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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PLATFORM FOR A BALL GAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/018016
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A platform for a ball game having a generally circular platform frame made from a plurality of arc segments joined by a plurality of arc connectors, wherein two of the arc connectors are hinged arc connectors. The two hinged arc connectors are oppositely disposed on the platform frame so that the frame is movable between a flat position and a folded position. A resilient playing surface spans the frame and is foldable with the frame. A plurality of legs are each attachable to the arc connectors and hinged arc connectors. When legs are attached to the hinged arc connectors, the hinged arc connectors are locked so that the frame is locked in the flat position.

Inventors:
BOYCE JASON (US)
STEGEMOLLER BENJAMIN (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2018/025904
Publication Date:
January 24, 2019
Filing Date:
April 03, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
DAZADI INC (US)
BOYCE JASON R (US)
STEGEMOLLER BENJAMIN J (US)
International Classes:
A63B63/00; A63B63/08; A63B67/00
Foreign References:
US4415151A1983-11-15
US6648799B22003-11-18
US6110074A2000-08-29
US6237169B12001-05-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINARDO, Michael, A. (LLP6320 Canoga Ave., Suite 165, Woodland Hills California, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

[Claim 1] A platform for a ball game, comprising:

a circular platform frame comprised of a plurality of arc-shaped segments joined by a plurality of arc connectors;

a generally circular playing surface that is resilient and spans the circular platform frame; and

a plurality of platform legs corresponding in number to the plurality of arc connectors, wherein each of the plurality of platform legs is adapted for removable connection to one of the plurality of arc connectors;

wherein two of the plurality of arc connectors are hinged, oppositely disposed across the circular platform frame, and configured so as to make the circular platform frame foldable between a flat position and a folded position.

[Claim 2] The platform of claim 1 , wherein the circular platform frame is locked in the flat position when two of the plurality of platform legs are connected to the two hinged arc connectors.

[Claim 3] The platform of claim 1 , wherein each of the plurality of arc connectors has an attachment ridge, each of the plurality of platform legs has an attachment groove, and each attachment groove is adapted for removable connection to each attachment ridge. [C l ai m 4] The platform of claim 3, wherein the circular platform frame is locked in the flat position when the attachment grooves of two of the plurality of platform legs are connected to the attachment ridges on the two hinged arc connectors.

[C l ai m 5] The platform of claim 1 , comprising four arc-shaped segments, four arc connectors, and four platform legs.

[C l ai m 6] The platform of claim 1 , comprising six arc-shaped segments, six arc connectors, and six platform legs.

[C l ai m 7] A platform for a ball game, comprising:

a circular platform frame comprised of a plurality of arc-shaped segments joined by a plurality of arc connectors;

a generally circular playing surface that is resilient and spans the circular platform frame; and

a plurality of platform legs corresponding in number to the plurality of arc connectors, wherein each of the plurality of platform legs is adapted for removable connection to one of the plurality of arc connectors;

wherein two of the plurality of arc connectors are hinged, oppositely disposed across the circular platform frame, and configured so as to make the circular platform frame foldable between a flat position and a folded position; wherein the circular platform frame is locked in the flat position when two of the plurality of platform legs are connected to the two hinged arc connectors.

[C l ai m 8] The platform of claim 7, wherein each of the plurality of arc connectors has an attachment ridge, each of the plurality of platform legs has an attachment groove, and each attachment groove is adapted for removable connection to each attachment ridge.

[C l ai m 9] The platform of claim 8, wherein the circular platform frame is locked in the flat position when the attachment grooves of two of the plurality of platform legs are connected to the attachment ridges on the two hinged arc connectors.

[C l ai m 1 0] The platform of claim 7, comprising four arc-shaped segments, four arc connectors, and four platform legs.

[C l ai m 1 1 ] The platform of claim 7, comprising six arc-shaped segments, six arc connectors, and six platform legs.

Description:
PLATFORM FOR A BALL GAME

DESCRI PTION

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[Para 1 ] This application claims priority to U.S. Design Patent Application Serial Nos. 29/61 1 ,201 filed July 1 9, 201 7, 29/61 1 ,241 filed July 1 9, 201 7, and 29/61 1 ,253, filed July 1 9, 201 7.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[Para 2] The present invention is directed to a platform for a ball game. More particularly, the present invention relates to platform having a resilient surface that allows for a ball to be hit, smashed, or spiked upon the surface so that multiple persons might volley the ball back and forth off of the surface.

