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Title:
BALLGAME SYSTEM TO BE PLAYED BY AT LEAST ONE PLAYER, AN ACCOMPANYING CONTROL UNIT, A RELATED WORK METHOD AND A COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/043973
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Ballgame system to be played by at least one player, including a lane which is designed to let a ball cover a trajectory between a starting area and a target area, where at least one target element has been placed in the target area for interaction with the playing ball, an electronic control unit, which is designed to automatically update game data with regard to the ball game played by at least one player, a range of lighting units controlled by the control unit for lighting at least one of the lanes, the starting area and target area, and where the control unit has also been designed to control the action of the lighting units on the basis of game data.

Inventors:
KROL, Johannes Adrianus Maria (p/a Bowltech International B.V, Brieltjenspolder 42, 4921 PJ Made, 4921 PJ, NL)
Application Number:
NL2016/050628
Publication Date:
March 16, 2017
Filing Date:
September 12, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BOWLTECH INTERNATIONAL HOLDING B.V. (Brieltjenspolder 42, 4921 PJ Made, 4921 PJ, NL)
International Classes:
A63D1/04; A63D5/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2000076605A12000-12-21
WO2007066217A22007-06-14
Foreign References:
DE20018865U12001-02-01
US20110301726A12011-12-08
CN1141206A1997-01-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALGEMEEN OCTROOI- EN MERKENBUREAU B.V. (P.O. Box 645, 5600 AP Eindhoven, 5600 AP, NL)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . Ballgame system to be played by at least one player, comprising:

a lane, arranged for a ball to run a trajectory between a start area and a target area, where in the target area at least one target element is placed for interaction with the ball;

an electronic control unit, arranged for automatically keeping game data with regard to the ballgame played by the at least single player;

a multitude of controllable lighting units controlled by the control unit, for lighting at least one of the lanes, the start area and the target area, and

where the control unit is further arranged for controlling the operation of the lighting units on the basis of the game data.

2. Ballgame system according to claim 1 , moreover comprising:

a detection installation, arranged for detecting and communicating by means of detection data to the central control unit of the interaction between the ball and the at least single target element,

where the control unit is arranged for automatically keeping the game data on the basis of the detection data in the form of score data of the at least single player.

3. Ballgame system according to claim 2, moreover comprising:

a scoring system, arranged for displaying scores of the at least single player on the basis of the score data and arranged for entering, and providing to the control unit, player data of the at least single player,

where the control unit is moreover arranged for automatically keeping the game data on the basis of the player data.

4. Ballgame system according to one of the previous claims, in which the electronic control unit is arranged for controlling the lighting units in a mutually coordinated variable manner with regard to the light intensity, light colour and duration of lighting to be emitted by a relevant lighting unit.

5. Ballgame system according to one of the previous claims, in which the electronic control unit is a programmable control unit, in particular a processor controlled control unit, comprising a multitude of control programmes arranged for controlling the operation of the lighting units on the basis of the game data.

6. Ballgame system according to claim 5, in which the control unit is arranged for selecting a control programme from the multitude of control programmes on the basis of at least one of a specific user entry, the game data and automatically random in time.

7. Ballgame system according to one of the previous claims, in which the electronic control unit is arranged for controlling the lighting units in the form of lighting following the ball.

8. Ballgame system according to claim 7, moreover comprising means of detection linked to the electronic control unit for forming lighting following the ball depending on the run of the ball over the ball route.

9. Ballgame system according to one of the above claims, in which the electronic control unit is arranged for controlling the lighting units in the form of at least one of a game start lighting, game stop lighting and player change lighting.

10. Ballgame system according to one of the above claims, in which the lighting units are placed at one or more positions in the direction above, on the side or at the bottom of the lane, at the start area and at the target area.

1 1 . Ballgame system according to one of the above claims, moreover comprising a ball return installation arranged for returning the ball from the target area to the start area, where the lighting units are moreover arranged for lighting the ball return installation.

12. Ballgame system according to one of the above claims, in which the lighting units are individually controllable lighting units that are switched electrically in cascade and are each connected to a data transmission connection linked to the electronic control unit, for individually addressing and controlling the lighting units. 13. Ballgame system according to one of the above claims, in which the lighting units comprise Light Emitting Diodes, LED.

14. Ballgame system according to one of the above claims, comprising a number of lanes and thereto-pertaining lighting units, where the electronic control unit is arranged for controlling the lighting units of a number of lanes in a mutually coordinated manner.

15. Method for the controlling by an electronic control unit of a multitude of controllable lighting units distributed along the top, the sides or the bottom of a lane for performance by at least one player of a ballgame, which lane is arranged for a ball running a ball route between a start area and a target area, where in the target area at least one target element is placed for interaction with the ball, which electronic control unit is arranged for automatically keeping game data with regard to the ballgame player by the at least single player and where the control unit is arranged for controlling the operation of the lighting units on the basis of the game data, which method comprises the steps of:

detection by the electronic control unit of the start of the ball following the ball route, and

subsequent control of the lighting units for forming a running light following the ball from the start area to the target area.

16. Method according to 15, in which the lighting units are controlled successively on the basis of an average speed of the ball on the ball route.

17. Ballgame system and method according to one or more of the above claims, arranged for playing a bowling game or a skittle game.

18. Control unit arranged for use with a ballgame system or method according to one or more of the above claims.

19. Computer programme product, comprising programme code means arranged for controlling a processor controlled electronic control unit in accordance with one or more of the above claims when the programme code of the programme code means is loaded in a working memory of the processor and is performed by the processor.

Description:
Title: Ballgame system to be played by at least one player, an accompanying control unit, a related work method and a computer program product. Description

The present invention relates to a ballgame system which can be played by at least one player, which includes a lane laid out for the ball to have a trajectory between a starting point and a target point, in which at least one target element in the target point should interact with the ball when the game is being played. The above could for example be a bowling lane in which ten target elements in the form of bowling pins must be hit by a bowling ball. The bowling pins are typically arranged in a set pattern in a target area at a distance of about 25 metres from the point at which the bowler rolls the ball. The idea is to knock down the ten pins. A control unit forms part of the ballgame system to automatically update the player's score. This control unit updates how many bowling pins have been knocked down by the player as well as the accompanying score. The aforementioned ball games, and especially bowling, are played widely in a large number of countries in the world. Bowling is particularly popular in the Netherlands, the USA and Japan. The game has for a long time no longer been restricted to the main purpose thereof, but includes a whole range of social-life opportunities, with eating and drinking included and with the ballgame system itself supplied with a broad range of lighting and sound effects for a heightened sensory effect. Usually there are lots of lanes next to each other, placed in a covered area so that the sound and lighting effects from different lanes all add to each other to create a lively whole. One of the disadvantages of the well-known ballgame systems is that they are often not sufficiently user friendly. The game to be played with the ballgame system, and the accompanying rules of the game are often not intuitive to at least one player. It is therefore a goal of the current invention to offer a ballgame system with which a player is supported in playing the game. The aim of the invention is to offer a ballgame system which has been developed in such a way that it can be followed intuitively.

