Sign up
Title:
Hockey goal
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A hockey goal having a hockey goal frame and a hockey net connected thereto. In one embodiment, the net is connected by a plurality of open-faced net connection loops positioned around the frame and in a further embodiment, the net is connected by use of a connection web connected to the net edge and extending around the goal frame and a pair of mating connection members.


Inventors:
Webb, Jerry W. (Shoreview, MN, US)
Application Number:
10/440951
Publication Date:
04/15/2004
Filing Date:
05/19/2003
Assignee:
WEBB JERRY W.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B63/00; (IPC1-7): A63B63/00; F41J1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP,David N. Fronek (Suite 1500, Minneapolis, MN, 55402-1498, US)
Claims:
1. A hockey goal comprising: a hockey goal frame having a plurality of frame members; a hockey net having a net edge and being selectively connectable to said hockey goal frame; at least one connection web having a first end connected to said net edge, an opposite free end and a first mating connection member; and a second mating connection member connected to one of said frame members or to said hockey net, said first and second mating connection members being connectable to one another to selectively connect said hockey net to said hockey goal frame.

2. The hockey goal of claim 1 wherein said at least one connection web includes a first connection web and a second connection web.

3. The hockey goal of claim 2 wherein said second connection web includes said second mating connection member.

4. The hockey goal of claim 3 wherein said second connection web includes a first end connected to said net edge and an opposite free end.

5. The hockey goal of claim 1 wherein said second mating connection member is connected to said hockey net and wherein said at least one connection web has a dimension sufficient to permit it to wrap substantially around one of said frame members.

6. The hockey goal of claim 1 wherein said second mating connection member is connected to said one frame member.

7. The hockey goal of claim 1 wherein said at least one connection web extends around and is connected to a substantial portion of said net edge.

8. The hockey goal of claim 7 wherein said plurality of frame members includes a front frame member and a bottom frame member, said bottom frame member having a bottom facing edge and including a plurality of support feet to support said frame with said bottom facing edge spaced from said supporting surface.

9. The hockey goal of claim 1 including first and second connection webs connected with said net edge, with each having a first mating connection member.

10. The hockey goal of claim 9 wherein said second mating connection member is connected to said one frame member.

11. The hockey goal of claim 1 wherein said first mating connection member is one half of a hook and loop connection member and said second mating connection member is the other half of a hook and loop connection member.

12. The hockey goal of claim 1 being supported by a supporting surface wherein said plurality of frame members includes a front frame member and a bottom frame member, said bottom frame member having a bottom facing edge and including a plurality of support feet to support said frame with said bottom facing edge spaced from said supporting surface.

13. The hockey goal of claim 12 wherein said at least one connection web wraps substantially around said bottom frame member and said front frame member.

14. The hockey goal of claim 1 including a reinforcement strip connected with said net edge and extending continuously around a substantial portion of said net edge.

15. A hockey net for connection to the front and bottom frame members of a hockey goal, the hockey net comprising: a net edge; a first connection web having a first end connected to at least a portion of said net edge and an opposite free end, said first connection web having a first mating connection member; a second mating connection member connected with said at least a portion of said net edge on an opposite side surface of said net, said first and second mating connection members being connectable to one another to selectively connect said hockey net to said hockey goal.

16. The hockey net of claim 15 wherein said first mating connection member is one half of a hook and loop connection member and said second mating connection member is the other half of a hook and loop connection member.

17. The hockey net of claim 15 including a second connection web connected to at least a portion of said net edge wherein said second connection web includes said second mating connection member.

18. The hockey net of claim 15 being a replacement net.

19. A hockey goal comprising: a hockey goal frame; a plurality of open-faced net connection loops spaced along portions of said frame; and a hockey net connected to said frame through said connection loops.

