 degrees--tilted forward at the top. In FIG. 2a, a vertical cross-section of the goal structure, a support frame includes the frame, as a bar or pipe (110) joined to the lower edge of each scoring zone, with an extended strut (112) lying upon the ground located at an angle from the bar sufficient to keep the goal (100) at a desired orientation. As illustrated, the goal face is at an angle of substantially 70.degree. from horizontal, sloping away from the field of play. This could be varied, for example by using a spiralling series of screw apertures drilled and tapped into bar (110) and letting the users select which aperture to insert the strut 112 (here shown with a screw end screwed into the pipe 110) into for a desired angle of tilt and a given softness of ground.

[0051] Ideally, ball impact with any one scoring zone should be unequivocally displayed and preferably over a short period of time after actual impact. There are several options for putting this requirement into effect which shall be described under Example 1B below.

[0052] In one structure-related option as shown in FIG. 2b, each of the concentric zones 121, 122 and 123 is mechanically isolated from adjacent zones upon a rear support 125 in order that, when in use, an impact on one zone has a specific physical effect on that zone alone. For example, the second scoring zone (122) may be mounted slightly further from the players than the first and third scoring zones (121, 123). Alternatively each zone may be hingedly mounted on the frame 110 and shown in detail in FIG. 2c.

EXAMPLE 1B

Scoring Indicators

[0053] An example of mechanical means to provide an obvious physical falling-back deflection by any one zone upon receiving an impact from a ball and thereby also providing a dampening effect comprise the additional structures of (A) a hinge (113) at each end of the contact between bar (110) and any one sector, plus a return spring (114) associated with the bar and the impacted sector that pushes the attached sector back and restores its intended tilt after an impact. The resulting motion would last long enough to be seen by players and the referee. The cross-section of FIG. 2c is made at a different place along bar than FIG. 2a, and is shown in a larger scale.

[0054] Optionally, each hinged scoring zone has a damper attached (not shown) which prevents oscillation and provides a gradual return of the zone to its original position during a time.

[0055] Non-mechanical means that may also be fitted to a goal having multiple scoring zones include: [0056] 1. Acoustic impact indicators fitted to each separate scoring zone. Each zone is associated with a distinct noise, which is reliably and simply created by impact of a ball with the zone. Selected scoring zones may be equipped with simple noise making devices (not illustrated) such as bells, rattles, drums, snare-drum combinations, and chains. The bells, in particular, may be selected by tune so that people can identify the score by the sound. Some scoring zones may be left without extra noise making devices. [0057] 2. Each scoring zone is equipped with one or more electrical or electronic impact sensors--a single axis is sufficient--selected from an example range including (a) microswitches (402) each having a weight (401) on a free end of an actuating lever, (b) moving-coil speakers, and (c) accelerometers including digitally compatible modules containing accelerometer chips. Of course any such device is inherently robust when encased in a housing. The device and is mounted on the surface opposite the player surface. The impact of a ball on a scoring zone will then result in an impact signal being generated. Each sensor produces its own characteristic signal. [0058] a. For a microswitch as shown in the circuit of FIG. 4, closure of the normally-open contacts caused by vibration affecting the weight 401 will ground a signal line that is otherwise pulled to a working voltage supplied from a battery through a resistor (403) or other current limiting means. The signal line can trigger a timer circuit (assuming a 555 integrated circuit (404), for which only some of the ancillary components are shown here) connected in a "one-shot configuration" to generate a current to drive a steady or a blinking light for a period of time set by capacitor 405. For example, three seconds. The output of part 404 is taken to a second 555 integrated circuit (406) configured as an oscillator at a rate of for example 200 mS although prevented from oscillating unless part 404 is at the time in a timing process. The output of part 406 is either directly or through current boosting means passed through an array of light-emitting diodes 409. These are mounted within the player surface for example by being pushed from the rear of the zone into 5 mm holes drilled in a pattern so that their free ends are visible from the player side. The lights 409 are preferably of a color matching that of the zone in which they are embedded, such as red, white and blue lights--or it may be sufficient to provide the circuit for the innermost zone only as a kind of operant conditioning to encourage kicking accuracy. While this device, illustrated diagrammatically only in FIG. 4, is more complex than the direct acoustic means, it provides a kind of "bling" that may drive acceptance of the invention. It is powered from a battery connected between the (+) line and the earth symbol. The result as seen is a train of flashes lasting for a total of for example three seconds. [0059] b. A moving-coil speaker used as a generator is a single-axis transducer of motion. Its response is linear with respect to impact amplitude which may assist a computerised score generating device to decide which zone has been hit. The signal line can drive a timer circuit as previously described through an amplifier; for example comprising a transistor connected in the common-base configuration with the speaker coil capacitatively coupled to the emitter. [0060] c. In a practical installation, direct transducer signals or derivations of them may be transmitted by a wireless link to a remote receiver, which may be (i) a cellphone carried by a referee, or (ii) a receiver connected through optional computing and score-keeping means to appropriate display drivers which control a fixed scoreboard that the spectators can see. For example, the scoreboard may show a representation of both teams' goals with the most recent impact highlighted and a running score adjacent. Of course, automation of scoring is likely to require human input that defines from where the goal had been kicked. Details of this type of interlink will be familiar to those skilled in the arts of scoreboard design and management. [0061] 3. Optical devices that are useful in order to monitor impacts include video cameras, and still cameras triggered by the actual impact.

