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Title:
SHUFFLEBOARD BOARD ARRANGEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/183122
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A shuffleboard arrangement is disclosed. The shuffleboard arrangement comprises a wall extending along a first direction and a shuffleboard table. The shuffleboard table extends from the wall orthogonal to the first direction from a first end of the shuffleboard table to a second end of the shuffleboard table opposite to the first end of the shuffleboard table. The first end of the shuffleboard table extends from the wall and comprises a scoring area. The second end of the shuffleboard table comprises a playing area from where players throw pucks along a sliding surface towards the scoring area. The shuffleboard arrangement further includes a scoreboard for displaying scoring, the scoreboard arranged at the first end of the shuffleboard table.

Inventors:
BARHAM PAUL (GB)
MOORE STEPHEN (GB)
DALE JASON (GB)
Application Number:
GB2020/050205
Publication Date:
September 17, 2020
Filing Date:
January 29, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ELECTRIC SHUFFLE IP LTD (GB)
International Classes:
A63B67/14; A63F7/00
Foreign References:
GB2558571A2018-07-18
US20100113197A12010-05-06
US20070075486A12007-04-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GILL JENNINGS & EVERY LLP (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A shuffleboard arrangement comprising:

a wall extending along a first direction;

a shuffleboard table extending from the wall orthogonal to the first direction from a first end of the shuffleboard table to a second end of the shuffleboard table opposite to the first end of the shuffleboard table, the first end of the shuffleboard table extended from the wall and comprising a scoring area, and the second end of the shuffleboard table comprising a playing area from where players throw pucks along a sliding surface towards the scoring area; and

a scoreboard for displaying scoring, the scoreboard arranged at the first end of the shuffleboard table.

2. The shuffleboard apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the scoreboard is arranged parallel with the wall along the first direction.

3. The shuffleboard apparatus of any preceding claim, wherein the scoreboard is elevated with respect to the scoring area.

4 The shuffleboard apparatus of any preceding claim, wherein the scoreboard is arranged on the wall.

5. The shuffleboard arrangement of any preceding claim, wherein the wall is a wall of a building in which the shuffleboard table is housed.

6. The shuffleboard arrangement of any preceding claim, wherein the first end of the shuffleboard table is removably attached to the wall.

7. The shuffleboard arrangement of any preceding claim, wherein the shuffleboard table comprises:

an outer box arranged around the perimeter of the shuffleboard table, and a ledge attached to the outer box extending between the first end and the second end of the shuffleboard table, the ledge for holding drink receptacles.

8. The shuffleboard arrangement of claim 7, wherein the ledge further extends along the first end of the shuffleboard table parallel to the first direction, wherein the ledge provides an attachment with the wall.

9. The shuffleboard apparatus of claim 7 or 8, wherein the ledge is tapered towards the sliding surface at the second end of the shuffleboard table.

10. The shuffleboard arrangement of any preceding claim, further comprising a plurality of shuffleboard tables.

11. The shuffleboard arrangement of claim 10, further comprising a viewing area where spectators can stand between neighbouring shuffleboard tables of the plurality of shuffleboard tables.

12. The shuffleboard arrangement of claims 10 to 11 , further comprising a partition, the partition extending orthogonal to the first direction, the partition separating neighbouring shuffleboard tables.

Description:
Shuffleboard Board Arrangement

Technical Field The present invention relates to a playing apparatus for a shuffleboard.

Background of the Invention

The game of shuffleboard, or table shuffleboard, is traditionally played on a long wooden table with each player situated at opposing ends of the table. When it is a player’s turn they throw plastic-capped metal pucks from their end of the table down towards the opposite end until all the pucks of an innings or frame have been thrown. When it is the opposing player’s turn to throw, they throw from their end of the table towards the other player’s end. The scores are usually determined at the end of each frame according to the rules of the game.