20. A method of assembling a hockey goal comprising: providing a hockey goal frame having a plurality of open-faced net connection loops spaced along portions of said frame; providing a hockey net having an edge cord extending continuously around the periphery of the net; and attaching said net to said frame by connecting said edge cord to each of said open-faced connection loops.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to a hockey goal and more particularly to a hockey goal with an improved means for connecting the goal net or a replacement goal net to the goal frame.

[0003] 2. The Prior Art

[0004] Hockey goals are generally comprised of a frame member and a goal net connected to the frame. The frame member includes a forward or front frame member defining the goal opening, a lower or bottom frame member to stabilize the goal and a plurality of rearward frame members to support the net rearwardly of the goal opening. The goal net is conventionally connected to the frame in a variety of ways. For hockey goals used in professional hockey and most organized hockey, portions of the forward and lower frame members are provided with a plurality of closed eyelet or loop elements. To secure the net to the frame, a cord or rope is threaded through these loops and at the same time, woven in and out through openings in the edge portions of the net. As can be expected, this is a particularly time-consuming process. Thus, it is not widely used for hockey goals where quick replacement of the net is desired such as, but not limited to, goals which are intended to be repeatedly assembled and disassembled.

[0005] For hockey goals which are designed for repeated assembly and disassembly, the nets are attached to the frame in a variety of ways. One way is to thread the forward and lower members of the frame (while it is disassembled) through the edge openings in the net and then to assemble the frame with the net attached to those frame members.

[0006] A second way of connecting a hockey net to a goal which is intended for repeated assembly and disassembly is to wrap a cord simultaneously around the frame and through the edge openings in the net.

[0007] Other forms of connection include using short pieces of cord or Velcro straps spaced along the frame and extending through edge openings in the net and around the frame.

[0008] Accordingly, there is a need in the art for a hockey goal and more particularly a hockey goal having a means for connecting the net to the frame which is quick, is easy, and which, when connected, limits the wear on the net.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] In contrast to the prior art, the present invention relates to a hockey goal and more particularly to a hockey goal comprising an improved means for connecting a hockey goal net to the hockey goal frame. The means in accordance with the present invention facilitates the attachment of a net to a goal frame which is quick and easy and which limits the wear on the net when assembled. Although not intended to be limited, the means in accordance with the present invention has particular application to hockey goals which are used for practice and hockey goals having frames that are intended to be, or can be, repeatedly assembled and disassembled.

[0010] One embodiment of the present invention relates to a hockey goal which includes a frame and a plurality of spaced, open-face connection loops extending from the frame. The open-face loop provides a means for direct connection of a hockey net or for connection of a hockey net through a cord or the like. When such a cord is utilized, the cord extends through the edge openings of a hockey net and are hooked onto the open-face connection loops on the frame.

[0011] Another embodiment in accordance with the present invention utilizes a connection tab or web connected with the net along a substantial portion of the net edge. This connection web includes a mating connection member which is selectively connectable to a second mating connection member. This second connection member is connected with the goal frame itself or with the net along the net edge. In the preferred embodiment, the second mating connection member is connected with the net edge and the connection web extends around the frame member. The first and second mating connection members are joined with one another to connect the net to the frame.

[0012] Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an improved hockey goal.

[0013] Another object of the present invention is to provide a hockey goal with an improved means for connecting a hockey net to the hockey goal frame.

[0014] Another object of the present invention is to provide a connection means between a hockey net and a hockey goal frame which is quick and easy and which overcomes the limitations of the prior art.

[0015] These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent with reference to the drawings, the description of the preferred embodiment and the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an assembled hockey goal incorporating the hockey net connection means in accordance with the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a top elevational view of the hockey goal of FIG. 1, with the net removed.

[0018] FIG. 3 is an elevational, side fragmentary view of a portion of the front frame member and lower frame member, with the hockey net removed.

[0019] FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a hockey net with attachment cord for use with the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of an edge of the hockey net with a connection cord woven through the edge openings.

[0021] FIG. 6 is an enlarged elevational view of a portion of the front frame member and the net being connected thereto.