EXAMPLE 2

Field and Rules

[0062] The inventor has attached his trade mark "LAASBALL.TM." to the game, as set down by the rules and as played with a zoned goal as previously described in this section. As is usual, a playing field allows use of the goal in a competitive game. See FIG. 3, where a symmetrical playing field (300) is shown in plan view. Preferably the outer perimeter of the field as seen in plan view has an outline comprised of two semicircles separated by a rectangular middle portion. Goals (100) are provided at each end of the field. Each of the goals (100) is located just outside a periphery of each semicircle. Each goal is the centre for two part-circular markings lines (321 and 322) made upon the surface of the field. In front of each goal is a goal area (310) inside the closest line marking which is intended to be always out of bounds for players during play. Players of either team within the goal area (310) are deemed to be "off-side". This creates a free area in front of each goal, encouraging attacking play and reducing the risk of players colliding with the goal. The line (321) is a boundary line for the attacking players, who may not cross. The defending players are allowed in the area between line (321) and the goal area. Line (322) is used, according to the rules, to weight a successful kick with more points. That line defines the closest edge of the higher-scoring part of the playing field or pitch, rewarding better kicking skills over a longer distance. The rules thereby encourage attacking play.

[0063] Example scoring for use with the three-zone goal as described in Example 1a provides scores as follows: [0064] 1. A strike from between lines 321 and 322 on the innermost zone scores three. [0065] 2. A strike from between lines 321 and 322 to the intermediate zone scores two. [0066] 3. A strike from between lines 321 and 322 to the outermost zone scores one. Then, [0067] 4. A strike on the innermost zone from beyond line 322 scores six. [0068] 5. A strike to the intermediate zone from beyond line 322 scores four. [0069] 6. A strike to the outermost zone from beyond line 322 scores two.

[0070] Preferably it is a rule of play that the ball must pass through a goal area in a valid scoring shot, to allow for reasonable opportunities to defend the goals. That is one reason why the perimeter of the playing area has rounded ends.

[0071] Other rules of play that the inventor would like to include are:

[0072] No "diving"--or a deduction of score against the team.

[0073] No verbal abuse especially of the referee--or a deduction of score against the team.

[0074] The extent of body contact allowed can be predetermined by the teams or others in order to enhance the competitive and exercise aspects of a game. A range might extend from "none at all" through intermediate levels to "rugby type contacts".

Variations

[0075] A variant of the invention is adapted for use by children (though not exclusively so; it might be used in practice.). This variant (see FIG. 5) may be useful for those who want to practice, or who have a limited space and a small number in their teams. This version could be used for kicking practice. The same concept of the goal is provided. The set of rules is adapted for use by children. For safety, storage and portability each goal (500) is comprised of a series of semi-circular flexible membranes and semicircular membrane support means; namely inflatable tubes, preferably assembled from flexible PVC plastics material using heat-sealing such as ultrasonic welding machines to construct the goal structure. Air pressure is used to erect the goal when it is needed. The overall height of this variant may be 0.5 metres. The semicircular, concentric zones (501, 502, 503) are comprised of cut plastics film. These will not have significant capacity to return an impacting ball. The membrane support means comprises one or more adherent sealed, flexible and sealed, distendable pressurisable tubes (504) bonded as previously described to the edges of the plastics zone shapes. One or more one-way valves (505) capable of receiving an outlet from a source of air under pressure are used to connect an air supply, or to release air. For a source of air pressure it may be possible to simply blow it up, or use a bicycle pump or a small electric pump. The valve (505) is used to hold the air under pressure until the goal structure has to be put away. This design is cheap and very safe for use by children. It is potentially colorful. It naturally resembles a rainbow; otherwise the same red, white and blue sequence as for full-size goal structures can be used. It may be used with water ball sports as a floating goal.

[0076] Other field games sharing a similar low-integer-score disadvantage with football include field hockey. The same goal structure, perhaps with a variation of the previously described tilt angle as appropriate for each game, may be used in order to enhance the game.

[0077] Finally it will be understood that the scope of this invention as described and/or illustrated herein is not limited to the specified embodiments. Those of skill will appreciate that various modifications, additions, known equivalents, and substitutions are possible without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as set forth in the following claims.

* * * * *

File A Patent Application

  • Protect your idea -- Don't let someone else file first. Learn more.

  • 3 Easy Steps -- Complete Form, application Review, and File. See our process.

  • Attorney Review -- Have your application reviewed by a Patent Attorney. See what's included.