Title:
Pole vault safety mechanism
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An aluminum frame carries a landing mat for the pole vault and is mounted on wheels so it can be rolled into position to cover the area adjacent and over the vaulting box after the vaulter has executed the takeoff to cushion the area around the vaulting box. The frame may be mounted on rails secured in place and moved away from the vaulting box against the resilience of a spring mechanism and then released to urge the frame and mat into its protective position over the vaulting box.



Inventors:
Bollinger, Roy E. (Willow Street, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/440510
Publication Date:
03/18/2004
Filing Date:
05/15/2003
Assignee:
BOLLINGER ROY E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/18
International Classes:
A63B6/02; A63B5/06; A63B71/02; (IPC1-7): A63B5/00; A63K3/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MATHEW, FENN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEBB ZIESENHEIM LOGSDON ORKIN & HANSON, P.C. (700 KOPPERS BUILDING, PITTSBURGH, PA, 15219, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A frame for a landing mat for the pole vault and mounted on wheels so it can be rolled into position to cover the area adjacent and over the vaulting box after the vaulter has executed the takeoff to cushion the area around the vaulting box.

Description:

PRIOR APPLICATION

[0001] This application is based on provisional application No. 60/380,753 filed May 15, 2002, and claim is made for the benefit of the filing date of the provisional application

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to a safety mechanism for the pole vault to position a landing mat adjacent the vaulting box after the vaulter has left the ground to execute the vault.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Vaulting mats have been used for years to provide a protective landing surface for pole vaulters, but such mats do not protect the area of the vaulting box containing the stop board against which the vaulter places the bottom of the vaulting pole at take off. The vaulting box is often a hard-surfaced device extending below ground level and can be dangerous should the vaulter come up short in the vault and land inadvertently in the vaulting box. To protect the area adjacent the vault box, an aluminum frame is provided to carry a landing mat and is mounted on wheels so it can be rolled into position to cover the area adjacent and over the vaulting box after the vaulter has executed the takeoff to cushion the area around the vaulting box. The frame may be mounted on rails secured in place and moved away from the vaulting box against the resilience of a spring mechanism and then released to urge the frame and mat into its protective position over the vaulting box.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] According to the present invention, a frame carries a landing mat for the pole vault is mounted on wheels so it can be rolled into position to cover the area adjacent and over the vaulting box after the vaulter has executed the takeoff to cushion the area around the vaulting box. The frame may be mounted on rails secured in place and moved away from the vaulting box against the resilience of a spring mechanism and then released to urge the frame and mat into its protective position over the vaulting box.

[0005] These and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent from the description given below of a preferred embodiment, which description is made in conjunction with the following drawing figures, in which:

[0006] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional landing area for the pole vault;

[0007] FIG. 2 illustrates the construction of the present invention;

[0008] FIG. 3 illustrates use of the present invention.

[0009] A typical pole vault facility includes a landing mat 10, a runway 12 and a vaulting box 14. The Standards and cross bar typically used in the event are not shown.

[0010] The vaulting box 14 is typically made from a hard-surfaced material such as steel or fiber reinforced resin, and is inserted into the ground to provide sloping ramp surfaces 16 leading to a stop board 18 against which the vaulter plants the end of the pole to begin the vault. The vaulting box and adjacent area are dangerous should the vaulter not fully travel to the landing mat 10 and land near or in the vaulting box.

[0011] The present invention includes a rolling mat platform 20 which once in place, provides protection adjacent the vaulting box. The design is fairly simple, an aluminum frame comprised of rails and cross members serves as the base, and may be bolted to a concrete slab or plywood support surface for ease of use and static strength, along with precision movement. The top piece is mounted on an aluminum rail system that glides along on machined Delron rollers with sealed bearings serving as friction reducers. The landing mat is fixed to the top of the rolling platform either by Velcro or some form of fasteners.

[0012] In use, the rolling platform with landing mat is in the position of FIGS. 3A and 3B to allow the vaulter to pass on the runway and execute his plant by directing the pole against the stop board in the vaulting box, and then the rolling mat platform may be rolled inwardly to extend over much of the vaulting box and adjacent area as shown in FIGS. 3C and 3D to cover approximately 90% of the plant box once the athlete leaves the ground.

[0013] The rolling mat platform can be spring biased into its closed position so that it can be made to roll to the closed position manually or with a spring-loaded foot pedal. It is designed to travel a set distance and lock in place.

[0014] The base is comprised of welded aluminum square stock with holes bored in precise locations to accompany rollers. The base also has brackets to allow the unit to be permanently secured to the ground. The spring loaded release and foot pedal will also be affixed to the base. The top platform is simply comprised of 3 cross-members with round aluminum stock traveling in the concave of the rollers with aluminum ā€œLā€ bracket welded to the perimeter for strength. It has 2 stop blocks on either end to set travel distances for open and closed.

[0015] The device is made of weatherproof aluminum with sealed bearings for maximum strength, weatherability, durability, and metal memory.

[0016] These and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will be understood from the detailed description of a preferred embodiment made above; however, the present invention is not limited by any details of the above but is set forth by the appended claims.