Title:
Tennis practice device
United States Patent 3924853


Abstract:
A tennis practice device having an upright member. The upright member is provided with a horizontally extending arm attached intermediate its ends to the upper end of the upright member. One of the ends of the arm is provided with a planar ball rebound surface and the other end of the arm is provided with a substantially vertical and pivotally attached, rod member. The rod is attached intermediate its ends to the end of the arm. A ball is attached to the upper end of the rod and a counter weight is attached to the lower end of the rod. The distance from the pivot point of the rod to the ball is substantially equal to the distance from the pivot point of the rod to the ball rebound surface. Mounted on the other end of the arm near the pivot point and adjacent the lower end of the rod is a pair of friction fingers for releasably engaging the rod for holding the rod substantially vertical. The rod is released by the fingers when the ball is struck towards the rebound surface and the rod is grasped by the fingers after the ball hits the rebound surface and returns to a substantially vertical position.



Inventors:
SCHLEEGER HAROLD F
Application Number:
05/507292
Publication Date:
12/09/1975
Filing Date:
09/19/1974
Assignee:
SCHLEEGER; HAROLD F.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; (IPC1-7): A63B61/00
Field of Search:
273/29A,26R,26A,181R,184R,184B,185D,197R,2B 272
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2713487Tennis practice device1955-07-19Jaediker



Primary Examiner:
Pinkham, Richard C.
Assistant Examiner:
Brown T.
Claims:
What is claimed

1. A tennis practice device comprising an upright support means, means positioning said upright support means relative a fixed surface, a rebound surface means being positioned on the upper end of the upright support means, one end of an arm means being affixed to the upright support means, a mounting rod means being pivotally affixed adjacent one of its ends by a pivot pin to the opposite end of the arm means, a ball being positioned on the opposite end of said mounting rod means, a straight line distance from the pivot pin to the ball being substantially equal to the distance from the pivot pin to the rebound surface means, releasable means grasping the mounting rod in the vicinity of said pivot pin to hold the mounting rod means in a first position with the ball spaced away from the rebound surface, said mounting rod means being pivotable to move said ball from said first position to a second position where the ball engages the rebound surface, said mounting rod means when moved from said first position to said second position being released by said releasable means, said mounting rod means not being counterbalanced by a spring means when it moves from said first position to said second position, and said releasable means re-engages said mounting rod means when the mounting rod means rebounds back from its second position to its first position.

2. The tennis practice device of claim 1 wherein said releasable means being a spring clip with two opposed spring finger means adapted to releasably grasp said mounting rod means.

3. The tennis practice device of claim 2 wherein said means positioning said upright support means is a base stand.

4. The tennis practice device of claim 2 wherein said means positioning said upright support means is a pointed end on the upright support means.

5. The tennis practice device of claim 2 wherein said mounting rod means has an offset portion near the end with said ball positioned thereon whereby the ball is positioned offset from the longitudinal axis of said mounting rod means, and said axis contains said pivot point for said mounting rod means.

6. The tennis practice device of claim 5 wherein said mounting rod means is provided with a weight means positioned on said mounting rod means on the end of said rod means opposite from the end of said rod means having the ball positioned thereon.

7. The tennis practice device of claim 2 wherein said rebound surface being a flat surface against which said ball can bounce.

8. The tennis practice device of claim 2 wherein said ball being releasably positioned on the end of said mounting rod means.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to a tennis practice device and, more particularly, a tennis practice device that will automatically reset itself if struck properly with the tennis racquet.

2. DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

U.S. Pat. No. 2,578,313 discloses a tennis practice device which has a spring-biased arm carrying a tennis ball. The struck tennis ball rebounds due to the action of a spring.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,272,765 discloses a tennis practice device which has a biased arm carrying a tennis ball. The arm is formed from an inflated rubberized fabric tube which will yield under the blow of the tennis racquet and then return to its original position.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,731,926 discloses a tennis practice device which has a pivoted arm carrying the tennis ball. The pivoted arm is returned to its original position, after the tennis ball is struck, by a spring loaded bumper which is struck by the pivoted arm.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,794,320 discloses a tennis practice device with a pivotally rotatable arm controlled by a spring loaded cylinder.

The object of the invention herein is to provide a tennis practice device which is simple in construction and which is capable of resetting itself, after being struck by the tennis racquet, only when the tennis ball is properly struck.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to a tennis practice device. An upright member is provided with a rebound surface. An arm member extends from the midregion of the upright member. A mounting rod is pivoted near one of its ends to the free end of the arm member. The tennis ball is mounted on the other end of the mounting rod. The length of the mounting rod is such that the distance from the pivot point for the rod to the tennis ball is equal to the distance from the pivot point for the rod to the rebound surface. A friction means grasps the mounting rod at its end near the rod pivot point .

