|20050119059||Golf facility, concept, and method of operation||June, 2005||Marshall|
|20060019765||Gravity compensated golf putter||January, 2006||Plutt|
|20090203471||PITCHING AND THROWING TRAINING MECHANISM||August, 2009||Roudybush|
|20060267286||Game set including projectiles with internal distance measuring means||November, 2006||Hickey|
|20090305806||PUTTER WITH AIMING ARMS||December, 2009||Campadore et al.|
|20030027664||Golf ball with high specific gravity threads||February, 2003||Kuttappa et al.|
|20070238552||Propylene elastomer compositions and golf balls that include such compositions||October, 2007||Kim et al.|
|20060172823||Four-piece golf ball||August, 2006||Loper et al.|
|20010031674||Baseball bat choke-up device||October, 2001||Mcginnis|
|20080318708||CAVITY BACK GOLF CLUB HEAD||December, 2008||Clausen et al.|
|20060009312||Tubular golf tee||January, 2006||Chotos|
 The present invention relates to a portable batting practise cage.
 Batting practise cages are used as a training tool by coaches of amateur baseball teams. The batting practise cages generally consist of a support frame with an exterior covering of mesh netting. An “L” shaped protective screen is provided within the batting practise cage for the coach to stand behind as he pitches the ball to the batters. There have been batting cages marketed as being “portable” but to date these portable batting cages still require a considerable amount of time for assembly.
 What is required is a portable batting cage that can be rapidly erected with a minimum of assembly.
 According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a portable batting practise cage which includes several support poles and a non-supporting mesh shell. The shell has a substantially planar end wall, depending anchor lines and several transversely extending rows of externally positioned loops. The shell is supported and held erect by inserting one of the several support poles through each of the several transversely positioned rows of externally positioned loops, and anchoring the mesh shell to a ground surface by means of the anchor lines. A pitching port is provided through the planar end wall of the shell.
 According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of using the described structure of portable batting practise cage. A structure, as described above, is first obtained and erected. A pitcher is then positioned outside of the structure. The pitcher pitches balls through the pitching port to a batter positioned inside of the structure.
 The described batting practise cage structure and its method of use are believed to represent a paradigm shift in thinking regarding batting cages. In terms of the method of use, prior batting cages required both the pitcher and the batter to be positioned within the batting cage. This required the batting cage to be of a sufficient size to accommodate both the pitcher and the batter. The distance between the pitcher and the batter in professional leagues is 60 feet. The distance between the pitcher and the batter in amateur leagues is 48 feet. Although it has never been a requirement that batting cages be of a regulation distance, most batting cages are manufactured to a length of over 40 feet. With the present method the pitcher is positioned outside of the batting cage. There need only be sufficient room for a batter to function comfortably, as a consequence a much smaller structure can be utilized. The pitcher can, of course, stand any desired distance away from the pitching port of batting practise cage. The only limitations are practical considerations. One practical consideration is the ability of the pitcher to accurately pitch the ball through the pitching port to the batter strike zone from a given distance. Another practical consideration is having the batter far enough back from the pitching port that it is unlikely that he will drive the ball back out through the pitching port. In terms of the structure, as will hereinafter be further described, the batting practise cage is intended to more closely resemble a tent, than prior art batting cage structures. Unlike a tent, in order to function as a batting cage the shell must have a planar face where a pitching port is located. The poles must be exterior to the shell, as otherwise the light weight poles would be exposed to balls and would shatter upon impact.
 Although beneficial results may be obtained through the use of the portable batting practise cage, as described above, even more beneficial results may be obtained through the addition of selected features and combinations of features, as will hereafter be further described. It is preferred that a domed shell be used. It is preferred that each of the several support poles be capable of bending to assume an arch configuration. It is preferred that foldable poles be used with a plurality of interlocking sections held together with a flexible line, such as are now becoming popular with tents. It is preferred that ends of each of the several transversely extending rows of externally positioned loops terminate in pole engaging members so that the poles can be slid through the loops and engaged with the pole engaging members to maintain them in an arch configuration. For reasons of safety, it is preferred that a closure be provided for blocking off a portion of the pitching port and reducing the likelihood of the batter driving a ball back through the pitching port.
 These and other features of the invention will become more apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the appended drawings, the drawings are for the purpose of illustration only and are not intended to in any way limit the scope of the invention to the particular embodiment or embodiments shown, wherein:
 The preferred embodiment, a portable batting practise cage generally identified by reference numeral
 Structure and Relationship of Parts
 Referring to
 Referring to
 The use and operation of portable batting practise cage
 Referring to
 Referring to
 Although portable batting practise cage
 In this patent document, the word “comprising” is used in its non-limiting sense to mean that items following the word are included, but items not specifically mentioned are not excluded. A reference to an element by the indefinite article “a” does not exclude the possibility that more than one of the element is present, unless the context clearly requires that there be one and only one of the elements.
 It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that modifications may be made to the illustrated embodiment without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter defined in the Claims.