Title:
SPORT AND GAME TARGET NET
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A target is provided for hitting or throwing balls and other objects for sport practice sessions or games. The target includes a plurality of foldable arms with a connected net which can be moved between open and closed positions by pulling and pushing a handle connected to the arms. In the open position, the target forms an inverted umbrella. A front face is attached to the net and has a plurality of openings through which the balls or objects can pass forth.



Inventors:
La Pointe, Richard T. (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/243091
Publication Date:
04/01/2010
Filing Date:
10/01/2008
Assignee:
PRO PERFORMANCE SPORTS (San Diego, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/402, 273/407, 473/195, 473/478
International Classes:
A63B69/36; A63B63/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCKEE, VOORHEES & SEASE, P.L.C. (801 GRAND AVENUE SUITE 3200, DES MOINES, IA, 50309-2721, US)
Claims:
1. A golf chipping target, comprising: a plurality of arms foldable between open and closed positions, each arm having forward and rearward ends, and the forward ends defining a front plane when the arms are in the open position; a handle connected to the arms and extending rearward from the arms; the handle being pushed forwardly to close the arms and pulled rearwardly to open the arms; a net attached to the arms so as to fold with the arms and forming a concave surface extending behind the front plane; and a front face adjacent the front plane when the arms are open and having an opening defining a target through which a ball may pass.

2. (canceled)

3. The golf chipping target of claim 2 further comprising a plurality of enlarged, spaced apart openings formed in the net through which a golf ball may pass.

4. The golf chipping target of claim 3 further comprising a plurality of pockets attached to the net behind each opening to hold a ball passing through the opening.

5. The golf chipping target of claim 1 further comprising a central support bushing slidably mounted on the handle, and the rearward ends of the arms being connected to the bushing.

6. The golf chipping target of claim 5 further comprising a plurality of braces each having an inner end connected to the forward end of the handle and an outer end connected to one of the arms.

7. The golf chipping target of claim 5 wherein braces move over-center relative to the handle when the handle is pulled rearwardly so as to maintain the open position.

8. The golf chipping target of claim 1 further comprising an elongated lower trap extending across a bottom portion of the net adjacent the front plane so as to retain balls behind the trap.

9. The golf chipping target of claim 1 wherein the arms open into an inverted umbrella formation.

10. A target for receiving game objects, comprising: a plurality of arms forming into an inverted umbrella and having forward and rearward ends; a handle for moving the arms between open and closed positions, the forward ends of the arms defining a front plane when the arms are in the open position; a net attached to the arms; a substantially planar front face extending across the target adjacent the front plane when the arms are opened; and a plurality of enlarged openings in the front face for receiving objects projected at the net.

11. The target of claim 10 further comprising pockets attached behind each opening for holding an object passing through the opening.

12. The target of claim 10 wherein the handle pushes forwardly to close the arms and pulls rearwardly to open the arms.

13. The target of claim 10 further comprising a support bushing slidably mounted on the handle, and the rearward ends of the arms being connected to the bushing.

14. The target of claim 10 further comprising a plurality of braces each having an inner end connected to the forward end of the handle and an outer end connected to one of the arms.

15. The target of claim 10 wherein the arms and braces move over-center when the handle is pulled rearwardly so as to maintain the open position.

16. The target of claim 10 further comprising an elongated lower pocket extending across a bottom portion of the net adjacent the front plane so as to retain balls projected into the front face.

17. (canceled)

18. The target of claim 10 wherein the net remains attached to the arms during opening and closing.

19. The target of claim 10 wherein the arms are one piece without joints.

20. The target of claim 10 wherein the handle extends into the inverted umbrella.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed towards a target net used for sports practice and games. The target net is particularly adapted for golf chipping practice.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various types of nets are known in the prior art to receive balls and other objects hit or thrown by a person practicing a sport or playing a game. Such target nets are often large and cumbersome to set up, and do not fold down compactly for storage or transportation. Some target nets require lines staked to the ground to maintain the net upright, while others include a self-supporting frame. Such frames often include multiple separate pieces which must be assembled and disassembled to set up or take down the net. These multiple component target nets take time to assemble and disassemble, and are subject to lost pieces.

Therefore, a primary objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved target net for receiving balls and objects hit or thrown into the net.

Another objective of the present invention is the provision of a target net which can be quickly and easily folded between a use position and a storage position.

A further objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved target net which is self-contained.

Yet another objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved target net which is integrally assembled without loose or separate pieces.

Still another objective of the present invention is the provision of a target net which can be used for golf chipping.