[0022] FIG. 7 is an enlarged elevational view of a portion of the front frame member with the hockey net connected thereto.

[0023] FIG. 8 is an isometric, broken-apart view showing the individual frame members which commonly make up a readily assembled and disassembled hockey goal.

[0024] FIG. 9 is a view, partially in section, showing means for connecting adjacent frame members.

[0025] FIG. 10 is a view, partially in section, showing a further means for connecting adjacent frame members.

[0026] FIG. 11 is an elevational side fragmentary view of a portion of a frame member showing an open-faced connection loop.

[0027] FIG. 12 is an elevational side fragmentary view similar to that of FIG. 11 with a net and connection cord attached.

[0028] FIG. 13 is an elevational front view of a hockey goal and attached net incorporating a further embodiment of a means for attaching a hockey net to a hockey goal frame.

[0029] FIG. 14 is an elevational, fragmentary plan view of a portion of the hockey net showing the net edge and a connection web connected with such edge.

[0030] FIG. 15 is a view, partially in section, as viewed along the section line 15-15 of FIG. 14.

[0031] FIG. 16 is an enlarged view, partially in section, showing the connection of the connection web and the second mating connection member to the net edge.

[0032] FIG. 17 is a view, partially in section, as viewed along the section line 17-17 of FIG. 13.

[0033] FIG. 18 is a further embodiment of a means for connecting the hockey net to the hockey goal frame in accordance with the present invention.

[0034] FIG. 19 is a further embodiment of a connection means for connecting a hockey net to a hockey goal frame in accordance with the present invention.

[0035] FIG. 20 is a further embodiment of a means for connecting a hockey net to a hockey goal frame in accordance with the present invention.

[0036] FIG. 21 is an elevational, fragmentary view showing a portion of the lower or bottom frame member and a support foot to elevate the lower frame member from the supporting substrate.

[0037] FIG. 22 is a view, partially in section, as viewed along the section line 22-22 of FIG. 21.

[0038] FIG. 23 is an elevational plan view of a portion of the net edge and a pair of separated frame connecting webs with a net edge reinforcing strip.

[0039] FIG. 24 is a view, partially in section, as viewed along the section line 24-24 of FIG. 23.

[0040] FIG. 25 is a view, partially in section, as viewed along the section line 25-25 of FIG. 23.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0041] Reference is first made to FIGS. 1-3 showing an assembled hockey goal 10 and portions of the frame assembly. The hockey goal 10 of the present invention includes a frame assembly and a hockey net connected thereto. More specifically, the frame assembly includes a forward frame member comprised of a top frame portion 11 and a pair of side frame portions 12,12. A lower frame member includes a pair of frame portions 14,14 extending rearwardly from the bottom ends of the side frame portions 12,12 respectively and a rear frame portion 15 connected with the outer ends of the frame portions 14,14. The frame assembly also includes a net supporting frame member which includes a plurality of net supporting frame portions connected with the forward frame member and the lower frame member. Specifically, the net supporting frame portions include a pair of frame portions 16,16 which extend rearwardly from the top frame portion 11, an upper and rearward frame portion 18 joining the outer ends of the frame portions 16,16 and a frame portion 19 extending from near the center of the frame portion 18 to near the center of the frame portion 15.

[0042] With continuing reference to FIGS. 1-3 and further reference to FIGS. 6, 7, 11 and 12, each frame portion 11, 12,12 of the front frame member and each frame portion 14,14, 15 of the lower frame member is provided with a plurality of spaced, open-face connection loops 20. As shown best in FIGS. 6, 7, 11 and 12. Each of these connection loops 20 includes a pair of ends 21,21 which are rigidly and permanently connected to its respective frame portion by welding, by adhesive, or the like and a center portion comprised of a pair of end or outer loop portions 22,22 and a center or inner loop portion 24. In the preferred embodiment, the wire ends 21 are connected to the frame portion via the welds 27.

