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Title:
SUN SHADE UMBRELLA STAND FOR TENNIS BALL CARTS
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A tubular stand (1) that attaches to a tennis ball cart (2) and provides a support for a sun shade umbrella (15) to protect a tennis instructor from the sun and other elements. The stand is preferably a substantially U-shaped tube having a horizontal portion (3) and two vertical portions (4), each extending upward from the ends of the horizontal portion. The stand is located on a tennis ball cart so that the horizontal portion is located on a bottom surface (10) of a basket (6) of the tennis ball cart and the two vertical portions (4) are located on opposite sides of the basket. The user may alternate the placement of the sun shade umbrella in the stand depending on whether the instructor is right handed or left handed and the placement of the tennis ball cart in relation to the student.


Inventors:
Fletcher, Christopher T. (Fort Myers, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/888540
Publication Date:
03/29/2012
Filing Date:
09/23/2010
Assignee:
FLETCHER CHRISTOPHER T.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45B23/00
View Patent Images:
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20090223547VENTED PROTECTIVE CANOPY HOUSING FOR GRILLSeptember, 2009Schneider
20040011392Crutch with hands-free attachmentJanuary, 2004Maulden et al.
20020078985MIST-PRODUCING UMBRELLA DEVICEJune, 2002Farr
Claims:
Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A sun shade umbrella stand for a tennis ball cart having a basket for storing and transporting tennis balls having a front surface, a rear surface, side surfaces and a bottom surface, said sun shade umbrella stand comprising: at least one vertical portion; said at least one vertical portion is substantially tubular-shaped; an upper opening located on top of the at least one vertical portion; and an attachment means for attaching said at least one vertical portion to a basket of a tennis ball cart.

2. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 1 further comprising: a horizontal portion connecting a first said at least one vertical portion to a second said at least one vertical portion.

3. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 2 wherein: said attachment means is located on an inner surface of the sun shade umbrella stand so that when the sun shade umbrella stand is attached to a basket of a tennis ball cart, the horizontal portion is located on a bottom surface of the basket and the first said at least one vertical portion and the second said at least one vertical portion are located on opposite side surfaces of the basket.

4. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 2 wherein: said sun shade umbrella stand is substantially U-shaped.

5. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 2 wherein: said horizontal portion is substantially tubular-shaped.

6. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 1 wherein: said at least one vertical portion has a lower opening located on bottom of the at least one vertical portion.

7. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 1 further comprising: a counter weight that fits inside the at least one vertical portion.

8. A sun shade umbrella stand for a tennis ball cart having a basket for storing and transporting tennis balls having a front surface, a rear surface, side surfaces and a bottom surface, said sun shade umbrella stand comprising: a first substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion connected to a second substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion via a horizontal portion; an upper opening located on top of the first substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion; an upper opening located on top of the second substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion; and an attachment means for attaching said at least one vertical portion to a basket of a tennis ball cart.

9. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 8 wherein: said attachment means is located on an inner surface of the sun shade umbrella stand so that when the sun shade umbrella stand is attached to a basket of a tennis ball cart, the horizontal portion is located on a bottom surface of the basket and the first said at least one vertical portion and the second said at least one vertical portion are located on opposite side surfaces of the basket.

10. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 8 wherein: said sun shade umbrella stand is substantially U-shaped.

11. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 8 wherein: said horizontal portion is substantially tubular-shaped.

12. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 8 wherein: said first substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion has a lower opening located on bottom of the first substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion; and said second substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion has a lower opening located on bottom of the second substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion.

13. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 8 further comprising: a counter weight that fits inside the first substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion or the second substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion.

14. A sun shade umbrella stand for a tennis ball cart having a basket for storing and transporting tennis balls having a front surface, a rear surface, side surfaces and a bottom surface, said sun shade umbrella stand comprising: a first substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion connected to a second substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion via a horizontal portion; an upper opening located on top of the first substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion; an upper opening located on top of the second substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion; an attachment means for attaching said at least one vertical portion to a basket of a tennis ball cart; and said attachment means is located on an inner surface of the sun shade umbrella stand so that when the sun shade umbrella stand is attached to a basket of a tennis ball cart, the horizontal portion is located on a bottom surface of the basket and the first said at least one vertical portion and the second said at least one vertical portion are located on opposite side surfaces of the basket.

15. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 14 wherein: said sun shade umbrella stand is substantially U-shaped.

16. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 14 wherein: said horizontal portion is substantially tubular-shaped.

17. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 14 wherein: said first substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion has a lower opening located on bottom of the first substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion; and said second substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion has a lower opening located on bottom of the second substantially tubular-shaped vertical portion.

18. The sun shade umbrella stand of claim 14 further comprising: a counter weight that fits inside the substantially tubular-shaped vertical portions of the stand.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the sport of tennis, more particularly, a sun shade umbrella stand for tennis ball carts that provides shade to tennis instructors while instructing tennis students.

