Patent application title: SKY BALL SPORT GAME
Brian Kessler (Los Angeles, CA, US)
MAUI TOYS INC.
IPC8 Class: AA63B6700FI
Class name: Playing field or court game; game element or accessory therefor other than projector or projectile, per se having at least two different types of game elements used in same game for game using goal or target for projectile (e.g., football, rugby, etc.)
Publication date: 2013-01-17
Patent application number: 20130017911
A sports game is played on a field or court having opposing goals, each
goal having a plurality of striking pads at least 12 feet above the
height of the field or court. Two teams are provided, each having at
least four players. A ball of high bouncing ability and capability is
used. Each opposing goal has a backboard and preferably three scoring
pads either on the backboard or behind the backboard. The object of a
team is to throw or smack the ball so as to strike a scoring pad and
thereby score points.
1. A method of playing a sports game on a playing field or court having
opposing goals, each goal having goal post backboard and a plurality of
striking pads at a height greater than the average height of the players,
and in which a ball of high bounce capability is used, comprising:
providing two opposing teams, each team comprising a plurality of
players; providing opposing goals, each comprising a backboard and at
least one striking and scoring pad; initiating play with said ball of
high bounce capability; scoring by each team comprising throwing or
smashing the ball of high bounce capability against a said striking and
scoring pad, wherein each team attempts to score points by smacking or
throwing the ball and striking pads on or behind a goal post backboard,
and each team scoring points when the ball is smacked or thrown against a
striking and scoring pad on or behind the goal post backboard of the
opposing team; wherein smashing the ball with sufficient force against a
said pad results in a higher score than smacking or throwing the ball to
strike the pad with less force.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the opposing teams each comprises four active players, and wherein more points are scored by smashing the ball against a striking pad, and less points are scored by throwing the ball against a striking pad.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the opposing teams each comprises at least four active players.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the ball is in accordance with U.S. Pat. No. 8,123,638.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein said striking pads are at a height of at least 12 feet above the playing field or court.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein smashing the ball against a said striking pad scores three points, and throwing the ball against the said striking pad scores one point.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein the goal post backboards are of mesh material, and the striking pads are supported by or located behind the mesh backboards.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein the goal post backboards are flexible and resilient, and formed of an open mesh material.
9. The method of claim 1, wherein each backboard is of a size approximately five feet by five feet, plus or minus 15%, and supports three said striking pads or holes in front of three said striking pads.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein the striking pads are circular and of a size of about 18 inches, plus or minus 20%.
11. The method of claim 4, wherein the striking pads are at a height of at least 12 feet above the playing field or court; and the goal post backboards are flexible and resilient, formed of an open mesh material, and the striking pads are supported by or located behind the mesh backboards.
12. A goal for scoring in a sports game, comprising a supporting pole carrying a backboard at an upper end thereof, the backboard being flexible and resilient, and formed of an open mesh material, at least one scoring pad located on or directly behind the backboard, an opening through the backboard when the scoring pad is located therebehind, the opening being located in front of the scoring pad, the scoring pad being adapted to record a score when struck by a ball or substitute therefor, the scoring pad being at least 12 feet above a surface of the sport game.
FIELD OF INVENTION
 The present invention relates to a game involving opposing teams, using opposing goals and a ball, as well as a scoring goal for scoring points in the game.
 There are, of course, many ball games involving opposing goals, including soccer, basketball and American football. Scoring points in sports games using a ball or the like involves a wide variety of mechanisms. For example, in basketball the object is to throw the ball through a hoop ten feet above the playing surface. In soccer, the object is to kick the ball into a net guarded by a goal keeper, and the same idea exists in ice hockey (which uses a puck instead of a ball) and in other sports as well. In American football, the objective of scoring points is achieved by advancing the ball into the opposing team's endzone over a goal line or kicking the ball over a goal post.
 In target sports such as darts and archery, the object used by the players to shoot or throw, i.e. a dart or an arrow, is adapted to strike a target and at least partially penetrate the target.
