US20110111896A1 - Foam Game Ball with Core - Google Patents

Foam Game Ball with Core Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110111896A1
US20110111896A1 US12/617,714 US61771409A US2011111896A1 US 20110111896 A1 US20110111896 A1 US 20110111896A1 US 61771409 A US61771409 A US 61771409A US 2011111896 A1 US2011111896 A1 US 2011111896A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
ball
foam
water
core
holes
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12/617,714
Inventor
John K. Frazier
Original Assignee
Frazier John K
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Frazier John K filed Critical Frazier John K
Priority to US12/617,714 priority Critical patent/US20110111896A1/en
Publication of US20110111896A1 publication Critical patent/US20110111896A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B43/00Balls with special arrangements
    • A63B43/002Balls with special arrangements with special configuration, e.g. non-spherical
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B39/00Hollow non-inflatable balls, i.e. having no valves
    • A63B39/06Special coverings
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Miscellaneous features of sport apparatus, devices or equipment
    • A63B2225/60Apparatus used in water

Abstract

A foam game ball is provided which is adapted to absorb water and includes holes along the length of the ball so as to allow centrifugal force to cause the water to be expelled through the holes when the ball is saturated with water and thrown or kicked. The ball further includes a core, such as a hollow bladder with a non-absorbent outer surface, with an average specific weight less than the specific weight of the foam when fully saturated with water.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to foam game balls, in particular foam game balls designed to absorb water and release water through holes when thrown.
  • Foam balls for play are known in the art. Foam balls designed for safe play have been sold under the NERF trademark for many years. The NERF balls are generally made from polyurethane, which allows for the production of a relatively soft ball.
  • A foam ball designed for water play is disclosed in U.S. application Ser. No. 11/683,384. The foam ball of that invention has tubular holes which allow water to spray from the ball when the ball is soaked in water and subsequently thrown or kicked.
  • Generally, foam balls are constructed of solid foam, primarily for simplicity of manufacture. For non-water play or for smaller balls such construction is acceptable, and there is little to be gained from an alternative, more complicated construction. However, larger balls intended for water play, once fully soaked, became too heavy to allow for easy throwing.
  • It is an object of the current invention to provide for a foam ball that sprays water when soaked and subsequently thrown or kicked.
  • It is a further object of the current invention to provide for a ball that is of reasonable weight when fully soaked with water.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The current invention is a foam ball that has tubular holes to allow for water spray when the ball is soaked with water and thrown. Uniquely, for foam balls, it includes a non-absorbent core that has a lower average specific weight than that of the fully soaked foam. The core must be large enough to replace enough of the foam to reduce the total weight of the ball when fully soaked, but small enough for the layer of foam over the core to form the holes that spray water and to absorb sufficient water to effect the spray.
  • The invention can be applied to foam balls of various shapes, sizes, and designs, although the benefit would be greatest with larger balls intended for water play.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a spherical game ball showing a soccer design pattern on one-half of the game ball.
  • FIG. 1B is a perspective view of the spherical game ball showing a volleyball design pattern on one-half of the game ball.
  • FIG. 2 shows a cross-section of a spherical game ball with a hollow bladder as the core.
  • FIG. 3 shows a cross-section of a spherical game ball with an alternative material as the core.
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an ellipsoid game ball.
  • FIG. 5 shows a longitudinal cross-section of the ellipsoid game ball.
  • FIG. 6 shows a cross-section of the ellipsoid game ball taken at the midpoint of the longitudinal axis.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • FIGS. 1A and 1B show alternative perspective views of a spherical game ball implementing the invention. The design of the ball 8 provides for a soccer ball pattern 12 on one-half of the ball as shown in FIG. 1A and a volleyball pattern 10 on the other half of the ball as shown in FIG. 1B. However, any exterior design could be implemented without affecting the function of the current invention.
  • The ball 8 includes a form portion 18 that forms at least one and preferably a plurality of holes 14 that penetrate into the foam 18. Preferably, the holes 14 include at least one tubular section. The holes 14 can be directed toward a likely central point of rotation of the ball 8, for example, the center point of a spherical ball, thus providing a better release of water 16 when the foam 18 is soaked with water and the ball 8 is subsequently thrown or kicked. It will be noted that an additional cover (not shown) could be placed on the ball provided that the cover included holes aligned with the holes 14 in the foam 18 without adversely affecting the function of the invention. The foam may be made from polyurethane, but other materials could be used to produce an absorbent form.
  • The amount of foam 18 on the external surface of the ball 8, 30 needs to be sufficient to allow for enough water to be absorbed to produce a good spray of water from the holes 14, but must not be so great as to cause the ball to be unwieldy when subject to the increased weight of the fully saturated foam. It is also desirably for the holes to be of a minimum depth so as to allow for a good spray of water. Generally, the foam 18 should be of a depth of at least 0.75 inches so as to allow for holes 14 of a depth of at least 0.5 inches, although the invention will still function with a smaller depth of foam 18.
  • With reference to FIG. 2, a cross-section of the ball 8 is shown. The foam 18 is in a layer around a core 23 which has an average specific weight that is less than the specific weight of the foam 18 when fully soaked with water. In the embodiment shown the core 23 has a non-absorbent outer layer 20 which may be made of a durable, relatively flexible, and light-weight plastic such as polyethylene and an inner hollow space 22 which may be filled with air or another gas, thus forming a bladder-like structure. The outer layer 20 must be sufficiently durable so that it does not allow water to penetrate into the hollow space 22, which would adversely affect both the weight of the ball when soaked with water and the performance of the ball when in use.
  • In the embodiment shown, the holes 14 are substantially cylindrical, and form tubular holes where the cross-section of the hole remains essentially the same for the entire depth. It would be possible, however, to have only one or more sections of the hole 14, preferably at or near the surface of the foam 18, that are tubular. However, tubular holes 14 are both easy to manufacture and still allow for a good spray of water when the ball 8 is in use.
  • The holes 14 are generally directed toward the center of spherical ball 8 so as to allow for the maximum amount of centrifugal force to operate on the water, thus maximizing the spray.
  • With reference to FIG. 3, an alternative core 23 is shown, comprised of a material or a combination of materials which have a lower average specific weight than the foam 18 when the ball 8 is fully soaked with water. Materials such as plastic, or a plastic-enclosed foam, are possible alternatives. While it is desirable for the core to be non-absorbent, so that the specific weight does not change when the ball is exposed to water, it is also possible to have a core which absorbed a sufficiently lesser amount of water to reduce the weight of the ball when fully saturated to the desired level.
  • With reference to FIGS. 4, 5, and 6, an alternative ball shape is shown. In this embodiment the ball 30 has an ellipsoid shape such as may be found in football or rugby balls. As with the spherical ball 8, there is foam 18 covering an inner core 23, which is preferably non-absorbent. The holes 14 are designed to release a spray of water 16 when the ball 30 is soaked in water and subsequently thrown or kicked.
  • FIG. 5 shows a first cross-section of the ball 30, along the longitudinal axis of the ball. The holes 14 are directed toward this central axis, as a likely axis of rotation when the ball 30 is thrown in a “spiral,” as is typical of a thrown football.
  • FIG. 6 shows a second cross-section of the ball 30, again showing the holes 14 directed toward the central longitudinal axis. It will be noted that the holes 14 are positioned at various places along the length of the ball and around the ball's circumference, so as to produce a larger spray of water.
  • In this embodiment, the core, 23 is composed of a non-absorbent outer layer 20 and a hollow inner portion 22 which can be filled with air or another gas. It should be noted that while this air or gas could be under pressure, as is typical in “real” footballs or other game balls, such pressurization is not essential in the case of the foam balls, since the purpose of the hollow section is to reduce the weight of the ball.
  • The invention may also be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential properties. The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential properties. Essentially, any game ball of whatever shape or design could be modified to include an absorbent foam exterior with holes designed to spray water when the foam is soaked and the ball is subsequently thrown, together with a core of lower specific weight than the fully-soaked foam. Further, multiple cores could be employed. It is therefore understood that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed. The claims herein are intended to cover all obvious modifications thereof which are within the scope and the spirit of the invention defined in the above claims.

