Title:
Apparatuses and methods for playing a golf-type game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
To permit playing golf from a wheel chair or exercising a dog, a tennis ball throwing apparatus includes: (1) a safety feature to prevent the throwing device from being used for throwing small sharp items; (2) a sling arrangement that permits easily throwing of balls a long distance; and (3) an apparatus that permits balls to be picked up without either bending down or touching them with the hands. In the case of a dog exerciser, a storage compartment is provided for storing tennis balls to dry the tennis balls may be loaded in the storage compartment and later put in a pouch one by one to throw them without touching them. Balls that a dog retrieves may be picked up using the sling without touching the ball and it is automatically put into a storage compartment where it is exposed to air for drying purposes. In the case of the golf game a club is mounted to the throwing device.



Inventors:
Williamson, Michael M. (Statesville, NC, US)
Application Number:
09/794291
Publication Date:
03/07/2002
Filing Date:
02/27/2001
Assignee:
SportsTec, Inc. (625 West prospector Court,, Lincoln, NE, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B65/12; A63B67/02; A63B71/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
THALER, MICHAEL H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Vincent L. Carney (P.O. Box 80836, Lincoln, NE, 68501-0836, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method of playing a game, comprising the steps of: inserting a projectile into a throwing apparatus; and throwing the projectile at a target location using the throwing apparatus while in a sitting position.

2. A method in accordance with claim 1 in which the step of throwing the projectile at a target location includes the step of throwing a golf ball at a hole on a golf course.

3. A method in accordance with claim 1 in which the step of throwing a projectile comprises the step of throwing the projectile while sitting in a wheel chair.

4. A method in accordance with claim 1 in which the step of throwing comprises the step of throwing a ball utilizing a propulsion force attached to a ball holding member.

5. A method according to claim 4 in which the step of throwing the ball comprises the step of pulling the ball holding member back against the force of spring members and releasing it.

6. A method according to claim 1 further including the step of moving to the projectile after it has been thrown in a wheel chair and hitting it with a golf club while remaining in a sitting position.

7. A method of playing a golf-like game, comprising the steps of: inserting a golf ball into a throwing apparatus; throwing the golf ball at a hole using the throwing apparatus while sitting; and going to the ball after the ball has been thrown in a wheel chair.

8. A method in accordance with claim 7 further including the step of hitting the golf ball from the wheel chair with a golf club, wherein the golf club is part of the throwing apparatus.

9. A method in accordance with claim 8 further including the steps of pivoting a golf club from a storage location on the throwing apparatus into a using location before hitting the golf ball and pivoting back from the using location to the storage location after hitting the ball.

10. A method according to claim 9 in which the step of throwing the golf ball comprises the step of pulling the ball holding member back against the force of spring members and releasing it.

11. A throwing apparatus comprising: a throwing section; a golf club section; and said golf club section including a golf club head and shaft section mounted to said throwing section.

12. A throwing apparatus in accordance with claim 11 in which the golf club head and shaft section is pivotally mounted to the throwing apparatus wherein the golf club head and shaft section can be moved between a golf club storage location and a golf club use section.

13. A throwing apparatus in accordance with claim 11 in which the throwing section includes two elongated cylinders spread apart and an elastomeric member having one end attached to the outer ends of the two cylinders, the other end of the elastomeric member being attached to a projectile holder having a central hole sized so that small objects fall through the hole and large objects are held by the projectile holder.

14. A throwing apparatus according to claim 13 in which the central hole is in the range of one-eighth of an inch and three inches and said projectile holder has as its smallest dimension at least one and three-quarter inches, a largest dimension of said projectile holder being greater than the largest dimension of said hole and the smallest dimension of said hole being less than the largest dimension of said projectile.

Description:

RELATED CASES

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/642,186 filed Aug. 18, 2000, by Michael M. Williamson entitled DOG EXERCISE APPARATUS AND METHOD.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to a method and apparatuses for playing a golf-type game and more particularly for apparatuses and methods for propelling a ball or other object toward a target such as for example toward a hole in a golf course.

