Title:
STARTING BLOCK
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable swimmer's starting block includes a wedge shaped launch block that is movable between a stowed position and plural positions along a surface of a starting platform, providing adjustable positioning to the starting block for adaptation to different users and uses.



Inventors:
Kaiel, Mikhael (Canby, OR, US)
Svendsen, William (Sherwood, OR, US)
Application Number:
13/428272
Publication Date:
09/26/2013
Filing Date:
03/23/2012
Assignee:
S.R. SMITH, LLC (Canby, OR, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RICHMAN, GLENN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENTTM.US (James H. Walters 205 SE SPOKANE ST STE 300, PORTLAND, OR, 97202-6487, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A swimmer's starting block comprising: a positionable starting block member adapted for movement along a starting surface; and a securement member for securing the positionable starting block member in a desired position.

2. The swimmer's starting block according to claim 1, further comprising: said positionable starting block member comprises a wedge shaped portion.

3. The swimmer's starting block according to claim 1, wherein said securement member comprises: plural locking position members; and an engagement member for engagement with ones of said plural locking positions.

4. The swimmer's starting block according to claim 3, wherein said plural locking position members comprise slot members, and said engagement member is correspondingly receivable in ones of said slot members.

5. The swimmer's starting block according to claim 1, wherein said securement member comprises: first and second locking position members adapted for positioning on lateral sides of a starting platform; and an engagement member for engagement with ones of said plural locking positions.

6. The swimmer's starting block according to claim 5, wherein said first and second locking position members comprise slot members, and said engagement member comprises first and second engaging elements adapted to be correspondingly receivable in said slot members of said first and second locking position members.

7. A swimming starting platform, comprising: a launch surface; and a movable starting block member adapted for movably positioning on said launch surface for defining a starting block position.

8. The swimming starting platform according to claim 7, further comprising: a securement member for securing the movable starting block member in a desired position.

9. The swimming starting platform according to claim 7, wherein said movable starting block member comprises a wedge shaped portion.

10. The swimming starting platform according to claim 8, wherein said securement member comprises: plural locking position members; and an engagement member for engagement with ones of said plural locking positions.

11. The swimming starting platform according to claim 10, wherein said plural locking position members comprise slot members, and said engagement member is correspondingly receivable in ones of said slot members.

12. The swimming starting platform according to claim 8, wherein said securement member comprises: first and second locking position members adapted for positioning on lateral edges of the launch surface; and an engagement member for engagement with ones of said plural locking positions.

13. The swimming starting platform according to claim 12, wherein said first and second locking position members comprise slot members, and said engagement member comprises first and second engaging elements adapted to be correspondingly receivable in said slot members of said first and second locking position members.

14. The swimming starting platform according to claim 13, wherein said slot members are angled toward a launch direction.

15. The swimming starting platform according to claim 13, wherein said engagement member comprises first and second pins.

16. A method of providing a swimmer's starting platform, comprising: providing a launch surface; and providing an adjustably positionable launch block.

17. The method according to claim 16, wherein said providing an adjustably positionable launch block comprises, providing plural locking position members; and providing an engagement member for engagement with ones of said plural locking positions.

18. The method according to claim 17, wherein said providing plural locking position members comprises providing slot members, and said engagement member is correspondingly receivable in ones of said slot members.

19. The swimmer's starting block according to claim 1, wherein said positionable starting block is further movable to a position away from the starting surface.

20. The swimming starting platform according to claim 7, wherein said movable starting block member is further adapted for movably positioning away from said launch surface.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This disclosure relates to swimming, and more particularly to an adjustable starting platform for swimming.

In competitive swimming, a starting platform is provided which the swimmer stands upon and launches to begin the competition. However, different age groups of swimmers are different sizes, and even within age groups, variations in the swimmer's heights can result in needing different positioning for the launch surface of the starting platform. A one size fits all kind of operation is not desirable for this reason. It would be helpful to have a starting platform with adjustability to accommodate a variety of ages and sizes of competitors allowing for a wider range of uses out of one device, rather than requiring changing to different size/configuration starting platforms for different events/ages/etc.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the disclosure herein, an adjustable starting platform includes a wedge member that is movable to provide a variable position of the wedge, for adjustment based on a particular swimmer or event needs. The wedge can further be positioned to be completely out of the way to provide a non-wedged starting platform as desired.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present disclosure to provide an improved staring platform that enables adjustment to conform to a particular use or user.

It is a further object of the present disclosure to provide an improved adjustment feature to a staring platform for swimming.

It is yet another object of the present disclosure to provide an improved swimmer's starting platform with a number of adjustment levels to adjust the overall effective length of the launch area of the platform.

The subject matter of the present gas block is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. However, both the organization and method of operation, together with further advantages and objects thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters refer to like elements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a starting platform with an adjustable starting wedge in a stowed position, with the adjustable wedge completely out of the way;

FIG. 2A is a partial side view of the starting platform of FIG. 1, illustrating the adjustment mechanism;

FIG. 2B is a view of the area inside circle B-B of FIG. 2A;

FIGS. 3-5 are top, side and end views of the wedge member;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of one end of the wedge member taken on circular line 6-6 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a starting platform with adjustable starting wedge in a rearward most position;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a starting platform with an adjustable starting wedge in a forward most position;

FIGS. 9-12 are top, front, side and rear views of the starting block in the configuration of FIG. 7; and

FIG. 13 is a top view of the starting block in the configuration of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The system according to a preferred embodiment of the disclosure comprises a starting platform with an adjustable wedge member that enables the wedge to be moved to different positions at a rearward portion of the starting platform launch surface. The wedge can be further moved to a position completely out of the way of the starting platform launch surface for occasions where use of a wedge is not desired.