[Para 3] Similar platforms for such ball games are typically used at the beach or other outdoor setting to which a person more often than not travels. Such travel means that any equipment that a person might take needs to be stowed and carried. Similar prior art platforms tend to comprise multiple parts that can be time consuming and/or difficult to assemble, particularly the resilient surfaces. In addition, because such prior art platforms are difficult and/or time consuming to assemble, it is often desirable to assemble the platform before transporting. Once assembled, the platform is not disassembled to save time, but may be unwieldy to store and/or transport. Accordingly, there is a need for a game platform such as described herein that is easier to assemble, easier to leave assembled, and is more convenient to store and transport when assembled. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides other related advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[Para 4] The present invention is directed to a novel platform for a ball game. The platform includes a circular platform frame that is made from a plurality of arc-shaped segments joined by a plurality of arc connectors. A generally circular, resilient playing surface spans the circular platform frame. The platform also includes a plurality of platform legs corresponding in number to the plurality of arc connectors. Each of the plurality of platform legs is adapted for removable connection to one of the plurality of arc connectors. Two of the plurality of arc connectors are hinged and oppositely disposed across the circular platform frame. The hinged arc connectors are configured so as to make the circular platform frame foldable between a flat position and a folded position.

[Para 5] The circular platform frame is locked in the flat position when two of the plurality of platform legs are connected to the two hinged arc connectors. Each of the plurality of arc connectors has an attachment ridge and each of the plurality of platform legs has an attachment groove. Each attachment groove is adapted for removable connection to each attachment ridge. The circular platform frame is locked in the flat position when the attachment grooves of two of the plurality of platform legs are connected to the attachment ridges on the two hinged arc connectors.

[Para 6] The platform frame preferable has four arc-shaped segments, four arc connectors, and four platform legs. More preferably, the platform frame has six arc-shaped segments, six arc connectors, and six platform legs.

[Para 7] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[Para 8] The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such

drawings:

[Para 9] FIGURE 1 is an environmental view of the inventive game platform being used in a game;

[Para 1 0] FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of a fully assembled game platform of the present invention;

[Para 1 1 ] FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of an assembled game platform of the present invention without a resilient surface;

[Para 1 2] FIGURE 4 is a close-up perspective view of a leg attached to a hinged arc connector of the game platform of the present invention; [Para 1 3] FIGURE 5 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of a leg detached from a hinged arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 1 4] FIGURE 6 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of a leg detached from a hinged arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 1 5] FIGURE 7 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of a leg detached from a hinged arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 1 6] FIGURE 8 is a perspective view the game platform of the present invention without the legs;

[Para 1 7] FIGURE 9 is a perspective view the game platform of the present invention without the legs;

[Para 1 8] FIGURE 1 0 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of a leg attached to an arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 1 9] FIGURE 1 1 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of a leg detached from an arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 20] FIGURE 1 2 is cross-sectional view taken along line 1 2- 1 2 of FIG. 1 0;

[Para 21 ] FIGURE 1 3 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of an arc-shaped segment being assembled with an arc connector of the game platform of the present invention; [Para 22] FIGURE 1 4 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of an arc-shaped segment being assembled with an arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 23] FIGURE 1 5 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of an arc-shaped segment being assembled with an arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 24] FIGURE 1 6 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of an arc-shaped segment being assembled with an arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 25] FIGURE 1 7 is a partially exploded, close-up perspective view of an arc-shaped segment being assembled with a hinged arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 26] FIGURE 1 8 is a perspective view of an arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 27] FIGURE 1 9 is a perspective vice of an arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 28] FIGURE 20 is a perspective vice of a hinged arc connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 29] FIGURE 21 is a perspective vice of a hinged connector of the game platform of the present invention;

[Para 30] FIGURE 22 is an exploded perspective view of a hinged arc connector of the game platform of the present invention; [Para 31 ] FIGURE 23 is an exploded side view of a hinged arc connector of the game platform of the present invention; and

[Para 32] FIGURE 24 is cross-sectional view taken along line 24-24 of FIG. 22.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[Para 33] In the following detailed description, the game platform of the present invention is generally referred to by reference numeral 20 in FIGS. 1 -2. The primary components of the game platform 20 comprise the resilient surface 22, stretched across a circular platform frame 24, and a plurality of platform legs 26 that are attached to the frame 24. As shown in the

environmental view of FIG. 1 , two or more players 28 stand around the game platform 20 and take turns hitting a ball 30 off of the resilient surface. The rules of game play are not important to the description of the use or assembly of the game platform 20.

[Para 34] In a particularly preferred embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 1 3-1 6, the platform frame 24 is made from a plurality of arc-shaped segments 32 joined together by a plurality of arc connectors 34. The platform frame 24 may consist of any corresponding numbers of arc-shaped segments 32 and arc connectors 34, but are preferably an even number, e.g., two, four, six, etc., of each. Most preferably. The frame 24 has six arc-shaped segments 32 and six connectors 34 for greater convenience of assembly and stability of use as described below. The playing surface 22 preferably has a plurality of sleeves 22a or similar structures configured to receive the arc-shaped segments 32. When the arc segments 32 are assembled in the platform frame 24 with the arc connectors 34, the playing surface 22 is preferably pulled taught to provide resilience when impacted by the ball 30. The surface 22 may include resilient material such as SPANDEX ® or similarly resilient materials for added bounce.