Claims (15)

1. A ball adapted to absorb water comprising:
an absorbent foam exterior surface adapted to absorb water, wherein the foam forms at least one hole, and wherein the foam has a first specific weight when the ball is fully saturated with water; and
a core having an average second specific weight that is less than the first specific weight when the ball is fully saturated with water;
and wherein the absorbent foam covers the core.
2. The ball of claim 1 wherein the core comprises a non-absorbent outer surface.
3. The ball of claim 2 wherein the core is hollow.
4. The ball of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the at least one hole is tubular.
5. The ball of claim 1, wherein the at least one hole is tubular.
6. The ball of claim 2 wherein at least a portion of the at least one hole is tubular.
7. The ball of claim 2 wherein the at least one hole is tubular.
8. The ball of claim 1 wherein the absorbent foam covers the core at a depth of at least 0.75 inches.
9. The ball of claim 2 wherein the absorbent foam covers the core at a depth of at least 0.75 inches.
10. The ball of claim 3 wherein the absorbent foam covers the core at a depth of at least 0.75 inches.
11. The ball of claim 4 wherein the absorbent foam covers the core at a depth of at least 0.75 inches.
12. The ball of claim 8 wherein the at least one hole has a depth of at least 0.5 inches.
13. The ball of claim 9 wherein the at least one hole has a depth of at least 0.5 inches.
14. The ball of claim 10 wherein the at least one hole has a depth of at least 0.5 inches.
15. The ball of claim 11 wherein the at least one hole has a depth of at least 0.5 inches.
US12/617,714 2009-11-12 2009-11-12 Foam Game Ball with Core Abandoned US20110111896A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12/617,714 US20110111896A1 (en) 2009-11-12 2009-11-12 Foam Game Ball with Core