Referring to FIG. 1, a perspective view of a starting platform with adjustable starting wedge, the platform 10 comprises a mounting support 12, forward hand bars 14, rear step portion 16 and upper launch platform 18. In the illustrated configuration, the upper launch surface is substantially rectangular, and inclined toward a direction of a swimming pool, whereby a swimmer mounts the platform by use of the rear step portion, and launches into the pool from the launch platform 18. For competition use, such as for swimming competitions with multiple swimming lanes, each lane having its own staring block, the lane number 50 may suitably be provided on the starting block in various locations.

Positioned along left and right peripheral edges of the launch platform are adjustment slot members 20, 20′. FIG. 2A is a partial side view of the starting platform of FIG. 1, illustrating the adjustment slot member 20 in closer detail, while FIG. 2B is a view of the area inside circle B-B. The adjustment slot member is configured as an elongate member mounted to the side of launch platform 18, extending from substantially near the rearmost end of the platform to a forward most position that is approximately between ½ and ⅓ of the length distance of the platform from the rear. The particular length of the adjustment slot member will depend on the particular variety of adjustment positions desired. Plural adjustment slots 22 are formed in the member 20 along the upper edge 24 thereof, with the slots having an open upper portion and forward angled configuration relative to the surface line 26 of the launch platform 18. In the illustrated embodiment, there are 7 such adjustment slots, and the slots are regularly spaced. A preferred angle θ 28 of 80 degrees with respect to the platform surface is employed in the illustrated embodiment. Other numbers and spacing of slots and angle configurations may be employed.

Near a lower edge of the adjustment slot member 20 is a wedge guide slot 30 which extends substantially the length of the member 20. The ends of the slot are closed. Wedge member 32 mounts to the starting platform by use of guide pins 34, 34′ which slidingly fit into slot 30 (and correspondingly guide pin 34′ which interacts with guide slot 30′ of adjustment slot member 20′ on the opposite side of the platform) and engage the wedge member to the platform, while allowing sliding translation of the wedge by movement of the guide pins 34, 34′ along the slots 30, 30′ along the direction of arrow 36. The closed ends of the slots 20, 20′ keep the wedge member engaged to the starting platform by while allowing translational movement of the wedge. Wedge member 32 is illustrated in a stowed position, with the adjustable wedge positioned in an out of the way configuration, in FIGS. 1, 2A and 2B.

Referring to FIGS. 3-5 and FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of one end of the wedge member 32, taken on circular line 6-6 of FIG. 3, the wedge member 32 comprises end cap portions 38, 38′, with an upper face 40 therebetween, defining a face angle θ 42, suitably 30 degrees in a particular embodiment. Each end cap portion carries first guide pin 34, 34′ and second guide pins 46, 46′ positioned facing inwardly toward one another, the first guide pins being shorter than the second guide pins, for example, 0.38 and 0.5 inches length extending beyond the infer faces of the end cap portions in the illustrated embodiment. The centers of pins 34, 34′ are positioned 0.38 inches above the bottom edge of the end caps, 0.5 inches from the front face edge of the end caps, while the centers of pins 46 are 1 inch above the bottom edge of the end caps, 5.5 inches back from the front face edge of the end caps.

The upper face 40 is suitably 5.73 inches in front to back width, and the overall side to side length of the assembled wedge member is 25.56 inches.

When the wedge member 32 is assembled, pins 34, 34′ are positioned in a respective slot 30, 30′, providing a sliding engagement between the wedge member and the adjustment slot members 20, 20′, effectively securing the wedge member to the starting platform in an adjustable manner.

Referring again to FIGS. 2A and 2B, the engagement of the pins 34, 34′ with the corresponding slots 20, 20′, enables sliding translation of the wedge member along the direction of arrow 44, as well as rotational movement of the wedge member about the axis defined by the centers of the pins 34, 34′, as illustrated by arrow 48 in FIG. 2B.

The configuration of the starting block in FIGS. 1, 2A and 2B is with the starting wedge in a stowed position, such that the platform 18 is usable in its full, un-wedged length. Considering now FIGS. 7 and 8, perspective views of the starting platform with adjustable starting wedge in a rearward most position and forward most position, the adjustment feature of the starting block may be understood. Starting with the wedge member in the configuration of FIGS. 1, 2A and 2B, a user will move the wedge member from the rest position, swinging the wedge counterclockwise in the direction of arrow 48, while sliding the wedge rearwardly along the direction of arrow 44. Once the pins 34, 34′ have traveled to the rearmost position of slots 30, 30′, the wedge member 32 is then pivoted upwardly to be positioned above the top surface of upper launch platform 18. Now the wedge member is translated forwardly in the direction of arrow 44 until the second guide pins 46, 46′ are positioned above a particular set of adjustment slots 22, 22′, whereupon the guide pins 46, 46′ are lowered into the slots 22, 22′, providing a secure position lock to the wedge, by the engagement of the pins 46, 46′ and slots 22, 22′ and the rearward angled configuration of the slots. By moving the wedge forwardly in the direction of arrow 44′ in FIG. 8, the wedge can be positioned more forwardly, to provide a starting platform with a shorter launch zone, than in the configuration of FIG. 7. Multiple adjustment positions are provided by the plural slots 22, 22′ and their spaced arrangement along slot members 20, 20′.

Further top, front, side and rear views of the starting block in the configuration of FIG. 7 are provided by FIGS. 9-12 and in the configuration of FIG. 1, a top view by FIG. 13.

Accordingly, an improved starting block is provided with an adjustable launch area and angled launch wedge portion, while further allowing use without a launch wedge when so desired.

While a preferred embodiment of the present starting block has been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. The appended claims are therefore intended to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.