Tennis is a popular sport played around the world, especially in warm climates. As in other sports, tennis requires practice for an individual to become a skilled player. This often involves coaching from tennis professionals who work as instructors. Instructors work outdoors on tennis courts teaching multiple students over extended periods of time. Unfortunately, most tennis courts provide no means for providing shade to instructors. As a result, tennis instructors are exposed to heat and sun light for extended periods of time. This exposure can lead to various problems including heat exhaustion and skin cancer. A large portion of a tennis lesson often includes a tennis professional standing in one spot near the student and feeding tennis balls to the student out of a tennis ball cart so the student can practice his or her swing. This portion of a tennis lesson provides an opportunity for the tennis instructor to obtain shade from the sun while he or she is standing next to the tennis ball cart, if such shade would be available.

Therefore a need exists for a device that will provide shade and protection from the sun to tennis instructors while they are standing near a tennis ball cart and feeding tennis balls during tennis lessons.

The relevant prior art includes the following patent references:

Patent/Serial No.InventorIssue/Publication Date
7,540,561McWhorter et al.Jun. 02, 2009
7,527,330MontpasMay 05, 2009
2008/0238012CarterOct. 02, 2008
7,210,545WaidMay 01, 2007
D516,296NapierajMar. 07, 2006
6,796,608Ventimiglia et al.Sep. 28, 2004
2003/0073520SaludoApr. 17, 2003
6,471,289AguilarOct. 29, 2002
6,105,594DiazAug. 22, 2000
GB2344788McColganJun. 21, 2000
5,609,321McClellanMar. 11, 1997
5,480,170Kaiser, IIJan. 02, 1996
5,040,763WilsonAug. 20, 1991
4,974,807MoineauDec. 04, 1990
4,334,692LynchJun. 15, 1982
3,866,934BraunFeb. 18, 1975
3,304,035DavisFeb. 14, 1967

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the present invention is to provide a sun shade umbrella stand for tennis ball carts that allows a user to support a sun shade umbrella on a tennis court, thereby providing shade for the user.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a sun shade umbrella stand for tennis ball carts that may be integrated into new tennis ball carts or attached to existing tennis ball carts.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a sun shade umbrella stand for tennis ball carts that allows a user to place a sun shade umbrella on either side of a tennis ball cart to accommodate an instructor whether he or she is right handed or left handed instructor.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a sun shade umbrella stand for tennis ball carts that provides a counterweight to prevent the tennis ball cart from tipping over under the weight of a sun shade umbrella.

The present invention fulfills the above and other objects by providing a tubular stand that attaches to a tennis ball cart and provides a support for a sun shade umbrella to protect a tennis instructor from the sun and other elements. The stand is preferably a substantially U-shaped tube having a horizontal portion and two vertical portions, each vertical portion extending upward from the ends of the horizontal portion. The stand is located on a tennis ball cart so that the horizontal portion is located on the bottom surface of the tennis ball cart and the two vertical portions are located on opposite sides of the tennis ball cart. The stand may be an integral part of a tennis ball cart or a separate stand secured to an existing tennis ball cart using an attachment means, such as brackets, bolts, nuts, washers, pipe clamps, U-shaped brackets, welds, rivets, etc. The stand may also comprise two tubular vertical portions that are attached to either side of a tennis ball cart without a horizontal portion.

To use the stand, a user simply places a base of a sun shade umbrella into one of the vertical portions of the stand. The user may alternate the placement of the sun shade umbrella depending on whether the instructor is right handed or left handed and the placement of the tennis ball cart in relation to the student. An additional feature of the stand is a counter weight that may be placed in one of the vertical portions of the stand that is not being used to support the sun shade umbrella. The counterweight helps to prevent the tennis ball cart from tipping over due to the added weight of the sun shade umbrella.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention should become even more readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings wherein there is shown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following detailed description, reference will be made to the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective side view of a sunshade umbrella stand of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective side view of a sunshade umbrella stand of the present invention attached to a tennis ball cart;

FIG. 3 is a perspective side view of a sunshade umbrella stand of the present invention having lower openings on the vertical portions and no horizontal portion;

FIG. 4 is a perspective side view of a sunshade umbrella stand of the present invention having lower openings on the vertical portions and no horizontal portion attached to a tennis ball cart;

FIG. 5 is a perspective side view of a sunshade umbrella stand of the present invention attached to a tennis ball cart having lower openings on the vertical portions and a horizontal portion;

FIG. 6 is a perspective side view of a sunshade umbrella stand of the present invention having lower openings on the vertical portions and a horizontal portion attached to a tennis ball cart; and

FIG. 7 is a front view of a sunshade umbrella stand 1 of the present invention with attachment means.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of describing the preferred embodiment, the terminology used in reference to the numbered components in the drawings is as follows:

1.sun shade umbrella stand
2.tennis ball cart
3.horizontal portion
4.vertical portion
5.upper opening
6.basket
7.front surface
8.rear surface
9.side surface
10.bottom surface
11.attachment means
12.bracket
13.bolt
14.nut
15.sun shade umbrella
16.counter weight
17.lower opening
18.inner surface
19.outer surface