[0003] Games are known in which a ball or other projectile are propelled toward a target. Golf, for example, requires a golf ball to be hit with a club toward a hole. This type of game has several disadvantages under some circumstances, such as for example: (1) some persons have difficulty or lack the skill to propel the ball accurately and for a sufficient distance, such as for example handicapped or disabled persons; and (2) some games such as golf, for example, require much practice and relatively expensive equipment thus detracting from the pleasure of the game for some individuals.

[0004] Throwing devices are known for throwing objects with some mechanical advantage to enable ease in throwing. Prior art throwing apparatuses include slings having an elastic member with a projectile holder on it. The item being thrown is temporarily held in the projectile holder and the projectile holder and item are pulled back, stretching the elastic member, and released to throw the item.

[0005] The prior art slings have several disadvantages, such as: (1) the sling may be used by children or the like to throw dangerous projectiles; and (2) some such slings are not well designed for efficiency in a specific purpose such as for a specific game or for throwing an object for a dog to retrieve.

[0006] It is also known to design special games for handicapped or disabled persons such as for persons confined to a wheel chair. For example, basketball games are known for use by persons in wheel chairs. However, some handicapped and disabled persons are still barred from some games because they lack the ability to handle the necessary equipment effectively.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a novel game and apparatus for playing the game.

[0008] It is a still further object of the invention to provide novel throwing apparatuses and methods for any purpose including for exercising a dog.

[0009] It is a still further object of the invention to provide a novel game adapted for use by handicapped or disabled persons.

[0010] It is a still further object of the invention to provide a novel method for exercising dogs which can be tailored for certain types of items to be thrown such as tennis balls or the like.

[0011] It is a still further object of the invention to provide an improved sling shot designed for convenience of use.

[0012] It is a still further object of the invention to provide a throwing device which is designed to limit the items being thrown and exclude, for example, dangerous sharp projectiles.

[0013] In accordance with the above and further objects of the invention, a throwing apparatus is provided for throwing balls or other safe items. The throwing apparatus includes: (1) a sling arrangement that permits easily throwing items a long distance; (2) an attachment to provide other functions for the purpose of the throwing device such as a golf club for putting a golf ball or a storage compartment for picking up and holding tennis balls; and (3) a safety feature to prevent the throwing apparatus from being used for throwing small sharp items.

[0014] In the preferred embodiment, the throwing apparatus includes a frame, a sling portion and storage section for a club or for projectiles, with the sling portion and storage section being mounted to the frame. The sling portion includes a projectile holder and a projectile thrower. The projectile holder is designed to accommodate particular projectiles such as a golf ball or tennis ball in the preferred embodiment and to reject others such as to reject small hard objects in favor of tennis balls. In the preferred embodiment, the golf club is a small putter that can be used with either the left or the right hand and can be used from a sitting position. It is pivotally mounted to the frame so as to conveniently be moveable between a stored position and a stroke position.

[0015] The frame is elongated and supports both a projectile throwing sling and the storage section which in the preferred embodiment is a golf club, the end of the golf club being pivotably mounted to the frame from its distal end. The sling portion of the throwing apparatus is on top of the frame and the golf club on the bottom when in its stored position. The projectile throwing apparatus in the preferred embodiment consists of elastomeric bands that serve as thrust bands. A projectile holder sized to receive a ball such as a golf or tennis ball holds the projectile on the elastomeric bands as the elastomeric bands are stretched and released to throw the projectile. The projectile holder has an opening in the center sized so that sharp small objects fit through the hole and are not usable with the projectile holder. Thus they are rejected and the sling is difficult to turn into a dangerous weapon-like toy.

[0016] For convenient holding and aiming, the throwing apparatus includes a centrally located vertical cylindrical hand grip connected at its upper end to the combined wing-sight and thrust-band holder and removably connected at its lower end to an armrest apparatus extending toward the user from the hand grip and ending in a curved member that may rest on top of the outstretched arm holding the hand grip. This permits sighting from the outstretched arm and provides room for the elastomeric thrust bands to be pulled back for convenient sighting and usage with small effort.

[0017] In the preferred embodiment, the apparatus includes a gudgeon at the far end of the frame extending downwardly, providing a pivot point to which the end of the golf club's handle is mounted and includes a clasp at the near end adjacent to the hand grip and extending downwardly for holding the shaft of the golf club when it is in its stored position. When the golf club is in its stored position, the shaft of the golf club is parallel to the frame and the head of the golf club is parallel to the hand grip of the apparatus. For use, the club swings outwardly about the gudgeon until the shaft is aligned with the frame forming a two foot seven inch long member from the hand grip to the head of the golf club. The gudgeon has sufficient friction to hold the golf club place so a person in a wheel chair can use it to hit a golf ball that is on the ground.