The aforementioned aim is achieved, in its first aspect, with a ballgame system played by at least one player, including a lane which is designed to let a ball cover a trajectory between a starting area and a target area, where at least one target element has been placed in the target area for interaction with the playing ball, an electronic control unit, which is designed to automatically update game data with regard to the ball game played by at least one player, a range of lighting units controlled by the control unit for lighting at least one of the lanes, the starting area and target area, and where the control unit has also been designed to control the action of the lighting units on the basis of game data.

The inventors have identified that controllable lighting units, preferably individually controllable, for lighting at least one of the lanes, the starting area and target area, can support a player in what is demanded from the player. As such the player can be helped or assisted with visual effects during the game. The lighting units can be controlled by the control unit, for example, to indicate which player has a turn, or how good the player is at the game, etc. In addition to the lighting units being able to be used to assist or support the player during the game, they can also be used to increase the entertainment content of the game. This increases the perception of the player during the game, so that the player is more involved in the game. Within the context of the current invention the balls may also be pucks or the stones which are used with curling.

In one example the ballgame system includes a detection system, designed for detecting and showing the interaction between the ball and at least one target element to the central control unit through detection data, where the control unit is designed for automatically updating the game data on the basis of detection data in the form of the score data of at least one player.

The advantage of this example is that a player receives direct feedback about his or her score through light emitted by the lighting units. The player therefore does not necessarily have to know the rules of the game, but merely sees how he or she is doing in the game on the basis of lighting. The above could therefore also be used efficiently with bowling. When, for example, a player knocks down seven of the ten bowling pins, this is detected by the detection system and it may be decided to have the lighting units flash seven times successively. This shows the player how many pins have been knocked down. As an alternative it is also possible to choose a certain colour. Knocking down all ten bowling pins may, for example, be represented by a full green colour which is emitted by the lighting units. When no pins are hit, a red colour may be emitted. In the above example it could be decided to use an intermediate colour, for example yellow, to show the player how many pins have been knocked down. This therefore helps the player during the game.

In another example the ballgame system includes a score system, designed on the basis of showing the score data of scores of at least one player and designed for entering and providing player data to the control unit of at least one player, where the control unit has also been designed to automatically update the game data on the basis of player data. In addition to the lighting units being able to be used per turn, i.e. every time that the bowling ball is thrown, the lighting units can also be used to show a player's total score. Depending on the score, it is possible to adjust the colour, intensity, frequency, etc. , of the lighting units on the basis of the score. This makes it clear for the player how well he or she is doing in the game.

In another example the electronic control unit is designed for the mutually coordinated variable control of the lighting units for to light intensity, light colour and duration of lighting to be emitted by the lighting unit in question.

The advantage of what is described above is that the lighting units show or indicate how the game is proceeding as regards the at least one player.

Furthermore, the electronic control unit may be a programmable control unit, in particular a processor-controlled control unit, including a range of control programs designed for the variable control of the action of the lighting units on the basis of game data.

In bowling a distinction can be made in two programs, that is to say, league bowling and recreational bowling. Depending on the program, it may be decided to reinforce or weaken the lighting effects of the lighting units. For example, the inventors have identified that bowlers who are active in league bowling require less assistance through light than bowlers who only go bowling for evening recreation. These players benefit from assistance with light. Moreover, the emitted light also has entertainment content. The players have a total experience of the game through the light emitted by the lighting units. Players are involved even more in the game than in conventional ballgame systems, making for an improvement in the user experience.

In another example the control unit is designed to automatically and randomly select the game data of a control program from the range of control programs based on at least one specific user input. The control programs can also be designed according to different themes or light shows. The player's experience is improved by making a choice in a certain way.

One example includes an electronic control unit that is designed for controlling the lighting units in the form of lighting that follows the playing ball. The ballgame system may include means of detection connected to the electronic control unit for the lighting that follows the playing ball, depending on the course of the playing ball over the ball trajectory.

The effect that is created is that the lighting follows the course of the playing ball on the lane. This may, for example, be done by the separate lighting units placed above the lane to activate the turn, one by one. The playing ball can be followed actively through detection in such a way that the lighting actively follows this ball. As an alternative a trigger moment can also be used, for example a detection moment when the ball ends up on the lane, which trigger moment then activates a process of switching the separate lighting unit on and off. This switching on and off can be done with a previously determined time constant, which for example is related to the average speed of a bowling ball. The average speed is for example 20 - 40 kilometres per hour, or more specifically about 30 kilometres per hour.

The electronic control unit may also be designed to control lighting units in the form of at least one game release lighting, game start lighting, game stop lighting and player change lighting.

For example, a game release lighting shows that the lane of the ballgame system is free for a player. This means that the player is allowed to throw the playing ball across the lane. The game start lighting and the game stop lighting, for example, shows that the game has started or stopped. The player change lighting, for example, shows that the player should be swapped. All these indications can occur by means of colour, light intensity, frequent, spotlights, etc. The lighting units can be placed on one or more longitudinal positions above, sideways from or under the lane at the starting area and at the target area.

In one example the ballgame system includes a ball return system, which is designed to return the playing ball from the target area to the starting area, where the lighting units are also designed for lighting the ball return system. Lighting the ball return system may be very handy for indicating which player has a turn. When each player is linked to a certain colour, you can indicate which player should take a ball by lighting the ball return system in a certain colour. In one example the lighting units can be controlled individually and are electrically connected in cascade. Moreover, each lighting unit is connected to the data transmission connection of the electronic control unit to individually target and control the lighting units. The advantage of this is that the action of each lighting unit can be controlled individually, in such a way that more freedom can be obtained with regard to various types of lighting programs or signs which can be created with the lighting.

The lighting units characteristically include Light Emitting Diodes, LED, because these types of lighting units consume relatively little energy and cause relatively little heat development. The ballgame system according to the current invention may include a number of lanes and accompanying lighting units, where the electronic control unit is designed for the coordinated control of the lighting units of a number of lanes.

In a second aspect the invention includes a work method for controlling a range of controllable lighting units through an electronic control unit, which are placed at one or more longitudinal positions above, sideways from or under the lane for playing by at least one player of a ballgame system. The lane is designed to let a ball cover a trajectory between a starting area and a target area, where at least one target element is placed in the target area for interaction with the playing ball, and the electronic control unit is designed to automatically update game data of the ball game played by at least one player, where the control unit is designed for controlling the action of the lighting units on the basis of the game data, which includes the following phases:

detection by the electronic control unit when the ball starts to cover the trajectory, and the successive control of the lighting units for forming a running light that follows the playing ball from the starting area to the target area. The lighting units can successively be controlled on the basis of an average speed of the playing ball on the ball trajectory.

The ballgame system will characteristically be used for playing 10- pin or 9-pin bowling. In a third aspect the invention includes a control unit designed for use with a ballgame system or work method according to one or more of the previous claims. In a fourth aspect the invention includes a computer program product, including program code tools designed to control a processor-controlled electronic control unit in agreement with one or more of the previous claims when the program code of the program code tools has been loaded in a working memory of the processor and is implemented by the processor.

Various aspects that are relevant with designs of the ballgame system according to the current invention, including their advantages, correspond with aspects that are relevant with the work method, control unit and computer program product, in accordance with the invention as already explained before. The nomenclature of the different aspects of the ballgame system, method, control system, and the computer program product in the invention should not be taken literally. The chosen nomenclature simply aims to articulate the idea behind the aspect in question.

