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United States Patent Application 20170072299
Kind Code A1
Corthell; Daniel R March 16, 2017

System and Method for Playing a Game

Abstract

A system and method for playing a game. The table can be electronic or physical. The table has a game surface surrounded by two side rails and two end rails. The two end rails are approximately perpendicular to the two side rails. The table has at least one goal located on the downstream end of the table. The goal has at least one goal slot for receiving a puck which has been thrown. The table also has a scratch guard located upstream of the goal separating said game surface into a shooting zone and a field of play. The field of play is downstream from the shooting zone. A puck is thrown into the goal and scores are tabulated.


Inventors: Corthell; Daniel R; (The Colony, TX)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Corthell; Daniel R

The Colony

TX

US
Family ID: 1000001925076
Appl. No.: 14/854728
Filed: September 15, 2015


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63F 7/0005 20130101
International Class: A63F 7/00 20060101 A63F007/00

Claims



1. A table for playing a game, said table comprising: a game surface surrounded by two side rails and two end rails, wherein the two end rails are approximately perpendicular to the two side rails; at least one goal located on a downstream end of the table, wherein said at least one goal comprises a goal slot; a scratch guard located upstream of said goal separating said game surface into a shooting zone and a field of play, wherein said field of play is downstream from said shooting zone, wherein said scratch guard is separated from the game surface by a playing distance.

2. The table of claim 1 further comprising at least one puck, wherein the puck comprises a height which is less than said playing distance and which is sized to fit within said goal slot.

3. The table of claim 1 further comprising at least two goals, wherein said at least two goals further comprise a goal value.

4. The table of claim 3 wherein each of said goal values is dissimilar.

5. The table of claim 2 wherein said table has a width of about 2 feet, a length of about 4 feet, and wherein said puck comprises a diameter of about 2.25 inches.

6. A method of playing a game on a table, said table comprising: a game surface surrounded by two side rails and two end rails, wherein the two end rails are approximately perpendicular to the two side rails; at least one goal located on a downstream end of the table, wherein said at least one goal comprises a goal slot; a scratch guard located upstream of said goal separating said game surface into a shooting zone and a field of play; wherein said method comprises the following: a) shooting at least one puck and releasing said at least one puck upstream of the scratch guard; b) counting the number of pucks located within a goal; c) tabulating a score.

7. The method of claim 6 further comprising stacking wherein if a stacking quantity of pucks are located in a single goal, the pucks are stacked in a vertical stack.

8. The method of claim 7 further comprising a stack bonus.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein said stack bonus comprises a flat amount.

10. The method of claim 6 wherein each goal comprises a goal value, and wherein tabulating of step c) comprises multiplying the number of pucks within a goal by the goal value.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein said table comprises four goals with the first goal having a goal value of one, the second goal having a goal value of three, the third goal having a goal value of four, and the fourth goal having a goal value of 2.

12. The method of claim 6 wherein said goal comprises a goal line, and wherein said counting of step b) comprises counting only the pucks which are completely downstream from said goal line.

13. The method of claim 6 wherein said shooting comprises shooting 30 pucks.

14. The method of claim 6 wherein said shooting comprises shooting on an electronic table.

15. The method of claim 6 wherein said table is an electronic table.

16. The method of claim 6 wherein said field of play is downstream from said shooting zone, wherein said scratch guard is separated from the game surface by a playing distance.

17. The method of claim 6 wherein said table has a width of about 2 feet, a length of about 4 feet, wherein said puck comprises a diameter of about 2.25 inches, and wherein said scratch guard is located about 19 inches from a first end rail.

18. The method of claim 6 wherein said game surface is substantially planar.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] Technical Field

[0002] The present invention relates to a system and method for playing a game.