[0018] In another embodiment, a storage compartment is mounted to the bottom of the frame and includes a spring-loaded holder that may be used to pick up and store projectiles. The elongated frame supports both the projectile throwing sling, and the storage compartment in a compact, easy to assemble construction where the projectile thrower and storage compartment share a common member between them on the elongated frame so that the spring-loaded storage compartment can conveniently reach from the hand of the user to the ground to pick up a tennis ball or other projectiles. The projectile is picked up by pushing downwardly with the end of the storage compartment on top of the ball until the ball is forced inside and held by the spring-loaded holder.

[0019] In use, the projectile, which in the preferred embodiment is a golf ball, is held in the projectile holder and the projectile holder with the projectile in it is then pulled back, towards the person, on top of the frame and sighted through the wing sights forming the top of the projectile thrower. With the arm holding the hand grip outstretched and the armrest on the top of the arm to steady the throwing apparatus, the projectile holder and projectile are pulled backward, stretching the elastomeric thrust bands. The projectile holder may then be released and the projectile will go towards its target. When used as a dog exerciser, the dog will normally drop what it is returning from the previous use and chase the projectile, fetching it and bringing it back to the user. The projectile throwing apparatus cannot be misused by children or the like to throw sharp objects because of the opening in the projectile holder. It may however, be safely used to pick up projectiles that have been dropped on the ground and to throw the projectiles a substantial distance with very little effort.

[0020] When used to play golf, the head of the golf club may be pulled free from the elastic and pivoted to an aligned position with the frame when on the green and the gold club and throwing apparatus used as a putter to move the golf ball while remaining seated in the wheel chair. Because the apparatus is compact and the same apparatus serves both to propel the golf ball large distances with accuracy and serves as a putter, it can be handled with a maximum convenience while remaining in the wheel chair. Because it can be used with either hand, the apparatus can be used on the golf course while remaining seated in a wheel chair or in a golf cart.

[0021] When used as a dog exerciser, items to be thrown may be loaded in the storage compartment and later put in a projectile holder one by one to throw them without touching them. Items that a dog retrieves may be picked up using the sling without touching the ball and it is automatically put into a storage compartment where it is exposed to air for drying purposes. The operator thus may throw the ball with the device a considerable distance and when it is retrieved, if the dog is trained to drop the ball, the throwing apparatus may be used to pick up the ball without touching it and keep it in the storage compartment until it is dry. In the meantime, a new projectile may be thrown. Moreover, if the dog does not release the projectile, a new ball can be thrown in an effort to cause the dog to drop the last-retrieved item and retrieve the new projectile.

[0022] From the above description, it can be understood that the projectile throwing apparatus of this invention has several advantages, such as: (1) one embodiment of the apparatus enables a handicapped person or disabled person to enjoy a golf-like game without the conventional equipment or training; (2) when used for golf, it does not damage the course; (3) another embodiment can be used to exercise a dog; (4) the dog exercise embodiment includes a convenient pickup device that avoids getting dog saliva on the hand or bending down; (5) the dog exercise embodiment stores several projectiles in a manner in which they are exposed to air; (6) it is safe to use and cannot be used to throw dangerous objects; (7) it may be used with either arm because of the central location of the grip and its symmetry; and (8) it is economical to construct because of its symmetrical form and use of a common spring like member to form a wing sight, throwing mechanism holder and storage compartment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0023] The above noted and other features of the invention will be better understood from the following detailed description when considered with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0024] FIG. 1 is an illustration showing the use of the projectile throwing apparatus of this invention and a particular method of its use by a handicapped or disabled person to play golf;

[0025] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a projectile throwing apparatus usable in an embodiment of the invention;

[0026] FIG. 3 is another perspective view of the embodiment of a projectile throwing apparatus of FIG. 2 from another angle;

[0027] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a projectile throwing apparatus;

[0028] FIG. 5 is an elevational side view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 in one position of its use;

[0029] FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 in another position of its use;