The description also refers to a light system for lighting bowling pins. Traditionally the bowling pins or skittles are lit through a strip. The bowling pins are highlighted in such a way through this strip that the bowling pins become clearly visible for a player. The player must then knock these bowling pins down with a bowling ball.

The aforementioned light system is applied, for example, with a bowling lane in which ten target elements must be hit by a bowling ball in the form of bowling pins. The bowling pins are typically arranged in a set pattern in a target area at a distance of about 25 metres from the point at which the bowler rolls the ball. The idea is to knock down the ten pins in one go.

A score system forms part of the ballgame system to automatically update the player's score. This score system therefore updates how many bowling pins have been knocked down by the player as well as the accompanying score.

Bowling is played widely in a large number of countries in the world. Bowling is particularly popular in the Netherlands, the USA and Japan. The game has for a long time no longer been restricted to the main purpose thereof, but includes a whole range of social-life opportunities, with eating and drinking included and with the ballgame system itself supplied with a broad range of lighting and sound effects for a heightened sensory effect. Usually there are lots of lanes next to each other, placed in a covered area so that the sound and lighting effects from different lanes all add to each other to create a lively whole.

The aim of the current description is to provide an improved lighting system. This aim is achieved, in its first aspect, with a light system for lighting bowling pins on a bowling lane, where upright bowling pins must be knocked down by a bowling ball, and where the system includes a range of lighting units for individually lighting the bowling pins, a control unit for determining upright bowling pins to be lit individually, and for controlling the lighting units in such a way that only the bowling pins to be lit are lit separately and individually.

The inventors identified that a player can be assisted and/or supported through the lighting system. The lighting system according to the current description makes it possible to light each bowling pin individually and separately. As a result still upright bowling pins can be highlighted. That is to say, the lighting units can be controlled in such a way that the still upright bowling pins are lit, and that the positions of the bowling pins which have already been knocked down are not lit. This offers a reinforced light contrast for a player in such a way that the player can visually observe at once and clearly which bowling pins still have to be knocked down.

Normally speaking, a player is assigned two turns to knock down ten bowling pins. The already knocked down bowling pins are not placed upright again for the second turn. A player therefore only has to knock down those bowling pins in the second turn which were still upright after the first turn. According to the description, all ten bowling pins could then be lit separately and individually lit during the first throw. After some of these ten bowling pins have been knocked down, only those bowling pins are lit which have not been knocked down during the second turn.

In the context of the current description a bowling lane is also a mini-bowling lane and a 9-pin bowling lane. The modernised lighting system therefore also applies to mini-bowling lanes and 9-pin bowling lanes.

According to the current description, the bowling pins to be lit are determined by the control unit. In principle this can be done in two different ways. It can be detected which bowling pins have been knocked down, and are therefore no longer upright. As an alternative it can also be detected which bowling pins have not been knocked down, and are therefore upright.

Only the still upright bowling pins are lit. This aspect also has a great difference in light intensity. The bowling pins to be lit are lit more by the lighting units than the already knocked down bowling pins. It may therefore be the case that scattered light or light with a minimum intensity is shone on the already knocked down bowling pins. In one example the light system also includes means of detection for detecting whether bowling pins have been knocked down and/or are upright, where the control unit determines the bowling pins to be lit on the basis of the detection.

These means of detection are, for example, pressure sensors placed in the bowling lane. The weight of a bowling pin on the pressure sensor then determines whether the bowling pin is still upright or has already been knocked down.

The means of detection may also include a camera, where it is decided on the basis of image detection whether a certain bowling pin has been knocked down or not. This information can then be used by the control unit to determine which bowling pins must be lit.

In another example the control unit is designed to determine upright bowling pins to be lit individually through information received from an automatic score processing system.

The inventors have determined that the benefit of the new lighting system is increased when it is compatible with the existing bowling system for existing bowling lanes. Existing bowling lanes are in general already supplied with an automatic score-processing system for keeping the scores of each player. This scoring system must also therefore keep score of the quantity of bowling pins knocked down by a player at each turn. This information is therefore often already available in the existing bowling systems.

The inventors have deemed it not necessary to develop the system themselves for detecting which bowling pins have been knocked down by the player. By connecting the new lighting system with the existing score-processing system, this information can be provided to the control unit.

In another example, the lighting unit is programmed to light up one bowling pin, with each lighting unit having at least one lens to steer the light towards one bowling pin. This allows the lens to be shielded sideways and lengthways to create a strip of light in the direction of a bowling pin.

The lens can for example be a convex lens which, depending on the distance to the different bowling pins, is shielded lengthways or sideways. The lens holder can be adjusted at least once so that the light coming from the associated lighting unit can be directed towards a particular bowling pin during installation. By directing the light through a convex lens, a strip of light is created, the height of which can be adjusted by the shield and aligned with the height of the bowling pin. This means that the light can be directed to a particular bowling pin. The distance from the lens to the bowling pins also determines the width. This means that with a set-up of ten bowling pins, four different shields or lenses are used because the ten bowling pins are arranged in four rows of different depths.

The aforementioned example with lenses is ideal for free-fall pinsetters, i.e. machines that automatically set bowling pins in their place. Based on the aforementioned, each lighting unit need only be adjusted once, at the time of installation.

In another example the lighting system contains grips to individually grip bowling pins, in which case the lighting units are fitted onto the gripping systems. If the bowling pins are for example set down using a string pinsetter, another technique can be used. A string pinsetter includes grips that can individually and separately grip bowling pins, for example with the help of a string. The lighting units can in such a case be fitted onto the grips so that the lighting units hang directly above the bowling pins. This simplifies the process because the light coming from the lighting units need only be directed straight down in the direction of the bowling pins. The lighting units can in this case be fitted using fixed LED rings on the machine's casing.

In another example, the control unit is further configured to be able to determine a point of contact on one of the upright bowling pins, meaning that the control unit controls many lighting units in such a way as to highlight the point of contact.

The advantage of this example is that the player is assisted with bowling. The player is assisted because the lighting units show where the bowling ball needs to hit the bowling pins. The player must therefore throw the bowling ball in such a way as to make it hit the bowling pin on the spot that is highlighted. This example should result in an increase in the amount of 'spares'.

The lighting units can, in another example, also include a gobo. A gobo is a metal or glass stencil that is projected into a space. Gobos are used here to transform the beam in such a way as to project an image, i.e. an image onto the bowling pins that remain upright.

In a second aspect, the description includes a method of operation for lighting the bowling pins using a lighting system in line with one of the aforementioned claims, which includes the steps for determining, through the control unit, the upright bowling pins to be individually lit and to control the lighting units, through a control unit, in such a way as to only light up the bowling pins separately and individually.

As an example, the method of operation includes the step of detection, through detectors, whether bowling pins have been knocked down and/or remain upright, including determining through the control unit the upright bowling pins that need to be lit up individually based on the detection.

In another example, the method of operation includes the step of determining, through the control unit, a point of contact on one of the upright bowling pins, and controlling the lighting units, through the control unit, in such a way as to highlight the point of contact.