[0003] Description of Related Art

[0004] Games such as cornhole, pool, washers, etc. are increasing in popularity. However, one disadvantage is the amount of space these games require in order to be played. Consequently, it is desirable to have a game and system which is enjoyable to play and which requires less space.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, as well as a preferred mode of use, further objectives and advantages thereof, will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0006] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the game table in one embodiment;

[0007] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the goal slot in one embodiment;

[0008] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the goals in one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0009] Several embodiments of Applicant's invention will now be described with reference to the drawings. Unless otherwise noted, like elements will be identified by identical numbers throughout all figures. The invention illustratively disclosed herein suitably may be practiced in the absence of any element which is not specifically disclosed herein.

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the game table in one embodiment. While the game table 100 is depicted as being rectangular, this is for illustrative purposes only and should not be deemed limiting. The table can comprise virtually any shape including oval, circular, square, etc.

[0011] The game table 100 can comprise virtually any suitable material including wood, metal, polymers, plastics, etc. One embodiment utilizing wood will be discussed.

[0012] As depicted, the game table 100 comprises a game surface 100. This is an upwardly facing surface upon which pucks 103 slide. In one embodiment the game surface 100 is substantially planar. The game surface 100 can comprise virtually any material discussed above, but in one embodiment the game surface 100 comprises wood. The game surface 100 can comprise a painted, waxed, printed, laminated, etc. surface upon which symbols, words, text, and/or graphics can be placed. In one embodiment the game surface 100 comprises a single integrally made piece of material. Such an integrally made piece does not offer cracks or joints which could interfere with the sliding of pucks 103. Accordingly, in one embodiment, an integrally made piece offers a smoother surface for game play.

[0013] Serving as a boundary for the play area are the rails 102. Rails 102, as used herein, refer to a physical boundary which define the play area. In one embodiment the rails 102 extend upwardly from the surface of the game surface 101 such as to provide a physical barrier. In such embodiments, pucks 103 will bounce and ricochet off of the rails 102.

[0014] In one embodiment, and as depicted, the game table 101 has two side rails 102a running in parallel relationship along the length of the table and two opposing end rails 102b which are perpendicular to the side rails 102. In one embodiment the side rails 102a run the entire length of the game table 101. In one embodiment the side rails 102 have a length of about 6 inches to about 6 feet. In another embodiment the side rails 102a have a length of about 4 feet. In one embodiment the two end rails 102b extend between the side rails 102a. In one embodiment the two side rails 102a intersect and are coupled to the two end rails 102b. The two end rails 102b, in one embodiment, extend for between about 6 inches to about 3 feet. In another embodiment the end rails 102b extend to about 2 feet.

[0015] The rails 102 can extend virtually any distance above the face of the game surface 101. In one embodiment the rails 102 extend upward about 1 inch whereas in other embodiments the rails 102 extend one foot.

[0016] In one embodiment, and as depicted, in one embodiment the game table 100 further comprises a scratch guard 104. A scratch guard 104 is a line demarking how far from the goal 105 that the user must be when the user releases the puck 103. The scratch guard 104 can comprise a line drawn or otherwise depicted on the game surface 101. In other embodiments, and as depicted, the scratch guard 104 comprises a physical boundary which prevents the user from releasing the puck downstream of the scratch guard 104. As used herein, downstream refers to a location on the game surface 101 which is closer to the goal 105, and upstream refers to a location which is comparatively further from the goal 105. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the scratch guard 104 prevents the user from releasing the puck 103 downstream from the scratch guard 104.

[0017] In one embodiment the scratch guard 104 comprises a substantially horizontal member which prevents the user's hand from moving upstream of the scratch guard 104. In one embodiment the scratch guard 104 is raised and offset vertically relative to the game surface 101. In such an embodiment the scratch guard 104 is separated from the game surface 101 by a playing distance. The playing distance is a distance which is great enough to allow for the passage of the pucks 103. As will be discussed in more detail below, a user slides a puck 103 and releases it upstream from the scratch guard 104. The puck 103 is then allowed to slide underneath the scratch guard 104. The playing distance can vary depending upon the thickness of the puck 103. In one embodiment the playing distance ranges from about one-fifth of an inch to about one inch.

