Title:
Sports goal practice backstop
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sports goal practice backstop which attaches to a regulation goal and may remain in place, if desired, at the conclusion of practice and during games. During practice, the sports goal backstop of the present invention provides a suitable backstop to stop most balls from traveling beyond the goal. At the conclusion of practice, the sports goal backstop of the present invention is foldable such that it need not be removed at the conclusion of practice. Rather, the sports goal backstop of the present invention may remain in position, out of sight, in its folded configuration during a game without interfering with normal play.



Inventors:
Rigoli, Michael (Hopedale, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/327782
Publication Date:
07/12/2007
Filing Date:
01/09/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/400
International Classes:
A63B63/00; F41J1/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Melissa Patangia (Lambert & Associate 2nd Floor 92 State Street, Boston, MA, 02109, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A sports goal practice backstop comprising: a backstop net; a left section; a middle section; and a right section.

2. The sports goal practice backstop of claim 1 further comprising: an upper support bar which runs along the entire top edge of said sports goal practice backstop; a left vertical support which runs between said left section and said middle section; a right vertical support which runs between said middle section and said right section; a first horizontal support attached to both said left vertical support and said right vertical support; a second horizontal support attached to both said left vertical support and said right vertical support; a first hinge located along said left vertical support at the mid-point between said first horizontal support and said second horizontal support; a second hinge located along said right vertical support at the mid-point between said first horizontal support and said second horizontal support; a third hinge located at the connection point between said upper support bar associated with said left section and said middle section; a fourth hinge located at the connection point between said upper support bar associated with said middle section and said right section; and connecting means to attach said sports goal practice backstop to a sports goal.

3. The sports goal practice backstop of claim 2 wherein said backstop net associated with said middle section is shorter than said backstop net associated with said left section or said right section to allow for proper installation of said sports goal practice backstop with said sports goal.

4. The sports goal practice backstop of claim 3 wherein said sports goal is a lacrosse goal.

5. The sports goal practice backstop of claim 3 wherein said sports goal is a soccer goal.

6. A method of storing a sports goal practice backstop around a sport goal comprising: folding a top portion of said sports goal practice backstop to the rear of said sports goal at a first hinge and a second hinge; folding a left section rearward and inward at a third hinge; folding a right section rearward and inward at a fourth hinge; and folding said left section and said right section forward at said third hinge and said fourth hinge.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein said sports goal is a lacrosse goal.

8. The method of claim 6 wherein said sports goal is a soccer goal.

9. A sports goal practice backstop comprising: a backstop net; a left section; a middle section; a right section; an upper support bar which runs along the entire top edge of said sports goal practice backstop; a left vertical support which runs between said left section and said middle section wherein said left vertical support is telescoping; a right vertical support which runs between said middle section and said right section said right vertical support is telescoping; a first horizontal support attached to both said left vertical support and said right vertical support; a second horizontal support attached to both said left vertical support and said right vertical support; a first hinge located at the connection point between said upper support bar associated with said left section and said middle section; a second hinge located at the connection point between said upper support bar associated with said middle section and said right section; and connecting means to attach said sports goal practice backstop to sports goal.

10. The sports goal practice backstop of claim 9 wherein said backstop net associated with said middle section is shorter than said backstop net associated with said left section or said right section to allow for proper installation of said sports goal practice backstop with said sports goal.

11. The sports goal practice backstop of claim 10 wherein said sports goal is a lacrosse goal.

12. The sports goal practice backstop of claim 10 wherein said sports goal is a soccer goal.

13. A method of storing a sports goal practice backstop around a sports goal comprising: simultaneously telescoping a left vertical support and a right vertical support; folding a left section forward at a first hinge; folding a right section forward at a second hinge; and folding said left section and said right section downward at said first hinge and said second hinge.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein said sports goal is a lacrosse goal.

15. The method of claim 13 wherein said sports goal is a soccer goal.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to sporting goods, namely sports goal practice backstops for sports such as lacrosse and soccer.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

A sports goal backstop is often utilized during practice sessions to aid in ball retention and retrieval. The sports goal backstop prevents an errant shot from traveling beyond the goal and requiring the players to give chase taking time away from the practice session. Further, the sports goal backstop prevents the loss of a ball due to an errant shot. The sports goal backstop keeps the ball in the general vicinity of the practice session. In particular, a sport goal backstop may be useful during practices sessions for sports such as lacrosse and soccer.