Several aspects to be considered in the examples of the lighting system following the present description, including the advantages thereof, are in line with aspects to be considered in the method of operation, in accordance with the aforementioned description.

The nomenclature of the different aspects of the lighting system and the method of operation in the invention should not be taken literally. The chosen nomenclature simply aims to articulate the idea behind the aspect in question.

The present description also relates to a ballgame system which can be played by at least one player, which includes a lane laid out for the ball to have a trajectory between a starting point and a target point, in which at least one target element in the target point should interact with the ball when the game is being played.

The above could for example be a bowling lane in which ten target elements in the form of bowling pins must be hit by a bowling ball. The bowling pins are typically arranged in a set pattern in a target area at a distance of about 25 metres from the point at which the bowler rolls the ball. The idea is to knock down the ten pins.

Bowling is played widely in a large number of countries in the world.

Bowling is particularly popular in the Netherlands, the USA and Japan. The game has for a long time no longer been restricted to the main purpose thereof, but includes a whole range of social-life opportunities, with eating and drinking included and with the bowling itself supplied with a broad range of lighting and sound effects for a heightened sensory effect. Usually there are lots of lanes next to each other, placed in a covered area so that the sound and lighting effects from different lanes all add to each other to create a lively whole.

Traditionally, a number a light fittings were hung above a bowling lane to light it up. The light emitted by these light fittings ensures that the bowling lane is properly lit so that the bowler can properly see the bowling pins that need to be knocked over.

The inventors have identified a number of disadvantages in traditional light fittings. One of the disadvantages is that a lot of glare is created, which can dazzle the bowler, or at least affect his or her bowling game. The inventors have also identified an advantage when the light coming out of the light fittings illuminates only the bowling lane. This means that it is primarily only the bowling lane that is illuminated, as a result of which the bowler can focus more on his or her bowling game.

Therefore, the goal of the present description is to acquire a light fitting for use as overhead lights of a bowling lane with a ballgame system which, when in use, ensures that little or no glare is produced in the direction of the bowler.

This goal is achieved, in its first aspect, with an elongated light fitting for use as overhead lighting of a bowling lane, including an elongated strip with Red, Green, and Blue, (RGB) LEDs with the strip of LEDs positioned in such a way in the light fitting as to direct light, when in use, to the bowling lane, and an elongated lens system positioned in the fitting in such a way as to be located under the LEDs so that, when in use, the combination of LEDs with the lens system, makes an angle via a light exit in the light exiting under the lens system lengthways of between 40° and 80° and widthways of between 5° and 20°, at least two, but preferably at least four slats placed one after the other parallel lengthways of the light fitting designed in a curve in the direction of the exiting light, with a straight line of both extremities of a slat making an angle with a normal vector of the exiting light of between 10° and 60°, an electric control panel to supply and control the LED strip, at least one adapter, but preferably at least two adapters, for fitting the light fitting to a guide rail above the bowling lane, with at least one adapter fitted to transfer the electric power and electric control signals from the guide rail to the electric control unit. The inventors have identified that an elongated light fitting with an LED strip, a lens system and at least four slats as described above would ensure that the light emitted by the LEDs would, when in use, primarily be emitted to the bowling lane. As a result, the light does not shine into the eyes of the bowler and the bowler is not blinded, which improves his or her performance on the bowling lane.

It is important here that the slats be built in a curve and fitted at an angle from that of the normal one in the light exit area of the lens system. This ensures that little or no light is emitted in the direction of the bowler and that little or no light is emitted, when in use, in the direction of the bowling pins.

The aforementioned angle must be between 10° and 60° in order to as much as possible restrict light being emitted in the direction of the bowler. With such a design the light source, i.e. the LEDs in the LED strip, is not visible to the bowler.

To create an evenly distributed light pattern on a bowling lane, it is useful to fit five light fittings in accordance with the present description one after the other above a bowling lane. The inventors have identified that the first light fitting, i.e. the light fitting closest to the bowler, has the potential to create the most glare in the direction of the bowler. This is because the angle created by this light fitting with the bowler is the greatest. It is therefore an advantage to provide the first light fitting with more slats than the other four light fittings. By fitting more slats, the beam angle of the light is further limited lengthways.

The consequence of the above is that it is beneficial to make the distance between the first light fitting and the second light fitting smaller than for example the distance between the second light fitting and the third light fitting to ensure that the bowling lane is still uniformly lit. By using the light fitting in accordance with the present description, a substantial reduction in the use of energy is identified, while at the same time there is no reduction in the amount of light emitted.

The light fitting should preferably be an extruded aluminium profile to contribute to improved internal climate management through passive cooling. Through this passive cooling, no electric ventilation is necessary and therefore no maintenance needs to be done thereto.

It is also recommendable for the light fitting to be provided with an anti-reflective coating to prevent glare from the light emitted. One example features an excellent light-absorbing material on every slat to absorb light falling on each slat. This light-absorbing material can for example be a matte black paint or a coating or similar on the slats. In another design, the elongated lens system is a plano-concave lens.

The advantage of a plano-concave lens is that light falling on the concave part of the lens is broken down in such a way that the light coming out of the other side of the lens can be controlled so that the light makes an angle lengthways of the lens of between 40° and 80°, preferably around 60°, and widthways between 10° and 15°, ideally around 13°.

In yet another design, the elongated lens system is formed by one extruded lens. The advantage of this design is that the extruded lens can be manufactured cheaply and easily. Another example is that one extruded lens is used per light fitting, limiting the tolerance to imperfections in the lens. The inventors have identified that the tolerance that occurs in one extruded lens is in general lower than the tolerance that occurs when separate lenses are used.

In another design, the combination of the LEDs with the lens system ensures that, when in use, the light emitted under the lens system can be controlled via the lens system's light exit area to make an angle lengthways of the lens of between 50° and 70°, preferably around 60°, and widthways between 10° and 15°, ideally around 13°. The inventors have identified that the light fitting is in general hung at around the same height above a bowling lane. This height determines the permitted angle of exit of the light, both lengthways and widthways. The exit angle widthways is important because the exiting light must only fall on one bowling lane, and not on the neighbouring bowling lanes. The angle at which the light exits lengthways is important because it sets restrictions on the slats.

Another design includes White (W) LEDs on the elongated strip. One design has an elongated light fitting between 100cm and 140cm long, ideally around 120cm, and between 3cm and 8cm wide, ideally around 4cm. In another design, the straight line made by both extremities of a slat makes an angle with a normal vector from the exiting light of between 20° and 30°, ideally around 25°.

In the context of the present description, the normal vector of the light exit area is defined as the vector that, when in use, is at a right angle to the length of the light fitting. The idea behind the description is that the light coming from the lens in the direction of the bowling pins should not be hindered by the slats, and that the light coming from the lens in the direction of the starting point should in any case not limit and/or blind the bowler. To this end, slats are used, the curve of which ensures that there is minimal restriction to the light in the direction of the bowling pins. The other advantage of this curve is that the light is not concentrated on one point but is directed to a larger surface, to prevent spots being created.

