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Title:
PLAY BALL ASSEMBLED OF EIGHT IDENTICAL LIQUID CONTAINERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/040153
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention provides a container for liquids that can be assembled with like containers in to a ball shape. The container constitute a generally tetrahedron shape with one end truncated and a spherical surface opposite the truncated end and with the truncated end provided with closable opening. Each of the other ends of the tetrahedron is provided with an attachment means for attaching to similar means of three other similar containers.

Inventors:
LEACH, Edward, Noel (Plot 29, Baskoppies Dalmada, 0699 Polokwane, ZA)
Application Number:
ZA2009/000023
Publication Date:
April 08, 2010
Filing Date:
March 13, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WHITEHEAD, Johannes, Lodewikus (31A Hoog Street, 0699 Polokwane, ZA)
LEACH, Edward, Noel (Plot 29, Baskoppies Dalmada, 0699 Polokwane, ZA)
International Classes:
B65D81/36; B63B39/00
Domestic Patent References:
2007-05-24
2004-11-25
Foreign References:
US5638982A1997-06-17
GB1263107A1972-02-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAHN & HAHN INC. C. BERNDT; JF LUTEREK; C MICHAEL; PCR VENTER; CJ WHEELER; VC WILLIAMS (222 Richard Street, Hatfield, 0083 Pretoria, ZA)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A container for liquids that can be assembled with like containers in to a ball shape, which container constitute a generally tetrahedron shape with one end truncated and a spherical surface opposite the truncated end and with the truncated end provided with closable opening.

2. A container as claimed in Claim 1 , wherein each other end of the tetrahedron is provided with an attachment means for attaching to similar means of three other similar containers.

3. A container as claimed in Claim 2, wherein the attachment means is in the form of a quarter of a cylinder formation contiguous with two surfaces and one side of that end of the tetrahedron.

4. A container as claimed in Claim 3, wherein the round part of the quarter of the cylinder is provided with a thread or notch, which together with three other quarters of similar containers forms a threaded or notched cylinder extending radially away from the centre of an assembled ball.

5. A container as claimed in Claim 4, wherein the closable opening of the container includes a threaded neck for threadedly receiving a cap and the threaded neck and threaded cylinder have a similar thread for receiving the same cap.

6. A container as claimed in any one of Claims 3 to 5, wherein a free end of the quarter of a cylinder formation is short of the surface of the spherical side so that a cap, when screwed on, will be below or flush with the surface of an assembled ball.

7. A ball which includes multiple containers for liquids as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6.

8. A ball which includes multiple containers for liquids as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 6 and easily removable sleeves connecting six sets of four quarter cylinders together.

9. A container for liquids that can be assembled with like containers in to a ball shape, substantially as described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings.

10. A ball, substantially as described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Description:
Play ball assembled of eight identical liquid containers

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention lies in the field of liquid containers, ball sports equipment and toys and educational toys..

BACKGROUND

Games with balls are universally popular and have been so for all recorded history, most usual are round (spherical) balls such as soccer balls, tennis balls, squash balls, golf balls, baseball balls, balls used in volley ball and netball and many other balls which each may or may not be specific to the game usually played with them, oval balls (prolate spheroidal balls) are used in the game of rugby, and so on. The popularity of ball games seems to never decline, indeed to increase and the world cup soccer for example is causing a rising excitement for this game.

Energetic participation in ball games, for example soccer and many other ball games typically cause thirst and thirsty players need to quench their thirst after a period of play. Players may not wish to quench their thirst with water but may also choose to drink energy drinks, sweetened or fruit drinks and the like. There is a world of difference between first-world-like facilities, such as playing stadiums and well developed fields with refreshment facilities on the one hand and rural fields or open spaces where youngsters play spontaneously. Notwithstanding the humble nature of these circumstances where ball games are played, they are still important in the development of a sport, like soccer for example, but the provision of simple facilities like drinking liquids is more difficult. In addition to a lack of drinking facilities, in rural areas there is always a need for balls to play with.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a container for liquids that can be assembled with like containers in to a ball shape. The container may constitute a generally tetrahedron shape with one end truncated and a spherical surface opposite the truncated and with the truncated end provided with closable opening.

A tetrahedron shaped container, for purposes of reference and description, includes four surfaces, four ends and six linear sides.

Each other end of the tetrahedron may be provided with an attachment means for attaching to similar means of three other similar containers.

The closable opening of the container may include a threaded neck for threadedly receiving a cap.

The attachment means may be in the form of a quarter of a cylinder formation contiguous with two surfaces and along one side of that end of the tetrahedron. The round part of the quarter of the cylinder may be provided with a thread, protrusion or notch, which together with three other quarters of similar containers forms a threaded cylinder extending radially away from the centre of an assembled ball. It will be appreciated that a notch or protrusion provided on the quarter of a cylinder will allow a threaded cap to be fitted in a snap lock manner and/ or a friction fit.

The threaded neck and threaded cylinder may have a similar thread for receiving the same cap. In the first case it closes the container in the other case four containers are connected to each other.

The free end of the quarter of a cylinder formation may be short of the surface of the spherical surface so that a cap will be below or flush with the surface of an assembled ball.