In some instances, a sports goal backstop involves a backstop which is permanently attached to a practice goal which is used in lieu of the regulation goal. This sports goal backstop/practice goal unit must be transported to the field, set up for practice, and then transported from the field. This procedure is not only cumbersome but time consuming as well.

In other instances, the sports goal backstop is a removable backstop that can be used along with the regulation goal. In this instance, the sports goal backstop must still be transported to the field, set up for practice, and then transported from the field. As a result, this procedure is cumbersome and time consuming as well.

What is needed is a design of sports goal practice backstop which attaches to a regulation goal and which does not have to be removed at the conclusion of practice but which may be unobtrusively folded out of sight without interfering with the regulation goal.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention reveals the next generation in sports goal practice backstops. In the present invention, the sports goal backstop attaches to a regulation goal and may remain in place, if desired, at the conclusion of practice and during games. During practice, the sports goal backstop of the present invention provides a suitable backstop to stop most balls from traveling beyond the goal. At the conclusion of practice, the sports goal backstop of the present invention is foldable such that it need not be removed at the conclusion of practice. Significantly, the sports goal backstop of the present invention may remain in position, out of sight, in its folded configuration during a game with minimal to no interference with normal play. Further, the sports goal practice backstop can be easily removed if needed.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a sports goal backstop to support practice sessions. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a sports goal practice backstop that need not be removed from the field in order to ready the field for regulation game play; however, the sports goal practice backstop can be easily removed if needed. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a sports goal practice backstop that securely attaches to a regulation goal and is foldable such that it is out of sight and does not obstruct normal play.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description, claims, and accompanying drawings. Therefore, the form of the invention, as set out above, should be considered illustrative and not as limiting the scope of the following claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1a-1d are views of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 1a is a top view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 1b is a front view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 1c is a side view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 1d is a perspective view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal.

FIGS. 2a-2j are views of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2a is a front view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop, in the open position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2b is a side view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the open position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2b′ is a back view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the open position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2c is a front view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the half closed position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2d is a side view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the half closed position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2d′ is a back view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the half closed position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2e is a front view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the folded in position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2f is a side view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the folded in position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2g is a back view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the folded in position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2h is a front view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the closed position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2i is a side view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the closed position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 2j is a back view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the closed position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal.

FIGS. 3a-3j are views of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3a is a front view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the open position, being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3b is a side view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the open position, being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3b′ is a back view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the open position, being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3c is a front view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the slide top down position, being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3d is a side view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the slide top down position, being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3d′ is a back view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the slide top down position, being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3e is a front view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the slide top down and fold extension position, being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3f is a side view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the slide top down and fold extension position, being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3h is a back view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the slide top down and fold extension position, being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3h is a front view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the closed position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3i is a side view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the closed position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal. FIG. 3j is a back view of a second embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop (with the backstop net removed for clarity), in the closed position, being used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal.

FIGS. 4a-4d are views of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical soccer goal. FIG. 4a is a top view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical soccer goal. FIG. 4b is a front view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical soccer goal. FIG. 4c is a side view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical soccer goal. FIG. 4d is a perspective view of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical soccer goal.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1a-1d, there is shown one embodiment of a sports goal practice backstop 1, with the backstop net 1a in place, used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal 2, with the lacrosse goal net 2a in place. There is shown a sports goal backstop 1 which is divided into three sections—the left section 3, the middle section 4, and the right section 5. An upper support bar 6 runs along the entire top edge of the sports goal practice backstop 1. A left vertical support 7 runs between the left section 3 and middle section 4. A right vertical support 8 runs between the middle section 4 and the right section 5. A first horizontal support 9 and a second horizontal support 10 are each attached to both the left vertical support 7 and the right vertical support 8. Hinges 11a, b, c, and d respectively are located (1) along the left vertical support 7 at the mid-point between the first horizontal support 9 and the second horizontal support 10; (2) along the right vertical support 8 at the mid-point between the first horizontal support 9 and the second horizontal support 10; (3) at the connection point between the upper support bar 6 associated with the left section 3 and the middle section 4; and (4) at the connection point between the upper support bar 6 associated with the middle section 4 and the right section 5. A plurality of connecting means 12 attach the sports goal practice backstop 1 to the typical lacrosse goal 2. The backstop net 1a associated with the middle section 4 is shorter than the backstop net 1a associated with the left section 3 or the right section 5 to allow for proper placement of the sports goal practice backstop 1 with the typical lacrosse goal 2.