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a perspective side view of a preferred embodiment of the sunshade umbrella stand 1 of the present invention by itself and when attached to a tennis ball cart 2, respectively, are shown. The stand 1 is preferably a substantially U-shaped tube having a horizontal portion 3 and two vertical portions 4 extending upward from the ends of the horizontal portion 3. Upper openings 5 are located at the tops of the vertical portions 4. The stand 1 is located on a tennis ball cart 2 comprising a basket 6 having a front surface 7, a rear surface 8, side surfaces 9 and a bottom surface 10. The horizontal portion 3 of the stand 1 is located on the bottom surface 10 of the basket 6 and the two vertical portions 4 are located on the opposite side surfaces 9 of the basket 6. The stand 1 is attached to the basket 6 via an attachment means 11, such as brackets 12, bolts 13 that extend through the holes of the basket 6, nuts 14, washers, pipe clamps, U-shaped brackets, pipe brackets, welds, rivets etc. To use the stand 1, a user simply places a sun shade umbrella 15 into one of the vertical portions 4 of the stand 1. The user may alternate the placement of the sun shade umbrella 15 depending on whether the instructor is right handed or left handed and the placement of the tennis ball cart 2 in relation to the student. An additional feature of the stand 1 is a counter weight 16 that is substantially cylindrical so that it may be placed inside the tubular vertical portion 4 of the stand 1 that is not being used to support the sun shade umbrella 15. The counterweight 16 helps to prevent the tennis ball cart 2 from tipping over due to the added weight of the sun shade umbrella 15.

With reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, a perspective side view of a sunshade umbrella stand 1 of the present invention having lower openings 17 on the vertical portions 4 and no horizontal portion and the sunshade umbrella stand 1 attached to a tennis ball cart 2, respectively, are shown. The stand 1 comprises two tubular vertical portions 4 located on a tennis ball cart 2 comprising a basket 6 having a front surface 7, a rear surface 8, side surfaces 9 and a bottom surface 10. The two vertical portions 4 having upper openings 5 located at the tops of the vertical portions 4 and lower openings 17 located at the bottoms of the vertical portions 4 are attached on the opposite side surfaces 9 of the basket via an attachment means 11, such as brackets 12, bolts 13, nuts 14, washers, pipe clamps, U-shaped brackets, pipe brackets, welds, rivets etc. To use the stand 1, a user simply places a sun shade umbrella 15 into one of the vertical portions 4 of the stand 1. A counter weight 16 may be placed in the vertical portion 4 of the stand 1 that is not being used to support the sun shade umbrella 15. The counterweight 16 helps to prevent the tennis ball cart 2 from tipping over due to the added weight of the sun shade umbrella 15.

With reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, a perspective side view of a sunshade umbrella stand 1 of the present invention having lower openings 17 on the vertical portions 4 and a horizontal portion 3 and the sunshade umbrella stand 1 attached to a tennis ball cart 2, respectively, are shown. The stand 1 comprises two tubular vertical portions 4 connected together by a horizontal portion 3. The two vertical portions 4 have upper openings 5 located at the tops of the vertical portions 4 and lower openings 17 located at the bottoms of the vertical portions 4. The stand 1 is located on a tennis ball cart 2 comprising a basket 6 having a front surface 7, a rear surface 8, side surfaces 9 and a bottom surface 10. The two vertical portions 4 are located on the opposite side surfaces 9 of the basket 6. The horizontal portion 3 of the stand 1 is located on the bottom surface 10 of the basket 6 and the two vertical portions 4 are located on the opposite side surfaces 9 of the basket 6. The two vertical portions 4 are attached to the basket 6 via an attachment means 11, such as brackets 12, bolts 13, nuts 14, washers, pipe clamps, U-shaped brackets, pipe brackets, welds, rivets etc. To use the stand 1, a user simply places a sun shade umbrella 15 into one of the vertical portions 4 of the stand 1. A counter weight 16 may be placed in the vertical portion 4 of the stand 1 that is not being used to support the sun shade umbrella 15. The counterweight 16 helps to prevent the tennis ball cart 2 from tipping over due to the added weight of the sun shade umbrella 15.

Finally with reference to FIG. 7, a front view of a sunshade umbrella stand 1 of the present invention with attachment means 11 is shown. The stand 1 is preferably a substantially U-shaped tube having a horizontal portion 3 and two vertical portions 4 extending upward from the ends of the horizontal portion 3. The stand 1 is attached to the basket 6 via an attachment means 11, such as brackets 12, bolts 13, nuts 14, washers, pipe clamps, U-shaped brackets, pipe brackets, welds, rivets etc. The sunshade umbrella stand 1 has an inner surface 18 and an outer surface 19. The attachment means 11 is preferably located on the inner surface 18, thereby allowing the stand 1 to be attached a basket 6 of a tennis ball cart 2 so that the horizontal portion 3 of the stand 1 is located on the bottom surface 10 of the basket 6 and the two vertical portions 4 are located on the opposite side surfaces 9 of the basket 6 (as shown in FIGS. 2, 4 and 6).

It is to be understood that while a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts or use herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not to be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and drawings.