[0030] FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the embodiment of FIG. 4; and

[0031] FIG. 8 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0032] In FIG. 1 there is shown a handicapped or disabled person 12A in a wheel chair using the projectile throwing apparatus 16A to propel a golf ball toward a target, which may be a hole in a golf course, as part of a game. In doing so, the person 12A holds the hand grip 30A of the projectile throwing apparatus 16A in one hand (the left hand in FIG. 1) with the arm outstretched (right arm in FIG. 1) pulls the projectile holder 20A with a golf ball 26A in it back, stretching elastomeric throwing bands 28C and 28D. He can sight through the combined thrust band holder and wing sight 34A between the two sections of a frame 22A that mounts the elastomeric thrust bands 28C and 28D and release the projectile holder 20A, causing the golf ball to proceed a substantial distance.

[0033] While the arm is outstretched as shown in FIG. 1, the frame 22A rests upon the arm of the person 12A, being aided by the armrest assembly 32A. At the bottom of the frame 22A of the projectile throwing apparatus 16A, there is a golf club 14 having a club head 19 and a shaft 21 with the shaft 21 being pivotally mounted to the frame 22A by a gudgeon 15 to permit it to be pivoted from a stored position parallel to and next to the bottom of the frame 22A to a use position aligned with the frame 22A. A clasp 17 is mounted to the bottom of the frame 22A and holds the shaft 21 in place in its stored position so it can be pivoted to be aligned with the frame and used as a golf club by a person in the wheel chair or pivoted to a parallel position and stored securely.

[0034] While in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the projectile throwing apparatus 16A is used to throw golf balls, other kinds of projectiles may be thrown although the projectile holder 20A should be designed for the projectile to have adequate surface area to hold the projectile and an opening too small for the projectile to fall through but sufficiently large to preclude undesirable objects. Moreover, while elastomeric thrust bands 28C and 28D are used, it is possible to utilize other types of thrusting devices besides the elastomeric thrust bands 28C and 28D of FIG. 1.

[0035] In FIG. 2, there is shown a perspective view of the projectile throwing apparatus 16A having the projectile holder 20A, the frame 22A, and thrust bands 28C and 28D and the golf club 14. After throwing a golf ball and reaching the green, the golf club 14 can be pulled from its storage position by pulling it downwardly from the clasp 17 so that the shaft 21 pivots about the gudgeon 15 to a position parallel to the frame 22A.

[0036] The frame 22A includes a hand grip 30A, two parallel pipe members 74C and 74D forming the bottom of the frame 22A, an armrest assembly 32A and a combined thrust-band holder and wing sight 34A. The hand grip 30A is a round post comfortably covered with a reasonably firm but soft material and sized to be held in either hand. At one end of the hand grip 30A, there are mounted frame members 22A that support the golf club 14, thrust bands 28C and 28D and the projectile holder 20A extending forwardly from and substantially perpendicular to the hand grip 30A and at the other end of the hand grip 30A there is mounted the armrest assembly 32A extending rearwardly.

[0037] The armrest assembly 32A includes side frame members 42C and 42D and the armrest 40A. The side frame members 42C and 42D extend substantially perpendicular to the vertical hand grip 30A and the armrest 40A is arcuate and extends upwardly at an angle so that the top of the arc is substantially parallel to the top of the hand grip 30A. The golf club 14 is mounted to the bottom of the parallel pipe members 74C and 74D. The two parallel pipe members 74C and 74D are mounted at one end to the top of the hand grip 30A and at the other end to two upwardly and outwardly extending wing members 58C and 58D forming the wing sight 34A. The two elastomeric bands 28C and 28D are fastened to the ends of the wing members 58C and 58D.

[0038] In use, the arm of the user is within the arc of the armrest 40A to steady the projectile throwing apparatus 16A and is above the side frame members 42C and 42D, which however, are sufficiently spread apart and elongated so that they may pass slightly on either end of the arm without difficulty since the throwing apparatus as a whole is resting on the arcuate armrest 40A. The armrest 40A is one-quarter inch inner diameter membrane pipe insulation with its two open ends fitting on the end of one-quarter inch diameter 1018 carbon steel cylinders forming the two side members 42C and 42D. The hand grip 30A is black three-quarter inch ID (inner diameter) water hose. Of course any other suitable members may be used and may be of any convenient shape and may be of sufficiently strong material to withstand the forces imparted in throwing a projectile.