Table shuffleboard is growing in popularity and can be increasingly found in public spaces, such as bars and entertainment complexes. However, such environments can become crowded and make it difficult to advance gameplay. The space that shuffleboard tables typically occupy can be large, with the playing areas from where users throw required to be of a sufficient size to allow a comfortable throwing position and action. Space in these venues is often limited especially in big cities, with the desire to incorporate more tables in a limited amount of space.

An object of the present invention is to improve the shuffleboard playing environment. In particular, for use within bars and entertainment complexes.

Summary of Invention

According to an aspect of the invention there is provided a shuffleboard arrangement comprising a wall extending along a first direction, a shuffleboard table extending from the wall orthogonal to the first direction from a first end of the shuffleboard table to a second end of the shuffleboard table opposite to the first end of the shuffleboard table, the first end of the shuffleboard table extending from the wall and comprising a scoring area, and the second end of the shuffleboard table comprising a playing area from where players throw pucks along a sliding surface towards the scoring area; and a scoreboard for displaying scoring, the scoreboard arranged at the first end of the shuffleboard table.

Having a first end that is configured to extend from a wall when the shuffleboard table is in use, results in a shuffleboard table with only a single scoring area, and a single playing area. This creates a dedicated scoring end of the table which all players throw towards from the single playing area. This also enables the scoreboard to be located at the same end of the table as the scoring area. In this way, each player’s view of the table is uninterrupted by the placement of the scoreboard, as it is located at the end of the table that all players are throwing towards.

The shuffleboard apparatus according to the present invention is suited for bars and venues with limited space. By positioning one end of the shuffleboard table against the wall and only having one playing area at a single end of the shuffleboard table, the space that the table takes up is reduced as opposed to having playing areas at both ends of the table. This enables a plurality of shuffleboard tables to be placed in close proximity to one another, providing an improved packing density of shuffleboard tables in a single venue.

Preferably, the scoreboard is arranged parallel with the wall along the first direction. In this way the scoreboard is also orthogonal to the direction in which the shuffleboard table extends. This means that the players have a direct view of the scoreboard when located at the playing area, and also when standing around the side of the shuffleboard table.

Preferably, the scoreboard may be elevated with respect to the scoring area. This enables the scoreboard to be easily visualised at any point around the shuffleboard table, especially by the players at the playing end. Furthermore, when located in a venue such as a bar, it enables players at other locations within the venue to view the scoreboard, such as those on neighbouring shuffleboard tables or when a player is away from the shuffleboard table, such as at a different location in the venue. In some embodiments the scoreboard is arranged at a height of at least 1m above the scoring area. In other embodiments, it may be arranged at least 1.5m above the scoring area.

The scoreboard may be arranged on the wall. Mounting the scoreboard on a wall means that additional apparatus, such as a stand, is not required to hold up the scoreboard. This is advantageous as additional apparatus to hold up the scoreboard could be a health and safety hazard, especially in a bar, which could cause players to trip over, or the additional apparatus could be knocked over. By mounting on a wall the scoreboard is out of the way and is mounted on a fixed structure. It also allows the scoreboard to be mounted at a height such that it is easily visible.

Alternatively, the scoreboard may be mounted on a stand. The stand may be moveable or fixed. Having a movable stand may enable the scoreboard to be moved to a preferred position, or may enable adjustment of the height of the scoreboard.

The wall may be the wall of a building in which the shuffleboard table is housed. This enables the shuffleboard to be positioned directly up against the wall of the venue in which it is to be housed. Positioning the shuffleboard table against the wall of the building minimises the space required, as additional supporting structure are not required. The shuffleboard table can be placed along the perimeter of the room in which it is housed. This may reduce the amount of wasted space, as a greater number of shuffleboard tables can be tightly packed within the building as the arrangement allows them to be positioned flush against the wall.

Alternatively, the wall may be a temporary wall. This may be suitable for venues where the shuffleboard table is to be installed temporarily, or if the shuffleboard table is installed outside.