Referring now to FIGS. 2a-2j, there is shown one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop 1 being used in the conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal 2. Referring now to FIGS. 2a, 2b, and 2b′ there is shown the open position of the sports goal practice backstop 1. For clarity, the backstop net 1a has been removed in FIGS. 2b and 2b′. Referring now to FIGS. 2c, 2d, and 2d′ there is shown the half closed position of the sports goal practice backstop 1. For clarity, the backstop net 1a has been removed from FIGS. 2c, 2d, and 2d′. The half closed position is achieved by folding the top of the sports goal practice backstop 1 to the rear of the typical lacrosse goal 2 at the hinges 11a and 11b. Referring now to FIGS. 2e, 2f, and 2g there is shown the folded in position of the sport goal practice backstop 1. For clarity, the backstop net 1a has been removed from FIGS. 2e, 2f, and 2g. The folded in position is achieved after the half closed position is completed by folding the left section 3 rearward and inward at the hinge 11c and folding the right section 5 rearward and inward at the hinge lid. Referring now to FIGS. 2h, 2i, and 2j there is shown the closed position of the sport goal practice backstop 1. For clarity, the backstop net 1a has been removed from FIGS. 2h, 2i, and 2j. The closed position is achieved after the half closed and folded in positions are completed by rotating the left and rights sections 3 and 4 forward at hinges 11c and 11d.

Referring now to FIGS. 3a-3j, there is shown a second embodiment of a sports goal practice backstop 31 used in conjunction with a typical lacrosse goal 2, with a lacrosse goal net 2a. There is shown a sports goal backstop 31, with a backstop net 31a, which is divided into three sections—the left section 33, the middle section 34, and the right section 35. An upper support bar 36 runs along the entire top edge of the sports goal practice backstop 31. A left vertical support 37 runs between the left section 33 and middle section 34. The left vertical support 37 is telescoping. A right vertical support 38 runs between the middle section 34 and the right section 35. The right vertical support 38 is telescoping as well. A first horizontal support 39 and a second horizontal support 40 are each attached to both the left vertical support 37 and the right vertical support 38. Hinges 41a and b respectively are located (1) at the connection point between the upper support bar 36 associated with the left section 33 and the middle section 34; and (2) at the connection point between the upper support bar 36 associated with the middle section 34 and the right section 35. A plurality of connecting means 42 attach the sports goal practice backstop 31 to the typical lacrosse goal 2.

Referring now to FIGS. 3a, 3b, and 3c, there is shown the open position of the sports goal practice backstop 31. For clarity, the backstop net 31a has been removed from FIGS. 3b and 3b′. Referring now to FIGS. 3c, 3d, and 3d′ there is shown the slide top down position of the sports goal practice backstop 31. For clarity, the backstop net 31a has been removed from FIGS. 3c, 3d, and 3d′. The slide top down position is achieved by the telescoping left vertical support 37 and the right vertical support 38. Referring now to FIGS. 3e, 3f, and 3g, there is shown the slide top down and fold extension position of the sports goal practice backstop 31. For clarity, the backstop net 31a has been removed from FIGS. 3e, 3f, and 3g. The slide top down and fold extension position is achieved after the slide down position is completed by folding the left section 33 rearward at the hinge 41a and folding the right section 45 rearward at the hinge 41b. Referring now to FIGS. 3h, 3i, and 3j, there is shown the closed position of the sport goal practice backstop 31. For clarity, the backstop net 31a has been removed from FIGS. 3h, 3i, and 3j. The closed position is achieved after the slide down and slide top down and fold extension positions are completed by folding the left section 33 down at the hinge 41a and folding the right section 45 down at the hinge 41b.

Additionally, the sports goal practice backstop of the present invention may be used in conjunction with other typical sports which utilize goals such as soccer, street hockey, ice hockey, field hockey. FIGS. 4a-4d are views of one embodiment of the sports goal practice backstop being used in conjunction with a typical soccer goal. Further, the backstop could also be utilized when practicing sports such as golf.