[0039] In the preferred embodiment, a projectile holder rest stud 50A for the projectile holder 20A extends from the hand grip 30A on the end opposite to the armrest assembly 32A in the same direction as the armrest assembly 32A. It is sized to fit through the hole 62A in the projectile holder 20A, and as shown in FIG. 2, the hand grip 30A may receive the projectile holder 20A with the projectile holder rest 50A passing through the hole 62A to hold the projectile holder in a fixed position when it is not in use.

[0040] The golf club 14 includes a shaft 21 and club head 19 with the shaft 21 including an enlarged cylindrical portion 65 (FIG. 3) sized to more easily be held by the clasp 17. The tops of the wing members 58C and 58D forming the combined thrust band holder and wing sight 34A accommodate expanded portions 61C, 61D respectively which may be plastic and are intended to hold the tubular elastomeric thrust bands 28C and 28D in place. In the preferred embodiment, the thrust bands are three-sixteenth inch inner diameter and one-quarter inch outer diameter latex rubber tubing although any other elastomeric member may be used to form elastomeric thrust bands and other types of force impelling members can be used instead of thrust bands.

[0041] To mount the clasp 17, a plate 41 is welded to the two parallel pipe members 74C and 74D forming the bottom of the frame 22A. The clasp 17 includes a first finger 67, a second finger 69 and a spring 71 around the pivot pin 73 and having arms 45 and 47. The first finger 67 has outwardly extending flanges 73 and 75 bolted to the plate 41 at 77 and 79 (see FIG. 3) and downwardly extending parallel side members 81 and 83 (best shown in FIG. 3) generally transverse to the longitudinal axis of frame 22A. A cup member 85 parallel to the longitudinal axis of the frame 22A is integrally formed at the end of the parallel side members 81 and 83, and connects them, having a generally “V”-shaped portion connected at its distal end and an outwardly extending lip 87. The second finger 69 includes downwardly extending parallel side members 89 and 91 adjacent and parallel to the side members 81 and 83 of the first finger and pivotally mounted to them by a pin 43 with the spring 71 having arms 45 and 47 biasing the first and second fingers together. A second cup member 93 is formed as part of the parallel side members 89 and 91 of the first finger and combines with it to form a cylindrical portion 67 that encircles and removably holds the enlarged portion 65 of the shank 21 of the golf club 14.

[0042] In FIG. 3, there is shown another perspective view of the throwing apparatus 16A from a different direction better illustrating the clasp 17 and the gudgeon 15 with the golf club 14 pulled free from the clasp 17. The gudgeon 15 includes a bolt 35 serving as a pin, an inverted “U”-shaped member having ears 23, 25 and a top 27, an eyelet 33 mounted to the end of the shaft 21 and a bolt 35 serving both as a friction member and as a stop member for the rotation of the shaft 21 of the golf club 14. The eyelet 33 includes: (1) a central opening that is aligned with openings in each of the ears 23 and 25 of the invented “U” shaped member to receive the bolt 35 and permit pivoting of the golf club shaft 21, and corresponding rotation of a cylindrical shaped periphery to the eyelet 33; and (2) a detent 31 protruding from the periphery of the eyelet 33 to orbit in the plane of rotation of the eyelet as the club moves between storage and usable positions.

[0043] The shank of the bolt 35 extends through the ears 23 and 25 of the “U”-shaped member and abuts the periphery of the eyelet 33 to create friction sufficient so that the shaft 21 of the golf club 14 remains parallel to the frame 22A in the storage position although a lock could be incorporated on the frame or a wing nut engaging an extension of the gudgeon 15 to tighten against the shaft 21 and maintain it in place or any other of the many mechanisms known to keep pivotal structural members in a fixed position. The detent 31 abuts the bolt 35 when the golf club 14 is in usable position and serves as stop against further rotation.

