Boccerball Bracket Replacement

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Back possibly in the early 1990’s, a former Ohio State football player invented Boccerball.  It’s a game room table (due to its approx. 4’ length) where a small soccer ball is placed in the middle and players at opposing ends drop steel balls down chutes across the width of the table trying to  1) direct the soccer ball into the opponent’s goal or 2) stop the ball from entering their own.   It’s fun, though quite noisy, requiring players to simultaneously gather balls returned to a discharge tray while keeping an eye on the table and putting balls in play.  It’s fairly frenetic and… the collecting trays break due to relatively rough play.

Boccerball broken tray  hinge bracket

Boccerball broken tray  hinge bracket

The first time this happened, I found the manufacturer, Regent Sports, online and ordered replacement parts.  The second time (years later)… I found their website, now a division of Ball, Bounce and Sport, Inc.  Squirreled away in their “Customer Support” tab, there’s a notice:
“… Regent Sports Corporation… the company that formerly manufactured all of the Halex table games, went out of business in December, 2012.”  To cut it short, the new company bought “certain assets and licensing rights” that did not include the Boccerball table.  “From what we gather, the former Regent Sports Corporation, due to its financial condition, did not order replacement parts to satisfy service requests.”  Blah blah and “Additional internet research may be the only way to discover [replacement parts].”  Great.

So I searched and found several forums where people like me would search for answers to no avail.  And then, I remembered My Blue Robot, a 3D printing diversion wherein I convinced my daughter to show her dad how things are done in the 21st century.   So instead of Google searching “Boccerball parts” in all sorts of variations, I searched “Boccerball bracket 3d print” and there it was at Thingiverse.com, the same site that had my robot print instructions.

Boccerball broken tray  hinge bracket

So, thank you, Jack Marshall, whoever you are, for thing:63416.  Not only did my buddy Jack create a straightforward replacement part, but he either had the same unfortunate breaks that I had or he had excellent foresight into how else it might fail.  In my case, the bracket on one side broke, but the spindle, a part of the tray mold, snapped off in the bracket on the other side, the remnant of which can be seen below.

Boccerball broken tray  hinge bracket

So he designed brackets for both situations.  In my case, one was a straightforward replacement, and the other required drilling a 1/4” hole into the collection tray where the spindle used to be, so that the new spindle on the bracket could stick through.  My daughter, conveniently a new owner of a 3D printer, made both designs with mirror images, not certain on which I needed on each side.   Below is a print of a replacement bracket that’s been trimmed and the other, including the spindle, prior to trimming.

Boccerball broken tray  hinge bracket

After a very minor mess, here’s the completed installation, completely functional and otherwise inconspicuous.

Boccerball broken tray  hinge bracket

So, I thought I’d put this “out there” for other table owners to access, knowing others are suffering similarly, if they kept their tables this long…   You just need to find someone with a 3D printer, or perhaps your local Tech school/college has one.

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