Title:
SPORTS PRACTICE TARGET APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for providing a target for a projectile comprises an elongate member extending between first and second ends, sized to span a playing surface. The apparatus further comprises first and second support legs extending from the first and second ends of the elongate member, each of the first and second support legs having a length selected to position the elongate member above and outside of a possible path of the projectile and a plurality of lights located on the elongate member selectable by a user to provide a visual target for a user. After the elongate member is positioned above and outside a possible path of the projectile a desired path for the projectile is selected and one of a plurality of lights on the elongate member to provide a visual target for a user expected to produce the desired path in the projectile is illuminated.



Inventors:
Cole, Guy (Kelowna, CA)
Application Number:
15/331636
Publication Date:
04/27/2017
Filing Date:
10/21/2016
Assignee:
Cole Guy
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; A63B63/00
View Patent Images:



Foreign References:
CA2239486A11999-12-03
Primary Examiner:
PENG, RAYSHUN K.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard D. Okimaw (Illuminate IP 102A-1979 Old Okanagan Highway West Kelowna BC V4T 3A4)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for providing a target for a projectile in a sporting activity comprising: an elongate member extending between first and second ends, sized to span a playing surface for said sporting activity; first and second support legs extending from said first and second ends of said elongate member, each of said first and second support legs having a length selected to position said elongate member above and outside of a possible path of said projectile; and a plurality of lights located on said elongate member selectable by a user to provide a visual target for a user.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said elongate member is co-formed with said first and second support legs.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said elongate member is pivotally connected to said first and second support legs.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said plurality of lights comprise light emitting diode lights.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said plurality of lights are selectably actuatable by a remote.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein each of said plurality of lights has a separate button on said remote.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a processor circuit operable to select which of said plurality of lights is illuminated as selected by said user.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said plurality of lights are secured to a front vertical surface of said elongate member.

9. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a camera mount having a connector for securing a camera thereto located at a position above said elongate member.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said camera mount includes a slider for sliding said connector along a corresponding track secured to said elongate member.

11. A method for providing a target for a projectile in a sporting activity comprising: positioning an elongate member extending between first and second ends, above and outside a possible path of said projectile with first and second support legs extending from said first and second ends of said elongate member; selecting a desired path for said projectile under said elongate member; and selectably illuminating one of a plurality of lights on said elongate member to provide a visual target for a user expected to produce said desired path in said projectile.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising slidably locating a camera along said elongate member.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates generally to sporting equipment and in particular to a method and apparatus for providing a target for use in sporting activities.

2. Description of Related Art

In many sporting activities, an object of the activity is to throw, roll or otherwise propel an object along a playing surface. In such activities, the accuracy of the propulsion is the primary skill that a player employs. Accordingly, in order to become proficient or improve, it is necessary for a user to practice their aim, weight and consistency of their throws. In particular, one such activity is curing which requires great skill in both the force and direction applied to the curling rock as well as the amount of rotation applied thereto to achieve the desired trajectory.

With such sporting activities is that targets are frequently required to practice and therefore a target at which to aim. One difficulty that this requirement presents is that in some sports, such as curling and lawn bowling, the target needs to be held by a partner during such practice so that the partner may remove the target should contact therewith be imminent so as to prevent the projectile from impacting and therefore damaging the projectile, playing surface or target. It will be appreciated therefore that the requirement of a partner for such practice limits the ability of many players to practice as much as they would like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first embodiment of the present invention there is disclosed an apparatus for providing a target for a projectile in a sporting activity comprising an elongate member extending between first and second ends, sized to span a playing surface for the sporting activity. The apparatus further comprises first and second support legs extending from the first and second ends of the elongate member, each of the first and second support legs having a length selected to position the elongate member above and outside of a possible path of the projectile and a plurality of lights located on the elongate member selectable by a user to provide a visual target for a user.

The elongate member may be co-formed with the first and second support legs. The elongate member may be pivotally connected to the first and second support legs.

The plurality of lights may comprise light emitting diode lights. The plurality of lights may be selectably actuatable by a remote. Each of the plurality of lights may have a separate button on the remote. The apparatus may further comprise a processor circuit operable to select which of the plurality of lights is illuminated as selected by the user. The plurality of lights may be secured to a front vertical surface of the elongate member.

The apparatus may further comprise a camera mount having a connector for securing a camera thereto located at a position above the elongate member. The camera mount may include a slider for sliding the connector along a corresponding track secured to the elongate member.

According to a first embodiment of the present invention there is disclosed a method for providing a target for a projectile in a sporting activity comprising positioning an elongate member extending between first and second ends, above and outside a possible path of the projectile with first and second support legs extending from the first and second ends of the elongate member. The method further comprises selecting a desired path for the projectile under the elongate member and selectably illuminating one of a plurality of lights on the elongate member to provide a visual target for a user expected to produce the desired path in the projectile. The method may further comprise slidably locating a camera along the elongate member.