[0043] As shown best by viewing FIGS. 6, 7, 11 and 12 together, it can be seen that the open-face connection loop 20 is of a wire construction in which one of the ends 21 is integrally joined with the outer end of one of the outer loop elements 22. The inner ends of both of the loop elements 22,22 are integrally joined with the outer ends of the center loop element 24. Each of the loop elements 22,22 comprises a wire-like structure which is bent in a generally spiral or helical loop through approximately 360°, with its outer end joined to its respective end 21 and its inner end joined to an outer end of the center loop element 24. The center loop element 24 comprises a wire-like structure and is a continuation of the inner ends of the outer loop elements 22,22. The outer ends of the center loop element continue in a generally spiral or helical configuration toward the middle through approximately 180°, at which point they join with one another.

[0044] Another way of defining the open-face loop of the preferred embodiment is to describe it as constructed of a single piece of wire or wire-like structure having two ends, with each end of the wire connected with a frame portion and the center, unconnected portion of the wire being bent or formed into a spiral or helical configuration. Specifically, each half of the center portion of the loop 20 extends spirally or helically (in the same direction) toward the other until they meet in the center of the connection loop 20. Preferably each half of the center portion of the loop 20 (extending from an end to the center) should spiral through at least 270°, more preferably through at least 360°, and most preferably through at least about 450° before meeting and joining the other half. Most preferably, each half spirals through about 540° before meeting the other half. Further, as shown best in FIGS. 11 and 12, substantially the entire center portion of the loop 20 (comprised of loop portions 22,22 and 24) is spaced from the respective frame portion by the distance 33. This distance 33 in the embodiment shown is sufficiently large to permit the connection cord 32 (hereinafter described) to pass between the frame portion and the center portion of the loop 20.

[0045] The above-described open-face connection loop 20 provides a connection loop by which a cord or a net edge can be retained within the loop without further connecting elements and without threading the cord or a net edge through a closed loop structure. The open-face connection loop 20 is similar to the connection loops commonly found on a basketball rim and the structure of such connection loop or hook is incorporated herein by reference.

[0046] It is contemplated that a variety of open-face connection loop structures may be utilized without deviating from the present invention. Accordingly, unless otherwise stated, it is intended that the term open-face connection loop means a connection loop or connection hook to which an endless cord or the like can be connected without knotting and without using further connection elements.

[0047] The hockey net designed for use in the present invention is shown best in FIGS. 4-7. Preferably, the net itself is comprised of a plurality of cord members 25 which are joined to one another throughout the net at connection points 26 to form a plurality of square or diamond-shaped openings 31. The edge of the net 23, around its entire periphery, is provided with an edge cord 28. The edge cord 28 is joined to edge ends of the cord portions 25 at the connection points 29. The edge cord 28 in combination with adjacent cord portions 25, forms a plurality of generally triangular-shaped net edge openings 30 along the peripheral edge of the net 23. In the preferred embodiment, a connection cord 32 is provided along the edge of the net 23. This connection cord 32 is connected with the net 23 by weaving the cord 32 in and out through adjacent net edge openings 25 as shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 and then knotting or otherwise connecting the ends of the cord 32 together. The cord 32 is an endless or closed loop cord which is preferably constructed of an elastic material. This allows it to be stretched and to exert a force tending to return to its at rest or unstretched length. This unstretched length should preferably be less than the total length of the frame portions provided with connection loops 20 (hereinafter “connector frame length”). As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, such frame portions would include framed portions 11, and 12,12 of the front frame member and frame portions 14,14 and 15 of the bottom frame member.

[0048] In the preferred embodiment, the net 23 is connected to the frame by connecting the connection cord 32 to each of the open-face connection loops 20 along the front frame member and the lower frame member as shown in FIG. 1. This is done by passing a section of the endless cord 32 between the loop 20 and the respective frame member (in the area identified by the distance 33 in FIGS. 11 and 12) and then looping it over the center loop portion 24. This captures the cord 32 within the loop portions 22,22 and 24 of the loop 20. The remainder of the net 23 then merely drapes over the frame portions 16,16, 18 and 19. By providing an elastic connection cord with a length less than the connector frame length, the tensioned or tightened cord 32 keeps the net 23 tight around its edges and close to the frame portions to which it is connected.

[0049] Although the preferred embodiment contemplates the net 23 being provided with a closed loop connection cord 32 extending along the net, woven through the edge openings 30, and then knotted, the benefits of the present invention can be utilized without the connection cord 32. In such case, the edge cord 28 of the net 23 is simply connected to the open-face connection loops 20 along the front and lower frame numbers.

[0050] It is contemplated that the hockey goal frame itself can be formed of a unitary, integral structure in which the various frame members are welded or otherwise permanently fixed to one another or can be of a modular structure, such as that shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, comprised of a plurality of frame elements which are designed to be assembled and disassembled. For example, FIG. 8 shows a modular frame, without the plurality of open-face connection loops. In this embodiment, the top frame portion is comprised of the frame section 34 and portions of the curved frame sections 35,35 and each of the side frame portions are comprised of a frame section 36 and portions of the frame sections 35 and 38. The rear frame portion of the lower frame member is comprised of portions of the frame sections 39 and 40, while the side frame portions of the lower frame member are comprised of portions of the frame sections 38 and 40. The net supporting frame portions is comprised of the frame sections 41, 42 and 43 and portions of frame sections 35 and 39.

[0051] A modular frame structure such as that shown in FIG. 8 includes means for joining adjacent frame sections together. Two such means are shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. In the embodiment of FIG. 9, one of the frame sections 44 includes an end 45 of reduced diameter which is inserted into the frame section 46 in the direction of the arrow 48.

[0052] The embodiment of FIG. 10 is similar to that of FIG. 9 except that the frame section 50 is provided with a connection clip 51 having a pair of connection buttons 52,52 biased outwardly through holes in the reduced diameter end 54. The frame section 55 includes holes to receive the connection buttons as shown by broken lines 56. To connect the frame sections 50 and 55, the buttons 52 are depressed and the end 54 is inserted into the section 55 in the direction of the arrow 58. The buttons are then released to assume the position shown by the broken lines 56.

[0053] A further embodiment of a hockey goal and a means for connecting a hockey net to the hockey goal frame is shown in FIGS. 13-25. In general, this embodiment includes a goal frame comprised of a plurality of frame members or, in some cases, an integral, one-piece frame and a hockey net having a net edge for selective connection to the front and bottom portions of the frame. The hockey net includes a net edge around its periphery. The means for connecting the hockey net to the goal frame includes a connection tab or web which has one end connected with the peripheral edge of the hockey net along a substantial portion of the net edge and a free end extending outwardly from the net edge. The free end includes a first mating connection member such as one half of a Velcro strip or other hook and loop connection member. In the preferred embodiment, the connection tab or web extends around a frame section and is connected with a second mating connection member comprising the other half of a Velcro strip or other hook and loop connection member. This second mating connection member may be connected with a portion of the net edge on the opposite surface as the connection web or it may be connected with the frame section itself. Preferably, the connection web is connected with the net edge along a substantial portion of the net edge. Because the connecting means of this embodiment wraps around the frame member, a plurality of support feet 59 (FIG. 13) are provided along the bottom edge of the lower frame member to support the lower frame member and the entire goal a short distance off the supporting substrate. This substantially reduces or eliminates the wear on the connection member wrapped around the frame when the goal is dragged across the ice, concrete or other supporting surface.

[0054] Having described this embodiment generally, the specific structure of the hockey goal in accordance with this embodiment and in particular the means for connecting a hockey net to a hockey goal frame can be understood best with initial reference to FIGS. 13-17.

[0055] FIG. 13 shows a hockey goal comprised of a hockey goal frame similar to the frame shown in FIG. 1. Such frame is comprised of the frame sections 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18 and 19. Although the frame is shown as being collapsible or comprised of a plurality of sections, it could also be comprised of an integral one-piece structure. The connection means in accordance with this embodiment, is shown best in FIGS. 14 and 15. The connection means includes a connection tab or web 60 having a first or inner end 61 connected to a peripheral edge or edge cord 62 of the net 23. In the preferred embodiment, the web 60 is constructed of a nylon polyester or other strong and durable synthetic or natural fabric. The end 61 is connected with the net edge or edge cord 62 by stitching or the like, although any other connection mechanism may be utilized as well. As shown in FIG. 14, the net 23 of this embodiment includes a plurality of interconnected cords 64 and 65 and a peripheral edge cord 62. The specific manner in which the end 61 is connected to the net edge will be described below.

[0056] The connection tab or web 60 extends outwardly from the peripheral edge of the net 23 and terminates at a free end 66. A first mating connection member 68 is provided near the outer edge of the connection member 60 near the free end 66. In the preferred embodiment, this mating connection member 68 is comprised of one half of a Velcro strip, or other hook and loop construction means, although it could comprise other connection means as well. In the preferred embodiment, the connection member 68 is connected with the outer edge of the connection web 60 via stitching or the like.

[0057] A second mating connection member 69 is connected with the net edge on the opposite side surface of the net 23 as shown best in FIGS. 15 and 16. This second mating connection member 69 is preferably comprised of the other half of a Velcro strip or other hook and loop connection means. In the preferred embodiment, this second mating connection member 69 is joined with the inner edge 61 of the connection web 60 with the peripheral edge of the net 23 therebetween as shown in FIG. 16. As shown, the end 61 and the member 69 capture the net edge and in particular the peripheral cord 62 between them. A pair of stitches 63 then connect all three elements (the end 61, the member 69 and the net edge) together.

[0058] With continuing reference to FIG. 15, it is seen that in this embodiment, the connection or exposed surfaces of the mating connection members 68 and 69 are facing in the same direction. With reference to FIG. 14 and also FIG. 13, the connection web 60 extends along a substantial portion of the net edge. Similarly, the first mating connection member 68 at the outer edge of the connection web 60 as well as the second mating connection member 69 likewise extend along a substantial portion of the net edge.

[0059] To connect the net to the frame member, the connection web 60 is wrapped around its corresponding frame member (which is frame member 12 as shown as shown best in 17). The mating connection member 68 is then joined with the mating connection member 69 as shown in FIG. 17 to securely connect the net and in particular the net edge to the frame 12. Preferably, the connection between the mating connection members 68 and 69 is made on the inside of the hockey goal.

[0060] As indicated above, it is preferable for the connection web to extend along a substantial portion of the net edge. In fact, it is preferable for the connection web 60 to extend substantially continuously around the net edge, with breaks in the continuous web only where other frame sections join with the frame section to which the web is connected, or where corners are present or where support feet are present. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 13, substantially continuous portions of connection web sections extend along the side frame sections 12, with a third substantially continuous connection web extending along the top frame section 11. Similarly, several substantially continuous connection webs are provided along the lower or bottom frame sections, with breaks only to accommodate the corners between the frame sections 14 and 15, the connection between the frame sections 19 and 15 and the support feet 59.

[0061] Although FIGS. 13-17 disclose an embodiment in which the inner end 61 of the connection tab 60 and a second mating connection member 69 are both fixedly secured to an edge of the net, other embodiments are possible as well. For example, the embodiment shown in FIG. 18 includes a second connection tab or web 70. One end of this web 70 is connected with the net edge and to the inner edge 61 of the connection web 60 via stitching or the like. The opposite edge of the connection web 70 extends outwardly from the net edge and terminates in a free edge 72. A second mating connection member 74 (similar to the second mating connection member 69) is connected with the outwardly extending portion of the web 70. To connect the net 23 to the corresponding frame member in the embodiment of FIG. 18, the connection web is wrapped around the associated frame member (12 in this case) and the mating connection members 68 and 74 are connected with one another as shown by the arrow 73.