Another objective of the present invention is the provision of a target net which can be used for sport practice and for games.

Still another objective of the present invention is the provision of a golf net having a front face with multiple target openings through which an object can be hit or thrown.

Yet another objective of the present invention is the provision of a target net which retains balls and other objects hit or thrown into the net.

A further objective of the present invention is the provision of a golf chipping net which is in the form of an inverted umbrella.

Another objective of the present invention is the provision of a golf chipping net having arms which are foldable between open and closed positions by one simple move.

Still another objective of the present invention is the provision of a golf chipping net which is self-standing.

Another objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved target net which is economical to manufacture and durable in use.

These and other objectives will become apparent from the following description of the invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The target net of the present invention quickly and easily folds between open and closed positions through a sliding actuation handle. In the open position, the net has a front face with a plurality of openings through which a ball or other object may be hit or thrown by a person practicing a sport, such as golf, or playing a game, such as a bean bag toss. The net is attached to arms which expand to the open position and collapse to the closed position upon actuation of the handle. In the open position, the net is in a form of an inverted umbrella, and is self-standing. In the closed position, the net is compact for storage and transportation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of the target net of the present invention in an open position.

FIG. 2 is a rear elevation view of the target net in an open position.

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the net in an open position.

FIG. 4 is a view of the net folded down into a closed position.

FIG. 5 is a view of the arms in an open position.

FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of the net hardware in an open position.

FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of the net hardware in a closed position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The target of the present invention is generally designated in the drawings by the reference numeral 10. The target 10 is foldable between an open position shown in FIGS. 1-3 and a closed position shown in FIG. 4.

In the preferred embodiment, the target 10 includes four expandable arms 12, a net 14, a front face 16, and an actuation handle 18. The inner ends of the arms 12 are pivotally connected to a center support member 20. The center support 20 includes four legs 22, with a slot in each leg 22 for receiving the inner end of the respective arms 12. A pin 24 extends through the leg 22 and inner end of the arm 12 to connect the arm to the respective leg of the center support 20.

Four braces 26 extend between the arms 12 and a second center support 28. More particularly, the outer end of each brace 26 is pinned to a clip 30 on the arm 12 so as to provide a pivotal connection between the outer end of the brace 26 and the associated arm 12. The inner end of each brace 26 extends into a slot in the leg 32 of the second support 28, and is pivotally connected thereto by a pin 34.

The handle 18 comprises an elongated rod slidably extending through the first center support 20 and having a forward end attached to the second center support 28. A hand grip 36 is provided on the rearward end of the handle 18. The front face includes an upper edge which is stitched, or otherwise attached or releasably secured to the top edge of the target 10. The front face 16 also has a bottom edge which is preferably releasably secured to the bottom edge of the target 10 using clips 38 on the lower corners of the front face 16 and target 10. Holes 40 are provided in the front face 16, with pockets 42 sewn or otherwise attached to the front face 16 behind each hole 40 so as to catch and retain a ball hit or thrown through one of the holes 40. A lower panel 44 extends along the bottom edge of the target 10 so as to form a trap to retain balls that hit the front face 16 falls downwardly without passing through one of the holes 40, or which are hit or thrown into the net 14 on the opposite sides of the front face 16.

It is understood that the front face 16 is optional and need not be provided for a person to use the target 10, by simply hitting or throwing a ball or object into the net 14. The front face may also be decorated or printed in any desired manner, such as with a picture or team or school name or logo.

When the handle 18 is pushed forward, the rod slides through the first center support 20 and folds the arms 12 forwardly into the closed position. A bushing 37 may be provided between the hand grip 36 and the first center support 20 so as to limit the forward stroke of the handle 18 when the target 10 is folded to the closed position. The handle 18 is pulled rearwardly to expand the arms 12 and thereby open the target 10. A bushing 35 resides on the handle 18 between the first and second supports 20, 28 to limit the rearward stroke of the handle 18. When the target 10 is moved from the closed position to the open position, the braces 26 move slightly over center, similar to the braces of a conventional umbrella, so that the target remains in the open position without additional straps, connectors, pins, or the like.

The target 10 is particularly suited for golf chipping. The target 10 can also be used for baseball or softball pitching practice, football passing practice, or games such as a bean bag toss. The size of the holes 40 in the front face 16 may vary, with points assigned to each hole.

The invention has been shown and described above with the preferred embodiments, and it is understood that many modifications, substitutions, and additions may be made which are within the intended spirit and scope of the invention. From the foregoing, it can be seen that the present invention accomplishes at least all of its stated objectives.





 
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