[0018] Upstream of the scratch guard 104 is an area called the shooting zone 110. This is the area in which the users can slide and release the pucks 103. This is also the area in which the pucks 103 which have not been shot, or released, are kept. Downstream of the scratch guard 104, and upstream of the goals 105, is an area referred to as the field of play 111. This is the area in which shot and unscored pucks 103 remain after being released. This will be discussed in more detail below.

[0019] Downstream of the shooting zone 110 is at least one goal 105. As depicted, the game table 100 comprises four goals 105a-d. While four goals are depicted, this is for illustrative purposes only and should not be deemed limiting. Virtually any number of goals 105, with virtually any shape, can be utilized. In one embodiment, and as depicted, all of the goals 105 have the same size. In other embodiments, however, one or more goals can comprise a comparatively smaller size, making it more difficult to score a puck 103.

[0020] In one embodiment, at least one goal has a width, measured as a distance relative to the side rail 102a of between about 1 inch to about 6 inches. In one embodiment the goal has a diwth of about 3 inches. In one embodiment, at least one goal has a depth, as measured as a distance relative to the end rail 102b of between about 3 inches to about 18 inches. In one embodiment the goal has a depth of about 9 inches.

[0021] In one embodiment, and as depicted, one or more of the goals has a goal value 107. The goal value 107 is the value awarded for scoring a puck 103 in that specific goal. The goal value 107, in one embodiment, comprises a number or point value located on the game surface 101. In other embodiments the goal value 107 is depicted above or behind the goal 105.

[0022] As depicted, the two side goals 105a,d comprise a lower goal value 107 compared to the two inner goals 105b,c. This is because in some embodiments, it is easier to score the two side goals 105a,d relative to the two inner goals 105b,c because the puck 103 can be bounced off a side rail into the side goals 105a,d. While the goals comprise goal values 107 of 1, 3, 4, and 2, respectfully, this is for illustrative purposes only.

[0023] The goals 105 are located between the end rail 102b and the goal line 108. The goal line 108 is the line of demarcation separating the goal 105 from the field of play 111. The goal line 108 is the further point upstream that the goal 105 extends. In one embodiment the goal line 108 comprises a cross member which extends perpendicular between the two side rails 102a.

[0024] In one embodiment, and as depicted, the goal line 108 comprises a goal slot 106 through which the pucks 103 enter the goal 105. In one embodiment, the goal slot 106 is shorter than the width of the goal. Put differently, as an example, if the width of the goal is 4 inches, the goal slot 106 would be 3 inches. In still other embodiments, however, the width of the goal is equal to the goal slot 106.

[0025] Now turning to FIG. 2, FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the goal slot in one embodiment. As can be seen, the puck 103 is shown as being located within the goal slot 106. As depicted, the goal line 108 is the furthest point upstream of the goal line cross-member. In one embodiment, the entire puck 103 must be downstream of the goal line 108 for the puck 103 to score a goal. In other embodiments, at least a portion of the puck 103 must be located in the goal 105 for the puck 103 to score.

[0026] Virtually any slidable item can be used as a puck 103. The pucks 103 can comprise wood, plastic, metal, polymers, and virtually any material. The pucks 103 can also comprise virtually any shape including cylindrical, rectangular, polygonal, etc.

[0027] In the embodiment depicted the pucks 103 comprise a cylindrical shape. The pucks 103 resemble a wafer, similar to a hockey puck. The size of the puck 103 can vary with the size of the table. In one embodiment the pucks have a diameter of between about one-half of an inch to about 4 inches. In another embodiment the pucks have a diameter of about 2.25 inches. The height of the puck can vary from between about 0.1 inches to about 0.5 inches. In another embodiment the puck has a height of about 0.25 inches.

[0028] As discussed, the game table 100 can have various dimensions. In one embodiment it has a length of between about one foot to about ten feet, and a width of between about six inches to about six feet. In one embodiment the table comprises a width of about 2 feet and a length of about 4 feet. The smaller size is as advantage compared to other games in that it requires comparatively less space to play. Thus, the table can be used in places which would not fit a billiards table, for example.