[0062] In the embodiment of FIG. 19, a pair of connection tabs or webs 75,75 are provided. The inner ends of the connection webs 75,75 are connected with the net edge via stitching or the like as shown, and the outwardly extending or free ends of the connection webs 75,75 are provided with one half of a mating connection member 76,76. In this embodiment, the other half of the mating connection member 78 is securely connected with the associated frame member (12 in this case). To connect the net 23 to the frame member 12, the mating connection members 76,76 are spread apart and connected with the mating connection member 78 as shown. It should be noted that whereas the mating connection members 68 and 69 in FIG. 15 and the mating connection members 68 and 74 in FIG. 18 face in the same direction, the connection members 76,76 in FIG. 18 face one another.

[0063] FIG. 20 is a further embodiment comprising a connection web 60 with an inner end connected with the edge of the net via stitching or the like and one half of a mating connection member 68 located at the free end 66. In this embodiment, the other half of the mating connection member 79 is connected with the frame member (12 as shown in this case). Thus, to connect the net to the frame member in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 20, the connection web 60 is wrapped around the frame member and the mating connection members 68 and 79 are connected with one another.

[0064] In those portions of the net edge where there is a break in the continuity of the connection web 60 to accommodate a frame corner, a support foot 59 or a frame member intersection, a reinforcing strip 80 shown in FIGS. 23, 24 and 25 may be provided. Although not shown in the embodiments of FIGS. 14-20, FIGS. 23, 24 and 25 show the reinforcement strip 80 as extending around substantially the entire periphery of the net edge. This provides the net edge with stiffness and reinforcement and helps to properly position the net connecting webs 60 relative to the frame sections to which they are designed for connection. In the preferred embodiment, the reinforcing edge or strip 80, as shown best in FIGS. 24 and 25, is wrapped over the net edge and is retained in that position by stitches 63 which pass through the inner edge 61 of the web 60 as well as the mating connection member 68 and the two legs of the strip 80. With this structure, the reinforcing strip 80 extends around substantially the entirety of the net edge periphery with the connecting webs 60 only positioned between the corners, between a corner and a foot 59 or between a foot 59 and a frame member intersection. FIG. 23 shows the substantially continuous reinforcing strip 80 and a pair of separated connecting webs 60.

[0065] FIGS. 21 and 22 show the connection between each of the support feet 59 and a corresponding frame member 15. As shown, each support foot includes an enlarged support member foot or member 59 and an externally threaded portion 81. The foot 59 is connected with its respective frame member by rotating the foot 59, and thus the the threaded member 81, into holes along the bottom edge of the associated frame sections. In the preferred embodiment, the support feet 59 are constructed of a high wear, rubber-type material. The support feet 59 have a sufficient height dimension to support the lower frame member, including the frame sections 14 and 15, a short distance off the supporting substrate. This permits the net to be dragged along the ice, concrete or other supporting substrate without resulting in wear on the net or the connection structure which is wrapped around the frame. In the preferred embodiment, four support feet 59 are provided, one on each of the frame sections 14 near each of the corners where the frame sections 14 join with the frame sections 12 and two along the bottom edge of the frame section 15. In the preferred embodiment, the support feet elevate the bottom edge of the frame approximately one-half inch.

[0066] In the preferred embodiment, the mating connection members are disclosed as being mating strips of Velcro material or other hook and loop type structure. However, a variety of other connection means or members may also be utilized without deviating from the spirit of the present invention, provided that such means function to connect an outer edge portion of the connection web to a corresponding frame member or to the opposite side of the net edge. Other types of connection members that could be utilized are snaps, buttons or the like.

[0067] Although the description of the preferred embodiment has been quite specific, it is contemplated that various modifications can be made without deviating from the spirit of the present invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the scope of the present invention can be dictated by the appended claims rather than by the description of the preferred embodiment.