The shuffleboard table may be attached to the wall. This ensures that the shuffleboard table is securely fixed relative to the wall. The first end of the shuffleboard table may be removably attached to the wall. This enables the shuffleboard table to be moved from its position by detaching the shuffleboard table from the wall. It may be desirable to change the layout of the venue, or area where shuffleboard apparatus is housed. For instance, when carrying out renovation, or if it is desired to make more room for additional shuffleboard tables or other furniture. Being able to move the shuffleboard table with respect to the wall enables the improved packing density to be maintained throughout the lifetime of the shuffleboard table, as it can be readily moved and repositioned.

Preferably, the shuffleboard table comprises an outer box arranged around the perimeter of the shuffleboard table, and a ledge attached to the outer box extending between the first end and the second end of the shuffleboard table, the ledge for holding drink receptacles. Advantageously, the ledge provides a convenient location for players to rest items, such as drink receptacles when waiting for their turn to play or when playing.

Conventional shuffleboards have an outer box, also known as the cradle. In other embodiments the ledge may be attached to other sections of the shuffleboard apparatus. For instance, to the one or more supports, or to the underside of the sliding surface.

The ledge may further extend along the first end of the shuffleboard table parallel to the first direction, wherein the ledge provides attachment with the wall. Having the ledge provide the attachment between the shuffleboard table and wall means that the area of attachment between the shuffleboard table and the wall is not wasted and may be used by the players to place items such as drink receptacles, further making use of all available space in the venue in which the shuffleboard table is housed.

Preferably, the ledge is tapered towards the sliding surface at the second end of the shuffleboard table. In other words, the ledge is tapered when viewed from above relative to the sliding surface.

In other words, a first end of the ledge proximal to the second end of the shuffleboard table is not parallel to either the first direction or the direction of the shuffleboard table extending from the wall orthogonal to the first direction. Thus, the profile of the ledge is not rectangular. Alternatively, the tapered profile may be a curved or rounded profile. This may comprise a single curve or a plurality of different curves. In this way, the ledge does not comprise a sharp point or corner that extends out from the shuffleboard table. Thus, when players move from the viewing area adjacent to the shuffleboard table to the playing area, they are less likely to injure themselves on the ledge. This type of profile also provides an aesthetic appeal to the shuffleboard table.

The shuffleboard apparatus may further comprise a plurality of shuffleboard tables. As outlined above, arranging a plurality of shuffleboard tables in this way enables a tight packing density to be achieved maximising the use of space.

The plurality of shuffleboard tables may be arranged parallel to one another extending from the wall. In some arrangements, an opposing wall may be present spaced from the wall, with shuffleboard tables arranged extending from the opposing wall. This may be arranged in such a way that consecutive shuffleboard tables arranged along the first direction, extend from the wall and the opposing wall in an alternate manner. In this way, the players on neighbouring tables throw in opposite directions to each other, towards the first end of the shuffleboard table that they are playing upon.

Each of the plurality of shuffleboard tables may comprise their own scoreboard. The scoreboard for each shuffleboard table may only show the scores for that particular table. However, in some instances the scores from other tables may be displayed, for instance when group play is present or the neighbouring shuffleboard tables are linked. In other arrangements there may be a single scoreboard which displays the scores for each shuffleboard table in the venue.

Preferably, the shuffleboard apparatus may further comprise a viewing area where spectators can stand between neighbouring shuffleboard tables of the plurality of shuffleboard tables. The viewing area may be arranged between the first and second end alongside the shuffleboard table. Advantageously, this provides an area for the players to stand whilst waiting for their turn to throw. As the viewing area is between the playing area and the scoring area the players in the viewing area have an uninterrupted view of the both the player throwing the pucks and the scoring area and scores. The viewing area may be arranged on one side of the shuffleboard table. In other embodiments there may be a plurality of viewing areas. For instance, they may be either side of the shuffleboard table. The viewing area may comprise one or more seats, and/or bar stools, and/or tables. This allows the opponents to take a seated position whilst they are waiting for their turn to play.