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a side view of one form of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the pivot point of the structure of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a side view of another form of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

One form of the invention is shown in FIG. 1. The upright support means 2 has its lower end mounted on a base stand 4. The upright support means could be provided with a pointed end 6 as shown in FIG. 3. This pointed end 6 would be used to mount the tennis practice device on the ground 8 by driving the pointed end of member 2 into the ground.

The upright support means has a rebound surface 10 positioned on its upper end. An arm member 12 is affixed to the upright support means at about the midregion thereof. As shown in FIG. 3 the upright support means could be a tubular metal or a wood member with the arm member 12 fastened thereto. It is possible also to fabricate the upright support means and arm member in the manner shown in FIG. 1. The upright support means is formed of two parts 14 & 16. The upper part 14 is jointed to the arm member by conventional joint structures or fasteners. The lower part 16 of the upright support means then supports the above-described assembly of the arm member and upper part 14. Any arrangement of parts can be used to form the upright support means and arm member. The important features that are needed are a means to support the tennis practice device, a rebound surface and an arm member which will support a ball in the manner below described.

On the end of the arm member 12, opposite from the end of the arm member fastened to the upright support means 2, there is positioned a mounting rod means 18. The rod 18 is pivoted to the end of the arm member at point 20 by use of a pin 22. On the upper end of the rod 18 a tennis ball 24 is affixed. Normally the ball 24 is releasably positioned on the end of the rod 18 by a bolt 26 which holds the ball against a shoulder or pin 28. On the lower end of the rod 18 there is positioned a counterweight 30 which could be a weight fastened to the rod or lead positioned in the end of a tubular rod 18. The counterweight is used to balance the mass of the tennis ball 24 on the opposite end of the rod. The rod 18 is normally bent near its upper end (bend 32) to form an offset portion near the end of the rod. The offset is at about a 60 degree angle from the axis of the rod. The ball 24 is positioned, therefore, offset from the main axis of rod 18, which main axis contains the pivot point 20 for the rod 18. This then permits the tennis ball to be struck with a stroke of the tennis racquet wherein the racquet could be positioned in a number of planes, for example, planes 34 and 35. Without the offset relationship, the racquet would strike the rod 18 before it could strike the ball 24.

The rebound surface 10, a flat surface on the upper end of the upright support means, is used as a recoil surface for the tennis ball 24. When the tennis ball is struck, it is driven in a counterclockwise direction (FIG. 1) around the pivot point 20 towards the rebound surface 10. The ball bounces against rebound surface 10 and recoils therefrom to return to its original position. The straight line distance 36 from the pivot point 20 to the center of the tennis ball 24 must be substantially equal to the distance 38 from the pivot point 20 to the center of the rebound surface means 10 so that the ball, when struck, will pivot to and recoil from the rebound surface means 10.

A means must be provided to restrain the mounting rod means 18 and tennis ball 24 in the position of FIGS. 1 & 3 so that the ball 24 will be in position to be struck by a tennis racquet. This means also must be sufficient to grasp and hold the rod 18 when ball 24 has rebounded from the rebound surface means 10 back to the position of the ball shown in FIGS. 1 & 3. Should this means not grasp and hold the rebounding ball, the ball would probably rebound back from the positions shown in FIGS. 1 & 3 to the rebound surface means 10 a second time. The means for grasping and holding the rod is a spring clip 40 which is fastened to the underside of the arm member 12. The spring clip 40 has two spring fingers spaced apart less than the diameter of the rod 18. The rod springs the spring fingers apart and the fingers resiliently hold the rod 18. The action of the rod spreading the spring fingers will slow down the movement of the rod so that the spring fingers can readily grasp the rod. It is obvious that other means could be used in lieu of the spring clip, for example, a magnet.

Properly striking the tennis ball with the tennis racquet imparts sufficient force to the ball to move the ball and to cause the mounting rod means 18 to be forced from the spring clip 40 and the ball to go towards and strike the rebound surface means 10. The recoil or bounce back from surface 10, due to the rebound qualities of the rubber of the tennis ball plus the action of the counterweight, will cause the ball to return to its starting position and the rod 18 to be held by the spring clip 40 if the ball had been struck properly by the tennis racquet.