 However, insofar as is known, there is no game utilizing opposing teams in which it is an object to score points by throwing a ball or the like in such a way so as to strike a target on an opponent's goal post with the ball or the like, and thereby score points, and without adhering to the target.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
 The present sport game can be played co-ed or by all males or all females, and is played with two teams. Each team desirably has approximately ten players, but preferably a minimum of only four players per team are allowed to play at a single time.
 The present sport game is desirably played on a court which may be 100 feet by 50 feet, but can be larger or smaller, preferably no more than about 20 percent larger or smaller. If played on a court, indoor and outdoor, the court surface may be any hard surface, and playing on surfaces such as dirt, gravel and grass is not desired because the ball will not react properly and because of the preferred rules of the game.
 At each end of the court there is located a scoring goal post with a backboard the top of which is desirably about 15-18 feet off the surface of the court, plus or minus about 15 percent. If the backboard is less than 12 feet above the court or more than 20 feet above the court, it becomes difficult to play the game according to the desired objectives. Each backboard at the top of the goal post has an area of preferably approximately five feet by five feet containing preferably three striking and scoring pads, each desirably of circular configuration and each having a diameter of about 12-18 inches, the three scoring pads preferably and desirably being arranged in a triangle shape.
 The object of the game is for the players, at least four on each side, to throw or smack a ball so as to forcefully strike/slam the pads on or behind the backboard of the opposing team with the ball or the like.
 FIG. 1 is an example of a court in accordance with the present invention.
 FIG. 2 is a prospective view of a backboard for use in the game of the present invention, such backboard having three scoring/striking pads thereon.
 FIG. 3 shows a facing side view of the goal posts including backboards.
 FIG. 4 shows a back perspective view of such a backboard including supporting structure.
 FIG. 5 shows a pair of goal posts including backboards, shown from the rear.
 FIG. 6 shows an alternate embodiment of the backboard.
 FIG. 7 shows the erection of such a goal post including backboard, without striking/scoring pads.
 According to one embodiment, the sport game of the present invention is played in a league called "SKY BALL® LEAGUE" having the following preferred game rules:
 SKY BALL® games are played with four active players vs. four active players, e.g. co-ed, wherein each team can have a maximum of ten players on the team roster, and the players desirably wear a SKY BALL® glove to facilitate smacking the ball.
 SKY BALL® games consist of four ten-minute quarters with a three minute overtime if the score is tied at the end of regulation play.
 SKY BALL® games have free substitutions throughout play.
 To initiate play at the beginning of the game and at each quarter, the referee "slams" the ball with a "starting slam" at center court so that the ball bounces upwardly about 40-75 feet off the court into the air. After a score by the other team, a player must pass the ball when crossing half court to a team mate with a "passing slam" by hitting the ball so that the ball bounces off the court, for example 8-10 feet into the air. However, opposing team players can attempt to make a steal, in which case the opposing team does not need to start with a "slam." A "smack" is the contact that a player uses to propel the ball, so a player "smacks" the ball using his/her gloved hand, either directly towards the goal attempting to score, or to a team mate, or into the court surface to create a bounce.
 SKY BALL® games have scoring means or mechanisms at each end of the court and desirably comprise three scoring pads 10 which are 12-17 feet above the court surface 12.
 In SKY BALL® scoring, each time a player smacks or throws the SKY BALL® and hits a scoring pad, the scoring team receives one point. However, a player smacks the SKY BALL with sufficient force to register a "smash", especially while using/wearing a SKY BALL® glove, the scoring team will receive three points. In another presently preferred embodiment as shown in FIG. 6, the backboard is provided with holes 14 of diameter 12-18 inches through which the ball passes to score, and approximately 5 to 9 inches behind the hole is a scoring pad 10'.
 A SKY BALL® player fouls out of the game once he or she reaches four (4) fouls. The foul rules are similar to those of basketball, although less contact is intended to result in fouls because the game may be played co-ed. Acceptable forms of contact among or between opposing players include intercepting a pass, interceptions during a loose ball, and blocked shots. An opposing team player can "steal" the ball without fouling, so long as no more than minimal physical contact between the players occurs.