The shuffleboard arrangement may further comprise a partition, the partition extending orthogonal to the first direction, the partition separating neighbouring shuffleboard tables. This provides a clearly defined area to accommodate the spectators and players playing on each of the shuffleboard tables.

In some arrangements, the plurality of shuffleboard tables may be separated by a table. The table may be a raised table on which players can place drink receptacles. The table may act to separate neighbouring viewing areas. Alternatively, the partition may be a seating area. For instance, the partition may be an arrangement of chairs or benches. The partition may instead be a partition wall or divider. The partition may be movable or fixed. By having a moveable partition the partition may be removed to allow players from neighbouring tables to easily interact with one another, for instance when linking games on neighbouring tables.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Embodiments of the invention are now described, by way of example, with reference to the drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a front cross sectional view of a shuffleboard arrangement in an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a top view of the shuffleboard arrangement shown in Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is a top view of a shuffleboard arrangement comprising a plurality of shuffleboard tables; and

Figure 4 is a top view of a further shuffleboard arrangement comprising a plurality of shuffleboard tables. Detailed Description

As shown in Figures 1 and 2, a shuffleboard apparatus 100 includes a shuffleboard table 2. The shuffleboard table 2 has a sliding surface 4 on which a puck 6 can be thrown. The sliding surface 4 has a single throwing end 8 and a single scoring end 10. Surrounding the sliding surface 4 is a box 12 which extends around the perimeter of the shuffleboard surface creating a well 14 between the sliding surface 4 and the box 12. Figure 1 shows a cross sectional view such that the side of the box 12 is removed so that the well 14 is visible.

The shuffleboard apparatus is supported by two supports 16 from the floor 18. Although it cannot be seen from the Figures, the supports 16 extend across the width of the sliding surface 4. However, it can be understood that any arrangement of supports 16 could be used.

The shuffleboard table extends from wall 101. The wall shown in the present embodiment is the wall of the building in which the shuffleboard table is housed. Figures 1 and 2 show only a portion of the wall for illustrative purposes. The scoring end 10 of the shuffleboard table abuts the wall, with the outer portion of the box 12 in direct contact with the wall 101. The box 12 at the throwing end 8 of the shuffleboard table 2 is not in contact with the wall.

The scoring end 10 of the shuffleboard table 2 is not attached to the wall in the embodiment shown in Figures 1 and 2, it is just located against the wall. In other embodiments the scoring end 8 of the shuffleboard table 2 may be attached to the wall 101. The attachment may be removable or may be permanent. For instance, the table may be removably clipped onto a corresponding attachment on the wall. Alternatively, the scoreboard table may be attached to the wall through any of screws, nails or adhesives.

Located on the wall 101 elevated above the scoring end 10 is a scoreboard 103. The scoreboard displays the scores for the shuffleboard table 2. As can be seen the scoreboard 103 is arranged parallel to the wall. However, in other embodiments the scoreboard 103 may be positioned at an angle that is not parallel to the wall 101 , such as tilted to face the viewing area 24. A playing area 20 is located at the throwing end 8 of the sliding surface 4.

A viewing area 24 is positioned to the side of the sliding surface 4, between the throwing end 8 and the scoring end 10.

Although it cannot be seen in Figure 1 , a ledge 26 is attached to the box 12 adjacent to the sliding surface 4, as can be seen from Figures 2 and 3. The ledge 26 is directly above the viewing area 24, such that when in the viewing area 24, the players can place items, such as drink receptacles, upon the ledge 26. The end of the ledge 28 nearest the throwing end 8 is tapered, such that the end of the ledge 28 is not perpendicular to the length of the sliding surface 4. As the end of the ledge 26 is tapered, such that the ledge 26 has no sharp edges, players are less likely to injure themselves between turns when moving between the playing area 20 and the viewing area 24.