[0044] As best shown in FIG. 3, the clasp 17 includes downwardly extending parallel side members 81 and 83 extending from the flanges 73 and 75 and being generally transverse to the longitudinal axis of frame 22A. A cup member 85 parallel to the longitudinal axis of the frame 22A is integrally formed at the end of the parallel side members, and connects them, having a generally “V”-shaped portion connected at its distal end and an outwardly extending lip 87. As best shown in FIG. 3, the second finger 69 pivotally mounted to the finger 67 by a pin 43 with the spring 71 biasing the first and second fingers together. A second cup member (FIG. 3) combines with the first cup member to form a cylindrical portion 67 that encircles and removably holds the enlarged portion 65 of the shank 21 of the golf club 14.

[0045] In FIG. 4, there is shown a perspective view of another embodiment of throwing apparatus 16 having a projectile holder 20, frame 22 and thrust bands 28A and 28B similar to the corresponding parts in the embodiment of FIG. 1 but instead of the golf club 14A at the bottom of the frame 22A, there is a combined storage compartment and pick-up device 24 having an open end 41 at the bottom of the frame 22 forming a part of the frame. Projectiles may be stored in the combined storage compartment and pick-up device 24 and thrown by the elastomeric thrust bands 28A and 28B, four such projectiles 26A-26D being shown in FIG. 4. In this embodiment, the throwing apparatus 16 is intended principally to be used to throw tennis balls for a dog to fetch.

[0046] The frame 22 is similar to the frame 22A of the embodiment 16A of throwing apparatus and similar parts are identified by similar reference numeral, but with out the suffix A and with the suffixes A and B instead of the suffixes C and D sometimes used in describing the embodiment of FIG. 1. Thus it also includes a hand grip 30 and armrest assembly 32 and a combined thrust-band holder and wing sight 34 as described in connection with the embodiment of FIG. 1. However as described about the embodiment of FIG. 4 includes a combined storage compartment and pick-up device 24 having open end 41 mounted to its bottom instead of a golf club as described in connection with the embodiment of FIG. 1.

[0047] The top member of the combined storage compartment and pick-up device 24 is the combined thrust-band holder and wing sight 34 to which the end connecting members 56A and 56B are welded. The top members 74A and bottom members 72A and 72B are spaced sufficiently apart to accommodate the projectiles 26A-26D, which in the embodiment of FIG. 4 are tennis balls having a diameter of approximately three and one-half inches, but the spacing may be variable depending on the projectile. The top members 74A and 74B and bottom members 72A and 72B are one-quarter inch diameter 1018 carbon steel for strength and flexibility and the bottom members 72A and 72B are formed integrally with the end connecting members 56A and 56B and extend to their distal end where the two parallel cylinders are connected together to form a loop parallel to the top of the storage compartment 24.

[0048] The combination thrust band holder and wing sight 34 also includes two parallel extending 1018 carbon steel cylinders 58A and 58B bent upwardly and apart from each other a sufficient distance at their outer ends to permit the tennis balls to pass between them easily and shaped to form a wide wing sight. The wing sight may be used for aiming without the need for the eye to be positioned directly in line with the projectiles 26A-26D, thus avoiding a possible danger.

[0049] The tops of the cylinders 58A and 58B accommodate expanded portions which may be plastic and are intended to hold the tubular elastomeric thrust bands 28A and 28B in place. In the preferred embodiment, the elastomeric thrust bands 28A and 28B are three-sixteenth inch inner diameter and one-quarter inch outer diameter latex rubber tubing although any other elastomeric member may be used to form elastomeric thrust bands and other types of force impelling members can be used instead of thrust bands.

[0050] In FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown a side elevational view of the projectile throwing apparatus 16 in two different positions of use. In FIG. 5, there is shown the projectile throwing apparatus 16 in a position to throw a projectile 26 which is in the projectile holder 20. The elastomeric thrust bands 28A and 28B (28B only being shown in these FIGS.) are stretched and in position to throw the projectile 26 when released. Four other projectiles 26A-26D are shown stored in the combination storage compartment and pick-up device 24 with a bottom member 72B being illustrated as being held by the end connecting member 56B. The projectile holder 20 is shown with the hole 62 being positioned to illustrate how a small object would not be thrown but instead would fall through the hole 62.

