Vicksburg man gets patent for disc sports equipment

Published 11:03 am Monday, June 16, 2014

Innovation can sometimes come slowly to sports, but Larry Storey might have created the next breakthrough.

Storey, a Vicksburg resident, recently received a utility patent for the apparatus needed to play Disc Hoops. Storey invented the game, which is a combination of basketball and ultimate Frisbee, in 2010.

Storey’s patent was issued in May and protects the idea of any device hanging from a basketball hoop designed to catch a flying disc. The game itself is not protected, and Storey is hoping to grow its audience and further develop the game itself.

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“It is a very fast-paced, high-action and high impact game with good audience participation,” Storey said.

Disc Hoops is one of a number of games that uses Frisbee-like discs to give a new twist to existing sports. Disc golf and ultimate Frisbee, which resembles football, have grown in popularity in the past 30 years.

Disc golf experienced an explosion in popularity in the last 15 years and the number of sanctioned courses doubled between 2000 and 2008.

Today, disc golf is played in 40 countries around the worlde.

The sport became widely played on college campuses, particularly following a 1997 episode of the TV show Seinfield, in which George Costanza explains to Jerry that “frolf” is becoming popular.

On the other hand, Disc Hoops is a spin on basketball. It can be played inside our outside wherever there’s a basketball court. Teams of four players each try to score points by passing the disc up and down the court and landing it in the Disc Hoops Rim apparatus, which hangs down from the basketball goal at a 45 degree angle allowing goals to be scored from all sides.

Storey’s Disc Hoops game has been played in public schools throughout the country, and the apparatus is already available through industrial outlets. Storey’s future plans for the new sport involve forming local leagues and getting the apparatus into retail stores to make it available to a wider audience.