As can be seen from Figure 2 a trigger line 30 may be provided at a predetermined length away from the throwing end 8 to define the limit of a throwing zone. One or more previously validly thrown pucks 6A may be positioned on the sliding surface 4 beyond the trigger line 30. One or more previously validly thrown pucks 6B can also be positioned in a well 14 that surrounds the sliding surface 4. Previously validly thrown puck 6B has fallen off the side of the sliding surface 4. Three lines 32A-32C are provided to define three different scoring sections 32A-32C. Alternative use of one or more lines to define scoring sections or zones would readily occur to a person skilled in the art for use in shuffleboard games involving one or more scoring zones. For example, a game may only have one line to define a single scoring zone. Alternatively, there may be provided five scoring sections. Having more scoring sections provides a larger area over which a player may score points than compared to conventional tables. The one or more lines are also not restricted to being straight and can be curved or used to form different shapes.

When play begins, the player or team of players whose turn it is to throw, step into the playing area 20 and can throw the puck 6 down the sliding surface 4, in the same manner as is conventional for table shuffleboard games. Whilst the player is standing in the playing area 20 the opposing players can be seated or standing within the viewing area 24. The ledge 26 within the viewing area 24 provides the function of a table or bar, for holding drink receptacles and food items. The scores from the game are displayed on the scoreboard 103 such that the player standing at the scoring end 8 and the players in the viewing area 24 can view the scores.

By only having a single playing area at one end of the shuffleboard table the second end of the sliding surface of the shuffleboard apparatus can be positioned against a wall. The shuffleboard apparatus can also be positioned in a corner of a venue such that a side of the table between the first and second end of the sliding surface are adjacent to a wall. This enables the shuffleboard apparatus to occupy a space that a conventional shuffleboard table would not be able to occupy, due to the need for more space when having two playing areas for a single table.

The scoreboard may be an electronic scoreboard. In this way the scoreboard may keep track of the scores of the shuffleboard game, without the user having to manually enter the scores on the scoreboard. The scoreboard may be updated when each puck is thrown, or may be updated at the end of each player’s turn to throw. The scoreboard may be connected to a system which determines the scores automatically, such as being in communication with cameras which track the movement of the pucks or through sensors on the shuffleboard apparatus.

Figure 3 is a top view of a shuffleboard arrangement 100 comprising a first shuffleboard table 2a and a second shuffleboard table 2b according to an embodiment of the present invention. Reference numerals correspond to the same features as shown in Figures 1 and 2.

As can be seen from Figure 3 each of the shuffleboard tables 2a and 2b extend from the wall 101 , with the scoring end 10a 10b of each shuffleboard table 2a 2b against the wall 101. The shuffleboard tables are arranged parallel to one another.

Unlike in Figure 2 where the shuffleboard table has its own scoreboard 103, the shuffleboard tables 2a 2b in Figure 3 share a single scoreboard 103. The single scoreboard is arranged between the two shuffleboard tables 2a 2b. The scoreboard 103 is elevated above the shuffleboard tables 2a 2b such that it is easily observable to players standing in the playing areas 20a 20b of both tables 2a 2b and also to players located in the viewing areas 24a 24b of both shuffleboard tables 2a 2b.

The single scoreboard 103 may use a split screen, with one portion of the screen showing the score for shuffleboard table 2a and the other portion of the screen showing the score for shuffleboard table 2b. In addition, the shuffleboard tables 2a and 2b may be linked together. For instance, the gameplay may involve players on each table playing against each other. In this way the single scoreboard 103 may show a single screen related to the joint game.

Shuffleboard table 2a, as shown in Figure 3, only has a single viewing area 24a adjacent to the ledge 26a. Shuffleboard table 2b has two viewing areas 24b one either side of the shuffleboard table 2b.

Table 105 separates the two shuffleboard tables 2a and 2b. Table 105 is located between the viewing areas 24a and 24b. The table acts to separate the adjacent shuffleboard tables from one another such that players on neighbouring tables are kept apart.