Practical tests have shown that the angle described above of between 20° and 30° makes the light fitting achieve the desired goal. In yet another design, each slat is designed in a curve so that the light exiting under the lens system falls on a concave side of each slat.

Another aspect of the description provides for a bowling lane laid out for a ball to have a trajectory, over a lane, between a starting point and a target point, where a number of pins are placed in the target area which can be knocked over by the ball in play, where the bowling lane includes a guide rail fitted over the lane, lengthways along the bowling lane to spread the electric control signals and electric power, a number of light fittings fitted one after the other on the guide rail, with each light fitting fitted with at least two adapters on the guide rail and with at least one of these at least two adapters designed to transfer electric power and electric control signals spread through the guide rail to the associated electric control unit.

Several aspects to be considered in the examples of the lighting system following the present description, including the advantages thereof, are in line with aspects to be considered in the bowling lane, in accordance with the aforementioned description.

The nomenclature of the different aspects of the lighting system and the bowling lane in the description should not be taken literally. The chosen nomenclature simply aims to articulate the idea behind the aspect in question.

The present description relates to a ballgame system which can be played by at least one player, which includes a lane laid out for the ball to have a trajectory between a starting point and a target point, in which at least one target element in the target point should interact with the ball when the game is being played.

The above could for example be a bowling lane in which ten target elements in the form of bowling pins must be hit by a bowling ball. The bowling pins are typically arranged in a set pattern in a target area at a distance of about 25 metres from the point at which the bowler rolls the ball. The idea is to knock down the ten pins.

Bowling is played widely in a large number of countries in the world. Bowling is particularly popular in the Netherlands, the USA and Japan. The game has for a long time no longer been restricted to the main purpose thereof, but includes a whole range of social-life opportunities, with eating and drinking included and with the bowling itself supplied with a broad range of lighting and sound effects for a heightened sensory effect. Usually there are lots of lanes next to each other, placed in a covered area so that the sound and lighting effects from different lanes all add to each other to create a lively whole.

These sound and light effects bring a whole new dimension to the game, meaning that a recreational bowler is not only occupied with the game but is at the same time surrounded by an entire experience. There are however disadvantages to the sound and light effects used. One of these disadvantages is that the recreational player is no longer sufficiently focused on his or her game. There is an increased chance that the sound and light effects diminish the bowler's concentration.

The description's goal therefore is to add aspects to a bowling lane that allow the user to maintain his or her concentration on the bowling game. This goal is achieved by the description providing for a ball gutter for a bowling lane that includes a number of elongated gutter sections fitted lengthways behind each other to make a whole gutter which is designed in such a way as to make a bowling ball able to roll over a concave side of the gutter, an elongated strip with Red, Green and Blue (RGB) LEDs, with the strip fitted on the convex side of the gutter and with the gutter made of a transparent, diffusing material to uniformly light up the gutter with the light emitted from the LEDs.

The inventors have identified that a lit-up ball gutter can be used to help bowlers with their game. There are ball gutters on both sides of a bowling lane to catch bowling balls. The ball gutter then leads the bowling ball to a target area. The inventors have identified that lighting up these ball gutters makes the bowler more focused on the lane being played on.

Another advantage of the system is that it can be used to direct a bowler to the right lane. A bowler can for example state his or her favourite colour at the counter and this colour can then be used to light up the ball gutters in the bowling lane reserved for this bowler. This makes it clear to the bowler where he or she needs to go.

The material can be an opaque or translucent material. It can for example be built in a type of acrylate. The material should be able to conduct light emitted onto it from one side through to the other side of the material, and be able to diffuse the light that passes through that material so that the material is uniformly lit up on the other side.

In one example the elongated gutters each feature connections so that they can be connected together meaning that the gutter parts have shapes at their top ends that are complementary to the other ends so that the gutter parts fitted one after the other can slot into each other and that the thickness of the transparent diffuse material is uniform across the length of the gutter system.

The length of a lane is typically around 25 metres, which means that the ball gutters also have to be of around this length. To ensure that it forms a workable whole, the decision was made to split up the length of 25 metres into several shorter elongated gutter-shaped parts, which are fitted one after the other to make the whole around 25 metres long. The inventors have identified that the uniform lighting, lengthways, of the ball gutter is further improved if the thickness of the transparent diffuse material remains as much as possible the same across the length of the ball gutter. This is achieved by providing the top ends of the gutter parts with complementary shapes so that they slot into each other when they are fitted one behind the other.

In another example, each gutter part includes a groove lengthways, as much as possible in the centre of the convex side, which forms the elongated strip.

The inventors have identified that a robust ball gutter is obtained when the strip forms a whole with the gutter. In this example, this is achieved by the groove and by fitting the strip within this groove. The strip can for example be glued or clamped into the groove.

In another example, the grooves are elliptical so that the light emitted is spread uniformly across the transparent diffuse material.

The advantage of this example is that the light emitted by the LEDs is spread uniformly across the entire surface on the concave side of the ball gutter to light up the ball gutter even more uniformly. In another example, the elongated strip is divided into the same number of partial strips placed in a row, with electric connections between the partial strips.

The advantage of this example is that the installer doesn't have to take into account the partial strips. By fitting the gutter parts one behind the other, the strips are automatically electrically connected with each other to transfer electric signals and/or power. This automatic connection can occur in a number of ways. For example, push buttons, click switches, magnetic switches etc.

In yet another example, the elongated strip is glued onto the convex side of the gutter system.

In another example, the elongated strip is fitted almost to the entire surface of the convex side of the gutter system.

By placing the strip along almost the whole convex side of the ball gutter, the uniformity of the light emitted through the ball gutter is increased. In this situation, less account needs to be taken of how and where the transparent diffuse material reflects/deflects the light. In one example, the ball gutter contains an electric control unit to power and control the elongated strip. In another example the elongated strip includes White (W) LEDs. In yet another example, the transparent diffuse material has a thickness of between 10mm and 30mm.

In a second aspect, the description provides for a bowling lane laid out for a ball to have a trajectory, over a lane, between a starting point and a target point, where a number of pins are placed in the target area which can be knocked over by the ball in play, where the bowling lane includes two ball gutters following one of the aforementioned examples.

According to the present description, a goal is to add aspects to a bowling lane that allow the user to maintain his or her concentration on the bowling game. This goal is achieved in the first aspect by providing a ball gutter with a transparent diffuse material so that the gutter system is uniformly lit up by the light emitted by the LEDs. This lighting is therefore connected to the lane, meaning that the lighting can be controlled in such a way as to direct the bowler's concentration to this lane.

In another aspect, the lighting is connected to other aspects present on a bowling lane. This is for example a ball capping for a bowling lane that includes a number of elongated gutter sections fitted lengthways behind each other to make a whole covered gutter which is designed in such a way as to make a bowling ball able to roll under it from the target area to a ball return, an elongated strip with Red, Green and Blue (RGB) LEDs, with the strip fitted on the underside of the gutter and with the gutter made of a transparent, diffusing material to uniformly light up the gutter with the light emitted from the LEDs.

The designs discussed for the ball gutter according to the present description are also applicable to the ball capping according to the present description.

