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Publication numberUS3091458 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date28 May 1963
Filing date19 Mar 1962
Priority date19 Mar 1962
Publication numberUS 3091458 A, US 3091458A, US-A-3091458, US3091458 A, US3091458A
InventorsBecks Vernon C
Original AssigneeCleveland Trust Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bowling game apparatus
US 3091458 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 28, 1963 v. c. BEcKs BOWLING GAME APPARATUS Filed March 19, 196.?I

INVENTOR Amc wm I wm n n om r IB Vernon C. Becks ATTORNEYS it tes This invention relates to bowling game apparatus, and more particularly to apparatus for automatically indicating illegal pin fall which results from pins being knocked down by a ball which leaves the bowling alley before reaching the pins.

Although not limited thereto, the present invention is particularly adapted for use with a device for automatically detecting, registering, totalizing and printing the score in a bowling game, such as that shown in copending application Serial No. 175,865, tiled February 9, 196.2. In such a system the pinfall is initially detected and thereafter registered preparatory to a printing operation. As is known, any pinfall is illegal under the rules of the American Bowling Congress resulting from a ball which leaves the alley before reaching the pins. In the usual case, Such illegal pinfall occurs when a bowler attempt to knock down an end pin by an angle delivery from one side of the alley to the other. In such a delivery it sometimes happens that the ball will leave the alley adjacent the pin deck and rebound off the kickback plate to knock down pins. Such pinfall, of course, should not be counted in scoring the game; however, the aforesaid automatic registering and totalizing apparatus, in and of itself, is not capable of distinguishing between ordinary pinfall and illegal pinfall of the type described above. Accordingly, in the absence of some type of apparatus for detecting the fact that the ball has left the alley before reaching the pins, the automatic scoring circuitry will count the illegal pinfall along with normal pinfall.

As an overall object, the present invention provides a system for detecting a bowling ball which leaves the alley before reaching the pins.

More specifically, an object of the invention is to` provide a system for detecting illegal pinfall as the result of a bowling ball leaving the alley before knocking down pms.

Still another object of the invention is to provide means, in combination with an automatic bowling game scoring system, for disabling the scoring system from registering illegal pinfall of the type described above.

In accordance with the invention, there is provided a member mounted for reciprocating movement on the kickback of a bowling alley adjacent the pin deck, the direction `of reciprocation of the member being parallel to the long transverse dimension of the alley, spring means urging the member toward the end of the alley opposite the pin deck, and limit switch means actuable when the member moves against the force of the spring means. As will be seen, the aforesaid member preferably comprises a laminated strip assembly or the like mounted within a channel member positioned on the side of the kickback such that the outer surface of the strip assembly will be engaged by a traveling bowling ball as it leaves the alley before knocking down pins. The outer lamination of the strip assembly preferably comprises roughened resilient material or the like such that the traveling bowling ball will engage the roughened surface and readily force the assembly backwardly against the force of said spring to trip the limit switch. This limit switch, in tum, is used to disable the automatic scoring, totalizing and printing circuitry whereby any pins knocked down by a ball which leaves the alley and engages the strip assembly will not be counted in the normal scoring procedure.

The above and other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which form a part of this specication, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective View of a bowling alley showing the manner in which a ball may leave the alley and rebound to knock down pins;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the detecting apparatus of the present invention, showing its connection to an automatic scoring, totalizing and printing system;

FIG. 3 is a side or plan view of the detector shown in FIG. 2;

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are cross-sectional views taken along lines IV-IV, V-V and VI-VI, respectively, of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 7 is a broken-away cross-sectional view of the spring return mechanism of the invention,

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. l, a conventional bowling alley is shown which comprises the usual approach area 10` which terminates at a foul line 12. On the other side of the foul line is the alley proper 14 comprising tongue-and-groove bedstock laid on edge. The alley 14 terminates at a tail plank 16 while ahead of the tail plank is a pin deck 18 having ten ber pin spots 20 thereon. As will be understood, the pins are placed on the pin spots 20 during a bowling game either manually or by means of an automatic pin spotting machine, no-t shown. On each side of the alley 14 are round bottom gutters 22, only one of such gutters being shown in FIG. 1. The gutters 22 extend from the foul line 12 to the pin deck 18; while along the pin deck are gutters 24 which conventionally have at bottom surfaces, these gutters 24 communicating with the ends of gutters 22 as shown.

Separating successive alleys are division boards 26 which communicate with kickbacks 28. The kickbacks extend along the length of the pin deck 18 as well as the pit 30 behind the tail plank 16. A cushion plank 32 extends between the tops of the kickbacks 2S and supports a cushion 34, substantially as shown. On the side of each kickback 28 is a kickback plate 36 facing the pins on spots 20.

In a bowling game, a bowler may attempt to knock down an end pin by an angle shot along the approximate path 38 shown in FIG. l. yIt sometimes happens that the path of travel of the ball and its momentum are such that it will leave the alley before reaching the pins, rebound from the kickback 2.8 and then be deflected back onto the pin deck where it will knock down pins. Pins which are knocked down in this manner should, of course, not be counted in scoring the game.