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12/617,714 US20110111896A1 (en) 2009-11-12 2009-11-12 Foam Game Ball with Core

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US20110111896A1 true US20110111896A1 (en) 2011-05-12

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10279279B2 (en) 2017-04-21 2019-05-07 Sergei Baranoff Self-leveling bubble producing system
US20190358499A1 (en) * 2016-07-12 2019-11-28 Molten Corporation Ball
US20200038716A1 (en) * 2018-08-03 2020-02-06 Chris Wright Methods and systems associated with an object for a game

Citations (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4463951A (en) * 1981-03-17 1984-08-07 Oyo Rubber Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. Ball
US4880233A (en) * 1986-11-15 1989-11-14 Seoul Nassau Corporation Game ball
US5123645A (en) * 1991-03-18 1992-06-23 Macdonald Richard A Projectile with interiorly weighted flow passage insert
US5253866A (en) * 1991-07-18 1993-10-19 Tonka Corporation Ball with a passive sound device
US5277641A (en) * 1992-12-28 1994-01-11 Gable Derek J Spinning flying toy with fluid release
US5458329A (en) * 1994-08-04 1995-10-17 Bushman; Earl K. Play prolate spheroid game ball
US5462273A (en) * 1988-06-13 1995-10-31 Spector; Donald Variable weight playball
US6012997A (en) * 1997-03-19 2000-01-11 Mason; David W. Compound safety ball
US6142894A (en) * 1999-02-19 2000-11-07 Lee; Yu-Shien Article producing sound and light on impact
US6939193B1 (en) * 2004-07-22 2005-09-06 Mcdowell William C. Aquatic game device
US20070049432A1 (en) * 2005-08-23 2007-03-01 Junior Kenneth L Basketball having grippable apertures for one-handed dunking
US7270588B2 (en) * 2005-01-03 2007-09-18 Frazier John K Flying disc
US20080039246A1 (en) * 2006-08-08 2008-02-14 Marc Gregory Martino Self-propelled football with internally ducted fan and electric motor
US20100035710A1 (en) * 2008-01-29 2010-02-11 Carson Kelly Smith Lighted Projectile
US8029393B2 (en) * 2007-03-07 2011-10-04 Frazier John K Foam game ball with tubular holes

Patent Citations (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4463951A (en) * 1981-03-17 1984-08-07 Oyo Rubber Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. Ball
US4880233A (en) * 1986-11-15 1989-11-14 Seoul Nassau Corporation Game ball
US5462273A (en) * 1988-06-13 1995-10-31 Spector; Donald Variable weight playball
US5123645A (en) * 1991-03-18 1992-06-23 Macdonald Richard A Projectile with interiorly weighted flow passage insert
US5253866A (en) * 1991-07-18 1993-10-19 Tonka Corporation Ball with a passive sound device
US5277641A (en) * 1992-12-28 1994-01-11 Gable Derek J Spinning flying toy with fluid release
US5458329A (en) * 1994-08-04 1995-10-17 Bushman; Earl K. Play prolate spheroid game ball
US6012997A (en) * 1997-03-19 2000-01-11 Mason; David W. Compound safety ball
US6142894A (en) * 1999-02-19 2000-11-07 Lee; Yu-Shien Article producing sound and light on impact
US6939193B1 (en) * 2004-07-22 2005-09-06 Mcdowell William C. Aquatic game device
US7270588B2 (en) * 2005-01-03 2007-09-18 Frazier John K Flying disc
US20070049432A1 (en) * 2005-08-23 2007-03-01 Junior Kenneth L Basketball having grippable apertures for one-handed dunking
US20080039246A1 (en) * 2006-08-08 2008-02-14 Marc Gregory Martino Self-propelled football with internally ducted fan and electric motor
US8029393B2 (en) * 2007-03-07 2011-10-04 Frazier John K Foam game ball with tubular holes
US20100035710A1 (en) * 2008-01-29 2010-02-11 Carson Kelly Smith Lighted Projectile

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20190358499A1 (en) * 2016-07-12 2019-11-28 Molten Corporation Ball
EP3485946A4 (en) * 2016-07-12 2020-02-26 Molten Corporation Ball
US10279279B2 (en) 2017-04-21 2019-05-07 Sergei Baranoff Self-leveling bubble producing system
US20200038716A1 (en) * 2018-08-03 2020-02-06 Chris Wright Methods and systems associated with an object for a game
US10688348B2 (en) * 2018-08-03 2020-06-23 Chris Wright Methods and systems associated with an object for a game

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