In a further aspect the description also provides for a ball return for the return of a bowling ball from below the lane to the start area, such that a user has access to the bowling ball. The ball return includes a strip comprising Red, Green, Blue, RGB LEDs, which strip is, in use, provided on the interior of the housing of the ball return where the housing is made of a transparent, diffuse material such that the housing lights up in a uniform manner due to the light emitted by the LEDs.

The designs discussed for the ball gutter according to the present description are also applicable to the ball return according to the present description.

Various aspects that are relevant in designs of the ball gutter according to the present description, including the advantages of it, correspond with aspects that are discussed with the ball return, the ball capping and the bowling lane, according to the description as already explained above.

The nomenclature of the different aspects of the ball gutter, the ball capping, the ball return and the bowling lane according to the description must not be interpreted literally. The chosen nomenclature simply aims to articulate the idea behind the aspect in question.

The invention shall now be explained on the basis of the attached figures, which merely serve to illustrate the invention and cannot be interpreted as a restriction thereof.

Figure 1 shows the view of a ballgame system according to the present invention. Figure 2 shows an example of a control unit and the lighting units controlled by the control unit.

Figure 3 shows a simplified flowchart of a method according to the present invention.

Figure 4 shows three views of a lighting system according to the present invention.

Figure 5 shows a number of views of other examples of a lighting system according to the present invention.

Figure 6 shows a simplified example of a lighting unit according to the present invention.

Figures 7, 8 and 9 show three views of a light fitting according to the present invention.

Figure 10 shows a view of a ball gutter according to the present invention.

Figure 1 1 shows a view of another example of a ball lane according to the present invention.

Figure 1 shows a view of a ballgame system 1 according to the present invention. The ballgame system can, for instance, be related to a bowling lane, a 9-pin bowling lane or a mini bowling lane. A mini bowling lane is basically the same as a regular bowling lane, however the dimensions are considerably smaller.

This implies that not just the length of the lane is smaller, but also the dimensions of the bowling ball, the pins that must be knocked down, etc.

The ballgame system 1 is suitable for playing a game by at least one player 8. Generally speaking, multiple persons are simultaneously playing a game. This can be in a competition, for instance league bowling, or in a more informal setting, e.g. recreational bowling. The present ballgame system is suitable for both variants.

Figure 1 shows a ballgame system 1 in the form of a bowling lane, which ballgame system 1 comprises a lane 2 arranged for following a trajectory with a ball 6 between a start area 3 and a target area 4 where in the target area 4, when in use, at least one target element 5 is present to be knocked down by the ball 6.

In this specific instance the ball 6 is a bowling ball. Bowling balls are available in different sizes and model and often differ in weight. For instance for ten- pin bowling the bowling balls often have a diameter of 21 .6 centimetres, and cannot weigh more than 7.2 kilogrammes. A minimum weight does usually not apply. A bowling ball moreover often has three finger holes with which the ball can be held. I .e. the ring finger, the middle finger and the thumb are usually used to control the bowling ball.

In the target area 4 multiple target elements 5 are present. In case of bowling this usually regards ten bowling pins that must all be knocked down by the player 8 by launching the bowling ball. To automatically keep, inter alia, the score of at least one player 8 the ballgame system 1 has been provided with a control unit 7. The control unit 7 was in this respect arranged for automatically keeping game data, i.e. for instance the names of at least one player 8, their score during the game, data directly related to the players, e.g. their date of birth of the like. The score is typically shown on a display installation, like a television, that is viewed close to the start area 3 or the seating area 14. As a consequence at least the single player 8 can keep the score during the game.

The ballgame system 1 also comprises a multitude of lighting units

9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13 controllable by the control unit 7 for the lighting of the lane 2, the start area 3 and the target area 4. In the context of the present invention the lighting implies that by means of the lighting units 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13 light is emitted in the direction of these areas. This could be an ambient light like a traditional lamp for lighting, for instance, a living room. Hence here these lighting units 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13 are meant to create an ambient light.

Various types of lighting units 9, 10, 1 1 , 12, 13 were included in figure 1 e. For instance, a rail system 15 was placed above the lane 2 where the rail system 15 includes a number of lighting units 9 for the lighting of the lane 2. The light originating from these lighting units 9 shall therefore be directed to the lane 2. As can be seen in figure 1 , the lighting units 9 were placed successively, lengthways of the lane 2 in order that a part of the lane 2 is lit by each of these lighting units 9. As each of these lighting units 9 can individually be controlled by the control unit 7, a part of the lane 2 can therefore also be lit separately. It can, for instance, be decided to leave the rear part of the lane 2 dark, in the direction of the target area 4, by switching off the lighting units 9 that are installed there through the control unit 7. The front part of the lane 2 can subsequently be lighted by the lighting units 9. Controlled by control unit 7. This way a visual effect can be accomplished for the at least single player 8 where the visual effect can be used such to support the at least single player 8 during the game.

The rail system 15 is linked electronically to control unit 7 where the individual lighting units 9 are linked to each other in cascade. The lighting units 9 are therefore linked with the control unit 7 by means of the same electronic connection. To be able to control the lighting units 9 individually each of the lighting units 9 comprise intelligent electronics to accomplish this. These electronics comprise, for instance, a unique address such that the control unit 7 can communicate with a lighting unit 9 by means of this unique address. Orders that are sent to one unique address, from the control unit 7, are subsequently only followed by the lighting unit 9 with that unique address.

The concept of the rail system 15 can therefore consist of a central DMX controlled rail system on which specifically developed fixtures for bowling lanes and light objects are positioned. Other forms of rail systems 15 are, obviously, also possible, think about wirelessly controllable lighting units, or lighting units that are addressed with an ether net protocol.

In addition lighting units 12 are foreseen on a ball return installation 16 where the ball return installation is arranged for returning the ball 6 from the target area 4 to the start area 3. These lighting units 12 can also be controlled by the control unit 7 on the basis of game data. Typically the game data also comprise player data, i.e. the names of the players who participate in the game, potential dates of birth of these players, ages of these players, gender of the players, etc. Each player can then be linked to a specific colour. When it is the turn of a player to throw a ball 6 over the lane 2 then the control unit 7 may decide to control the lighting units 12 of the ball return installation 16 in such manner that it emits the colour that is linked to the player whose turn is up. This way the ball return installation is lighted with the colour of the player whose turn is up as a result of which this is pointed out to this player.

A similar aspect as mentioned above can also be applied to the seating area 14 pertaining to the ballgame system 1 . The seating area comprises a number of chairs and/or benches where the at least single player 8 can sit. In addition the seating area comprises, in this example, a number of lighting units 13 that are attached to a table, for the lighting of either the table and/or the seating area. The control unit 7 can in this respect also coordinate the colour of the lighting units 13 with the colour of the player whose turn is up, similar to the aspect mentioned in the previous paragraph.

In figure 1 a front masking unit was moreover included that masks the mechanics and electronics present behind the bowling pins 5 for the at least single player 8. In this respect the masking unit is also part of the lighting units. I .e. the masking unit comprises one or more lighting units 10 that can be controlled by the control unit 7. In addition the ballgame system 1 1 comprises side masking units, with one or more lighting units 1 1 , similar to the front masking unit, for the lighting of the lane 2 from the side.