[0051] As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the projectile holder 20 is rectangular and has on each of its ends metal rings crimped in place at grommets 64A and 64B (64B not being shown) respectively to accommodate the end rings 66A and 66B (66A not being shown) of the elastomeric thrust bands 28A and 28B (28A not being shown). These elastomeric thrust bands 28A and 28B (28B not being shown) include plastic tubing 68A and 68B (only 68B being shown in FIGS. 5 and 6) and fit over an expanded portion shown at 70B of the upwardly extending cylinders 58A and 58B (only 58A being shown in FIGS. 5 and 6). In FIG. 6, there is shown the projectile holder 20 being positioned around the projectile holder rest stud 50 which passes through the opening sized to permit small undesirable objects to fall through and yet hold the desired projectile within the flexible flat surface.

[0052] In FIGS. 7 and 8, there are shown respectively a bottom and top view of the projectile throwing apparatus 16 particularly illustrating the projectile holder 20, a bottom 54 of the combined storage compartment and pick-up device 24, the hand grip 30, the combined storage compartment and pick-up device 24 and the combined thrust band holders and wing sights 34. As shown best in FIG. 7, which is a bottom view of the throwing apparatus 16, the combined storage compartment and pick-up device 24 has as its bottom member 54 two parallel pipe members 72A and 72B parallel to each other at a distance from each other slightly smaller than the diameter of the tennis balls that are being held so that, at the open end 41 near the bottom, a tennis ball may be forced into them and be held in place.

[0053] Because the parallel pipe members 72A and 72B spring outwardly, the open end 41 (shown at the upper end in FIGS. 7 and 8) may spring apart slightly between the bottom of combined storage and pick-up device 54 and the intermediate frame members 74A and 74B holding the guide members which are spread apart to form a wing sight 58A and 58B. These are one-quarter inch diameter 1018 carbon steel in the preferred embodiment although any suitable stiff elongated member could be used as well. These members are held together by their integrally formed upwardly extending end connecting members 56A and 56B which extend upwardly into the intermediate frame members 74A and 74B where they are bent over and welded together between the parallel pipe members 72A and 72B as best shown at 80.

[0054] A projectile holder 20 in the preferred embodiment is 1013 black packing film folded and shown as a rectangular projectile holder 20 with two one-half inch inner diameter aluminum coated zinc grommets 64A and 64B formed around openings to provide attachment points for the elastomeric thrust bands 28A and 28B respectively. The centrally located hole 62 is circular or square and substantially three-quarters inch in diameter or along its sides and the projectile holder 20 is substantially 2 inches by 11 inches in the preferred embodiment. However, for tennis balls, the central hole 62 may be of other sizes and shapes such as being less than three inches and greater than one-quarter inch. It should be a central hole within the range of one-eighth of an inch and three inches and said projectile holder should have as its smallest dimension at least one and three-quarter inches. The largest dimension of said projectile holder 20 should be greater than the largest dimension of said hole 62 and the smallest dimension of the hole 62 should be less than the largest dimension of the projectile.

[0055] The frame assembly consists of three pieces of steel round stock (the 1018 carbon steel cylinders) that are bent together to form the frame work. As mentioned above, they are welded together at 80 to form a spring combination storage compartment and pick-up device 24 and at another location 82 at the top end of the tubular hand grip 30. The armrest members 42A and 42B pass through the tubing from one end to the other where they are bent in place and welded between the intermediate frame members 74A and 74B to form a firm connection. Thus, the apparatus may be economically built out of inexpensive parts which are easily assembled and require only the two weld points 80 and 82.

[0056] From the above detailed description, it can be understood that the method of exercise and the projectile throwing apparatuses 16 and 16A of the invention have several advantages, such as: (1) the elongated projectile throwing apparatus 16 may be used to pick up balls without touching them with hands and without bending down; (2) balls may be placed in the projectile holder 20 without touching them directly with the hands; (3) the projectile throwing apparatuses 16 and 16A may be safely aimed to throw a projectile by aiming through the wing type sight; (4) the projectile throwing apparatuses 16 and 16A may be used with either hand; (5) the projectile throwing apparatuses 16 and 16A are simple to make and economical, requiring standard tubing stock and plastic tubing as well as having only two weld points to hold the throwing apparatuses 16 and 16A together; and (6) the throwing apparatus 16A may be used with ease by handicapped or disabled persons to play games or the like.

[0057] Although a specific preferred embodiment of the invention has been described with some particularity, many modifications and variations of the preferred embodiment may be obtained without invention. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described.