Chairs 107 are located within the viewing areas 24a 24b of the shuffleboard tables 2a 2b. The chairs are at a height such that players in the viewing areas 24a 24b can sit at and use the table 105 and the ledges 26a 26b. The chairs 107 shown are fixed in position. However, in other embodiments the chairs may be moveable. Players may move the chairs 107 to get their preferred position relative to the table. This also allows the chairs 107 to be removed when not required.

Figure 4 shows a further shuffleboard arrangement 100 having eight shuffleboard tables 2c - 2j arranged in two rows of four. Shuffleboard tables 2c, 2e, 2g and 2i are arranged in the same direction to each other, extending from wall 101 B. Shuffleboard tables 2d, 2f, 2h, and 2j are arranged in the opposite direction to tables 2c, 2e, 2g and 2i. Shuffleboard tables 2d, 2f, 2h, and 2j are arranged in the same direction to each other, extending from wall 101 A. Walls 101 A and 101 B are walls of the building in which the shuffleboard tables are housed. Each of the shuffleboard tables in Figure 4 has their own corresponding scoreboard 103c-103j.

Tables 105 are shown between each of the shuffleboard tables 2c - 2j, between neighbouring shuffleboard tables. As can be seen from Figure 4 the plurality of shuffleboard tables have various arrangements of viewing areas. Shuffleboard tables 2c and 2d are positioned side on to wall 109A, in addition to extending from walls 103B and 103A respectively. Thus, they only have a single viewing area 24c and 24d. Each of the other shuffleboard tables 2e-2j have two viewing areas 24e- 24j.

In addition, various arrangements of chairs 107 within the viewing areas are shown. Shuffleboard table 2e has chairs only in a single viewing area 24e. Shuffleboard table 2j has chairs in both of its viewing areas 24j. Shuffleboard tables 2f, 2g and 2h do not have chairs 107 within their viewing areas 24f, 24g, 24h.

By arranging a plurality of shuffleboard tables in a way such that they extend from a wall, and such that they have a single playing end, it enables more shuffleboard tables to be housed within a single area. This increases the packing density of the shuffleboard tables within an area. This helps maximises the space when housed in areas with limited real estate.

In other arrangements not all of the shuffleboard tables need to be positioned such that they extend from the wall. So long as at least some of shuffleboard tables extend from a wall the advantages of increased packaging density can be achieved. For instance, in some arrangements the shuffleboard tables may be positioned in the middle of the room that they are located in, with the other shuffleboard tables arranged around the outside as in Figure 4.

The shuffleboard table shown in the figures has a length of 16 feet. However, the shuffleboard table may be anywhere between 12 to 22 foot in length. The height of the sliding surface of the shuffleboard table may be around 1 m. Preferably it may be between 0.9 to 1.1m. More preferably it may be 0.96 m. The tables 105 shown in Figures 3 and 4 may be a single raised table such as those found in bars. Alternatively, the tables 105 may be lower than the shuffleboard table. Although the tables 105 shown extend down the length of the shuffleboard table, they may instead be a plurality of separate smaller tables. In Figure 4 some of the shuffleboard tables have a table on each of their sides, and some of the tables have a table along a single side. In other embodiments, all of the shuffleboard tables may have a table 105 along the edge of the viewing area on each side of the shuffleboard table. In addition, to the tables 105 shown, additional tables may be present in the viewing areas 24.

The chairs 107 may be any type of seat. For instance, any of a chair, a stool, a bar stool. Alternatively, the chairs may be a long bench or a plurality of long benches that can accommodate a plurality of people. The chairs may act as the partition between neighbouring tables, with no table 105 acting as a partition needed.

Instead of tables 105 a partition wall may be used. This partition wall may be movable or permanent. The partition wall acts to separate the viewing area 24 between neighbouring tables.

It can be understood that both sides of the shuffleboard tables may have ledges 26. In other embodiments the shuffleboard table may not have ledges. Players may place their drinks receptacles and other items on the tables located between neighbouring tables.

The arrangement of shuffleboard tables shown in Figure 4 should not be considered as limiting. Other arrangements of a plurality of shuffleboard tables fall within the scope of the present invention.