The front masking unit is formed by a thickened frame where the thickness of the frame ranges between 10-20 cm, preferably between 10-15 cm. The lighting units 10 are in this respect assembled to a rear side of the frame, and a diffuse material is foreseen on an opposite side of the frame, over substantially a whole surface of the front side. The thickness of the frame makes it possible to only use some individual lighting units 10 with which a uniform lighting of the front masking unit is yet accomplished. The front masking unit has a typical front side of approximately 6-12 metres wide and 1 -4 metres high. The front masking unit can moreover consist of multiple, separate units, but also of one unit.

To keep the scores of the at least single player 8 automatically, and correctly, the ballgame system 1 was provided with a detection installation 17 in the form of a camera. This camera is arranged for detecting how many bowling pins 5 were knocked down by the at least single player 8 or for detecting how many bowling pins 5 were not knocked down by the at least single player 8. There are also other types of detection installations known that can, for instance on the basis of mechanical pressure of the bowling pins 5, determine whether a bowling pin 5 was knocked down or not.

The detection installation 17 is also linked to the control unit 7 in order that the score of the player 8 can be kept. The ballgame system can also be provided with a scoring system (not shown) arranged for displaying scores of the at least single player on the basis of score data, and arranged for entering, and forwarding to the control unit 7, player data of the at least single player 8.

The control unit 7 is in this respect further arranged for automatically keeping game data by keeping the player data, i.e. for instance the names, dates of birth, age, gender, length, shoe size, etc. of the players. The inventors recognised that having fun is the most important reason for guests to bowl more frequently. Traditional scoring systems cannot be adjusted to the individual taste of the various customer segments. The ballgame system 1 according to the present invention has the possibility of creating a total lighting picture where the player 8 is assisted during the performance of the sport.

Figure 2 shows an example of a control unit 51 and lighting units 58, 59, 60, 61 , 61 , 62 controlled by the control unit.

The control unit 51 comprises a sender/receiver 53, program settings 57, a user interface, Ul , 56, a processing unit 54 and a memory 55. The sender/receiver 53 is arranged to, via the terminal 52, communicate with the lighting units 58, 59, 60, 61 , 62, 63. The lighting units 58, 59, 60, 61 , 62, 63 can in this respect physically be connected via a shared medium 64 or directly with each other, e.g. through a Local Area Network, LAN.

The most frequently used techniques are cabled baseband connections, e.g. Ethernet via UTP and wireless connections via WiFi. In addition communication via the power grid or modulation on existing coaxial cable for television is used. A LAN is usually limited to a local area, usually within one building or complex, e.g. business premises. Generally speaking the range of a LAN is limited by the used techniques.

Normally speaking each of the lighting units 58, 59, 60, 61 , 62, 63 is controlled from the control unit 51 . However, it is also conceivable that the lighting units 58, 59, 60, 61 , 62, 63 communicate with each other, for instance give trigger commands when a certain group of lighting units needs to switch on, or when this group needs to emit a certain colour, etc.

The control unit moreover comprises programmes 57 for indicating what light programme the control unit 51 needs to follow. These programmes 57 can, for instance, indicate that the ballgame system is used for league bowling, recreational bowling, etc. Depending on the type of bowling that is used the total lighting perception of the ballgame system can consequently be adjusted. Players who are active in league bowling generally need less support in the form of lighting than players who are active in recreational bowling.

The user interface 56 of the control unit 51 makes it possible for a user, for instance an operator, to programme the control unit 51 or to enter the programmes 57. The user interface 56 can, for instance, be a touchscreen, a keyboard, a mouse, a network interface, etc.

The processing unit 54 and the memory 55 are arranged to control the control unit 51 . In the present example the ballgame system has six groups of lighting units. A first group 58 and a second group 61 of lighting units are, for instance, used for the rail system that is oriented above the lane. A third group 59 and a fourth group 62 of lighting units is, for instance, used for the side masking units that are oriented on the sides of the lane. A fifth group 60 of lighting units is, for instance, used for the front masking unit that is oriented close to the target area. A sixth group 63 of lighting units is, for instance, used to light the ball return installation.

Figure 3 shows a simplified flowchart diagram 70 for the formation, in accordance with the method according to the description, by the control unit 51 with the help of one or more of the lighting units 58-63 placed above or along the lane, of a running light following the ball on the ball route.

In a first step the control unit 51 detects, at the start area of the lane, the start of the ball route to be followed by the ball, block 71 "Detect ball". To this end a ball detection installation was arranged along or on the lane at the start area, for instance in the form of a in itself known safety light curtain linked to the control unit 51 . The interruption of the safety light curtain by the ball then forms the detection moment of the start of the ball movement over the lane. In lieu of or in addition to the safety light curtain a camera, one or more pressure sensors for the detection of the pressure exercised by the ball on the lane, one or more audio recorders that observe the contact noise of the ball on the lane or, for instance, radiographic means of detection working with the ball, e.g. Radio-Frequency Identification, RFI D, transceivers for the detection of an RFI D label placed in the ball.

On the basis of, for instance, the average speed with which the ball follows the ball route, block 72: "Retrieve average speed ball", the control unit 51 calculates the speed of the subsequent control of one or more of the relevant lighting units 58-63, block 73: "Calculate control speed". The relevant lighting units 58-63 are then controlled in accordance with the calculated control speed, block 74: "Control lighting units", for thus forming a so-called running light.

As the number of lighting units to be controlled is known the ball reaching the target area for stopping the control does not need to be detected. Obviously a ball detection installation can also be arranged at the target area as outlined above in conjunction with the start area for the stopping of the control of the lighting units.

It shall be understood that the control speed depends, inter alia, on the mutual distance of the lighting units along the lane. In lieu of retrieving a general average speed of the ball, as for instance determined for a relevant lane, in block 72 a personal average speed of the ball can also be retrieved on the basis of the player data or for instance a speed pertaining to the type of ball, including a professional (league) or recreational game.

In an even more advanced design it is conceivable to continuously determine the momentary speed of the ball and to on the basis thereof form the running light. The momentary position of the ball on the lane can also be determined and the running light can thus be formed.

Within the framework of the description the term 'running light' does not only comprise the successive controlling of the relevant lighting units on/off but the, in terms of colour, light intensity or otherwise, successively controlling the lighting units, as long as this results in an indicative or stimulating light effect of the run of the ball for the spectator.

Figure 4 shows a top view 101 , a lateral view 102 and a front view 103 of a lighting system according to the present description. In this example a part of the bowling lane is shown, namely the target area, where in use ten bowling pins 104 are present that must be knocked down by a bowling ball.

The bowling pins 104 are placed in four rows behind each other. I n this specific example the lighting units 105 (only mentioned once) were placed directly above each bowling pin. This simplifies the process as this way the light beam needs to be taken less into account. The light beam is simply directly downward 107 in order that only the bowling pin 104 that is positioned directly under a lighting unit is lighted. In this way each lighting unit only lights one bowling pin. Each bowling pin 104 is therefore linked to one lighting unit 5.