 If a player is fouled, his or her team automatically restarts an offensive series. If a player is fouled while smacking or throwing the SKY BALL® at the scoring mechanism, he or she receives a free smash at the SKY BALL® foul line. The smack must be a smash in this case (foul situation) worth one point if the fouled player scores, in which case the opposing team gets the ball after the score. If the fouled player misses, the ball is in play.
 At the end of the four quarters, the team with the highest points total wins.
 The type of ball used is a SKY BALL® desirably of size 10 cm (4 inches) diameter. The SKY BALL® is disclosed in Kessler U.S. Pat. No. 8,123,638.
 As indicated above, the terms "smack" and "smash" are similar to a smack or smash in volleyball, and to be distinguished from a throw. A "smash" is a type of "smack" directed at a goal to score, and which registers to produce a three point score. To distinguish a "smash", each pad 10 or 10' may be provided with an electronic sensor which registers when the pad is impacted sufficiently hard by the ball, although other sensing means could be used such as pads which create a non-electronic sound, e.g. a rattle, when impacted by the ball or ball substitute.
 For desirable and optimum play of the present sport game, the goal post and the ball are particularly important. As indicated above, the ball desirably has a diameter of 10 cm and is capable of a very great ability to bounce, such as shown in Kessler U.S. Pat. No. 8,123,638, and sold under the trademark "SKY BALL®. The goal post 16 has a height of approximately 15 feet and carries a backboard 18, desirably of a flexible metal mesh or fabric mesh, having a plurality of scoring pads, e.g. three scoring pads 10 as shown in FIG. 2.
 As indicated in FIG. 2, there are preferably three pads 10, and these are preferably each 12-18 inches in diameter and placed in a triangular pattern as shown in FIG. 2. As indicated above, the scoring pads 10 can be made of a material that rattles upon contact, have pockets to capture balls instead of or in addition to the pads, or can trigger an electronic sensing device, such as lights or sounds.
 The backboard 18 on the goal post 16 is desirably an open mesh having resilience and flexibility and the mesh is desirably an open weave fabric or metal mesh, of dimensions which are desirably approximately 5 feet by 5 feet in the preferred embodiment. The metal mesh or fabric mesh backboard is resilient and absorbs the impact of the ball, allowing it to drop downwardly rather than expressively bounce backwards, and thus keeping the ball in play.
 The rules of the game permit a player to throw the ball to a team mate, shoot the ball at a scoring pad by throwing or smacking the ball toward the pad, or to dribble the ball. Running or "travelling" as in basketball is not permitted.
 As indicated above, the scoring surfaces comprise pads 10, preferably three pads on or behind the backboard 18, the pads being in any desired arrangement, e.g. preferably arranged in a triangle. The pads 10 are desirably circular, each being preferably about 12-18 inches in diameter in a preferred embodiment. Electronic sensors are desirably located in the pads to signal scoring when a pad is impacted by a smacked ball or the like.
 The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without undue experimentation and without departing from the generic concept, and, therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. The means, materials, and steps for carrying out various disclosed functions may take a variety of alternative forms without departing from the invention.
 Thus the expressions "means to . . . " and "means for . . . ", or any method step language, as may be found in the specification above and/or in the claims below, followed by a functional statement, are intended to define and cover whatever structural, physical, chemical or electrical element or structure, or whatever method step, which may now or in the future exist which carries out the recited function, whether or not precisely equivalent to the embodiment or embodiments disclosed in the specification above, i.e., other means or steps for carrying out the same functions can be used; and it is intended that such expressions be given their broadest interpretation.
Patent applications by MAUI TOYS INC.
Patent applications in class For game using goal or target for projectile (e.g., football, rugby, etc.)
Patent applications in all subclasses For game using goal or target for projectile (e.g., football, rugby, etc.)