As was mentioned above, the present invention is particularly adapted for use with an automatic scoring, totalizing and printing system for a bowling game of the type shown in copending application Serial No. 175,865, filed February 9, 1962. In such a system, the standing pins are detected after each ball is delivered in a bowling game, and the number of Standing pins then subtracted from ten in electrical circuitry to determine the number of fallen pins. The number of fallen pins for each ball is then automatically printed on a score sheet, and is also added to the cumulative number of fallen pins in previous frames of the bowling game in order to totalize the score preparatory to its being printed on the score sheet also. In the absence of some type of detecting means for indicating a condition such as that wherein the ball leaves the alley before knocking down pins, those pins knocked down illegally Would be counted as normal pinfall by the automatic scoring, totalizing and printing circuitry.

-In accordance with the present invention, means, schematically indicated at 46 in FIG. 1, are provided for detecting a ball which leaves the alley before knocking down pins, the detecting means serving also to disable automatic scoring, totalizing and printing circuitry such that it will not count the illegal pinfall.

Adjacent the approach area is a console 42 which houses the automatic scoring, totalizing and printing circuitry referred to above. In the top of the console 42 is a transparent plate beneath which the score sheet 44 is positioned. As will be understood by reference to the aforesaid application Serial No. 175,865, the score sheet 44 is translucent, the printing characters being impressed on the score sheet from beneath such that they will be visible through the translucent sheet. Also provided on the console 42 are a plurality of push buttons 46, one for each player. In the operation of the system, each player will depress his appropriate push button before bowling a frame, whereupon the results of that frame will be added to his previous score and either printed and/or stored in appropriate circuitry, depending upon whether marks have been made in the frame being played.

Referring now to FIGS. 2-7, the means for detecting a ball which strikes the kickback 28 before knocking down pins comprises an elongated channel member 4,8 which, as shown in FIG. 4, comprises a backing plate 50 secured to the kickback 28 by means of screws 52, together with parallel anges 54 and 56 which extend outwardly toward the alley. Reciprocable within the channel 48 is a nylon strip 58 of the self-lubricating type. The strip 58 has a plurality of slots 60 spaced along its length, and it can be seen (FIG. 6) that each slot 60 receives the enlarged head of a pin or stud 62 which is secured to the backing plate 5t) by means of a nut 64. Actually, the slot 60 is wider at its forward portion to receive the head of pin 62, and is narrowed at its rearward portion to receive the shank portion of the pin, the arrangement being such that the nylon strip 58 may slide or reciprocate to the right or left as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 3 while being maintained within the channel 43.

Secured to the forward face of the strip 58 is a metal plate or strip 66. As best shown in FIG. 5, the strip 66 has welded thereto spaced studs 68 which extend through openings in the strip 58 and are secured to the strip by means of nuts 70 received within slots 72 in the back of the strip 58. Glued or otherwise securely fastened to the outer surface of strip 66 is a second strip 74 of rubber or other resilient material. Preferably, the outer face of the strip 74 is roughened so as to provide an area of good frictional contact between a traveling bowling ball and the strip assembly.

The forward end of the nylon strip 58, as shown in FIG. 7, is bored as at 76 to receive a coil spring 78. The other end of the coil spring is received within a cooperating bore Sil? provided in a block 82 which is secured to the end of channel 48 by means of screws 84. Extending through the block 82 is a set screw 86 having a shank portion 88 which is coaxial with the coil spring 78 and serves as a guiding member for reciprocating movement of the strip 58 with respect to block 82. Provided on the set screw 86 is a collar or washer 89 which, when the set screw is turned, will adjust the tension on spring 78. The set screw may be locked in position by means of a lock nut 91. With this arrangement, it can be seen that the strip 58 may move forwardly (i.e., from left to right as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 3) under the force of spring 78, whereupon the spring will cause the stripto move back into its original position.

iProvided in the backing plate 50 is a slot 90 (FIGS. 2 and 3); and projecting through this slot is a cam or nub 92 adapted to engage and close the contacts 94 of a limit switch 96. The limit switch 96, in turn, is connected to the aforesaid automatic scoring, totalizing and printing apparatus, generally indicated at 98 in FIG. 2. This apparatus is fully shown and described in aforesaid application Serial No. 175,865, and in this connection the limit switch 96 corresponds to switch "972 in FIG. 15A of that application.

In the operation of the device, whenever a ball traveling along path 38 in FIG. 1, for example, leaves the alley before 4knocking down pins, it will strike the outer surface of the rubber strip 74, and the forward momentum of the ball will cause the nylon strip 58 to move forwardly against the force of spring 78. In this process, the cam 92 closes the contacts 94 of limit switch 96, thereby disabling the automatic scoring, totalizing and printing apparatus from counting the pinfall achieved when the ball leaves the alley before knocking down pins.