In this specific example the lighting units 105 are, for instance, formed as rings with LEDs 106. The advantage of the use of LEDs is that they consume very little power for transmitting the light. The lighting system is suitable for performing a game by at least one player 108. Normally speaking there are, however, multiple persons simultaneously playing the game. This can be in a competition, for instance league bowling, or in a more informal setting, e.g. recreational bowling. The present lighting system is suitable for both variants. I .e. it can be selected to use, for instance, a different colour, a different intensity, etc. for the lighting units with league bowling compared to recreational bowling.

Bowling balls, according to the present description, occur in several sizes and editions and often differ in weight. For instance for ten-pin bowling the bowling balls often have a diameter of 21 .6 centimetres, and cannot weigh more than 7.2 kilogrammes. A minimum weight does usually not apply. A bowling ball moreover often has three finger holes with which the ball can be held. I .e. the ring finger, the middle finger and the thumb are usually used to control the bowling ball.

Figure 5 shows a number of views 1 10, 1 1 1 , 1 12, 1 13, 1 14 of other examples of a lighting system according to the present description. In the views referred to with reference numbers 1 10, 1 1 1 , 1 12 a first situation is shown in which seven of the ten bowling pins are lighted. In the top view 1 1 1 this is clearly visible. I n the lateral view 1 10 it can be seen that this time the light does not originate from directly above the bowling pins 104, but from the side. This implies that, during installation, the lighting units must be coordinated, in order that each lighting unit lights one bowling pin.

In the views referred to with reference numbers 1 13, 1 14 a second situation is shown in which three of the ten bowling pins are lighted. In this situation the other seven bowling pins have already been knocked down, as a result of which the lighting unit only lights the three remaining, still standing, bowling pins. This helps a player in the game. The light effect that is created helps a player with the insight which bowling pins are still standing and which no longer are.

To emphasise this, it can be selected to also adjust the colour of the emitted light. I .e. , it can be decided to light each bowling pin with a different colour.

Figure 6 shows a simplified example 121 of a lighting unit 122 according to the present description. In this example it can be seen of the lighting unit 122 that it comprises a convex lens with two protectors. The LEDs are in this respect placed behind the lens for an improved result. The result of the lighting unit is that a light beam 125 is emitted to one of the bowling pins, in order that the lighting unit only lights one bowling pin.

In an example the light beam consists of several more specific light beams, in order that parts or a part of the bowling can also be lighted. The advantage hereof is that with this technique a point of contact on the bowling pin can also be accentuated. This point of contact could be the optimal point of contact, with which, if the bowling ball hits the point of contact, all remaining pins are knocked down. This point of contact could be the optimal point of contact, with which, if the bowling ball hits the point of contact, all remaining pins are knocked down. This supports a player during the bowling.

Figure 7 shows a lateral view 201 of a light fitting according to the present description. The elongated light fitting is suitable for use as top lighting of a bowling lane, 9-pin bowling lane or something similar. The lengthways direction 6 of the elongated light fitting 201 is shown in the figure of the horizontal direction.

The elongated light fitting comprises an elongated strip 222 with Red, Green, Blue, RGB LEDs 222, which strip 222 is positioned such in the light fitting that the LEDs 222, in use, emit light in the direction of the bowling lane.

In addition an elongated lens combination 224 is foreseen, which lens combination 224 is placed in such manner in the fixture that it, in use, is positioned under the LEDs 222. The lens combination 224 can consist of one single lens, for instance an extrusion lens, but can also consist of multiple separate lenses, where each lens is linked to a slat 223.

In this respect the combination of the LEDs 222 and the lens combination 224 accomplishes, in use, that light emitted under the lens combination 224 creates, via a light exit area 225 of the lens combination 224, an angle in the longitudinal direction between 40°-80°, and width-wise and angle between 5° - 20°.

In addition there are at least four, parallel in the longitudinal direction of the light fitting 201 , slats 223 foreseen placed behind each other, which slats 223 are curved in the direction of the light exit area, where a straight line through both ends of a slat makes an angle 208, a with a normal vector of the light exit area between 10°-60°. In the present example only two slats 223 are indicated with the reference number 223.

Finally the light fitting 1 comprises an electric control body 226 for powering and controlling the LED strip 222, and at least two adapters 203, 204 for assembling the light fitting 201 to a guide rail 205 above the bowling lane, where at least one of these at least two adapters 203, 204 is arranged for forwarding electric power and electric control signals from the guide rail 205 to the electrical control body 226. The slats are otherwise well visible in figure 8, where the slats with reference numbers 208-213 are indicated. In figure 8 it can be seen that the lens combination 224 is divided into a number of separate lenses 214-219, where each lens 214-219 is linked to a respective slat 208-213.

Figure 10 shows a perspective view of a ball gutter 301 according to the present description. The ball gutter 301 is suitable for a bowling lane, a 9-pin bowling lane or something similar.

The ball gutter 301 comprises a number of elongated gutter sections 302, 303 placed behind each other in a longitudinal direction, such that a gutter is provided, where the gutter is arranged such that a bowling ball 307 can roll over a concave side 308 of the gutter, an elongated strip 305 comprising Red, Green, Blue, RGB LEDs 306, which strip 305 is provided on a spherical side 309 of the gutter, where the elongated gutters 302, 303 are made of a transparent, diffuse material such that the gutter lights up uniformly with the light emitted by the LEDs 306.

In this specific example the elongated gutters 302, 303 each comprise attachments 310 for attaching the gutters 302, 303 together, where the gutter pieces at the top ends comprise complementary forms 304 such that the pieces 302, 303 placed behind each other are combined and such that a thickness of the transparent, diffuse material is uniform over the length 31 1 of the gutter.

It can moreover be seen that each gutter part 302, 303 comprises a groove oriented in the lengthways direction 31 1 , at the centre of its convex side 309, where the elongated strip 305 is obtained from this groove. This strip 305 can for example be glued, clamped or affixed in another way into the groove.

In this specific example, the grooves are elliptical so that the light emitted is spread uniformly across the transparent diffuse material.

The thickness of the material, i.e. the thickness of the elongated gutter shaped housings 302, 303, ranges between 10mm-30mm, preferably about 18mm.

Figure 1 1 shows a view of another example of a ball gutter 21 according to the present description. Aspects of the ball gutter 321 with the same reference number refer to a similar or comparable aspect compared to figure 10. The big difference of the design shown in figure 1 1 is that the elongated gutter parts 302, 303 comprise wall components 322 in order that under the elongated parts 302, 302, i.e. at the convex side 309 of the housings 302, 303, a space is created in which the strip 305 with LEDs 306 is placed.

In this example the strip 305 with LEDs 306 is assembled at a bottom side, which bottom side connects the ends of the two parallel walls 322 together. The strip 305 is placed approximately in the centre of the bottom, and substantially extends over the full length of the ball gutter 321 .

The ball gutter 321 , according to the present description, is not limited to specific dimensions. The essence of the ball gutter 321 is that it must be suitable for supporting a bowling ball whilst it rolls from a start area to a target area. The aforementioned two designs are both aimed at a ball gutter as formulated in the claims. The description does, however, also provide for a ball return and a ball capping, where the housing hereof lights up as a result of a strip with LEDs placed on the inside of the housing. The housing is made of a transparent, diffuse material such that the light emitted by the LEDs is distributed substantially uniformly over the surface of the housing.