[Para 35] As shown in FIGS. 1 8 and 1 9, the arc connectors 34 preferably have a generally elongated cylindrical, slightly curved body, with an attachment ridge 36 running along one side of the elongated body of the connectors 34. A raised protrusion 38 extends from each end of the connectors 34, each preferably spaced apart from the body of the connector 34 by a neck 40. The protrusions 38 preferably also include a notch 42 that is aligned with a vertical plane 44 that passes through the body of the connector 34 and the attachment ridge 36.

[Para 36] As shown in FIGS. 1 3- 1 6, the arc segments 32 may attach to the arc connectors 34 by sandwiching the raised protrusions 38 between an upper segment 32a and a lower segment 32 b. The upper segment 32a and lower segment 32b both include semi-circular openings 46 that are designed to match the depth and circumference of the neck 40 that spaces the protrusion 38 from the end of the connector 34. The upper segment 32a and lower segment 32b preferably also include a locking panel 48 that is configured to engage the notches 42 from both the top and the bottom. By the locking panel 48 engaging the notches 42, the connector 34 is locked in a fixed rotation relative to the arc segment 32. This assures that the attachment ridge 36 of each connector 34 around the frame 24 is oriented in the same direction, e.g., top or bottom, relative to the overall platform 20. Once the upper segment 32a and lower segment 32b are sandwiched around the raised protrusions 38, the two segments 32a, 32b may be joined together as by a screw, snap-fit, or similar mechanism.

[Para 37] As shown in FIGS. 3, 8, and 9, two of the arc connectors 34 are preferably hinged arc connectors 34a. The hinged arc connectors 34a

preferably have a similar shape and construction as the arc connectors 34. As shown in FIGS. 20-21 , the hinged arc connectors have a generally elongated cylindrical, slightly curved, segmented body, with an attachment ridge 36 running along one side of the segmented body of the hinged connectors 34a. A raised protrusion 38 extends from each end of the hinged connectors 34a, each preferably spaced apart from the body of the hinged connector 34a by a neck 40. The protrusions 38 preferably also include a notch 42 that is aligned with a vertical plane 44 that passes through the body of the hinged connector 34a and the attachment ridge 36. The hinged connectors 34a also attach to the arc segments 32 in the same manner as the arc connectors 34 described above (see FIG. 1 7).

[Para 38] As shown in FIGS. 22-24, the segmented body of the hinged arc connectors 34a preferably includes a stationary body 50, and two pivoting bodies 52. The stationary body 50 has opposite lobes 50a that each have semi-spherical protrusions or recesses 50b. The pivoting bodies 52 each have a channel 52a that has semi-spherical recesses or protrusions 52 b - opposite to the lobes 50a on the stationary body 50. The channels 52a are configured to receive the lobes 50a such that the recesses or protrusions 52 b in the channels 52a engage with the protrusions or recesses 50b on the lobes 50a.

[Para 39] When assembled in this way, the pivoting bodies 52 pivot relative to the stationary body 50 as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. The pivoting bodies 52 may pivot individually or together as shown. When the hinged connectors 34a are fully assembled with the platform frame 24, preferably oppositely disposed around the circumference of the frame 24, the overall platform 20, including the surface 22 , can be folded in half as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. By folding the platform 20 in half this way, it is placed in a folded position 54 and becomes vastly easier to store, transport and carry.

[Para 40] FIGS. 1 0- 1 2 show how the legs 26, which each have an attachment channel 26a, are configured to connect to the attachment ridge 36 on the arc connectors 34. When the legs 26 are connected to the arc connectors 34 in this way, they provide stable support for the game platform 20 on the ground or other surface. The attachment channels 26a may clip onto or slide on from an end of the attachment ridge 36.

[Para 41 ] Similarly, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the legs 26 with attachment channel 26a may connect to the attachment ridge 36 on the hinged connectors 34a. When the leg 26 is connected to the attachment ridge 36 of the hinged connector 34a, the attachment channel 26a effectively locks the hinged connector 34a so that the pivoting bodies 52 are prevented from pivoting relative to the stationary body 50. In this way, when the leg 26 is attached to the hinged connectors 34a, the platform frame 24 is prevented from folding in half so that the game platform 20 remains locked in a flat position 56 (FIG. 2).

[Para 42] The game platform 20 described herein has a number of particular features that should preferably be employed in combination, although each is useful separately without departure from the scope and spirit of the invention. Although preferred embodiments have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited, except as by the appended claims.