Other aspects and features of the present invention will become apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art upon review of the following description of specific embodiments of the invention in conjunction with the accompanying figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In drawings which illustrate embodiments of the invention wherein similar characters of reference denote corresponding parts in each view,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus for providing a target for a projectile in a sporting activity according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front profile view of the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of a remote for use with the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a system layout of the electrical system of the apparatus of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a system layout of the electrical system of the apparatus of FIG. 1 according to a further embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, an apparatus for providing a target above a playing surface 8 for a user during a sporting activity is shown generally at 10. The apparatus 10 comprises an elongate member 12 extending horizontally across the playing surface supported by first and second legs 14 and 16 at a height above the surface 8 as will be more fully described below. The elongate member 12 includes a plurality of lights 30 thereon for illuminating an intended target for a user. The lights 30 may be of any conventional type such as, by way of non-limiting example, incandescent, halogen or light emitting diode (LED).

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the elongate member 12 extends between first and second ends 17 and 18, respectively and has a horizontal surface 20 with the plurality of lights 30 thereon facing towards the user. The first and second legs 14 and 16 extend in a substantially downward direction from the first and second ends 17 and 18 of the elongate member to terminate at first and second feet 21 and 23. As illustrated the first and second feet 21 and 23 provide stability to the elongate member 12 and may comprise cross beams extending horizontally in a transverse direction to the elongate member 12. Additional bracing elements may also be provided to increase the strength of the support legs 14 and 16 as are commonly known in the art. The elongate member is sized to extend across the width of the playing surface 8 between side edges 6 thereof. By way of non-limiting example, for use in curling, the elongate member 12 and therefore the distance to the outsides of the legs 14 and 16 as well as to the feet 21 and 23 will be the width of the curling rink of 15 feet, 7 inches (4750 mm). It will be appreciated that for other sports and other locations, different widths may also be provided. The legs 14 and 16 have a height selected to space the elongate member 12 above the playing surface 8 by a distance 32 adequate to maintain the elongate member 12 above all possible paths of any projection to be used therewith. Accordingly, the lights 30 may be illuminated and remain on and in location during the practice without possibility of being struck by the projectile. For use in curling, the height 32 will be selected to be at least 10 inches (254 mm) although it will be appreciated that for use with other sports, and use with other heights of curling stones, other heights may be used as well so long as the height 32 is greater than the height of the projectile.

The elongate member 12 also includes a top surface 22 adapted to hold a track 24. The track 24 slidably supports a carriage 26 therealong through the use of linear bearings, magnets, sliders, or the like. The carriage 26 includes a camera support 28, such as, by way of non-limiting example, an upright pole adapted to be received within a socket on a camera such that a camera 29 may be located thereon and positioned to record movement of a projectile approaching the apparatus for later viewing by the user. In operation, a user may slidably position the carriage 26 at the desired location along the track 24 to record the angle of their practice shots that they wish to record. It will also be appreciated that a motor may be provided to one of the carriage 26 or track 24 so as to permit the user to move the carriage 26 along the track through a remote or the like.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, the apparatus 10 further includes a remote control 40 having a plurality of buttons 42 for selecting which of the lights 30 are to be illuminated as further described below. As illustrated in FIG. 3, each of the buttons 42a, 42b, 42c and 42d may have a corresponding indication 44a, 44b, 44c and 44d corresponding to the light to be illuminated when that button is pressed. Turning now to FIG. 4, each of the lights 30a, 30b and 30c by way of non-limiting example may have an associated controller 50a, 50b and 50c, operable to receive a signal from the remote 40 when the button 42 corresponding to that controller 50 is pressed. In operation, when a user presses that button, the associated controller will cause the correct light to be illuminated. It will be appreciated that each controller and light will include a separate or shared power supply, such as, by way of non-limiting example, a battery or power cord.

Turning now to FIG. 5, an alternative embodiment of the system is illustrated having a control circuit 60 and a receiver 62 operable to receive the signal from the remote 40. The control circuit 60 includes a power supply 64 such as a battery pack or the like as are commonly known. The power supply may be recharged through a power cord 68 from time to time as are commonly known. Additionally, the system may include a motor 66 operable to receive a signal from the remote 40 to cause the camera 29 to be positioned at a desired location.

It will also be appreciated that the functions of the remote may be performed by a mobile user device, such as, by way of non-limiting example, a tablet, laptop computer, smartphone, PDA, ultra-mobile PC (UMPC), desktop computer, server. etc.

It will also be appreciated that although a simple circuit is illustrated in FIG. 5 and described herein, other methods of controlling the ultraviolet light source may also be used, such as by way of non-limiting example, a microprocessor, or other electronic control circuitry. More generally, in this specification, including the claims, the term “control circuit” is intended to broadly encompass any type of device or combination of devices capable of performing the functions described herein, including (without limitation) other types of microprocessors, microcontrollers, other integrated circuits, other types of circuits or combinations of circuits, logic gates or gate arrays, or programmable devices of any sort, for example, either alone or in combination with other such devices located at the same location or remotely from each other, for example. Additional types of control circuits will be apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art upon review of this specification, and substitution of any such other types of processor circuits is considered not to depart from the scope of the present invention as defined by the claims appended hereto.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated, such embodiments should be considered illustrative of the invention only and not as limiting the invention as construed in accordance with the accompanying claims.