[0029] In one embodiment comprising a 2 feet by 4 feet table, the scratch guard 104 is 19 inches from the front end rail 102b. In one such embodiment the goals are 3 inches wide and 9 inches in length. Pucks, in one such embodiment, have a diameter of 2.25 inches and a height of 0.25 inches.

[0030] The game table 100, in one embodiment, is raised vertically relative to the ground so that the users can stand comfortably and still play the game. In one embodiment the game table 100 does not have any legs or support but instead is placed upon another table or surface. In still other embodiments, the game table 100 comprises legs or other support structure so that the game table 100 can be a free-standing structure. In one embodiment the game table 100 comprises legs which can fold underneath the game table 100 such that the game table 100 can be easily transported.

[0031] Now that a game table 100, in one embodiment, has been described, a method of playing the game will now be described. The following rules are intended for illustrative purposes only and should not be deemed limiting.

[0032] Tournament Style

[0033] In so-called tournament style, one or more players throws all of their pucks 103, tabulates their score, and then compares their score to the score of other players. The number of pucks 103 utilized in a game can vary. In one embodiment the number of pucks 103 ranges from 1 to 50. In one embodiment, 30 pucks 103 are utilized. One example will be discussed wherein each player is alloted 30 pucks 103. This is for illustrative purposes only and should not be deemed limiting.

[0034] The first player approaches the playing table 100. The player can place all of the pucks in the shooting zone 110, as depicted in FIG. 1, or the user can simply grasp one puck 103 at a time from a puck storage receptacle. The puck storage can be coupled to the table or stored remotely.

[0035] The first player then shoots the puck by sliding the puck 103 along the shooting zone 110 and releasing upstream of the scratch guard 104. The objective of the player is to release the puck 103 such that the puck 103 ends up in one of the goals 105. In one embodiment, scoring is not tabulated until all of the player's pucks have been shot because sometimes a puck will be dislodged or removed from a goal by a subsequent puck. If the player shoots the puck into the far left goal 105a, the puck 103 would be worth 1 point, assuming it is not subsequently dislodged. If the player shoots the puck 103 into the second from the left goal 105b, the puck 103 would be worth 3 points, assuming it is not subsequently dislodged. The final score is tabulated by adding all of the pucks 103 in a specific goal 105 and multiplying by the goal value 107. Using the table depicted in FIG. 1, if the player had four, three, four, and two pucks in the goals moving from left to right, that player would score 29 points. The next player would then throw their pucks to see if they could beat that score.

[0036] In one embodiment a single game is played as described above. A first player plays, and then a second player plays, and the player with the higher score wins. However, in other embodiments, the players play to a goal score. The goal score can vary depending on the desired length of the game, the goal values, and the players' skill. In one embodiment the goal score ranges from 50 to 1,000 or more.

[0037] In one embodiment using a goal score, the first player to a goal score wins. In other embodiments, however, all players are allowed the same amount of turns. Accordingly, in such an embodiment, if the first player were to reach the goal score first, then the second and third players would also get a turn. If player three also reaches the goal score, then the highest score wins. If, however, the third player reaches the goal score first, the game is over as all players have had the same amount of turns.

[0038] As noted, in one embodiment, the puck must completely clear the goal line 108 to be counted. This can be determined visually, or in some embodiments, an object such as a finger or another puck 103 is moved along the goal line 108. If a puck 103 in question is touched by the moving object, then the puck 103 in question does not count. Likewise, if the puck 103 in question does not move by the moving object, then the puck 103 is clearly downstream of the goal line 108 and therefore counts.

[0039] In one embodiment, if the puck 103 is thrown downstream of the scratch guard 104 and it bounces back into the shooting zone 110, then that puck is considered a dead puck and is removed from the shooting zone 110. In other embodiments, however, if a puck 103 bounces back into the shooting zone 110, it is considered a live puck and the player can reshoot that puck 103.

[0040] In one embodiment, the puck 103 must slide below the scratch guard 104; any puck 103 going above the scratch guard 104 is removed and becomes a dead puck Likewise, in one embodiment, any puck which leaves the playing table 100 becomes a dead puck.