Although the invention has been shown in connection with a certain specific embodiment, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes in form and arrangement of parts may be made to suit requirements without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

I claim as my invention:

1. In a bowling alley having a pin deck and a kickback at at least one side of the pin deck, the combination of means for detecting a ball which strikes the kickback and rebounds to knock down pins, comprising a member mounted on said kickback for reciprocating movement in a direction parallel to the long transverse dimension of the alley, said member being positioned to engage a traveling bowling ball which leaves the alley whereby the ball will cause the member to move in a direction away from the end of the alley opposite the pin deck, spring means urging the member toward said end of the alley, and limit switch means actuable when the member moves against the force of said spring means.

2. In a bowling alley having a pin deck and a kickback at at least one side of the pin deck, the combination of means for detecting a ball which strikes the kickback and rebounds to knock down pins comprising a substantially horizontal elongated bar member mounted on said kickback for reciprocating movement in a direction parallel to the long transverse dimension of the alley, a surface on said member being arranged to engage a traveling bowling ball which leaves the alley whereby the ball will cause the member to move in a direction away from the end of the alley opposite the pin deck, spring means urging the member toward said end of the alley, and limit switch means actuable when the member moves against the force of said spring means.

3. 'Ihe combination of claim 2 wherein the surface on said member is formed from a resilient strip lof material adapted to engage a traveling bowling ball.

4. In a bowling alley having a pin deck and at least one kickback at the side of the pin deck, the combination of means for detecting a ball which strikes the kickback and rebounds to knock down pins, comprising a channel member `secured to said kickback and extending parallel to the long transverse dimension of the alley, a strip member slideably mounted within said channel for reciprocating 4movement therein, spring means urging the strip member toward the end of the alley opposite the pin deck, and limit switch means actuable when the strip member moves against the force of said spring means, the arrangement being such that when a moving ball leaves the alley adjacent the pin deck, it will strike the strip -member to move it against the force of the spring and actuate the limit switch means.

5. -In a bowling alley having a pin deck and at least one kickback at the side of the pin deck, the combination of means for detecting a -ball which strikes the kickback and rebounds to knock down pins comprising a channel member secured to said kickback and extending par-allel to the long transverse dimension of the alley, a nylon strip slideably mounted within said channel for reciprocating movement therein, a resilient strip of material secured to said nylon strip and adapted to engage a traveling lbowling ball which leaves the alley adjacent the pin deck, spring means urging the strip member toward the end of the alley opposite the pin deck, and limit switch Imeans actuable when the strip member' moves against the force of s-aid spring means, the arrangement being such that when a moving ball leaves the alley adjacent the pin deck it will engage the outer surface of said resilient strip to move the resilient strip and the nylon strip to which it is secured against the force of the spring means and actuate the limit switch means.

6. In a bowling alley having a pin deck and at least one kickback at the side of the pin deck, the combination of means for detecting a bowling ball which strikes the kickback and rebounds to knock down pins comprising a Ichannel member secured to said kickback and eX- tending parallel to the long transverse dimension of the alley, said channel having a backing plate secured to the kickback and parallel flanges extending outwardly toward the alley from the top and bottom edges of the backing plate, spaced pins secured to the backing plate and extending outwardly from the backing plate between said flanges, a nylon strip member slideably mounted within ysaid channel for reciprocating movement therein, said channel having elongated slots therein adapted to receive said pins such that the strip Will reciprocate on the pins, spring means urging the strip member within the channel toward the end of the lalley opposite the pin deck, an elongated slot in said backing plate extending parallel to the long transverse dimension of the alley, a projection on said strip member extending through said slot in the backing plate, and limit switch means adapted to engage said projection when the strip member moves against the force of said spring means, the arrangement being such that when a moving lball leaves the alley adjacent the pin deck it will strike the strip member to move it against the force of the spring and cause said projection to actuate the limit switch.

7. The combination 4of claim 6 and including a metal `strip secured to the outer surface of said nylon strip member, and a resilient strip secured to the outer surface of said metal strip.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,980,424 Sanders et al Apr. 18, 1961 VFOREIGN PATENTS 513,011 Germany Nov. 21, 1930

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2980424 *4 Apr 195718 Apr 1961American Mach & FoundryAutomatic pin spotter control mechanism
DE513011C *21 Nov 1930Zimmer JosephKegelbahn
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3257898 *6 Jun 196228 Jun 1966Cleveland Trust CoBowling score projector
US3363243 *15 Jan 19659 Jan 1968Nat Res DevElectronic swim timer controlled by touch pad in swim lane
US3401933 *23 Feb 196517 Sep 1968Brunswick CorpCarom bowling game
US5366427 *23 Oct 199122 Nov 1994Price Ii BillExercise game system
US5637061 *25 Aug 199410 Jun 1997Price, Ii; BillExercise game system
US6090019 *9 Jun 199718 Jul 2000Price II BillExercise game system
US640640813 Dec 199918 Jun 2002Price, Ii BillExercise game system
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/72, 200/61.11, 273/127.00R, 340/323.00R
International ClassificationA63D5/04, A63D5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63D2005/044, A63D5/04
European ClassificationA63D5/04