Title:
Basketball Rim Attachment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A basketball practice device including a C-shaped ring capable circumferential contraction from its normal unrestrained configuration to reduce the diameter of the rim of a basketball goal including means to facilitate the installation and removal of the same.



Inventors:
Krueger, Craig D. (Perrysburg, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/816594
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
02/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020052255Pitcher's workout machineMay, 2002Trevino
20030073506Transportable golf putting green apparatusApril, 2003Coplien
20080026883Lacrosse Head With Separable PartsJanuary, 2008Macneil et al.
20030032506Elevation-adjustable baseball batting-training apparatusFebruary, 2003Chi
20100022318Golf putting floor ventJanuary, 2010Munaretto et al.
20050170921Practice sports-ball coverage arrangementAugust, 2005Cronin
20040033839APPARATUS FOR TRANSPORTING AND STORING A POOL TABLEFebruary, 2004Fallack
20060258486Baseball batting stance training mat and assemblyNovember, 2006Hedgepath
20090170620Golf course retractable markerJuly, 2009Smith
20080300073ADJUSTMENT DEVICE FOR A BASKETBALL RIM ATTACHMENTDecember, 2008Krueger
20080096683Systems and devices for controlled puttingApril, 2008Salmon



Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP (1000 Jackson Street, Toledo, OH, 43604-5573, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A basketball practice device to be mounted on the rim of a standard basketball goal comprising: a C-shaped ring capable of circumferential contraction from its normal unrestrained configuration; a plurality of radially outwardly projecting tabs affixed in spaced relation to the ring and adapted to engage the rim of a basketball goal; and at two spaced apart hooks attached to the ring for receiving compression force to selectively effect circumferential contraction of the ring prior to mounting on a basketball goal.

2. The invention defined in claim 1 wherein the C-shaped ring has spaced apart ends.

3. The invention defined in claim 2 wherein the tabs are positioned on respective ends of the C-shaped ring.

4. The invention defined in claim 1 wherein the projecting tabs terminate in ends adapted to engage the rim of a basketball goal.

5. The invention defined in claim 4 wherein the ends of the tabs are shaped to conform to the C-shaped ring.

6. A basketball practice assembly to be mounted on the rim of a standard basketball goal comprising: a C-shaped ring capable of circumferential contraction from its normal unrestrained configuration; a plurality of radially outwardly extending tabs affixed in spaced relation to the ring and adapted to engage the rim of the basketball goal; and means for selectively urging at least two of the tabs toward or away from one another to contract the ring to permit the ring to be positioned within the rim of the basketball goal and thence allow the ring to return toward its unrestrained position allowing the tabs to firmly engage the rim of the basketball goal and firmly hold the ring firmly in position.

7. The invention defined in claim 6 wherein the means for urging the tabs includes a pair of cooperating hook members mounted to selectively move toward and away from one another.

8. The invention defined in claim 7 including a spring for normally maintaining the hook members away from one another.

9. The invention defined in claim 7 including a guideway for slidingly receiving at least one of the hook members.

10. The invention defined in claim 9 including an extending columnar member for supporting the guideway.

11. The invention defined in claim 10 including a lever actuated cable mounted to the columnar member for effecting relative movement of the hook members.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This Application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/655,304, filed on Feb. 22, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an attachment for a rim of a basketball goal capable of reducing the diameter thereof for teaching players the proper shooting techniques in the sport of basketball; and more particularly the invention relates to a device to facilitate the installation and removal of such attachment to and from the rim of a basketball goal.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is generally known in the prior art that devices can be employed to slightly reduce the diameter of a regulation rim of a basketball goal to assist in improving the shooting skill and accuracy of basketball athletes. Such devices are used during practice sessions and are adapted to be mounted on the rim of standard basketball goal prior to the practice session and removed therefrom upon the cessation of practice. Since the rim of the basketball goal is disposed ten (10) feet above the floor of the basketball court, the application of the attachment device necessitates the use of a ladder or some other implement to elevate the attendant to the proper height for attachment of the device.

Exemplary to the prior art devices are those illustrated and described in the United States Letters Patent Nos. 1,904,836 Peoples; 2,708,576 Verkuilen; 2,918,283 Marschalk; 4,206,915 Woodcock; and 5,364,092 Riepe et al. The patent to Marschalk shows a basketball practice device comprising a C-shaped ring having a plurality of radially extending and depending bifurcated legs affixed thereto. The C-shaped ring is constructed of a material which permits it to be expanded and contracted circumferentially and to thereby be mounted on a standard basketball goal so that the bifurcated legs of the device are forced outwardly into engagement with the basketball goal by forces developed with a C-shaped ring. The C-shaped ring is an annular ring having any small section thereof removed to form a ring having the general appearance of a capital letter C. The C-shaped ring is a slightly smaller diameter than the standard basketball goal, but of larger diameter than the standard basketball, and is mounted on a plane slightly above the plane of the goal so that the force of basketballs falling on the C-shaped ring can be readily transmitted to the goal without danger of the C-shaped ring becoming disengaged therefrom. During training and practice sessions, the device is effective in improving the shooting accuracy of the players which should result in a higher shooting average during regulation play.

However, in the Marschalk patent, as well as the other prior art, there is no suggestion of how the application of the device can be accomplished, other than by utilizing a ladder and manually installing the device.