[0041] In one embodiment, "stacking" it utilized. FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the goals in one embodiment. As can be seen, a stack 109 of pucks 103 is located in the far right goal 105d. A player can request stacking when a stacking quantity of pucks have landed in a single goal. The stacking quantity can comprise any number of pucks from two to ten or more depending upon the size of the pucks and the size of the goal. In one embodiment, the stacking quantity is five.

[0042] Stacking is a reward when a player has located the stacking quantity of pucks 103 in a single goal. In one embodiment, the playescr must request stacking after five pucks 103 are in a single goal. If the player does not request the stacking, then the pucks are not stacked. This forces the player to pay attention and keep track with the number of pucks. In other embodiments, however, the stacking takes place automatically without a requirement from the player.

[0043] The result of stacking is that the five pucks, or other designated stacking quantity, can be stacked into a single vertical stack of pucks. This increases room within the goal to allow for additional pucks. Further, in one embodiment, additional points, called the stack bonus, are awarded for stacking. The stack bonus can comprise points which are added to the points which the five pucks 103 would otherwise be awarded. As an example, if the five pucks are in a goal with a goal value 107 of one, the five pucks are worth five points. However, in embodiments utilizing a stack bonus, the bonus can be added to the traditional value. Thus, if the stack bonus is 50 points, the stack value is now worth 55 points. In other embodiments, however, the stack bonus is a flat amount. A flat amount is a value which is independent of the goal value 107 for that goal. In embodiments utilizing a flat amount, the stack bonus is the same regardless of the goal value 107. Thus, if the flat amount is 100 points, the five pucks in the goal with a goal value 107 of one are worth 100 points Likewise, a stack of pucks located in a goal with a goal value 107 of four are also worth 100 points. Assuming 30 pucks and a stack bonus comprising a flat amount of 100 points, the maximum score is 600 points per round.

[0044] One embodiment has been discussed wherein a player exhausts all of their pucks 103 before a subsequent player has a round. This is referred to as an exhausting round. In an exhausting round, a single player is playing at a time. Conversely, in a combination round two or more players play on the same table at the same time. A combination round, for example, would have two players each with 15 pucks 103. The pucks 103 can comprise different colors. In this embodiment, player one throws a puck 103 and them player two throws a puck 103. This continues until all pucks have been thrown. In this embodiment, a player is allowed to disrupt or dislodge other player's pucks and strategy. As an example, if player one is about to get a stack in the first goal 105a, the second player can aim for the first goal 105a making it more difficult for the first player to get a stack. In such embodiments, the score is tabulated after all pucks 103 have been thrown.

[0045] Child's Play

[0046] Another version of the game is referred to as child's play. In this version all of the pucks 103 are scored the same regardless of the point value 107 associated with that goal. This version allows children who cannot yet multiply or perform the arithmetic necessary to keep score to play the game.

[0047] As discussed above, in one embodiment the game surface 101 comprises a flat planar surface. In other embodiments, the game surface 101 comprises a non-planar surface. In one embodiment the game surface 101 comprises a hump, a ramp, a divot, a bump, or other obstacles. The obstacles increase the difficulty of the playing table. As an example, a goal 105 with a comparatively increased goal value 107 may comprise a bump or rod located in front of the center of its goal slot 106. Such an obstacle would prevent players from shooting a straight shot into that goal. Rather, the player would have to shoot at an angle or ricochet off the rails 102 in order to score that goal.

[0048] In one embodiment the game surface 101 comprises small holes through which air is introduced to decrease friction, similar to an air hockey table.

[0049] While one embodiment has been described wherein the score is calculated manually, this is for illustrative purposes only and should not be deemed limiting. For example, in one embodiment, the table automatically calculates the score. In such an embodiment the puck 103 comprises a sensor which is read by the goal 105 and/or the goal line 108. When the puck 103 crosses the goal line 108, the sensor within the puck 103 is read and the table acknowledges the puck 103 as a score. The table then multiplies by the given goal value 107 to determine the score for that puck. The table can also determine the stack bonus after it has sensed the stacked quantity of pucks 103 in the goal. In one embodiment, the cumulative score is depicted as the game is in progress.

[0050] Likewise, while one embodiment has been described wherein the table is a physical table, this is for illustrative purposes only and should not be deemed limiting. In one embodiment, the table comprises an electronic game. The table described above can be displayed on an electronic screen such as a computer, smart phone, tablet, smart television, etc. Thus player can use any motion detection medium known in the art to control and direct the puck 103 electronically. As an example, in one embodiment using a smart phone, the player can grab the puck electronically with the player's finger, and make a swiping motion to throw the puck. One skilled in the art will understand how to utilize the various capabilities in a smart phone to provide for this capability. In other embodiments, a game controller, mouse, remote, or other input device is used to control the puck.

[0051] While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

ADDITIONAL DESCRIPTION

[0052] The following clauses are offered as further description of the disclosed invention.

[0053] Clause 1. A table for playing a game, said table comprising: [0054] a game surface surrounded by two side rails and two end rails, wherein the two end rails are approximately perpendicular to the two side rails; [0055] at least one goal located on a downstream end of the table, wherein said at least one goal comprises a goal slot; [0056] a scratch guard located upstream of said goal separating said game surface into a shooting zone and a field of play, wherein said field of play is downstream from said shooting zone, wherein said scratch guard is separated from the game surface by a playing distance.

[0057] Clause 2. The table of any preceding or proceeding clause further comprising at least one puck, wherein the puck comprises a height which is less than said playing distance and which is sized to fit within said goal slot.

[0058] Clause 3. The table of any preceding or proceeding clause further comprising at least two goals, wherein said at least two goals further comprise a goal value.

[0059] Clause 4. The table of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein each of said goal values is dissimilar.

[0060] Clause 5. The table of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said table has a width of about 2 feet, a length of about 4 feet, and wherein said puck comprises a diameter of about 2.25 inches.

[0061] Clause 6. A method of playing a game on a table, said table comprising: [0062] a game surface surrounded by two side rails and two end rails, wherein the two end rails are approximately perpendicular to the two side rails; [0063] at least one goal located on a downstream end of the table, wherein said at least one goal comprises a goal slot; [0064] a scratch guard located upstream of said goal separating said game surface into a shooting zone and a field of play; [0065] wherein said method comprises the following: [0066] a) shooting at least one puck and releasing said at least one puck upstream of the scratch guard; [0067] b) counting the number of pucks located within a goal; [0068] c) tabulating a score.

[0069] Clause 7. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause further comprising stacking wherein if a stacking quantity of pucks are located in a single goal, the pucks are stacked in a vertical stack.

[0070] Clause 8. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause further comprising a stack bonus.

[0071] Clause 9. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said stack bonus comprises a flat amount.

[0072] Clause 10. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein each goal comprises a goal value, and wherein tabulating of step c) comprises multiplying the number of pucks within a goal by the goal value.

[0073] Clause 11. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said table comprises four goals with the first goal having a goal value of one, the second goal having a goal value of three, the third goal having a goal value of four, and the fourth goal having a goal value of 2.

[0074] Clause 12. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said goal comprises a goal line, and wherein said counting of step b) comprises counting only the pucks which are completely downstream from said goal line.

[0075] Clause 13. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said shooting comprises shooting 30 pucks.

[0076] Clause 14. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said shooting comprises shooting on an electronic table.

[0077] Clause 15. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said table is an electronic table located.

[0078] Clause 16. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said field of play is downstream from said shooting zone, wherein said scratch guard is separated from the game surface by a playing distance.

[0079] Clause 17. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said table has a width of about 2 feet, a length of about 4 feet, wherein said puck comprises a diameter of about 2.25 inches, and wherein said scratch guard is located about 19 inches from a first end rail.

[0080] Clause 18. The method of any preceding or proceeding clause wherein said game surface is substantially planar.

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