It will be appreciated that fluids such as sports drinks or drinks on promotion can be presented in the form of a ball, which ball can be disassembled into eight containers and the liquid taken. Afterwards, the ball can be assembled and used to play with. Also, the containers can be sold separately and collected by a person and/ or combined with another person's container(s) to form a ball to play with. It will be appreciated that, apart from being a novel promotional tool, empty containers usually discarded can now be used to form one of the most popular toys or sports equipment, a ball. The assembly and disassembly of a ball also requires an educational and entertaining problem to be solved.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a ball which includes or comprises multiple containers for liquids, with means for disconnecting or detaching one or more of the containers for drinking from them and/or reconnecting them for playing with the ball.

An easily removable sleeve may be used to connect four quarter cylinders together where drinks are presented in the form of a ball, for easy disassemble of the ball.

The term "liquid" is used herein for convenience and the containers can also hold any fluent material, e.g. particulate material that flows easily and the use of the term "liquid" herein must be understood to comprehend also such materials.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention is more fully described by way of examples with reference to the drawings, in which : -

Figure 1 is a view of a soccer ball according to the invention,

Figure 2 shows the ball with three containers removed,

Figures 3 to 9 are a series of views of one of the containers of the ball, Figure 10 is a view of a rugby ball according to the invention,

Figure 11 shows the ball with two container removed,

Figures 12 to 19 are a series of views of one of the containers of the ball, and

Figure 20 is a view of a cap used to close the containers and to hold the containers together to form a ball.

Figure 21 is a bottom side view of the container showing a narrowed groove to provide a friction fir for a cap.

As shown in figures 1 and 2 the soccer ball 1 is made up of eight containers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 which are held together by six caps of which locations, in the form of threaded cylinders, for caps are at 10, 11, 12 and 13 and caps 12A and 13A are visible in the views. Each container has at each of its three corners quarter of a cylinder formation within a groove, in the views of figures 1 and 2 grooves 23 and 24 of container 2 are seen, grooves 25, 26 and 27 of container 3 are seen, grooves 28 and 29 of container 4 are seen, groove 30 of container 5 is seen, describing a quarter circle and screw threaded; when the containers are brought together four quarter circle grooves of contiguous corners form a complete circle at the six positions on the ball surface and six screw caps hold all eight containers together. While the containers contain a liquid the caps are used to keep them closed, the containers can be supplied as loose containers; when the contents have been drunk the containers can be assembled and the caps used to hold them together as balls which can be used for informal play; caps 14, 15 and 16 are shown in figure 2 as examples of caps closing the containers.

As shown in figures 3 to 9 each container has the general form of a tetrahedron, i.e. has four surfaces 17, 18, 19 and 20, truncated at one end 21, with the opposite surface 20 presenting a spherical surface which forms part of the spherical surface of the ball. The truncated end 21 carries the neck 22 which is screw threaded and receives a cap to close the container. Each of the three ends of the container has grooves 25, 26 and 27 (taking container 3 as an example of all eight). The eight containers are thus identical with each other. The surfaces of each container offer opportunity for advertising and promotional information, rules of the game, sports heroes etc. to be printed on them. The containers are preferably made of PET (poly ethylene terephtalate), PETG, Polypropylene, HDPE and all other material suitable for injection moulding and/ or blow moulding.

The balls can be made to regulation sizes e.g. FIFA regulation size 4 etc. A soccer ball with a 212 mm diameter would provide eight containers each of 540 millilitres capacity. Sizes 3 to 5 could be made to result in varying capacity of the containers. It is possible to implement the invention with a different number of containers per ball, e.g. six and it will be appreciated that there are other possibilities.

Figures 10 and 11 show the invention applied to the shape of a rugby ball; the ball is again made up of eight containers, but shaped to form the prolate spheroidal shape. Accordingly for economy of description the same reference numerals are used and the description of the spherical ball above is referred to, adapted merely to the change in shape.

Figure 20 shows a cap 28 which may be used to close the containers and hold the containers together to form a ball.

When the containers have been emptied of liquid the caps are replaced so as to cause an air-tight closure of the containers to produce bounce in the ball when the containers are assembled, for play.

The balls may be transported assembled or as loose containers, either filed or not, as circumstances require.

REFERENCE NUMERALS

1 BALL CONTAINER CONTAINER CONTAINER CONTAINER CONTAINER CONTAINER CONTAINER CONTAINER LOCATION FOR CAP LOCATION FOR CAP LOCATION FOR CAP LOCATION FOR CAP LOCATION FOR CAP CAP CLOSING CONTAINER CAP CLOSING CONTAINER FACE OR SURFACE OF TETRAHEDRON CONTAINER FACE OR SURFACE OF TETRAHEDRON CONTAINER FACE OR SURFACE OF TETRAHEDRON CONTAINER FACE OR SURFACE OF TETRAHEDRON CONTAINER TRUNCATED END OF TETRAHEDRON CONTAINER SHAPE FILLING/DRINKING/POURING NECK OF CONTAINER QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE QUARTER CIRCLE SHAPED GROOVE




 
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