It is an object of the present invention to produce a basketball practice device capable of being applied or installed on a basketball goal without the requirement or necessity to utilize a ladder thereby greatly reducing or substantially eliminating the injuries which oftentimes occur during the climbing up and/or down a ladder.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above, as well as other, objects of the invention may surprisingly be achieved by a basketball practice device to be mounted on the rim of a standard basketball goal, said device comprising: a C-shaped ring capable of circumferential contraction from its normal unrestrained configuration; a plurality of radially outwardly extending tabs affixed to said ring and adapted to engage the rim of the basketball goal; hook means for exerting a force on at least one of the tabs to contract the ring from its normal unrestrained configuration to permit the tabs to position the device firmly in place by exerting a pressure against the rim of the basketball goal; and means spaced from the hook means for selectively urging the hook means toward or away from one another to contract the ring to permit the ring to be positioned within the rim of the basketball goal and thence allow the ring to return toward its unrestrained position allowing the tabs to firmly engage the rim of the basketball goal and hold the ring firmly in position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects and advantages will become readily apparent to one skilled in the art from reading the following detailed description of an embodiment of the invention when considered in the light of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a basketball rim attachment and associated mounting means;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a left side view of the device illustrated in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view with a portion broken-away to more clearly show the guideway.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings, there is shown a basketball practice device incorporating the features of the present invention. The device includes a generally C-shaped ring 10 having end portions 12 and 14 defining a space in between. The C-shaped ring 10 is provided with a plurality of radially outwardly extending tabs 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24. While there are five tabs in the preferred embodiment, it will be understood that other combinations may be employed. The tabs 16 and 24 are disposed near the respective end portions 12 and 14, while the other tabs 18, 20 and 22 are disposed at spaced positions about the circumference of the ring 10.

The ring 10 is formed of a material which is capable of circumferential contraction from the normal position illustrated in the drawings. Then, upon release of the force tending to contract the ring 10, the ring 10 will return to its original unrestrained configuration as shown in the drawings. Typically, the ring 10 is formed of a ferrous metal, for example, the tabs 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 in the preferred illustrated embodiment are formed of a metal which may be readily welded to the ring 10.

The C-shaped ring 10 may be constrained by applying a force to the integral tabs 16 and 24 to cause the end portions 12 and 14 of the ring 10 to approach one another to thereby reduce the distance therebetween and simultaneously reduce the diameter of the C-shaped ring 10. Accordingly, the ring 10 is in an unrestrained condition, the intermost ends of the tabs 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 extend outwardly farther than they do when mounted in the rim of a basketball goal. Obviously, the diameter of the C-shaped ring 10 is larger in the unrestrained position than it is when mounted for use on the goal.

In order to mount the device, the two end portions must be forced together so that the diameter of the C-shaped ring 10 is made smaller. This configuration is achieved by a pair of hook members 25 and 26 adapted to cooperate with respective tabs 16 and 24. The hook members 25 and 26 are slideably mounted within a hollow guideway member 30. In a preferred embodiment, the hook member 25 is fixedly mounted in respect of the guideway 30, and the hook member 26 is adapted to move toward and away from the hook member 24. A compression spring 32 is positioned within the interior of guideway 30, thereby tending to normally urge the hook numbers 25 and 26 away from one another.

The guideway 30 is fixedly attached adjacent the distal end of a pole 40. A pivotally mounted handle 42 is disposed at the proximal end of the pole 40. The handle 42 is mounted to pivot about a pivot connection 44. One end of a cable 46 is mounted at 48 to the handle 42.

The other end of the cable 46 is caused to pass over a pulley 50 and, thence, is connected to the slideably mounted hook member 26 within the guide 30. The effective length of the cable 46 may be varied by the use of a turnbuckle 52.

When the handle 42 is in the position illustrated in dashed line in FIG. 1, the cable 46 allows the hook member 26 to be in the fully relaxed position. When it is desired to mount the device in the basketball goal, the handle 42 is caused to be pivoted to the position illustrated in full lines in FIGS. 1 and 3. In this position, the cable 46 is under tension and has caused the hook member 26 to move the tab 24 against the bias of the compression spring to cause the end portion 14 of the ring 10 to approach the end portion 12 thereby reducing the diameter of the ring 10. The reduced diameter of the ring 10 will cause the tabs 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 to move radially inwardly allowing the outer ends to contact the rim of the basketball goal at spaced apart locations. Then, the handle 42 is pivoted to the position illustrated in FIG. 1 allowing the hook member 26 to be urged away from the cooperating hook member 25 allowing the residual forces to the ring 10 to expand the ring 10 causing the tabs 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 to firmly engage the basketball goal.

In removing the device including the C-shaped ring 10 from the goal, the handle 42 is pivoted to urge the hook member 26 toward the hook member 25, thus reducing the diameter of the C-shaped ring 10 and associated tabs 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24. Thereupon, the pole 40 is moved upwardly and then away from the goal.

The above described invention has produced a system for safely and simply mounting and removing the practice device without the necessity of using a ladder or other precarious perch. Further, the invention effectively decreases the diameter of the standard rim of a basketball goal and rests on the top of the rim without the necessity of any bolts, screws, brackets, or other functioning devices which might require the use of tools to be tightened or loosened.

One other feature which can be utilized in combination with the present invention includes a bar which may be selectively attached to extend across the C-shaped ring 10 to militate against the passage of a basketball therethrough. Such structure would be useful in practicing rebounding, for example.

From the foregoing description, one ordinarily skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of this invention and, without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, can make various changes and modifications to the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions.